masterminis.net - where we learn to be a better painter!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The future of Games Days and Games Workshop - Part 9 - That escalated quickly!

The future of Games Days and Games Workshop - Part 9 
Well, that escalated quickly!

I know, it's another wall of text. But I believe you really should read this if the miniature and gaming hobby is close to your heart. 

I am old and slow. And apparently I have at least one working crystal ball.

Two days ago we simply reported about the dramatic decline of Game's Workshop's value. On a single day, the Company lost 24% of its value. This followed the release of their half-year-report in which they showed -12% lost sales, -30% profits....
It is unlikely you have not heard of it,
since our post about this yesterday has become our 2nd most read post ever And it's even just a little over a day old.
Two days ago, I promised that I would release some of the 'rumors' I heard on our blog this weekend. Little did I know that the ones I couldn't believe (or didn't want to believe) seemt to turn out to be true... 

DISCLAIMER: I first heard about this 3 days ago. More and more sources report the same story. At the moment I would qualify this as rumors, even though I have no doubt GW is 'clever' enough to do just this. 
I got all of the following information from sources inside and outside GW. 

Oh, and I am going to give it my personal twist, because I'm in denial of reality. Kinda like the GW management really. 

Initiating downward spiral. ENGAGE!

Sometimes, when you think to yourself, "Smile and relax, because it can't possibly get any worse" you just lean back, smile and releax. And it get's worse.

And when talking about our glorious leaders at GW Management, I tend to find myself thinking this in shorter and shorter timeframes. 


I have a red spot on my forehead caused by excessive facepalming. Ouch!

GW closes down most of their international HQs, fires HQ staff
Apparently Games Workshop has learned from the bankers. What do you do when you frak up and your business goes south? You make less money? No! You kick and scream and fire the people who's fault it ain't. 
Too big to fail?

Games Workshop closes down all international HQs. Management of all affected stores will be centralized on the Golden Throne of Terror in Nottingham. 

One possible exception could be Germany which is said to remain independent according to at least one source inside GW. 
France, Italy, Spain - not really a surprise here. You read the articles on this blog (part 1 of 9 is here) and with the neglectful death of Games Days pretty much everywhere it's not totally weird for GW to do something like this. 

The big surprise is the USA. WOW. If this is true and GW really closes down their US HQ,.... Doublewow. Last year they claimed they can open stores in the US until all eternity. And now they close the US HQ? Yeah, good luck running expansions from the UK. I hope this is not true. Not sure what this looks like from inside the management bubble in the UK, though...[Update Jan-18 - 6:42pm] From (now former) GW HQ staff I got this information: HQ USA will remain intact. HQ Germany will be closed with the possible exception of a skeleton crew.

Firing squad

Apparently, Games Workshop has already terminated the employment with affected employees at the respective HQs. Allegedly some were offered a Job in beautiful Nottingham. How many actually consider moving their families and their lives to Sherwood Forrest, I don't know. 
At least all terminations seem to take place fairly and to the letter of the law. Severance Pay and sufficient notice and all.

Of course that leaves some other people hanging, right now.

As of now
, for example, the stores in Germany are said to have no contacts. Probably some fun discussions in the stores going on right now. Not. 

Assorted facticious rumors

White Dwarf

The weekly 'replacement' of the White Dwarf (4x 3,50€ instead of 1x8€) is already a fact and no longer a rumor. Someone at GW apparently REALLY thinks that people will go to the store to pick up their favorite hobby magazine - and a Space Marine or two while they are there anyways...

Where is the facepalm image, when you need one... Ah there. So management. Much facepalm. Very ouch.

Finecast is dead. 


LOL, that one we actually knew months, if not years before the GW management. And they just quietly let it die. No announcement, no sad goodbye. They just stopped production of Finecast.

Finecast just became extinct. And no-one noticed nor cared.

REMEMBER how they let Finecast die, because you'll need this for a glance into the future, below!


Until Death do us part

Games Workshop and Forge World will 'fuse' on an operational and sales level. The Forge World site will be integrated into the GW site and FW product will be available in the GW stores.

This makes sense I guess - as long as GW's management let's the FW do their thing. As soon as they start meddling in design affairs at FW, all bets are off.

An Unexpected Journey

LotR and The Hobbit IP will be handled by Forge World. It's like: "Hey, we messed this up and don't know what to do with it, will you have a look?"

Like that's gonna change anything, lol.

