I flipped through a copy of Dark Heresy the other day. For those of you not in the know, Dark Heresy is the new Warhammer 40K RPG dealing with the Imperial Inquisition. The story is kinda odd.
1. Games Workshop has already done fantastically well with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP). The game is astounding. The production values are really high and the system is well designed.
2. Fans eat it up, and clamour for a 40K RPG.
3. GW announces that they'll make one. In fact, they'll make three. One focusing on the inqusition, one on other humans, and one on alien races.
4. Dark Heresy is announced. It sells out during pre-order and you can't find copies anywhere.
5. Dark Heresy is released. Already sold out.
6. Less than a week later, GW announces the termination of the 40K roleplaying line.
What the hell is wrong with this picture? The only rational explanation I can think of is that the RPG is a niche product. The wargame is far more profitable. Why make £25 selling a chunky hardback with fantastic writing and and artwork, with a lot of thought that has gone into it, when you could make £25 selling a few dis-assembled, unpainted figures that the player has to put together themselves? If this is even close to the truth (I am shooting in the dark) then it's exactly the same attitude that makes me hate GW in general.
They really suck when it comes to giving good deals to their customers.