Last week I wrote a blog entry on the merits of giving away the rules for 40k, and it met with a slight bit of controversy. Some people seemed to support the idea, and some clearly thought it wasn’t in GW’s best interest to give away the goods.
Some key advantages to giving out the rules I talked about in my previous post are:
A more knowledgeable player base. Since there’s no reason why every player shouldn’t have a copy of each codex, we should all be aware of what each army can do. No more dirty surprises for those of us that can’t afford to buy a copy of every army book that’s released. More expendable income. That loss of 5-10% sales to GW, will translate to more money in our pockets. GW could raise their model costs to accommodate for this (something they’d surely do), but realistically, the majority of players will just look at this as a chance to buy 5-10% more models than they could previously. No matter how many models a 40k addict has, it just never seems to be enough… Fewer barriers to entry. New players would no longer be required to purchase a rulebook and a codex to play the game, thereby lowering the cost to start playing. This would make the game available to more players.
One particularly well-worded counter argument (by MBA) said:
When people give stuff away for free over the internet, it’s because their current marketing model isn’t working. Businesses don’t give things away for free unless they are desperate. 40K is a niche market, it’s not mass-market like Facebook or Twitter, it can’t be supported by adverts, or by 1% of users who choose to pay for a better service. 40K needs all players to be buying stuff. The BRB and Codices are beautiful, inspiring works of art that people are proud to own. To give them away would cheapen them and the game itself.
So, that’s where you come in. I’d like you to take a moment to read through the blog entry, the ensuing comments and weigh in with your opinion on the poll to the right. Do you think GW should give away the rules to their games, or would it cut too deep into their bottom line to do so? Could it actually improve their bottom line by attracting new players?
Please take a moment to vote on the poll to the right.
I’d love to hear your opinions…
“Vote” image borrowed from the Boogie Woogie Flu.