Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Privateer Press: New free rider policy

Privateer Press is a miniature company that in addition to its two flagship items, Warmachine and Hordes, also does board games, card games, and hobby supplies. 

I’m one of those weird people who sees events and then poses questions. One of those I posed recently was why isn’t Privateer Press doing Kickstarters? Well, they recently did one.

On the other hand, Privateer Press has also recently decided that they don’t like online discounters. They sent out a public memo if you will detailing that such actions were unwelcome and could harm the industry.

Sounds very much like Games Workshop to a point.

Now I buy things all over the place. I buy them from Games Plus, a FLSG. I buy secondhand from people. I buy from gaming auctions at Games Plus. I buy them online.

Some I’d never buy if it wasn’t deeply discounted.

And on some level, Privateer Press knows this because they deliberately make design choices to encourage the purchase of goods beyond a normal usable level. There are even jokes about “Doom Reaver spam” for example as the amount of models required for a “tier” list goes well beyond what is normally allowed on the table.

I understand why Privateer Press is doing this but I think it’s a mistake. Now they know their own business far more than some fat man on the internet.

On the other hand, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. 

E-Bay and Amazon are a thing. 

Secondary markets are a thing.

Stores that continue to sell at the heavy discount and get the products later? That WILL be a thing.

And one of the online stores that quickly changed policy to adhere to the new maximum discounts? 

They were doing a lot to provide information and expand the hobby to begin with. 

And here’s the thing, remember when I said that Privateer Press recently did a Kickstarter? Yeah… all of that money the Kickstarter raised is essentially coming out of the retailers end of things. It’s huge doublespeak for do as I say, not as I do.

When Lock and Load comes up, there will be early releases. 

Again, what about the retailer? See last comment.

It’s not on the level that online retailers can push through, it’s only for a limited event, but at the same time, it is sales taken directly from retailers.

This doesn’t count exclusive only miniatures that can only be bought from Privateer Press. Currently the number of such figures is small overall but at one point included the pricey “Extreme” sculpts.

I hope that the policy doesn’t bite them in the ass. 

Some people will stop buying expensive items. They may have a threshold tolerance. For example, the new version or resculpt of Behemoth is something like $69.95. If you have a threshold of $50, buying it at the old 30% that was easy to find means you could get it at $48.97, just under your threshold. On the other hand, the new standard means you’re going to be getting hit for $62.96.

It could also cut into ‘jank’ list purchases. Something that you’re not necessarily going to run in a lot of games or indeed, outside of some tier force lists that, again, encourages you to buy excess models.

For example, if you want to run a bunch of battle mages in a Retribution army in a “Charge of the Battle Mages” tier force. Now though, paying close to full price? You might just skip that whole list. 
There will be those who say for the dedicated player that these are minor issues. That if you are playing to win, you will spend that extra money.


I know several people, including myself, which have held off on making any new purchases since that announcement went into place. I have a lot of models to assemble and paint and that’s how I primarily came to the game to begin with. I don’t need to spend a ton of money on say, battle engines that I’m not going to be using a lot of.

What about everyone else? Good idea? Bad idea? 

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