If Forge World is clever, they stop making gaming miniatures for LotR and The Hobbit and start going into busts and stuff - kinda like the poor man's DIY alternative to Sideshow stuff. This idea is free for you, GW! No, no need to thank me. Just don't spend another Pence on the games. If you build them, they will buy. Damn, even I would.


All products are created equal.
Some products are more equal.


I don't know if they had you read Miniature Farm in school, but I seem to remember it vaguely.

30% of all GW product will be available as Web-shop exclusives in the future. So on any release, you will most likely have to go to a store OR conveniently buy everything from the GW site. How nice of them! 


I will take a deep look into the crystal ball for this one. And I don't like what I am about to see there. Brace yourself. The future is indeed grim.

This in connection with everything I wrote about independent retailers in future articles might very well be another gigantic blow to the hobby. And increased profitability KPIs for the shareholders. 


Mass Extinction of entire Races

Remember the Dinosaurs? A wild comet appears. It uses deep impact. It's super effective! 

Remember Warhammer Fantasy Battles? A wild management authorizes one horrible rulebook after another. It invokes mass exodus of gamers. It's super effective!

Games Workshop will not produce, update or support entire WHFB armies. The first to go are allegedly Wood Elves, Bretonnia, Beastmen and Khemri. And IF YOU believe that this will save WHFB, YOU MIGHT JUST be delusional OR a top manager at Games Workshop, likely both. 



We are witnessing the first events in a Finecast-esque death of WHFB, people. 

I would not be surprised if you can buy the remaining armies at 50% off at some point in the future, following in the glorious death-traps of Bloodbowl, Gothic, Necromunda and Inquisitor. 

Yeah, writing good rules would have been much harder than just killing a whole gaming system. 

I often think: "What are they smoking?' but more and more I realize they ain't smoking anything at all. They are not even drunk enough to go home. They just used up all the air in their management bubbles and their brains seem to be suffocating.... And the fans are even trying to poke holes in their bubbles to save them... To no avail.

I dont think this particular one is true

Now there are one or two rumors that I don't think are true. At least not yet. I am actually quite convinced that we are looking at something that might happen in a year or two, but not now.

The rumor(s) go something like this: "Games Workshop is closing all their stores in <insert here>". The concrete rumor I saw repeated on a couple of sites, including our friend at Faeit 212, is that all stores in Germany are going to be closed. 

I simply refuse to believe that, I guess. It would make no sense either.

HOWEVER, I am almost certain that in the grim darkness of the not-so-distant-future, this is EXACTLY what GW is planning to do.

[Update Jan-18: 6:42pm] This information from a former HQ employee: [Quote] "GW is not planning on closing the stores. But they will send 'Men in Black' to evaluate the store performance - and if they don't meet targets, they might shut them down or replace the staff".

This would fall in line with the fact that GW is aggressively searching for new staff (e.g., "Store Manager for Store in XYZ" while the store is fully staffed. Designed to put pressure on the staff - not the finest move of them all....


Like a wreckingball

Like a car accident, some interesting roadkill or Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball, it is hard to look away from the damage the Games Workshop Senior Management causes to themselves. 

They radiate the same morbid fascination that some people get from watching those shows that run in the afternoon - you now the ones that show people who you think are so much dumber than you. The ones you never quite know whether they are casted actors or whether people that dumb really exist. You know what I mean. It's painful to watch and you kinda can't stop. Yeah, that sort of fascinating kinda thing...

So is Games Workshop dead?
No, of course not. First of all the fact that they lost about a quarter of their value on the stock market, has no impact whatsoever. 

Do you think the shareholders will kick Tom Kirby & his Gang out of management? They haven't done that in 20 years and they won't do it now. 

Even Tom Kirby doesn't care, I am sure. He could retire comfortably at any minute now. And I wouldn't even blame him. From his perspective he has done everything right. 

GW will continue for years to come, but some of the old timers among us might not recognize it anymore. I guess I will have to put my predictions into another post - this one is too long (again) as it is ;) 

Games Workshop is not dead. Not YET. Like my Ultramarines who are undefeated at 56-2-0, even from this almost un-winnable position, I am sure it could be turned into a glorious recovery. 


Unfortunately, the current Games Workshop management has no experience on how to win tabletop games, and a track record of wrong moves and misunderstanding of rules, so I am sure they will frak it up. 

