With 40k now having an ongoing narrative that involves the Imperium innovating and GW bringing back several primarchs (including one loyalist, so far), I've been pondering something: 40k used to very much be a sandbox. At its worst, a static flash where nothing really mattered, but at its best, an incredibly open space to make up almost anything you wanted, and with a very broad focus overall.
This hasn't completely changed, but in my opinion, the success of the Horus Heresy novels has made GW pivot in a different directon where there is an ongoing narrative (not to repeat myself), a more narrow focus, and specific key characters receiving a lot of attention.
Honestly, the HH novels being so important kinda snuck up on me. I'm not sure when I noticed, but if you look up creators on social media, for example, the idea of "warhammer lore" now seems - to a very large degree - to revolve around the primarchs and their personal goings on from that novel series. I'm not saying the odd video on imperial guard regiments or terrible administratum practices or whatever doesn't happen, but god damn, people REALLY love the primarchs and their interpersonal dynamics, it seems. I kinda found it not so interesting, but I'm clearly the odd one out here. We have massive breakout successes that seems to have redefined the "popular" perception of characters, like If the Emperor Had a Text to Speech Device (I only started watching some of that last year) and of course lots and lots of memes.
I am... conflicted about this. It's been going on for a while, and notice that with this change in overall direction, as well as an arguably change in art direction (inevitable, I suppose) to a more "heroic" feel to the Space Marines, for example, I sometimes worry a bit if they're going to try and recast the Imperium as "flawed, but improving", which I'm not a huge fan of. I don't know.
I don't want to be a bitter grognard, and I know I've always been sorta peripheral to the hobby, being more a lore-hound and art appreciator than anything else, but I do think there's been a change, and realizing that has prompted me to try and adjust.
Thoughts from anyone else? How're you getting on? Not noticed much at all? Or got some loves or some dislikes?
(Also, to be clear, there's lots of modern 40k I love, AdMech models and the new Votann for example. I just... don't much care for the Emperor's family drama becoming such s big part of the setting, I guess.)