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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Future of Games Days & Games Workshop - Part 7


The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop - Part 7
Games Days - Dead on Arrival?

Traveling the Planet for the greater good of nerds everywhere.

After visiting Games Day US, Games Day Germany and now Games Day UK, there is only Games Day Italy to come on October 20th. 

Hussar 2013: If you can, you should go!
Although it would be really hoopy to be able to say "I have been to all Games Days in 2013" I won't be attending Games Day Italy this year. 

I promised the awesome crew of the polish Hussar to join them again in 2013, after I visited them for the first time in 2012. And since both GD Italy and the Hussar 2013 are on the same weekend, I won't be able to go. 

But fear not - Ben is going and he will be writing the Report for GD Italy, while I will write the report on Hussar 2013 (← FB event page). That will probably result in twice the fun for you guys ;) 

Full disclosure about my
current mental state.
Give us walls of text or give us death!

It is quite astonishing, how many messages I get, asking - in some cases begging - for the next installment of our very popular series about "The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop". If, by some bizarre coincidence, you still have not read any of these legendary walls of text, here's the start - you'll find the rest. 

I wrote about the business 'success' of GW, the mistakes GW made (and continues to make) and how some of the 'interesting' business decisions of GW get me close to losing my marbles for good. 

So, lean back, PREPARE for another legendary wall of text. 

One question, one answer and secret fans

Games Day UK gave me the chance to talk to all kinds of people from Games Workshop and Forge World and ask them one question: "How do you feel about Games Days being cut down in size significantly and how do you think that will impact the financial success of Games Days and Games Workshop?"


Amount of fans that
would go, if... 
As a reminder, Games Day US was sold out at 1000 visitors. Games Day Germany had less than 1200 visitors out of 2000 tickets. Games Day UK had 4000 tickets available and according to some GW UK source had 3600 attendants. Personally, I doubt that number - I think that's only true, if you count in all GW staff and all the people with 'free access' to the event (dealers etc). But even then, 3600 visitors seems very high to me - I guesstimated around 2500 myself, but then again, it's hard to say.  

It is fair to say that - even if 3600 visitors is the correct number - it is far away from the around 8000 fans that made Games Day UK 2012 one of the biggest hobby events in the world. 




GW does not need more customers
to make more sales... Maybe they
should write a book about it!
And since my gut feeling tells me, for example, that 8000 people in the Forge World/GW/Black Library line are better for business than 3600 people, I think the above question is a just one. 

Surprisingly I got exactly one answer. Out of EVERYONE I asked. I did not get anyone's opinion, I got a response that the blue shirts seemed to have learned by heart or at least have been briefed on. 

"We strive towards being more accessible and serve our fans better and limiting tickets is the best way of achieving that. We just have more time for each of you by doing so." 

And a few of the questioned added: "We don't think that sales will be affected by this. We were able to save significant cost by limiting the amount of fans that can attend our events."




I see, I see, ... I get the picture! 

I get the part about saving cost. If you read any of the previous posts on this subject, you know that everything that GW does is targeted to maximize their margin. 


Blue shirts after the show, waiting to be picked up by a
fleet of buses: To the after-show party at Bugman's Bar.
So what did that mean for GD UK? GW returned to a smaller venue, the NIA. Just to put things in perspective: I would guesstimate that the Forge World, Black Library and GW sales hall last year was about the same size as the total event this year!

GW also sent less staff to work at the event. That was mostly apparent in the fact that the stores were all opened on Saturday. And with a lot of single-staff-stores, that meant that most of the blue shirts at GD UK actually came from Nottingham HQ, hauled to Birmingham in a fleet of at least 5 buses. 


So - as far as saving cost is concerned, I guess GW succeeded. 

How sales are not impacted by less than half the visitors is a miracle to me, my brain might be too highly trained to understand that math. 

As far as cost/ratio is concerned, I am sure, however, that GW was happy with the results of the event. For some reason, I am sure they have a KPI (key performance indicator) for that.

Games Day UK - the last Games Day ever?

The answer is of course, no - that would be a rather silly statement.

That, of course, is because Germany seems to have been the last Games Day ever

"Wutt?" I hear you say? I mean it! 