Hint: Throwing yourself into cover or fleeing to the nearest table corner has never won anything in the history of table-toppers. Neither has sacrificing your own troops turned out to be the best possible course of action in almost all scenarios.

Sigh.


Can Games Workshop be saved?

I know there are a lot of new people reading these blog entries. Some might think "who is this guy anyways?". Well, in the words of Gag Halfrunt: "Zaphod's just ziz guy, you know?". 

First and foremost, I am a nerd. In my life before making my life-long dream true by starting our company Paintingbuddha, I was Global CIO of ALDI South, one of the most successful global discount retailers worldwide. My credo: High quality + low price = mass sales that kinda thing.

Works amazingly well, who would have thunked. Even works for our own miniature painting instruction DVDs. And if you are not greedy and don't even wanna make profit for yourself, there's very little that can stop you.


Anyways, now, at 42*, I am a full time nerd. 


And if you read our complete collection of epic walls of texts about the Future of Games Days and Games workshop, one might think that when it comes to Games Workshop, there would have been other options for running your business.

The only thing that would have been necessary for GW was to step out of their frakking bubble and have a look at the real battlefield. And then you draw some clever conclusions and carry on conquering the frakking universe. Like a true nerd would.

Anyways, if you STILL have not read them yet, take off for a few hours (yes, they are LONG), and read our epic series here:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 7.5


So long and thanks for all the fish. 


Just for once, I agree with Tom Kirby who repeatedly summarized the problem and only risk of Games Workshop to be themselves. "The problem is us." It's not the designers. Not the concept artists. Not the authors. Not the workers. Not the staff. Not the stores. Not the fans. Not the world. Not the Universe. It's Games Workshop's Management.

The problem: Games Workshop's Management. 

The cause: Not taking responsibility
The effect: Making wrong decisions



In Germany we have a saying: "The fish starts to smell from its head". It really does, folks!

Games Workshop smells from its head for quite a while now. We can all smell it, some of us are holding their breath, some are covering their nose. But that won't make the stench go away. 


Still, some you might say: "I don't know what's wrong with your whining - I kinda like the smell!". To each his own.


"I believe" - Games Workshop's problem in ONE sentence 

We often say, "Games Workshop's management doesn't know what the frak they are doing" - and I showed in part 1 and 2 of our series, I don't think that's true. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. 

The problem is more that they are not working for us. They work for shareholders. And at the end of the day, they work for themselves. The do not give a frak about us fans and everyone who says anything different needs a reality check, imo.

Games Workshop's problem is the same problem that the rest of the world and most likely the Universe suffers from alike: It is run by bankers and accountants and not by nerds, visionaries and dreamers who understand the value of community and also happen to know how to run a global business. Oh, and common sense is pretty helpful, too.

I believe tabletop games, board games, miniatures and games in general have the potential to change the world
I believe that companies like GW could make hundreds of millions and cultivate an unprecedented global community for the good of everyone, including their employees, partners and competitors. 
I believe I could do a better job than the current GW management, even though this may sound arrogant. 
And I believe it should take about 42 days to turn Games Workshop around. Because that's how I roll :D
I believe that this is not going to happen because I believe that Games Workshop's management believes that Tabletop is dead. 
What say you?

I would really like to know what you think about all of this. Is Games Workshop dead? Who shot the Emperor of Mankind? Whose fault is everything?

Commentception


Please leave a comment below - and I will try to incorporate it in the next - and possible final installment - of our exciting series about the Future of Games Days and Games Workshop! Maybe I'll do a video and comment on your comments to my comments ;)

Like a commentception! 


PLEASE take the time to SHARE THIS post with your friends on Facebook and Goolge+. Also, if you like this kind of analysis and way of thinking about what the miniature industry should all be about, follow us on Facebook!



SHARE & ENJOY


Support us - we think and act differently! :) 
So say we all!


97 comments:

  1. I think the lack of community is huge, often I hear people say "do you know what happens when you allow the masses to make comments?" and to that I say, "yes I do, I played World of Warcraft for 7 years, and yes the community could be terrible, but it was also a living thing that was capable of great things too". Without the community, I don't think WoW would've ever found the success it did without that community interaction. But GW seems completely adverse to the idea of ever hearing a word it's customers have to say. So, in the end as a customer you feel like your wallet is literally the only thing that matters, maybe that's fair. But it's not the way to foster a growing customer base. It's only a way to milk the dwindling supply of wallets until they all find something better to spend their money on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very sad. Not surprised. But if they do ship all intl mgt to UK and close all stores in Germany then I guess GD Germany is also officially dead :( And that makes me very sad to see after going to it last year. Time will tell I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what we hear from Germany, all GD Europe except UK are cancelled. We should get confirmation one way or the other, soon™

