My thoughts on the Cursed City situation

I had such grand plans….

Warhammer Quest Cursed City was to be my springboard for a bunch of written and video content. As soon as it was announced I knew it was the game for me. All the refinements of Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress but with a superior grim dark Age of Sigmar setting with NEW vampire models. The promise of ongoing support and expansions had me loosely planning a roadmap of work.

Then the dream died.

At the time of writing Warhammer Quest Cursed City is sold out and is unlikely to receive additional print runs. The drama around it all is documented extensively elsewhere but the short version is,

  • Curse City was meant to be an ongoing product line like Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress.
  • The first wave of boxes were produced.
  • It was announced.
  • Warhammer Community reps on social media assured worried fans that this was an ongoing release and not to panic about buying it on day one.
  • Pre-orders opened and quickly sold out, both online and for 3rd party retailers.
  • Something happened.
  • The game launched and despite some stock issues people were mostly happy.
  • Then the Warhammer Community responses about Cursed City being an evergreen product disappeared.
  • As did the game from the Games Workshop webstore.
  • Then came the tweet the shook the Warhammer part of the internet: It was gone and would not be coming back.
  • Speculation, conjecture and plain old bullshit ran rampant online.

Super tl;dr version: Cursed City was going to be like Blackstone Fortress but something happened and now it is a limited run product. Cursed City is sold out at stock and will not be reprinted, at least for the time being.

Which sucks, it really fucking sucks.

(Note: the fucking here is not one of entitlement but lament for a product that died before its time)

Where you lucky enough to snag a copy of this box of delights?

It is clear that the something that happened was a big problem that has caused a rethink of future Games Workshop releases. With Cursed City sadly being cursed to die. Hopefully, the very negative response online has made the product managers at Games Workshop change their mind and this is just a momentary blip in the history of this game. 

For now though the future of Cursed City is very much in doubt. The rules and quest books that come with the game mention expansions and future releases. At this point in time, there has been no official public-facing statement as to the status of these expansions. The various Warhammer Community accounts and social feeds are not acknowledging the game’s existence beyond their brief run of sorry it is sold out style messages. It is weird, terrible and just straight up poor customer service in the internet age. I can understand that shit happens and plans change but being upfront about the hows and whys of such changes goes a long way. Especially for a product that many people bought on the promise of it having long term support. 

So where does that leave me and my plans?

Well, I was insanely lucky and managed to get a copy of the game through my friendly local comics and games store. I’m in the process of painting and playing it. It is a great box. So I will still be showing off my completed models. QUICK! LOOK AT THIS PAINTED ZOMBIE CAT:

Zombie Cat hungers for zombie catnip?

I’m also going to give a proper review of the game once I’ve finished the campaign. I don’t want to rush this because most of the reviews out there are clearly based on people’s thoughts after a few sessions rather than the complete experience. So while it will be completely irrelevant by the time I release it (unless a future print runs are announced!) it will at least be a comprehensive review. If the promised expansions do happen I’ll cover them if I can get hold of them. (Recent events will make any limited run expansions a hot commodity for scalpers and I’d rather not encourage them.)

I am also planning on crafting some homebrew content for the game. Cos if GW aren’t going to support it, I might as well do so! I’ve joined a discord community dedicated to this task to pitch in where I can. However, you can also expect me to share some more bespoke stuff made by me, mainly for me on this site.

So there will be some Cursed City content by me going forward but not in the way I had expected. Obviously, all this can and will hopefully change based on what Games Workshop do in response to the community’s very vocal feedback. They have made a huge mistake and everyone is telling them so loudly and clearly. Also respectfully, for the most part.

I still love this box art

On a much more personal note, and without treading too much into rampant speculation. It is clear factors outside of Games Workshop’s control be they biblical, business and/or global politics based are causing production problems for the company. Like I said earlier: shit happens, it’s how you respond to and inform your customers about that shit that matters. 

I’m usually labelled as a GW apologist but their handling of the Cursed City situation is just so shockingly bad and tone-deaf that it makes me worry about the future of the Warhammer hobby. It reminds me of the dark times were I left my collecting and playing of GW games behind because it was clear they were just chasing the money rather than cultivating a community around robust living games (and money). As such I cannot currently trust what they say about the longevity and status of their products going forward. 

They said Cursed City was going to be around for years, then changed their minds and failed to explain why. Their continued public silence about it speaks volumes. They have my and many other people’s money and want to leave the truth of what happened behind them. That’s their prerogative as a business but it makes it very clear that I am just a commodity to them.

I got back into all things Warhammer because the company behind it seemed to have learnt that community first is the best approach for the kind of living games they make. Sadly this whole situation has shown that to be just be another avenue for generating sales rather than being a genuine belief and pillar of the business. 

Sure I will continue to buy and enjoy my little plastic army men but probably a bit less. I’ll certainly think twice about buying any future boxed games GW produce. I now know that the company that makes them does not care about the people who buy their products beyond their means of generating a profit from them. So while there are many individuals within the business that want to share joy through their work, the company itself does not. They had a cool thing, a business having a sense of community around it is a tough thing to pull off. The gains of achieving it speak for themselves, the early AoS era to now shows that. Sadly Games Workshop have chosen to sacrifice that sense of community in favour of short term mitigation of a production problem.

It is more than just a cool product being killed off, it is the apparent death of the customer focused way of doing business that drew me back to the Warhammer hobby.

That is what people are so angry about.

2 thoughts on “My thoughts on the Cursed City situation

  1. Similar feelings here – I could have pictured myself adding content like bringing new heroes and villains into the gaem, and so on, but now it doesn’t seem worth the effort when so few people will get to play. It’s a sad situation all round and GW are well overdue for providing something better than ‘no current plans to print more’.

    Liked by 2 people

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