Games Day 2012 UK - teeming with life, excited fans,
all aspects of the hobby, INCLUDING gaming could
be found. Not so in 2013. 
The title 'Games Day' is a combination of the words "Games" and "Day". OK. Day is easy, as the event ran on one day. But games? What about games?

At first it did not even occur to me, as I am not a big gamer and I wasn't too excited about these uniform modular gaming board tables of recent events anyways.

So I want you to read this following sentence very, very carefully: There were a total of 0 gaming tables at Games Day UK 2013. ZERO. Zilch. Zipp. 

Games Day UK 2013 may as well have been called "Day UK 2013" - because Games were clearly not a part of any of that. Even now, from a distance of three days after the event, I still can not believe what I did NOT see: no Gaming Tables at a Games Day. 

There better be a goooood explanation for that! And Lo' and behold, I heard one! 

The wonderful logic of Games Workshop's "International Games Day Codex"

There actually seems to be rhyme and reason behind this magnificent achievement of ingenious marketing. According to the organizer of Games Days worldwide, this is all planned. And it's all part of the 'International Games Day Codex'. WOW.

Ultimate Madness: Games Days are no more for kids

First time I heard it, but apparently, "future Games Days are not targeted at kids and the younger attendees" anymore. 


*The statements are based on what I remember from
what was said, not an actual "transcript".
"Our hobby centers are the place for attracting young gamers and excite them for the hobby", I overheard the organizer say.* 

"With the successful implementation of the International Games Day Codex, which by the way is only a 'guideline' rather than a binding framework, all future Games Days will focus on the older, hard-core fan of the hobby."

OK, first time I heard the International Games Day Codex (IGDC) was not binding, but let's carry on...

"By limiting the amount of tickets, our designers and authors will be more accessible by fans who want to know absolutely everything about their favorite hobby."

Games Days are not about Games anymore


Who wants this kinda of crappy gaming table anyways.
With no young or new customers attending the event, of course, there is also no need for gaming or demo tables anymore. The hard-core fans and in particular the gamers know how to play already, anyways. So I guess not having Games at the Games Day makes 'perfect sense'. (LOL, who would have thunked!)

Not that the one-staff-stores would have time to build a table for Games Days anyways. More saved cost. Perfect!

To be fair, there were a two or three 'showcase' tables of very finely designed terrain - but nothing we have not seen before. And they were safely warded off by crowd-control metal fences. Go figure.

Meet the Geek


GD Germany 2013: When is enough room enough?
OK. So Games Days are not about gaming anymore. So what are they? Games Days are the chance for true Geeks to finally meet their maker (of plastic toys that is!)

Designers, Sculptors, Graphic Artists, Authors. If you are a nerd like me, you want to meet them and talk to them. Golden Demon competition, Armies on Parade - you want to enjoy them without being trampled to death.

So, limiting tickets to the event is a good thing for the fans, isn't it?


Sales Day 2013: 58% sales, 42% hobby
Sales Day 2013 

In theory, sure! In practice, however, if there is less to see, less to do, less Golden Demon entries and you put less people in less space, you will end up with about the same problem as before - just on a much smaller scale... D'oh! Did I have to spell that out for you, GW? Really?

Just check out the event map on the right. You won't even need a magnifying glass to see what the main concern of Games Days nowadays is. Sales.

Like in Germany, hobby space has been drastically reduced in favor of more sales area and more registers. 

Whereas Germany still had a hand full of gaming tables, the UK did not even bother.

Let's look at the three areas of the main hall and the exhibition "sports hall":



Sales Area

Games Day opened at 10am. Immediately there was a line at the Forge World stand - not unexpected. I tried to queue early but was told I needed to go into the line for the line. I looked at the line for the line and said 'Frakk that' to myself. 

After noon there were no lines. I remember last year, even at 3pm there were massive lines in front of the Forge World stand. I'd really like to know how sales went for them...


My personal heroes. Unlimited creativity for limited editions.
It was awesome talking to you guys! Stay hoopy!
Hobby Area

At Games Day 2012 there were at least 54 designers from HQ participating, plus all the guys from Forge World. Not so in 2013. 

There was no hobby area, meaning, there was almost nothing to do. 

