The Warhammer 40k community was shocked by the sneak preview digital release of Codex: Inquisition. The news came from the new source for leaks and teases: Games Workshop Digital Editions.
In quest for more Facebook likes Games Workshop continued to hit on a growing problem.
GW flurry of releasing new rules and products has been a source of discussion for the entire year. The pace has been considerably amplified by the addition of supplements to the mix. Recently added to the mix was the updated Codex: Adepta Sororitas. This (currently) digital only release was the start of something different, and now with the Inquisition announcement, we might have a problem.
Before, the battles over the digital releases were all about pricing and being Ipad only, now players have gotten use to the cost of these products, plus cheaper Android versions, thus those issues have drifted into the background. Now, the Inquisition codex will be the first digital only codex. That means only people with digital devices will have access to this product. Still, like the supplements before it could be a delayed release print release, but at this point we are looking at least six months before a copy hits the shelves. So, for the time being expect to see more Ipads at your local events in the coming months.
This is a big deal, from retailers losing out to sales to a community divided by those with or without e-readers. Also, GW is really jumping head first into the torrent underbelly, as players who refuse to pay will download illegal copies and print them out. It is one thing when you have a supplement with only a few pages of rules, but a full codex is something completely different. This is a familiar story, as old as our move from CDs to MP3s, and it will be a long process as you still can find CDs and DVDs in the local big box store. This is another shot at gamers that cannot afford a Ipad or tablet in the ever-increasing hobby arms race.
Then there is the precedent this sets, if successful, GW will continue to pump out exclusive content digitally at the current high market price. The dreams of a free digital future will be squashed as GW fully realizes the wonderful margins digital only products produce. GW also gains a great control valve for leaks as digital products don't sit in warehouses being looked at by prying eyes. The next step will be clear as the regular codexes could soon have delayed printed releases. Imagine a one month delay between digital to print, giving GW better metrics for print runs, and will probably put even more focus on collector editions.
If anything, GW prides itself on believing it provides premium products, and it shouldn't be a coincidence hardback, collector editions, and digital editions aren't just another attempt to perpetuate the notion. Charging an arm and leg once again covers up any reduced unit sales, while keeping margins sky-high for limited paper product runs. As for the digital products, once development costs met every sale after is pure profit. The one person left behind is the gamer that doesn't want his codex digital, but wants a hard copy. Then there is the person like me, who only gets his codexes digitally, with dreams of a hard copy, but won't give GW 100 bucks for something that should be packaged together for one reasonable price.
Nothing comes for free with Games Workshop, so expectations are low when it comes to giving services many companies provide for free with their products. In the meantime, I feel for those that fight against the digital revolution whether they can afford it or not.
Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.