Games Workshop doesn’t plan to switch Warhammer 40,000’s new flagship box of miniatures to a made-to-order model, despite an astonishing demand that emptied pre-order surplus within hours.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed that Warhammer 40,000: Leviathan will be a “single time allocation without an option to order as a MTO”, confirming that Games Workshop’s online pre-order window was the only chance for players to purchase directly from the company.
Leviathan’s massive collection of Space Marine and Tyranid miniatures accompanied the release of the game's lauded 10th Edition ruleset, which was sold on a newcomer-friendly simplicity that didn’t sacrifice what veterans loved. Marketing seemed to imply that Games Workshop was angling Warhammer 40K towards a broader audience and perhaps hoping to kick the stigma of being impossible to penetrate by outsiders.
Those who missed the hours-long block when Leviathan could still be pre-ordered from Games Workshop’s website were directed by the company to check with local hobby shops and nearby Warhammer Store locations. An undisclosed and traditionally limited stock of boxed sets are earmarked for third-party sellers after release, ostensibly to prevent the publisher from overproducing and sitting on palettes of unsold moulded plastic.
Fans and players have long believed that Games Workshop massages their highest profile products with more than a bit of artificial demand. While not confirmed, it’s hard to look at what happened to Warhammer Quest: Cursed City and its promised expansion and post-release support and trust that the company will always be fully transparent about its business decisions.
Dicebreaker asked Games Workshop how many boxes they sent to hobby stores, how long they expected that stock to last post-release on June 24th and where players were expected to shop once those sold out, as well. A company spokesperson declined to comment on any of those questions.
Warhammer 40k’s 10th Edition rules might be a strong step forward for the stalwart wargame in terms of mechanics and philosophy of play, but ensuring the little fellas with guns (or swords, or claws, or chainsaws, or…) actually stick around on shelves long enough for interested newcomers to invest remains a critical weakness - or distant concern - for the tight-lipped publisher.