I don’t normally comment on rumours but this one caught my interest as the Specialist Games range was very close to my heart. In case you haven’t seen it, this is apparently an announcement from Games Workshop that has been doing the rounds on the internet.
Although I would love to see Games Workshop revisit some of the Specialist Games, I do not believe that this announcement is genuine. Here’s why:
- The apparent ‘source’ of this information is a store manager in Australia who was told that he could advertise this in his store. This is not the usual channel for GW to release information. Also, why haven’t we heard similar things from other store managers?
- GW have just released Betrayal at Calth, a huge Heresy-era board game that they are pushing heavily at the moment. Why make an announcement of this magnitude so quietly in the background? Not only will this not receive much notice but, if it were true, it would detract from their current big release.
- There have been no rumours at all about this up until now. If GW were working on something there would have been leaks. Just look at Betrayal at Calth, images from this ‘top secret’ project were leaked months before release.
- Similarly, GW haven’t teased this as they did with all other new games.
- This doesn’t fit GW’s current business model. They already scrapped the idea of a specialist studio to support a small range of games so why go back to it? I could see GW releasing a one-off board game based on a classic game (much like Space Hulk or Dreadfleet) but not them devoting a whole new studio to specialist games.
- The poster contains a spelling mistake: ‘Armegeddon’. Now, I know there are occasional typos in GW publications (as there in any publications) but to spell the name of a game wrong in the press release? GW wouldn’t be this sloppy about its IP.
- I don’t buy the idea that this supposed “Specialist Product Design Studio” will support the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. From what I’ve heard, the license to produce products for these franchises is coming to an end. Also, the Hobbit was a flop and received little support from GW when it was in the cinema so why revisit it?
What does seem to be the case is that Games Workshop and Forge World have had some kind of internal restructuring and the resulting team is responsible for Betrayal at Calth. This team will be committed to developing further board games in the future. As far as any of the old Specialist Games returning goes, this is very much speculation at this stage. It could happen but this is far from certain.
With all this in mind, I’m going to call this hokum. However, I may be wrong…