Of course, I loved to talk to the Forge World guys, like I do every year. This year I was even able to meet my personal heroes of Games Workshop, the limited edition design team for the first time! This good looking group of extraordinary enthusiasts has rekindled some of our love for GW as they are the ones creating collectible and precious limited editions. Keep up the good work, guys! And make sure to reserve #42 of that yummy Chaos Box for your Galactic President! ;) 

Other areas


Yawn.
On the balcony there were a few indy games using the licenced IP of GW - but frankly, I felt reminded of the 90s or my Amiga 1000. Nothing to get excited about. 
Gameplay and Graphics meh... let's wait on the final versions. But don't expect something of the caliber of Dawn of War III any time soon...

I spent a total of 10 minutes there - and that was probably above average.


The exhibition in the 'Sports Hall' catacombs


Six flights of stairs towards the earth's core was the dimly lit, stuffy exhibition hall, located in a sports hall.

Well, the sport started when we had to climb up against towards daylight. But sport for nerds is good, so I won't complain. 

As you can see from the pic, people were stepping on each other's toes trying to get a glance of the 120 or so Armies on Parade or the Golden Demon entries. Being so stuffy and badly lit, to me this felt much more crowded than the years before at the NEC. I can't really say that I enjoyed the exhibition close to the center of earth. But I met Warren Johnston of Beasts of War on my way down - so that's gotta count for something. I'm such a fan-boy.


Yellow. Lighting done wrong. 
"Yellow" Demon

This year, we saw the event in a different light. With the dimly lit hall (I had to take pictures at 20,000 ISO+!) the only major light-source that hit the miniatures came from the totally inadequate, yellow halogen lamps. 

I mean, seriously, GW? Da Fuq!? 

How long have you been running Golden Demon events? How long have we asked for adequate lighting? Y U NO LISTEN?

Every miniature looked yellow. The strong halogen lights created overly bright highlights and pitch black shadows. To make things worse, many of the miniatures were placed in front of the lamps, so that we as the viewers only saw a wall of shadows. 

All they need is a few strips of white LEDs with a diffusor on each shelf and all would be good. But I guess it's too much to ask for the little money we pay to look at the sea of Yellow.

Many artists were frustrated about how their minis looked under that yellow light. Good thing I saw David Soper's sword winning entry the night before at our Pre-GD-Dinner. At least judging was done under daylight lamps. 


The Big Bore

So you spent maybe two hours down in the catacombs. You spent another hour with the designers. And then what? Well, the seating area was one of the most frequented areas all day long. I talked to many guys and gals sitting there - and they were bored. They only stayed to see the Golden Demon results - or were waiting until they could pick up their non-winning entries so they could GTFO. 

Perfect beings and lost identities


You can tell that Rob Macfarlane loves what
he does when you hear him talk about
the awesome new Heresy lineup.
During lunch, I sat down in the seating area and reflected on what I had seen so far. I spent an extensive time with most designers (interviews are coming soon™), both from the Games Workshop side as well as from the Forge World side.

All the designers, in fact all the blue shirts and all the Forge World staff were absolutely pleasant. Don't get me wrong - all of these guys are AWESOME. Dedicated, motivated, driven individuals who have one of the hoopiest jobs in the world. In a way, they are us. Fans of the hobby, putting heart and soul into what they do. And they are pretty damn good.

Sadly, I have finally come to the conclusion, that their management - which by the way was neither to be seen at the event nor deemed it necessary to show up at the after show party at Bugman's Bar in Nottingham to say a few nice words, has lost all ties to the reality of the hobby. 


A lonely scout sniper patrolled the
halls. He was not needed.
I asked myself: Who is the new Games Day format actually targeting? What is the desired audience? And does that audience fit into the big picture of Games Workshop's strategy? 

And to be honest, even now, I don't really know who that event was for. 

Who makes the money for Games Workshop? The gamers! Well, ... I found no reason for them to go to this event. Paying 35£ entrance fee just to buy stuff at full price is a weak argument to attract gamers. Yes, those one or two display tables looked nice. But that's 10 minutes worth of entertainment. 

How about cos-players? There was not even a competition for these guys! There were a few cool costumes, but they probably felt more awkward than appreciated. 

Collectors? If you ask for this endangered species you have not read my previous articles - collecting GW product is dead for a while now. And even the valiant efforts of the new limited edition design team won't be able to fix that quickly. Unless someone gives them a few k's of white metal, I think.
The power of color correction at least lets
me enjoy the pictures at home. But I don't
need to go to a Games Day for that.
Painters. There were a lot of painters, from all over Europe. And most of them were disappointed about the way GW showcased their work. But the Golden Demon is the main reason for most people to still go to a Games Day (and stay until the end). 

