As 25th August approaches, all eyes in the Warhammer community is looking at the launch of Games Workshop’s new subscription service; Warhammer+. Which is what prompted me to watch the free episode of Hammer and Bolter which was available for 24 hours over the weekend. What are my first impressions? I liked it! The animation style was nice but the story was rather simplistic.
The episode titled “Old Bale Eye” which featured Commissar Yarrick and Ghazghkull Thraka ran at approximately 19+ minutes. It was more like a short film that gave viewers a stylish overview of the rivalry between these two characters but other than that it didn’t contain very much plotwise. It was good but in order for the animated content to WOW audiences I think the writers & animators have to do a lot more in the face of stellar animated content on platforms like Netflix & Disney+.
When I asked around a bit in the local community about their thoughts about Old Bale Eye, I didn’t get much response and the one older fan who did comment on it wasn’t impressed by the animation and the story as he had already read the books featuring the two characters.
Safe to say; I don’t think the animated content would be the major pull factor and for the first year at least it’d be the exclusive minis that’ll attract subscribers.
What this means is that Games Workshop has one year to prove the value of the service to fans or I suspect they’ll see a significant drop Year 2 subscriptions. Warhammer+ is a smart move to get additional revenue and to protect their IP but there’s a fair share of risk in these areas:
- The technicalities of maintaining an on-demand streaming service
- The quality & production value of the animation
- The quality of the writing & plot of the animated content
I see it as a bold move for the brand but with the recent shake-up of legal action against some YouTube creators the service is unfortunately launching amidst negative sentiment from most of the Warhammer community. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m rooting for GW or not but I’m definitely on board for Warhammer+ in Year One at the very least and will do my best to give proper coverage of the service and its features. It’s then up to the community to decide if it’s something that gives value to them or not.
To me, the key value of the service in Year One at least boils down to 3 key features at the moment:
- The minis!
- Warhammer Vault which opens up access to White Dwarf archives
- Premium access to the Warhammer Apps that contain digital versions of the rules, 8th edition codices & data sheets plus the army building tools for both Warhammer 40K & Age of Sigmar. The current incarnations have not been well-received so this is a chance for GW to improve these apps and bring them up to a more acceptable level with the additional revenue coming in
The animations, shows, etc are just nice-to-haves but I’ll give them a chance nevertheless
What are your thoughts with regards to Warhammer+ after watching Old Bale Eye? Let me know in the comments.