BDD 158 – Changes to Rankings HQ Explained

rankings hq

Changes to Rankings HQ Explained

On todays episode I am joined by Andrew Galea from Rankings HQ and we talk about some of the changes that are taking place over at rankingshq.com

There was a recent email sent out that has resulted in a lot of discussion about the rankings so Andrew give us the lowdown on what is happening and how this will effect the players going forwards.

This is the email:

As some of you might know, Rankings HQ recently turned 3 years old. Many of you might not know that I actually starting publishing rankings systems for miniature war-games over 10 years ago.  It is amazing how much the web site has grown in that time and that is something I will always be proud of.  RHQ has grown from 2 game systems for 2 countries to 5 game systems across more than 20 countries, and boasts over 8,000 active users. What started out as a small hobby site has turned into a sophisticated rankings software platform with a vast array of features and millions of lines of data.

Unfortunately the growth of the site has resulted in RHQ becoming a victim of its own success as I am no longer able to effectively process the hundreds of queries, requests and result uploads that hit the site every week. The miniature war-gaming side of RHQ is still very much a hobby indulgence for me; the site is free for all users and tournament organisers, and as such I can no longer justify the hours each day that I spend on maintaining the rankings for so many gaming communities.

For many of you the site will remain free and nothing will change, as your ranking groups have acquired an Affiliate sponsor. For those groups that do not have a sponsor by March 31st 2013 it will cost players US$12 a year to remain as part of the group.

Before I go any further let me list the ranking groups that have already attracted Affiliate sponsors (listed in the right hand column): Warhammer 40K (USA, UK, AUS); Warmachine/Hordes (UK, AUS, NZL); Flames of War (UK); Malifaux (UK).  For players of these ranking groups there will be no change for 2013!

WHAT DOES AN AFFILIATE SPONSOR MEAN?

Essentially, an Affiliate sponsor means a company, organisation, club or group of gamers becoming an “Affiliate” on RHQ, who provides financial support to cover the time/costs required to maintain and publish the rankings for a given ranking group.  All affiliates on RHQ have their own customised home page which they use to communicate with users in the ranking groups they “own”.

Affiliates are able to advertise their products & services through their home page and banners that appear in the relevant game system forums they sponsor.  They are also able to send out communications to the users in their rankinggroups.  An affiliate does not have to be a retail store, it could be a podcast, a miniature manufacturer or any other company in the miniature game industry.

Ranking groups that are sponsored by Affiliates provide entry for players to that group for free during the term of the sponsorship.

WHAT HAPPENS TO EXISTING DATA FOR RANKINGGROUPS THAT DO NOT ATTRACT A SPONSOR?

All existing data, profiles and rankings will operate as normal up to March 31st 2013.  After that date only players that purchase 12 month memberships to the ranking group(s) they are part of will appear in the ranking tables.

Note that players that do not purchase a membership will still maintain their profile which will still accumulate their tournament results, they will just not appear in the rankingtables.

WHAT HAPPENS TO RANKING GROUPS THAT DO ATTRACT AN AFFILIATE SPONSOR?

Ranking Groups that get a sponsor will continue as they have done the last 3 years.  Players will be able to join the groups for free and all registered players in the ranking group(s) will appear in the ranking tables each month.

HOW CAN I HELP TO GET AN AFFILIATE SPONSOR FOR MY RANKING GROUP?

There are many benefits for a business in the industry that wants to become an affiliate.  If you know a local store, business, club or podcast that might be interested, send them a link to the affiliate benefits page and pass on the RHQ email address (contact@rankingshq.com).

THE BEST I CAN DO

Between now and the 1st of April 2013 I will be doing everything I can to attract sponsors so that Affiliates can be found for all the ranking groups on RHQ.  I want to send out a heartfelt apology to everyone that has supported the site all these years, however I simply cannot devote the enormous amount of time and money required to support the 8,000+ registered users on the site.

I hope you understand this has not been an easy decision to make.  I have been deliberating over it for most of this year and have spoken to many players, tournament organisers and friends about my predicament. The decision to stop maintaining the rankings for free after all this time was a very difficult one to make.

If you have any questions or comments, please make them on the appropriate thread on RHQ (this message will be posted there as well) or you can contact me via the email addresscontact@rankingshq.com. I will try my best to answer all questions and will get back to you as soon as I can.

Regards,

Andrew Galea

Since sending that email Andrew has signed up an affiliate fo rthe UK WFB rankings group but at the time of recording WFB in the US is still looking for support.

Feedback

If you have anything to say about this episode feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below or sending an email to bencurry@baddice.co.uk

I look forwards to hearing what you have to say!

Episode Sponsor

Audible. You can get a free Audio Book by going to baddice.co.uk/audible and signing up for the free trial.

Finally I want to give a shout out to Og Games who have updated their Bad Dice Discount code.  Use JANBADDICE at check out to get an additional 5% off all Games Workshop products

2 thoughts on “BDD 158 – Changes to Rankings HQ Explained

  • January 9, 2013 at 10:41
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    It’s odd. It started with the interview of a hobbyist, then a business man, then a hobbyist. It’s refreshing to hear such a mature business approach to the situation, but it did impress me to be more of a business matter than really a gaming matter. Of course, part of me wonders if the hobby world didn’t help in building the success of the website… and is now confronted with the consequences of the expanding business, much like the creator is confronted with the reality and nature of the business.
     
    I guess it’s a trap we hobbyist often struggle with. Endeavours that start out of passion tend to grow beyond what one can do at a casual level. It seems there are only two solutions: taking the dive, making the jump, going for the launch where you grow business wise… or putting a lid on it to stop the business from growing. I guess business got the upper hand… It sounds like a well weighed decision. Good luck with it!

  • January 9, 2013 at 18:01
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    I feel Andrews pain on this matter. Rankings started off small and grew into a monster. He can turn it into a viable business but takes flak for it, he could shut it down but would also take flak for it. I think the way he has decided to go with this is probably the best result he could have hoped for.

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