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Hagisman

How to make Malifaux mainstream?

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Mostly this is just going to be a discussion about how people could see Malifaux moving from niche wargame to a more identifiable brand. This came to me while seeing Games Workshop branching out more and more with Funko Pops, Action Figures, and TV Shows.

My random thoughts on strengthening the Intellectual Property (IP) of Malifaux:

  • More than Wargaming - This is more something Wyrd has to do. Malifaux has a grand story and while there is Breachside Broadcast the brand hasn't extended past that. Partially this is due to interest, there aren't many content creators (Writers, Directors, Actors) who are invested in Malifaux like say Warhammer, Star Wars, etc... But GW expanded the Warhammer brand via Novels (By creating Black Library) and Video Games (Most notably by being loose with their IP). This is not the only way to go, but it is something to keep in mind. 
  • Malifaux and Steampunk - As far as movements go, Steampunk is still niche, but it surprises me that the aesthetic of Malifaux isn't as linked to it as say Iron Kingdoms/Warmachine. Steampunk is a genre that doesn't have a big name hit on it. If I say High Fantasy is to Lord of the Rings as Steampunk is to ... what would you put there? Is it the same answer as the majority of other people? Most popular steampunk stories are in novels, so Malifaux could piggy back on that existing audience.
  • Cosplay - Cosplay is kind of like a billboard for an Intellectual Property. Acts as both advertising and a litmus test for how identifiable your brand is. If someone is dressed as a character from your IP how identifiable are they to the general public? For example, someone in a Superman costume is identifiable to most people in the United States. Someone in a Fullmetal Alchemist costume is identifiable to most Anime fans. Someone in a Malifaux costume is identifiable to... probably just Malifaux fans. I'm not saying Wyrd should push for cosplay, I am saying its a good mark as to whether their product has penetrated other markets outside of the Malifaux community.
  • Novels - This has been mentioned previously in this post, but if Wyrd decides to go the GW route to novels they need to realize that it is an investment. Novels do two things in my mind; 1. Increase the audience of the brand. 2. Add another avenue of revenue from the existing audience. For GW, cheap 40k novels easily fell in line with cheap SciFi novels. I've heard stories of people reading Horus Heresy novels for years without realizing it was associated with a game. But Scifi/Fantasy Genre novels hit a niche audience, which is fine as a first step towards expanding. But having an author with an existing audience would be more likely to draw in people than Wyrd using their current authors (Though I love the work they are currently doing). New authors need to build an audience and if you put out the first Malifaux novel expecting JK Rowling numbers you are going to be disappointed. Instead it has to be a gradual build up. Put out a book that introduces the setting and doesn't require much knowledge of the existing lore to read. Subsequent novels start incorporating more. Later books in the series will sell less than book 1, but every new book in the series will entice more people to read book 1. 
  • Breachside Broadcast - With the release of Earthside Echoes there is a new starting off point for introducing Malifaux to people who don't know about it. My suggestion is to share Earth Side Echoes episode 1 to people who haven't heard of Malifaux.  If people like it they may go into the back catalog and listen to more episodes. Recommend it to people who are looking for fictional storytelling podcasts, like Welcome to Nightvale. 
  • Let people know how accepting we are - Any community these days should show that they are open to people of other backgrounds. Follow the Wheaton Rule of don't be a dick and make sure to give back to society when you can. The worst thing that could happen is we get people interested in wargaming who wouldn't normally be exposed to it.

What do you all think? What other ideas do you have?

On the subject of Video Game licenses check out the following videos on how Warhammer 40k gave pieces of its intellectual property to small game studios and managed to succeed:

  • When it started:
  • How it succeeded:
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Malifaux had the Lazarus action figure first.  It's all y'all's fault that you hated it and said the alternate model was better.  :P

 

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Novels are always a good way to introduce the lore to those who know nothing about it.  

It would be great if they made a compilation with the stories of past editions.

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As a recent convert to Malifaux, I would love to see some novels set in the IP. I've been listening to the Breachside Broadcast to get all caught up with the setting, but fiction that's only tangentially connected to the main story of the game, and that explores the hidden byways of the setting, would be amazing. (Plus, I've started writing for Black Library recently, and if there's one other IP I would love the chance to contribute to, it would be Malifaux!)

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Like any good fantasy IP, we need a Netflix animated series.

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Novels would be great. However, on the whole I would rather not see Malifaux become "mainstream" as that could very well have a negative impact on future rules, art, and so on.

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