With all the gamers gone, some of us painters already start to feel special. But let's face it: If painters turn into the target audience of Games Days, I would strongly suggest to GW to drop the event altogether. Painters do not even make sufficient sales volume to support even the smallest of companies. And seriously, how many GW employees does it take to screw in decent day-light light bulbs? It's probably less than 42.

Kids & Squid Herder parents: There is not much to do for the kids attending Games Days (no gaming tables, little entertainment). And parents don't tend to support their little bundle of joy's every-changing-hobby-moods if the entry cost for a starter set and necessary tools exceeds the 200-300£ mark. PLEASE GW - stop using starter boxes as KPIs! Lower their damn price and get new hobbyists into our once beautiful hobby!

So, why do I still attend?


The Beard is strong in you, young Bruddha Conrad!
Following are a few pictures of many new Bruddhas :)
I am sorry if most of the above feels and sounds like bitching. And it does not reflect the fact that I personally had a tremendous time at Games Days UK. 

But that had nothing to do with the show as such. It was not the fault of the GW/FW staff - as they are as awesome as they could be. 

No, I enjoyed the show, because I could meet up with many new and long-time friends at our traditional Pre-GD-Dinner and during the show. 



Bruddha Martin and myself surround Bruddha Volomir
I was quite literally overwhelmed by the mass amount of Buddha-Shirt wearing 'Bruddhas' who supported or cause and who I had the pleasure to meet for the first time. 

I felt vindicated by the six or seven blue shirts that told me in secret that they really loved our series on "The Future of Games Days and Games Workshop". 


Bruddha James, Bruddha Becky, Bruddha Beeblebrox
We'll get you a girly shirt, Rebecca ^^
We all love our awesome community - and it physically hurts to see how little the GW management understands their own customers and how much damage they will end up doing to themselves - and to us. 

After all the research that went into this mini-series, after all I have seen and heard at the Games Days in US, Germany and UK and after the recent 'glorious marketing moves' that the management pushed upon their staff I actually fear for Games Workshop's mid- and long-term future. 

You are probably already afraid of it - but let me still tell you that there are yet more parts to come with the next exiting installment on the "Future of Games Days and Games Workshop" where I will look at what was good about GD US, GD Germany and GD UK, what HQ should learn from that and what I would do if I was CEO of Games Workshop.  

I will also explain why I think these are very dangerous times for Games Workshop, Mr. Kirby. All of that should follow in Part 8. 

Let me close with the one response that I got from a GW official about Games Days and that summarizes all of the above:
tldr;
"Our Games Days are designed to allow our fans to do what the love most: Buying Games Workshop products."
I rest my case. 

Like in the title picture of this thread, GW's management is carelessly tearing out the heart of the hobby. And then they find themselves surprised if they start flat-lining themselves.

If you would like to learn more on how we here at masterminis.net and paintingbuddha.com work for you, check out this little 'about us' post

And if you would like to support us, there still is a chance - while supplies last: 




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25 comments:

  1. Insightful as ever Zaphod. My only regret was not wearing my Buddha T shirt on the day.

    Was nice to say a very brief hello to you in the Hilton hotel after the event though.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed! I will forgive you your lack of Buddha Power on that day ;)

      Delete
  2. holy crap! thanks for this series. Much of what you are saying is stuff I half suspected over the last 20 years, listening to retailers i worked with and who got me into the hobby (all of them gone now) I hope your revolution reaches into the heads of the management and that they at least try to understand the fanboys out there who love our hobby. Keep up the awesome work! - a fanboy from germany

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  3. So in final all we can say is

    Rest in Peace

    After all your cool articles about that from the side of an enthusiastic Hobby Nerd and real GW Fanboy all what is left is to say a sad Good Bye to the old times and a cold welcome to the new times....we will stay frozen and become more nerdy in smaller Groups and mor smaller other Events....so the GD is not to be interesting anymore as i can talk to GW staff in a store, talk to Designers in a Forum or Chat, buy cheaper at my home dealer and build better Game Tables myself in my cellar.

