From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
In my opinion, the verdict is now in: Games Workshop were right to kill off Warhammer and replace it with the Age of Sigmar.
Warhammer at the time was a moribund game with nowhere left to go. Sales had dwindled, new players were absent, and supplements were minimal changes to armies which had been around for 20 years.
Early signs were not promising. After the middle-finger way in which Warhammer was terminated and replaced, most players had walked away, and new players weren’t rushing in to patronise a company that had just trashed a 25 year old game.
At time time I wrote a pair of articles:
Age of Sigmar seemed like an each-way bet; as likely to fail as to succeed. However over the years that changed, mainly through the release of models and factions that engaged the player base – mostly new players.
In terms of sales and engagements, Age of Sigmar is doing better than Warhammer ever did. The most recent sales charts bear that out, with Age of Sigmar sitting only behind Warhammer 40,000. Warhammer itself was absent from these charts.
Age of Sigmar’s key advantage over Warhammer is that it can go anywhere. With the setting changed from a single world (an analogue of our own) to the realms of the Age of Sigmar, the setting suddenly became larger. It’s easier to add new factions, settings and so on to the game as each of the realms is explored in more detail.
With an expansive setting and a theme more based around hope than hopelessness, Age of Sigmar appeals to a broader audience.
We’ll never know what might have been, had the Warhammer world been renewed instead of killed off. The success of to Total War: Warhammer games shows this setting can still appeal to a broad audience. However I think that ultimately, Age of Sigmar was the right choice for Games Workshop to make.