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"New Fantasy and Science Fiction LInes" Topic


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494 hits since 17 Nov 2017
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Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 8:56 a.m. PST

Looking at Warlord Games Beyond the Gates of Antares line, I got to wondering how much risk is involved in launching a new science fiction or fantasy line. The company has to create rules and supporting booklets, design and produce figures, produce other needed equipment (special dice, blast effect templates, etc.). Once sufficient stuff is available, they have to hope the whole thing will be reasonable popular and they will at least break even. It looks to me like making another line of SS panzer grenadiers carries a lot less risk. Do these things suck the company after them if they go down the drain? Figures routinely cost several times what my beloved historicals cost, so I'm not likely to bail them out by buying an army--maybe one or two fantasy figures that look like they might work well with my Vikings. Is there that much to be made? Is it really worth the risk?

Grelber

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 8:57 a.m. PST

Looking at Warlord Games Beyond the Gates of Antares line, I got to wondering how much risk is involved in launching a new science fiction or fantasy line. The company has to create rules and supporting booklets, design and produce figures, produce other needed equipment (special dice, blast effect templates, etc.). Once sufficient stuff is available, they have to hope the whole thing will be reasonable popular and they will at least break even. It looks to me like making another line of SS panzer grenadiers carries a lot less risk. Do these things suck the company after them if they go down the drain? Figures routinely cost several times what my beloved historicals cost, so I'm not likely to bail them out by buying an army--maybe one or two fantasy figures that look like they might work well with my Vikings. Is there that much to be made? Is it really worth the risk?

Grelber

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 2:17 p.m. PST

I would guess from observing gamers that 50% of the sales are used by players with other rules and 50% used with the intended rules. These are very rough guesses. The more specific the figures the less 50/50. May fantasy sculpts are much ,much better than historical ones, so the figures are often collected for their basic beauty too.
SS will sell for many years, but at a much lower mark up (profit) than fantasy ,because they are not specific to any rules.SS can be used with many many sets of rules. A beautiful unicorn with rider will suit fewer games. But still nbe collected by many?

Lion in the Stars18 Nov 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

Well, look at Corvus Belli.

They used to make incredible 15mm historicals, and some 28mm fantasy characters (that were apparently for the weekly staff RPG nights). Then they started a scifi RPG and started sculpting scifi minis to go with.

Then they realized that they'd sell a lot more minis if they made it a wargame instead of RP, which became Infinity.

Infinity kinda took off from there, and about 2012 CB had to stop producing 28mm Fantasy minis and their used-to-be-core 15mm line because they couldn't make Infinity minis fast enough. I think they've more than doubled the number of employees and still can't keep up.

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2017 2:38 p.m. PST

I do agree that there's a huge amount of risk. However, it seems rarer and rarer for a company to truely start from scratch. No surprise when you realize that the gaming battlefield is absolutely knee deep in the corpses of games that tried to go big from the get-go (Warzone, Celtos, Void, Kryomek, etc) not to mention those that started small and still couldn't make it.

BTGOA had the strength of the Warlord name and a the tested and prooven Bolt Action rules to build upon. It iss still a huge risk and the game's future isn't certain, but they knew their audience.

As LionITS points out some companies like CB can start out with just a few minis produce for fun to see how they take and if there's demand grow from there.

Then consider a company like Mantic. They started out with a couple of plastic kits targeted at WHFB players. Kings of War had game rules, but it was 10 pages, free (or a booklet in a box) and required almost no production to produce. They went through at least 2 versions of that free game and slowly build up their factions (All still with clear WHFB uses) until they had the momentum to launch a game with an actual rulebook and significant numbers of armies.

Then with Warpath, they were even more cautions. Initially they just used half the sprue from their fantasy figs to make two factions (again with clear GW analogues), made another booklet rule game, then a skirmish game and after several years finally a proper game of it's own.

All this to say, it certainly is safer to make another set of Sci-Fi Nazis, but cautions companies are making new big games a success.

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