lunedì 21 dicembre 2015

Is Our Hobby Dying?

Hi readers!
 Some days ago I was thinking about our beloved hobby: all of us have read opinions about AoS, GW financial items and stuff. I decided to share something I've discoverded with the poor open data you can find on the internet given by daddy Google. If you search Google trends, you can find a search engine that can help you to know wich words are searched in the world: I decided to use this thing to try to understand if our hobby is searched: I clearly know that this is not a perfect barometer of our hobby - I'm stats, not funnynumberontheweb lol- but I suppose that could be interesting analyze the few data we can easily reach.

A pair of details:
the country you are going to see are the most frequent in some search: sometimes you can see a state with 0, it means that in a "brother" graph it was present a data>0 (so this is why you see it "red" and not blank);
if you vary the time, the line and trend are logically increasing or decreasing for the same variable: it is the nature of those data, you should be smart to read them (not so simple);
sometimes in the graph (they are interactive, pass the mouse on them) you can find some non english word, but these words are easy to translate;
google datas are "relativized", the highest number is =100, and so on the other: this is not my favourite form of data, but it is what we have! N.b. with a mobile device you could not see the interactive graph

First, lets analyze the word "Warhammer" as common term.
As we can see, the term has a decline in searching, with a great peak on 09/2008. Unfortunately that time I was not in the hobby, so if you can help me to know why that happen, I'll be glad.

The tendencies is declining,(I've add the R square, maybe after could be useful: it explain in a simple descriptive regression how much a model fit, but it is more useful comparing more models). Lets see where the term is searched the most, with green the max, red the less. Wait to see the whole map. Looking at my blog statistics, I'm quite surprised, but I've a recent blog and I perfectly know that it is not a representative sample. I want to tell that if you go to google trends you can see more animations.

Now lets see 40k,Fantasy,AoS and GW.

And the geography datas:

AoS omitted, all zeros.

As everybody knows the blockbuster is 40K -in search, according to our datas-, followed by Fantasy, and GW in general. AoS is not appeared. We see also the negative tendencies and a better R square for everybody, and the equations underline the negative trend (if you need clarifications, comment, I prefere not "put weight" on this post with technical features -that I love-). Probably for AoS we must analyze a shorter period, let's see the 2015, when this game appeared.

Let's Find AoS, I.E., let's analyze 2015.
We must use the 2015 to find AoS. Here the results.

As you can see it is the lowest of the product and after the big hipe of the release, it is slowly growing. It can be strange but it is logic that a trend in a period is decreasing, and in another one is growing (and vice versa).
Here the geography the 2015 data.



Ok stats, what do you mean with those things? Is our hobby dying? 
Remember, we are talking on search on web, not precise data: if you have better data, let's share them!
We can see that in a long period, our hobby is slowly declining; probably this is why GW is trying to put new blood with the AoS revolution, and that game it is slowly increasing. It is quite fun that also Fantasy in the last year is slowly growing.
We must remember that a search in Google could be "Fantasy is Good" or "Fantasy is Bad", we do not know how Google count them and other interesting thing.

Clearly I do not want say something very precise (as you can see, I tried to not put my opinion or a lot of comments but only objective datas as possible, because I prefere that you can find your ideas), because I do not have the numbers, but I hope that you can find some hint in thought, search better info in Google trends (for example USA readers can see datas for each State, or other country members can see for each region), and probably start a discussion that is not the classic flame war about GW haters vs GW lovers (like me).

10 commenti:

  1. Very interesting. Worth noting a couple of things about the 2015 data - first there is a slow rebrand of stores away from Games Workshop to Warhammer, so we would expect to see a reduction in the search for the term Games Workshop. Also Age of Sigmar is Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, so you would expect to see some increase in the term Warhammer as well as to start seeing Age of Sigmar.

    Overall it looks like long term the trend has been slightly downward in level of looking for these things, which supports a narrative of reduced sales volume, but static sales revenue. This does not tell us about total people buying, but we can look at GW's strategic actions to see what they think.