    So the Thing left is to say ....dont go to a GD anymore dear GW Lovers...they just stealyour last Money behind your backouta your pockets

    Sad Story

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  4. "And all the GW will go to big shop in the havens"

    Two things you mention that caught "my eye" on the day:
    It was all a big shop
    and for the only part of the event that was directed to the hobby "aficionado" (Golden Demon) the effort to make the experience "enjoyable" was rubbish!!

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  5. This is the saddest post ever. It really feels like the death of Games Days. Let's see if they change their mind for the future, but this is not good.

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  6. Last year was my last GD...I've been going to most since 2001...Yet last year I saw the writing on the wall.. They had slowly started to reduce the hobby side of things for a while. Though I do miss the painters meet-ups, but there are plenty of other shows around the country to catch up with folk, such as Salute and Euro.. I'd need a really great incentive to attend another show, paying £35 just to enter a painting comp is not enough for me, to be honest. Its not like they include the Show miniature with that price anymore... Its a shame but GW has become a corporate toy company....

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  7. Hi Zaphod,

    Great series, I really appreciate your insight. Meant to say hello at gamesday but chickened out! I was really disappointed with this years event. The venue was terrible, no light, no space and no decent food available! We kept busy checking out all the cool golden demon entries and went to 2 of the 4 free seminars. These were actually really good. The black library authors were knowledgeable, witty and enthusiastic and the forgeworld guys were awesome, actually enthusing about future plans and products rather than hiding anything new in a cloak of secrecy! Despite this there was not a lot else to do. The sales ran smoother than previous years. I am a sucker and bought stuff, but it was all either FW or black library (avoiding postage costs) or licensed partners (I got an awesome half price deal on the limited ed deathwatch rulebook). No GW products though. I didn't even get the event mini! I fall inbetween being a gamer and a collector primarily and i was hoping to see the much prophecised mystery box launched. For me to go next year, I'd like to see some freebies (needn't be alot), a 10% sales discount (all decent indie retailers give at least this) and most importantly something entertaining to do! I thought all the staff looked a little embarrassed that there were so many people standing around asking them for scrap demon or scenery building. I pray that they do something as Gamesday is the one event that me and my friends go to religiously and we are consider becoming athiests!

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  8. Let's start a sub-revolution... Zaphod for GW's CEO!!! ZAPHOD FOR GW'S CEO!!! Let's all shout it out... ZAAAAPHOD FOOOOR GW'S CEOOOOOO!!!!!! ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They could not afford me. Well, 420000£ salary wouldn't be the problem, but I would also take as much plastic & resin as I can carry.

      And I can carry ENORMOUS quantities of plastic & resin.
      :D

      Delete
  9. lots of made up stuff in this blog,. stopped reading half way down after encountering several lies. There is an obvious agenda at work here.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure if trolling or just not knowing what he talks about :)

      Delete
    2. Dude you would get a blue shirt to carry it for you

      Delete
  10. They should really have a look at how Magic the gathering deals with their events, (I understand its a diffrent product, BUT: mtg actually loses money at their events and they are ok with it. pro toor circuit, release prerelease, online achievement, top players spotlites, money prizes, diffrent types of events, a universal ranking system and writen game reports.
    when releasing a new set people are informed in advance and wizards gives some cards to be reveiled by third party websites..
    This is how you promote your hobby and advertice your product and make every kid want to becaume #1.
    http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/eventcoverage/gpveg13/welcome

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also this is how you make a release traler from existing artwork.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNewZZPKH-U

      Delete
    2. Awesome links, Kiour_gr! Thanks for that!
      I think we can learn a lot from that at paintingbuddha :)

      Delete
  11. Zaphod,

    Brilliant series!

    I've recently come back to the hobby (with / via my kids) after a 30-year-plus absense. My original involvement was at the time when, in the UK at least, THE shrine was the GW shop at 1 (as I recall) Dalling Road, Hammersmith, the Temple of D&D, RuneQuest, Chivalry and Sorcery, Traveller, and the rest. My first unaccompanied trips to London as a kid were to the original GW shop! Ah, happy days.

    So encountering the new GW has been an interesting experience, and having learned a bit about how businesses work in the intervening time I've been daydreaming about GW's business and operating model for a while. I'd concluded a number of things.

