How Games Workshop’s Orktober Fell Short

Games Workshop have recently been firing on all cylinders with their releases. Each week it feels like there’s something else released that I’d love to own. Near all recent releases for either Age of Sigmar or Warhammer 40,000 both have been hitting me right in the wallet. However, for the first time in a long time I feel like Games Workshop have under-delivered on a release. After all the bluster, the bellowing, the shouting about the Ork releases for “Orktober” it feels like they weren’t able to quite conjure up enough to fulfil their self-devisedprophecy.

Time Has Not Been Kind…

I’ve seen a fair amount of folks online being underwhelmed with the Ork releases this month. Whilst the internet can make a spectacle of the worst behaviour and melodrama, I can somewhat see their point. Some of the Ork models are not aging well alongside newer models like the Primaris Marines of the Age of Sigmar Orruks themselves. Games Workshop howling at the top of their lungs saying that the month of October would be all for the Ork players would have had a very tough time meeting expectations.

Unfortunately, that is what has happened. Ork players have found themselves disappointed with the offering. Primarily the release has culminated in but a handful of new Ork vehicles alongside a new boxed game. Speed Freeks is a fun romp, at least in my experience. However, more than this was surely needed to sate the masses of Ork players whose hopes have now been partially dashed.

What Can Be Learned From This?

What could they have done otherwise? Well, I’d throw out two options. The first one is the simplest but less exciting. Rather than making a tonne of noise towards Ork players they should have treated it as any other codex release. They simply oversold and over-marketed the Orktober plan making it a much bigger song and dance than it needed to be. This would have been the easiest way to avoid this nastiness and disappointment.

However, the more exciting and fun way to do this would have been to simply put their money where their mouth was. Ork models are aging rapidly, as stated. Some of the models are in dire need of bringing in to 2018. The Weirdboy model, Ghazgkhull, even Squigs could use a facelift in this day and age after seeing the recent Nightvault goblins warband setting the bar higher. With Ork Boyz being the core of any Ork force, some new infantry would have been perfect. Though, admittedly, the Ork Boyz models aren’t quite so ravaged by the inexorable advance of time.

Not only is this model a little hard on the eyes but it’s also only available in Finecast. Bring us new models and bring them to us in plastic!

This is something that Games Workshop should learn from. Orktober has shown them what not to do. Making tall promises that cannot be delivered will only come back to bite you. With their recent focus on community-nurturing and responsiveness, I’m rather hopeful they’ll learn from this. Hopefully, someone in Games Workshop head office is taking plenty of notes and measuring sentiment for future endeavours.

Fool Me Once…

Though, I will say, that this does instill some fear within me. Every company makes mistakes and this could absolutely have been infinitely worse. At least some new models dropped and the vehicle models themselves are indeed spectacular. Although, we could look at another upcoming army release that’s being hyped-up and start to feel a little uneasy. Sisters of Battle have some astonishing expectations to meet. Let’s hope they deliver better than this greenskinned slip-up.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, they oversold it somewhat, but I don;t see the same happening with Sisters of Battle. The reason being that the issue is that GW seem to have a policy now of not re-doing plastic kits. once a unit’s been done in plastic, that’s your lot until the moulds break in 20 years time. They’ll add new units, but not replace old ones. Orks already had a filled out (if aging) roster of plastic kits and hence this release has been about adding new stuff around the edges (and fixing the rules, which was just as important). a lot more new stuff than Eldar got with their codex last year, which was just the re-release of eldrad as a plastic standalone form the boxset he;d been in.

    The Sisters range is going to have be a full release like then GSC were launched- at least two infantry kits, a vehicle (possibly), and an HQ kit.

    • I’m in fact quite confident that Sisters release will be fine. However, I’m not a Sisters player so my expectations and hopes are substantially lower than those of a devout Sisters player who’s been waiting over a decade for new models. I’m very curious to understand the expectations of said audience. I think there exists a fair balance between what it is a company offers or even teases compared to what is expected by a customer. Some may indeed feel a sense of entitlement in that they are “owed” new models or something but, for the most part, I like to think people are reasonable in their expectations. For me personally, I was expecting more from Orktober when compared to other codex releases and the marketing pushes provided for them. Look at the Space Wolves Codex; that had nowhere near as much noise. By comparison Orktober was a metaphorical festival of all things Orky and so I could certainly see why expectations could be a little higher for a wider variety of new models.

      The GSC mention is definitely a good shout, though. If the Sisters refresh goes down half as well as those models did then it’s going to be a smash-hit. Those models are all totally superb!

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