Tuesday, September 25, 2012
It Makes My Medulla And My Frontal Lobe Wrestle A Japanese Death Match...
I went out and bought the Avengers on Blu-Ray last night. Normally, I don't buy a lot of movies. The Avengers though, was a lot of fun, and it is something I will probably watch at least a dozen more times during my ownership of the disc. Last night was the first. Midnight release + 2.5 Hour movie + travel time to and from store = a very late night.
Today, got to the store and took in shipments. Nothing of major note came in. Most folks are sort of waiting for the Magic: the Gathering: Return to Ravnica storm to pass. Not Games Workshop though... Nope. Wanna guess when the new Chaos Space marine stuff comes in? Oct 6th. The same weekend as the release of the new MtG set. Now... Wizards of the Coast announces the release dates of new MtG product almost six months in advance. GW sent me an e-mail with a confirmed date yesterday, less than two weeks prior to release. So, most games stores are stuck with TWO heaping gobs of cash flowing out of the door on that same weekend instead of one. Yes, in this particular instance, 95% of the stores will make that money back in spades, but it still seems... I don't know... inconsiderate, and more than a touch unintelligent.
WotC makes no secret when new releases are happening. GW does. So wouldn't it make sense for GW to adjust those dates (that none of us supposedly know about) as needed to account for less overlap? Never mind the easing of financial burdens for their retail partners. Basically, going up against a new MtG release just makes your product the SECOND most talked about game release for the week, at best.
Some would argue that miniature gamers don't care about M:tG (or any other collectible card game), so GW shouldn't either, and for the most part, they would be correct. There is overlap, though, and those folks are pretty much forced to make a choice that week of simultaneous release. New cards that one can play with immediately, or new (albeit deadSEXY) models that one has to at least assemble, if not paint, before they see any use. Why make those customers with overlapping interests make that choice when it isn't necessary?
I'm not really trying to bash on Games Workshop here. I am just baffled by how they seem to think. With GW not confirming release dates until thirteen days prior, it affords them a sort of "market flexibility" that other companies choose not to have. Until they actually say anything, GW has the ability to avoid anything they see as major marketing interference that would keep their new releases from being THE ITEMS to be talked up during that week. So why don't they? Movie studios do it all the time. Don't want to go up against the Avengers or the Dark Night Rises? Push the release date around by a week or two. G-Dub could do the same thing. The only thing they would really have to change is to stop printing exact release dates in White Dwarf (which goes to press about three months early), and change it to printing a release "area" (coming September or September-October), or even a "coming soon".
Just some thoughts...