A company what wen' make da kine games. Yeah.
The employees of Privateer Press are often bearded and like to fondle balls. They created the Iron Kingdoms as a setting in D&D 3.5, then also made Warmachine and Hordes as wargames within that setting, then just invented their own RPG system when the OGL dried up.
Also, Monsterpocalypse. First they tried to bring microtransaction-randomness to our tables, forcing us to buy the same damn boxes over and over hoping they'll randomly have what we want. Then the game died for like five years. Now it's back.. as long as you live in the USA and you're willing to hork up twice as much per model. Or $20 for a single resin building.
They also make the P3 line of paints, which are a whole hell of a lot cheaper than the Citadel line. They have a better range of paints too, including a bunch of colours that Citadel no longer carries. Depending on where you go, they are probably the second most easily available line of paints, and since they save you money, why the fuck would you buy GW's line? Privateer's paint selection has nowhere near the color range of Tamiya or Vellajo, however, they have way more than Citadel and in lots of places they're easier to come by than those other "professional modeling" paints.
The company is based in the USA, with their headquarters in Bellevue, Washington (an up-rent parasite across the lake from Seattle, and just down the road from Catalyst Game Labs). Curiously for this 'murican enterprise, they haven't tried to expand their market to the Southern continent. While most gaming and toy companies act like this is a requirement, it may because most young people in Latinoamerica don't have the resources or cultural interest to get into anything more complex than Pokémon and Monopoly. If they actually do have it they'll opt for Gundams and Warhammer 40k, since GW have managed to establish some stores in Latino land.
/v/ Privateer Press
That said, however, they are a bit more inexperienced than their older competitors. In pursuit of expanding their reach to a video game space the way Games Workshop did (before throwing it all away with the Wh40k games) they've hired an indie studio to make a game based on their franchise at the height of Kickstarter frenzy in 2009. This studio is called Whitemoon Dreams, and they didn't have a single game to their account. A sign better than any for those knowledgable in /v/'s turf that they might not be the wisest choice. Unlike having to transfer over Wh40k, a notoriously crappy game into a whole new genre and format, Warmachine in and of itself was reasonably balanced and well-made, and the game genre was selected to let them keep the general gameplay intact. What could go wrong? In short, everything.
Even after getting the best engine money could buy, mounting a highly successful KS campaign and having the best inter-developer help imaginable by the poor folk of Privateer Press, the idiots at Whitemoon couldn't make a game worth playing. All of the Kickstarter awards, content paid for by the fans, were sold separately as DLC. An interface worthy of your sub-average /g/ undertaking, the fine balance of Warmachine smashed to pieces under the excuse of "engine limitations" (which is really a code name for incompetence), gameplay design stuck between a table-top adaptation and a video game, story that reads worse than a 12 year old's fanfiction, graphics that require a NASA computer to run well and absolutely not good enough to justify its resource-intensiveness, copy protection that makes you redownload 30GB of data in a game that has less than 5GB itself whenever you want to patch it, a rushed release postponed only under heavy pleading from fans that the game was not ready yet, and a plethora of other game breaking issues, all tacked under a price that has until recently rivaled AAA releases. Much like what happened to Heavy Gear, really, just worse and slower in every way.
The fans of Warmahordes and Privateer Press still have a way to go before they'll be able to venture outside pure table-top gaming.
The Great WMH Fuckup
You may have noticed that no-one's edited the Warma-hordes pages since Third dropped, and WMH generals are scarcer than pony threads when the mods are awake. And at least once every /awg/ thread, some lost soul walks in and wants to know... "What happened?"
TL:DR -- See the pic.
- 1) Begin writing new edition, which of course you prepare for with
THREE YEARS OF PLAYTESTSno playtesting whatsoever. Set it up to give hundreds of free points to players who use extremely rigid force comps (which weren't playtested). And of course, massively increase the number of models required to play.
- 2) Enact draconian retail and shipping policies that hose most stores (see pic) and make it even more expensive to get models.
- 3) When new edition is released, stick fingers in ears; anyone who mentions the flaws/errors/imbalances of the new edition on official channels gets called names and banned. Demo agents come forward revealing that they offered to help beta-test the game and were shot down by the devs. Ban said demo agents, threaten legal action.
- 4) Post-release sales start to slip for some reason. Panic-dump huge grab-bags of backstock at 25-50% of MSRP, just before Christmas. Secondary market immediately collapses. Retail sales go into free-fall from a mere uncomfortable downwards glide.
- 5) Local convention loses lawsuit for abusing volunteer labor? FIRE ALL THE DEMO AGENTS PANIC PANIC DELETE FORUMS DELETE CUSTOMER SERVICE PAGE, they were volunteer-run anyway and people are asking uncomfortable questions like "are you going to issue an FAQ". Note that they did this literally days before a major convention without warning any of said demo agents, or the convention itself.
- 6) Pull out of all convention appearances and advertising. Stop shipping overseas.
- 7) ???
- 8)th Edition 40k emerges in the midst of all this shit-storming. It sucked less than usual. A lot of the people who abandoned GW back in 2005 came back, as GW seemed to make a genuine turnaround to something resembling actual community engagement and not just the tight-fisted miserliness that was symbolic of the Kirby years.
PP is currently trying to undo some of the damage. In addition to the long-awaited rules patches, they're pushing skirmish games like Riot Quest, the new Warmahordes/Infinity knockoff in SPAAAAAAACE! (Warcaster; so far the models look good but the factions are blander than bread), and such. They even brought back Monsterpocalypse without blind boxes. Unfortunately, they've also been randomly abandoning games, marketing like morons, and throwing Kickstarters at the wall but fleeing before they have a chance to take root. The community is a massive free-for-all Skub-fest right now, and abruptly firing their entire demo team managed to piss off a lot of the people who'd normally be running damage control for them.
Among the many projects fired in a desperate attempt to stay afloat is an attempt to go back to their roots and crowdfund a 5E conversion splatbook for the Iron Kingdoms. Considering how absurdly open to homebrew 5E is, it's not much of a far shot to say that they'll be getting a good bundle of money thanks to both the 5E crowd and what few people still hold faith that PP can be good again.
|The games and their factions of Privateer Press|
|Warmachine:||Convergence of Cyriss - Cryx - Cygnar - Khador |
Mercenaries - Protectorate of Menoth - Retribution of Scyrah
|Hordes:||Circle Orboros - Legion of Everblight |
Minions - Skorne - Trollbloods