Monday, 23 July 2012

Games Workshop getting digitally serious and appoints online agency

Games Workshop: appoints Bio Agency to handle its online services
Games Workshop has appointed The Bio Agency to handle its online services.  The digital agency was awarded the business following a four-way pitch against undisclosed agencies.  It will handle the global digital strategy for Games Workshop, which is seeking to grow its e-commerce business. It is the company's first agency appointment.  Earlier this month, Games Workshop released its first digital products to download from the iBookstore, in the form of interactive books for gamers.
This seems to be an interesting move by Games Workshop.

This story is from the end of June and their digital products came on stream at the beginning of July.  Possibly GW looking for some guidance on how best to maximise their income from online digital products.

Maybe its just me but i think they have missed a trick in the wider sense.  Maybe they are looking to dip their toe and use iOS as the platform to muck around with, as the digital products have completely ignored Android.  Now while Apple is the biggest selling single device (iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc) and was recently described as cool by a judge, no less, it is Android that is outselling iOS as an operating system.

I just can't help feeling that Games Workshop digital products being exclusively available from the iBookstore will block out a larger market using Android on their phones and tablets.  GW have so far released a number of publications through the iBookStore such as,
  • Codex: Space Marines - GW have launched an updated version of Codex: Space Marines for the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. If you've already bought this digital product, the update will be absolutely free.
  • Codex: NecronsCodex: Necrons is your guide to the armies of the Necrons. This volume details the terrible history and advanced wargear of the Necrons, and provides full rules for fielding an army of these deathless robotic warriors in games of Warhammer 40,000. This expanded Codex includes interactive miniatures galleries, lavish colour artwork, and updated rules to match the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000.
  • How To Paint Citadel Miniatures: Evil Sunz OrksIn this Army Workshop, army painter Duncan Rhodes explains how he collected and painted his force of Evil Sunz Orks and their prized red Dakkajet.
  • How To Paint Citadel Miniatures: NecronsArmy painter Chris Peach has assembled a formidable force of Necrons from the Nihilakh Dynasty. Here he explains how to paint models from the Necron range in their distinctive turquoise and gold colours using the Citadel paint range.
  • Chapter Approved: Ork BommerDownload the official, updated rules for fielding the Ork Dakkajet, Burna-bommer and Blitza-bommer as Flyers in your Warhammer 40,000 battles - and get ready to take to the skies.
  • Battlefield Challenge: Skullvane Manse, Lair of the AstromancerWritten by games developer Jervis Johnson, this Battlefield Challenge provides all the information you need to fight exciting Warhammer battles in the unpredictable environs of Skullvane Manse, and also includes a comprehensive painting guide.
  • Tactica: Space Marine HeroesGames developer Robin Cruddace imparts wisdom won on countless battlefields, sharing his views on the best uses for Space Marine HQ choices - some of the most powerful warriors in the 41st Millennium - in this detailed tactics feature.
Maybe Bio Agency have been drafted in to help GW get their head round their start in the digital world?  On their website they say 
We love creative strategy and online advertising;
We build brand, content and community driven websites;
We do emails, email campaigns and entire eCRM programmes;
We make (and play far too many) online games and interactive virals;
We do digital video production and development; 
I wonder if they will have much influence on GW modus operandi in the realm of digital media.  High end interactive PDFs being sold at the same price as the physical copy would not have been the first place start but then again if a lot of people buy them then there is a niche there.  Maybe it really is a changing market now with more people looking for high end electronic versions for their funky tablets.

It will be interesting to see how this new partnership pans out and how any online interaction changes.

Wee Ivor

From an article first published on and highlighted by Bell of Lost Souls

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