Saturday 5 May 2018

Reading Tea Leaves: Forge World discontinuations

The other day the hobby side of the internet exploded with the news that Forge World had shifted all their Horus Heresy Legion upgrade sets to Last Chance To Buy. To the look of it they've taking the entire range out of production including the extremely recent Space Wolves upgrades.

Oddly, this happened with not a word from Forge World.

I'm actually quite happy to say I find that odd now. Once upon a time this lack of communication was the norm for Games Workshop but they've got a lot better in recent years. Still, this is not a good look. We don't know what this means.

The most optimistic outlook would be that the main design studio are taking over the project and we're eventually going to get all these sets (or equivalents) in plastic. Its certainly possible but it seems odd to take it all out of production in one go. This is six pages of products all going Last Chance To Buy in one go, they represent almost every legion and effectively an entire game system of product. That's a big release schedule of upgrade sets for what is essentially a very large specialist game system and I'm not sure I see the logic of taking it all out of production in one go instead of staggering it to meet a plastic release schedule.

Then there's the pessimistic outlook: its the end of Horus Heresy as a supported system. Again, it could happen. If Fantasy can go then Horus Heresy can go. I'm not sure that I buy into that scenario, either. By all accounts its Forge World's biggest seller which is certainly supported by how much stuff they've released for it.

Then again, it might be a matter of cost. GW are not exactly unknown for pricing themselves out of the market. Even with the plastic Horus Heresy Space Marines a single unit of ten miniatures fully customised is extremely expensive. An upgrade set of ten torsos and ten shoulder pads comes in at £33 plus the price of the actual marines. Maybe its just that the sets themselves aren't selling.

Maybe its third parties. Forge World products are expensive and suffer from infamously poor quality control. Forge World resin is fragile, it takes ages to clean, and there is absolutely zero chance it won't arrive with at least a few parts distorted possibly even beyond use. Third party stuff, I'm sorry to say, usually has better quality control and that's just a fact.

So, maybe its a problem with Forge World itself losing out to third parties who provide the same parts with better quality control and no greater barrier of inconvenience since both involve ordering online. Maybe Forge World is just reducing its production base as they move more into the Specialist Games line.

Regardless of reason, however, its a shitty move not to communicate what's going on. This is a game system that, almost by necessity, involves a huge financial investment from the player as well as the sheer time-consuming inconvenience of working with FW resin. Making this huge reduction in range and not communicating to what extent the sky is falling is a dick move I thought Games Workshop had developed beyond, I really did.

No comments: