This could be a pretty solid argument that not only has 8th edition already been released, but that it has already received a 5/5 rating.
What you’re about to read is mostly a combination of speculation, calculated guesswork, and an assumption. However if you enjoy the GW hobby as much as me then you may find this interesting and a solid argument for the fact that 8th edition has already been released.
First about me, I’ve been playing Warhammer 40k since 2nd edition, I used to work for Games Workshop flagship store in the London Plaza Shopping centre before it relocated, and for the last 15 or so years I’ve worked in and around the field of online marketing.
Specifically, it’s my experience within the field of Online Marketing that has lead me to believe we’ve already seen the launch of the 8th Edition.
In the past, GW has made some dubious marketing choices, often upsetting their fan base by focusing on one specific goal, making money. Which as a business is fine… Unless of course you manage to upset every customer and lose them to other games like Warmachine, etc.
Still, in an attempt to grow the company and prevent further loss to competitors, they made some changes to their marketing strategies, especially in regards to some new hires, and the effect of this is almost impossible to avoid noticing.
And while it has been difficult to understand many of GW’s decisions in the past, in recent months things are becoming pretty predictable
The concept is simple: Streamlined customer driven product lines, with soft tested launches to avoid over exposure financially, and a big eye on a new customer generation.
A few examples of their behaviors recently are:
1) Surveying the customers to see what they want and then delivering it.
There have been a few examples of this, but one of the biggest has to be the social media push, asking Age of Sigmar players what they want to see most in the new General’s Handbook… So soon after the release of the previous General’s Handbook.
You see any old marketer can try to drum up attention for a new release by asking customers what they want to see. But when you’re doing it so soon after a new release it’s usually because you’re looking to get feedback on the next edition. That way you can get enough lead time to play, test, write, and print, etc.
2) Internal Upsells:
When you’re leaking money to 3rd party companies for things like Dice, Custom Bases, playmates, etc, it makes a lot of sense to start producing those in order to increase your profit margins.
We’ve seen a plethora of accessories that are customer driven based on needs, like game mats, etc. This helps GW keep extra income for gaming accessories that players are actively spending on, and further shows they’re looking to the customers for ideas on what to sell.
This concept of analyzing customer behavior to create content is a entry level lesson in the area of marketing I’ve been following for years.
And so this got me to analyzing the entire business to see if I could spot 8th edition in the works.
With the foresight and planning, GW is currently building a storyline, working up to the stroke of midnight. They NEED to have the rules completed already, or at least have them as close to finished as possible…
So the question is, where are they?
Well we can assume 2 things about them:
1) They are likely to be simplified (Case in point Age of Sigmar).
2) They’re focused on attracting new players rather than focusing on the old players (You can’t grow your income significantly unless you grow your customer base).
Based on these factors, and almost 2 decades of experience in marketing, I believe the rules in the Battle of Vedros set are 8th Edition 40K, or at least as close as they could be.
Further evidence for this can actually be found on the battle of vedros facebook page. Where GW staff are still actively pushing the game to Toy Fairs, looking for Toy shops, and distributors for the game they released earlier this year.
Not Blood Bowl, not Kill team, not Burning of Prospero, but Battle of Vedros.
Now you could argue that they’ll get people in with this game, and then get them to learn a more complicated rules set.
However, the only reason you even think that is a strategy is because that’s the kind of strategy GW used to employ… before the changes.
It makes a lot more financial sense to streamline the rules into a system that’s easier to learn to attract more players. The new line of marketing and strategy we’ve seen from GW in recent years, I believe, is a sign that they’re likely to shift towards a more streamlined version of everything.
Just in case you still aren’t convinced, here’s another thing to consider.
(Image Credit BoLS)
GW took a huge hit in customer base with AoS with a big backlash against getting into a new game. But this was all but mitigated by the increase in new players, and then the new growth the game has started to achieve.
I believe GW plans on avoiding this by doing something we call a “soft release”.
Releasing the rules in a way so everyone won’t find them threatening. In fact encouraging players to vote on how great the game is as an introduction to the hobby.
BoLS gave the game 5/5, a result they would NEVER have given if they believed this was the edition officially replacing 7th.
(Image Credit BoLS)
Instead GW gets to push the Battle of Vedros rule set out to Big Box stores, Walmart, Game, Target e.t.c. With the full support and incredible reviews from their current 7th edition players, almost ensuring it’s a success and more importantly building a HUGE player base of new players, young players, eager for expansions to the game they were given for xmas 2017.
Then when the shift happens, if GW loses 7th edition players, they’re supported by the new battle of Vedros players, eager to add new miniatures too the games they’re playing.
Whether I’m right or not, only time will tell.
However it’s definitely something worth thinking about.
Meanwhile I’m going to crack open a box of battle of Vedros and start playing with my 6 year old son, mostly because it’ll be a great way to introduce him to the game… But also to familiarize myself with the new rules in anticipation of 8th coming Summer 2017.
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below.
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