Hey folks, before I begin this article I just want to say one thing: I suck at updating and posting, I know. With that out of the way I want to talk about something I don't normally weigh in on, internet rumors. We all look at them on various sites such as Bell of Lost Souls or Faeit 212 (my personal preference) and often times we get some pretty outlandish rumors filtering through from various sources. Recently Natfka has been reporting some strange rumblings about the future of GW as a company and the direction Warhammer Fantasy will be taking in the future. Let me state for the record that I have nothing but respect for Natfka. He reports the rumors and clearly states what each article is about. He doesn't pretend to report the rumors he posts as the gospel truth and corrects himself where applicable. What set me off on this rant was what I saw today regarding changes to GW stores, mainly mass closures, in Europe, and the elimination of support for no less than FOUR Warhammer Fantasy armies. Check out the site and read the rumors and comments for yourself http://natfka.blogspot.com/ .
Now I am certainly no financial expert nor do I have any intimate knowledge of how corporate GW works. I am simply a fan who has been in the hobby for over a decade and who has had the pleasure of visiting hobby stores outside the U.S. What strikes me as bogus about this whole rumor set is the incredibly drastic nature of it. I could see possibly closing a few stores, but to eliminate your company stores on in not one, but two major European markets? I find this to be highly suspect. In July of 2013 I had the pleasure of visiting several GW stores in France, namely GW Clermont-Ferrand and GW Paris 15e. I also follow both of these stores on Facebook. GW has a pretty heavy foot print in Paris with at least four or five stores across the city. I went to both French stores on "off" days (not the weekend) and both stores had people in to game and paint as well as customers making purchases. I know that this is in no way representative of what their profits are, but it wasn't like the stores were dead. I can't imagine that Germany is any different. I am sure we all have seen the GW financial report that came out a few days ago. I think a lot of these rumors stem from people who are either trolling or hate GW for whatever reason yet still enjoy frequenting forums about the hobby. What I do find more plausible is what some have suggested, and that is a merger in regional management into a centralized management in the UK for Europe.
Regarding the rumors about Fantasy I really can't say much other than I find them very hard to believe. Eliminating support for four armies is a radical move to say the least. A lot of rumors and discussions have been floating around the web about the direction Fantasy will take. Some have said that a new edition is in the works that will include all of the army lists in the core rule book while others have said that armies with "similar themes" will be rolled into single books (Empire and Bretonia into a single book for example). I find all of this talk of merger a bit hard to swallow. In the case of The Empire and Bretonia you have two very culturally and technologically different civilizations with The Empire being a late medieval/renaissance Holy Roman Empire and Bretonia being very clearly feudal France. The same can be said for the three Elven factions and the undead as well. The only thing I could see making sense for a merger would be the factions of Chaos. If they rolled Warriors, Daemons, and Beastmen into one giant book I wouldn't feel so bad about dropping $50.
So where am I going with all of this rambling?
Well I don't really know. I guess my point is to be careful what you believe on the web.