    Firstly that the physical quality of their products - models, paints, printed material - was actually very high, and sort of justified premium pricing.

    Next, that they had an aggressive attitude to delivering shareholder value to the exclusion of pretty much all else.

    Thirdly, that its customers were blobs who were irrationally loyal (like fans for their favourite football teams) and whose sole purpose was to cough up cash at frequent and regular intervals to fuel a stable long-term cash flow, and that its product lines were to be developed (I won't say evolved or enhanced) solely with that objective in mind.

    A key goal was to profitably monetise every single interaction with its customers.

    Next, that the Internet was a tool of the Devil (the real one, not one of the Chaos Demons), to be feared and resisted at all and any cost.

    And finally that they had too many under-utilised lawyers (Take-down notice to Amazon for an unknown author's book that dared to use a sci-fi term in her title that was around long before any of them were born! Three-quarters of a page of legal waivers, disclaimers, indemnities, boll**ks on a Games Day ticket for children!)

    And then I found your series and found you'd written everything I'd been thinking, just much more, in more detail and better.

    I'd just like to add a footnote on my - our - experience of Games Day.

    Despite my misgivings about the cost (£105 tickets plus £50 travel plus "food", and not counting what I dropped on the GW store), I wanted to give my kids a treat and a chance to experience another aspect of the hobby.

    They say a picture paints a thousand words, and your annotated photo with 'Sales / Hobby / Bored' said it all. Except that I would extend the 'Bored' bit to cover the 'Hobby' area. We spent all of 10 minutes going round that bit. A few nice things to look at and absolutely nothing to do. And anyone who knows anything about relatively young children (6 and 10) knows that they need things to DO.

    The exhibition area was OK, at least what we could see of it. It reminded me of why I love this hobby - and thanks for the photos by the way.

    Do I think your observations were on the money? Definitely. Was it worth the cost of admission? Absolutely not. Will we be back? Absolutely not. We'll be experiencing Euromilitaire or Colours, or their equivalents.

    Keep up the good work.

    Philip

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Philip - I was afraid I was a little too 'negative' (we Germans like to complain), but after all the feedback I got here and on FB and emails, I guess I was not that far from the truth...

      I have now committed myself to think about this subject for 42 days. That's how I came up with our business plan, it's a good process :D

      Delete
  12. huhh, read through the wall-o-text :), and all I can say is: wow,
    I didn't think something like that could happen (but then I read the blogs/writings of others too who attended, and they totally mirror your experience).
    Ohh well, SPIEL-Essen is coming up next,
    Then a real games day in hungary. It's still small, somewhere 200-400 visitors, but more demo games(mostly different skirmish games, less and less gw each year) than at GD-UK? lol I'd never thought something like that could happen.

    M.

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  13. I have been a GW fan since the mid to late 80s and for the last few years it has seemed if the writing is on the wall. I still love their miniatures and games systems (those that are left!), but it seems like the soul is going/gone. Over the last 4 GDs I have seen the writing on the wall, and with a heavy heart I decided not to go this year (I kickstartered a competitor's game with the money I saved...). Thank you for this write up as it confirms I made the right decision. In fact it is slightly shocking in that it seems to have been even worse than I imagined.
    Thank you also for the whole series, as others have said, it beautifully puts into words what I have long suspected

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    1. Was in a rush earlier. I work for a medium/small multi-national (6000 employees) which is now very focused on shareholder return and I see firsthand the damage it does to our business in the long term and how it damages our customers too (I do internal technical consultancy so I see a far wider section of screwups than would be expected for my management seniority. I know what is going wrong, and what will hit us in 5 years because of current decisions- I am one of the people who have to band-aid it now). But hey, our share price is going up! I also was working for them 5 years ago before they started this drive and I see a fair number of parallels with GWs actions. It is great to see an in depth analysis of the problem from someone who
      a) loves GW
      b) knows what they are talking about
      c) is not a blinkered fanboy (not a criticism of those who are, but some people think GW can do no wrong whatever happens)

      This whole series has been great but it is quite impressive that GamesDay UK fitted into the overall picture so well, when obviously you had no idea what it would be like when you wrote the other parts (beyond a sinking feeling like many of us long time fans). Quite nice confirmation of your thesis.

