Bell of Lot Souls has this to say about the state of Fantasy….
Is there a problem developing?
I have to agree, there may be. Since 7th and 8th in Fantasy, I have seen a decline in new players and many older players not playing as much as before. This would include me into the mix (mine has been more money based than anything), yet everything I read and hear makes me reconsider investing into something that will yield little enjoyment for my time. Most of the complaints stems to magic being too powerful and GW pimping Monstrous Creatures from my readings online and from players I talk to at the LGS.
Even in 40k, you don’t see players wanting to use older codex rules because they can’t keep pace with the newer ones. So, they avoid tournaments and show up for a friendly game every now and then. Instead they wait for their new codex to revive their glory days and encourage them back into playing mainstream.
Not to mention, they are killing the fluff many of us old farts loved about the hobby at first. A rich universe full of a cool back story to go with the game was the huge draw. Now as Mike said, the fluff drives their product line and catering to players developing more powerful units to include in the game more than making a balanced list that made sense to that army.
I loved it back when many armies had their own unique rules that were quickly squashed in favor of bringing on board the 10 year olds with short attention spans and ADD in favor of taking a loss to intelligence and common sense to make the all mighty profit margin.
It is my hope that GW does not let this turn into a monster and kill them in the end. They developed a great hobby and game in all the years they have been around. I think they need to step back into their grassroots more than trying to be a company. Money will come if you make a good product, not trying to make a good profit margin.
Just look at Magic, at one point Wizards of the Coast was just putting out crap, hardly any cards was worthwhile and when you bought a box or two of cards, you got maybe a handful of useful ones if at all. They have hit sales slumps and lost players to this poor choice in product development. Instead now, they are doing editions and other things to keep their product line propped up and hope it does not burn out their players. It did me, I sold my magic cards for store credit to get into 40k. WOTC pushed me out and I went to GW, same could happen to GW.