Games Workshop has made enormous strides in its attempts to engage fans of their product but the Rumor Engine has proven an annoying misstep.
Games Workshop has made enormous strides in its attempts to engage fans of their product. The company has embraced social media in a way that would have seemed impossible two years ago, making fans feel like they have an input into the products that GW offer. Many of their initiatives have been inarguable successes – Duncan’s paint tips, their advance previews of upcoming products and their timely responses to correct errant game mechanics through FAQs to name but a few.
One of their more frequent pieces of contenet, however, has proven an annoying misstep. The Rumor Engine.
On December 5th, GW released the following Rumor Engine pic:
What could it be? A cape certainly, but a cape belonging to what? To who? To which game? Oh the mystery. Surely a fine piece of marketing that will generate healthy, lasting discussion and interest?
Hardly. At the time of writing the Rumor Engine had upwards of 20 unsolved teasers. I know this because I went back and looked through them all to see which ones had been solved. Did I remember any of them? No, of course not. Because who remembers a spike on a blurry metal bit. “Remember that cape teaser from a few weeks ago? I didn’t sleep for days wondering what it might be” said literally no-one ever.
Instead of whipping up fevered interest in future products the Rumor Engine is, instead, reducing potential long term excitement to an annoying momentary distraction. What could be an item so important to someone that their desire infects everyone around them, ensuring elevated future sales, is transformed into a vehicle for online smart-arses to talk about plastic Thunderhawks and Sisters. Instead of putting something into the shop window you have handed it to internet Smarks to use as a stick to beat everyone else with.
If GW is reading this, I have a solution:
You have made the model. It exists in the universe. It has made the transition from arranged electrical impulses in a designers brain to become a plastic cash cow. So just tell us what it is. It might not be due for release for another year or another quarter but so what? I’m no marketing expert but I suspect knowing for sure that, for example, a new Primarch was months away would generate far greater buzz than knowing that a secret thing will be released at a secret time.
What you have done is create a secret so hidden it is impossible to care about it. Just tell us already.
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