    The reinvigoration of the Specialist Games strongly suggests a desire to broaden the appeal of their IP (get more customers in the door as people have more options of what to play), the increase in electronic game licensing broadens the exposure of the IP (more people aware = more people who might start playing), the release of self contained box games - Betrayal at Calth et al - suggests the desire to give players the ability to limit the required investment (lower barrier costs to new players - more new players) all of which suggests that GWs own view is that not enough players starting the hobby is their primary strategic risk.

    This does not equal a dead hobby, it just shows that GW has probably been coasting a little and now needs to start making an effort to reinvigorate the player base. We also play a role in this - if players are positive and show why they enjoy the hobby so much then this will encourage people to play. If we are all nattering nabobs of negativism (thank you Spiro Agnew) however we will be the end of the hobby no matter what GW does.

    1. Hi! I've carefully read your answer, and I divided mine to your in "point", each one is a paragraph of your. Thank a lot to have answered and read this weird post!

      First point
      I do not directly noticed the rebrand of GW stores, but I have heard about it: it would be interesting to have the ratio of the rebrand or a data about them, but good point. Probably GW should do something about its brand awarness, because for example its web site is GW, and also all its products are branded GW.

      Second point
      I agree with you, this datas are interesting about "brand policy", not on sales: having sales data is a dream.

      Third point/fourth point
      Yes this is very interesting: but I've search the term "Games Workshop" as Company, "Warhammer 40,000" and "Warhammer Fantasy Battle" as "Games" -all the classifications suggested by Google, so they exist as games and Company in search (Aos is only a term till now)-.
      This does not mean that your point is not correct: I agree with you that GW is trying to enlarge its base of customer, and maybe not to lean to much on its "old core products" (this is our speculation of course, and we -suppose to- know that WH40K for example is a core product yet), and this does not mean that the hobby is dying (mine was a question) but my datas and your phrases underline that maybe the health of our Hobby is not so good if GW is enlarging and the awarness of them is declining.
      I agree that we have a role, probably one of the most important, the customers.

      Ah I'm a person that want a strong hobby and strong GW, I'm not a whining one (about price and stuff like you can find everywhere on the Internet).

  2. I think that the 2008 spike might be explained by the launch of the Warhammer MMO, Age of Reckoning. See for some more details, but I'd be hard pressed to find anything else that would explain that much of a deviation from the norm, though 5th edition 40k also came out that year.

  3. Thanks a lot!
    It is interesting what you point out: maybe that product touched a wider span of users than the core products. I'm wondering if GW did other games like this.
    If the answer is yes, why there is not another high peak? If not, the age of reckoning had been a flop so they did not another mmo game? And so maybe analyzing the searching habits have a sense?and also it is interesting that the peak has been absorbed immediately: maybe it was not such a great game (I'm saying so because if the search peak was about curiosity about a game not released, it should be happen before the release I suppose), or the curiosity about a game of that type vanish in a brief time.

    Those are not ironic questions, but real questions!

    1. A good way to compare the impact of that game launch to the overall Warhammer trends would be to take a look at the trend for "Age of Reckoning" or some other term for the game that DOESN'T include "Warhammer" in the terms, and compare the trend graph. For example, if you look over this graph:
      you'll see that interest in that peaked in September of 2008, in a sharp spike that seems to coincide with the 2008 Warhammer spike:

    2. Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.

    3. Thanks a lot, great job, that peak now has more sense, your explaination has sense. If you compare the trend of age of reckoning as a game and the two main gw system you find other interesting thing! And also the limits of the annoying "half free data" of Google, the fact you cannot have the raw data. Maybe those consideration needs another post and also other idea I had.

  4. Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.

  5. As for the game, it was quite enjoyable (at leafhqrast at first) according to the people I knew who played it. It wasn't as successful as the studio behind it wanted it to be (I think they expected it to be the next World ofsh Warcraft), and so after a few attempts to redesign the gameplay to get new players interested and failing (in fact, the changes actually seemed to drive some players away), they shut it down.

    There are some other GW based online games in development right now, the most promising of which (in my opinion) is this one:

    1. Great that explain the "lack of reactivity" of the time series after the hit of that game, whom spread the audience but was not capable on make the structural change on the series they hoped.
      Nice shot, I'll search on trend about it!