      I am sad I did not get to go to the Games Day of yester-year, but very glad I did not waste my money on that train wreck (with the money I saved I kickstartered Deadzone...). I am a little puzzled who Games Day is now for.
      * it's not for kids- no hobby areas, no intro games, no participation
      * it's not for painters- poorly lit, cramped GD
      * it's not for veteran gamers- no much content, much better value from a ForgeWorld/Black library open day
      Just who do they expect to go next year?

      One final thing, I have enjoyed this series so much that I am tempted to buy your DVDs- I would like to paint better (wouldn't we all?) and I also like to support great content from people who really believe in what they are doing and are trying to help the hobby- and airing these problems is certainly that. I think I will go a watch/read some reviews of it.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for this really enlightening series of articles. Some great insights, and serious analysis.
    There was one thing you left out of your summation - White Dwarf.
    This is the real albatross around GW's neck. Why all the panic about IP violations on websites - because WD is supposed to be the first place you'd see a new miniature. WD is the place fans interact with management (well, have editorials written to them) etc.
    Maybe the sole reason GW failed to embrace the internet was it felt that WD was it's mouthpiece not the web. Sadly, this continued determination to see an outmoded concept lumber on as its always done is the crippling factor to GW marketting. The whole thing becomes a tired circle of stupidity. Why do new releases have to be revealed on White Dwarfs issue day, because that's the only reason you'd ever buy it. Therefore anything that threatens that circle must be destroyed and crushed.
    GW's ire with certain sites has come from their amazement that people in the rest of the world are seeing pictures from Polish copies of WD that's released a week before the rest of the worlds supply. You can feel their brows wrinkling in disbelief. "How can this be? This image was only just released in Poland, but yet here it is in a website in America moments later? But no plane could have flown it there that quickly?!" Does GW seriously think these sites are sending in commando teams to break into warehouses and rifle through bins to find stuff they've made public knowledge. AAARGH! RANT RANT RANT!

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  15. There's no link to part 8 at the end, just a link to your commercial website. I enjoy your blog(at least this series) but have no interest in the painting website, yet you make it difficult for me to follow the series. Instead of getting the content I want I get hyperlinks to buy your products. Sounds like a company you may have had some passing interest in, yeah?

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  16. Hi Buddha (Or your Sunday name, Zaphod ;) )

    Loved reading that article from part 1 through 8 all in one go, and found myself nodding along a lot, specifically at the end regarding games day.

    As a painter predominantly I found last years Golden Demon a bit of a joke. The first GD I went to was the last year it was run at the NIA and getting from the Dungeon...sorry 'sports hall' back to the main arena and vice-Versa all day was awful and the crush of people was actually quite scary. Then it all moved to the NEC and it was a revelation, okay the first couple of GD's they didn't know what to do with all the space, but the 2012 event held in the LG arena was fantastic, well attended, great lighting, Golden Demon was easy to see all of the entries (Including my first ever entries in Duel and single miniature category, Duel didn't get anything but single mini got a finalist pin! (My duel entry was a marine and a farseer battling with lightning coming out of the marines hand wrapping around the farseer, lots of positive comments from many people asking how I did it and stating that it should have got a finalist pin too...C'est la vie!) The LG arena had great food, with tables to sit at and chat\look at ridiculous amount of purchases and chat with other painters.

    The return to the NIA was a bad move, it is unsuitable, dingy (apparently going through a renovation) unfriendly NIA staff (GW blue shirts were great, this was the event hall staff) poor food, no where to eat it, and after about 2 hours, nothing to do.

    After a some 10 hour bus trip down from Aberdeen, it was rather dissapinting and my GD entry that took 3 month didn't even get first cut, and I feel this was partly down to the banner breaking off and having to be fixed ON THE FLOOR!!! as there was no repair station and almost had the entry kicked clean across the floor twice as I was fixing it, a speck of paint came off with the glue and I knew then and their id lost a chance of anything and felt the whole day was a waste, and the blue shirts there were really apologetic but there was nothing they could do and it wasn't their fault.

    I feel GW is moving to separate games day into the FW and BL open days and that may work well as the FW\BL teams are incredibly enthusiastic, always chatty and want to tell you whats coming.

    Hopefully there will be a Golden Demon this year (got my entry planning going on) and if there is I will look out for the Buddha and his T-Shirt!

    All the best

    Rick

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