      Delete
  3. This is as usual very saddening, for somoone who loves the hobby as much as I do, but as always a good read Michael. I think you pretty much sum up everything just fine and it is nice to sort of get all the different rumours and facts tied together.
    It's a bit like the global recession; now they do all kinds of thoughtless things to patch the holes and try to save expences everywhere... Actually like Denmark, where I'm from, our government make lots of changes all the time, often calling them improvements of for instance schools or hospitals and countless of other places. When you look at it closer, there is no improvement, only cheaper ways to run that public stuff. Of course we pay as much for it throug taxes or user payments. This is of course a very rough and sketchy description of Denmark, but I'm sure you get the picture. Our experience is that all this saving of money is not helping us out of the recession, only slowing everything down and robbing normal citizens of their money. What we really need is to spend money, to get everything going speed up things a bit, have society invest a little in it self instead of just save money on expences and think that saves the day. I don't think anybody can get out of such a crisis just by saving money, cutting cost. The shareholders must accept the loss and the management should start learning to save themselves instead of saving the shareholders money. This would be a good time for GW to redefine itself, invest in themselves to get back to awesomeness, while there still is some money left... Sadly I am convinced that their management totally lack the vision or balls to do anything but try to save shareholders money.
    Well just some thoughts and nerd tears from me. :-)

    -Kristian

    ReplyDelete
  4. I believe that exactly as you said, games workshop's management knows what they are doing. Being run by bankers and aiming at gaining lots of money quickly for shareholders is not a viable solution on the long run.
    What I see their is what you said. They are dinosaurs. Sure, the good old triceraWFHB will be the first to die but then will also fall the strong tyrano40K. And with them it will be the end of the GW-era.

    That absolutely doesn't mean that table top is dead. I've been in the hobby for a bit more that 10 years and never have i seen so many new promising species. The death of the big fat ass dinosaurs will let plenty of space for more agile, weak and small organisms to rise.

    That is the law of nature, that is the law of evolution and that is good.
    Still, There might be some remains of what GWEra dinosaurs used to be, just to creep out the mammals like new organisms, chickens, sharks and crocodiles still endure afterall.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I still think the canning of wood elves, bretonnians and the like is unlikely. It's re-reporting a rumour that is out there. Until I see something concrete I'm taking that with a giant pinch of salt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. From my reading of your source, it looks like they're saying that USA hq will remain open.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you Zaphod, your analysis matches mine in most regards.
    There are still some good people at GW, and there is hope… even though I do not expect anything to change.
    GW good too big, old and settled in their way to change… it's hard to beat momentum.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Something you forget regularly Zaphod is that GW management are held to the stupid laws of our country which demand that you treat shareholders the same as they were when 19th century railways were built. The notion that a shareholder is an engaged partner in the growth of the business died decades ago. Now it is all about the ROI.

    GW are the only company in this field to have to tolerate these idiots. They expanded in the 80's and 90's when there was no alternative to brick and mortar selling and no option for capital but the city. Our modern, smug, crowd sourcing; zero-retail space renting industry likes to bang on them for their practices but ALL of the things we hate come from the shareholders. There would be no b&m stores at all if they had their way. Rental and staff wages make up a VAST amount of their costs. The fact that there are stores at all for people to shop in shows how management fight for keeping things they know to be right. They have to make concessions to suits on a regular basis but they do actually fight for us.

    There are so, so many people crowing about this right now. Ask yourselves. If GW go under, what happens to you FLGS? A huge number of them only make their margins each month by selling 10% discounted GW stuff. Other companies have drafted off of GW's recruitment focus and introductory services while doing NOTHING to help themselves. Some, recently in the historical sector are starting to, but only very recently.

    We are very good as a community at flinging our poo around like monkeys in a zoo and forget that the vast majority of everyone in this company gets paid peanuts to make nifty things happen. We then moan about it. They've upped their production - what we asked for - and get lambasted for "rushing things" for example. Most of the people there are trying to get the maximum amount of nifty out of the door while keeping vulture capitalists at bay who care for nothing but the bottom line. They are making money. Loads of it. It is only the city who see less profit as a loss.

    In short. You've done an interesting series zaphod. But you are a trifle myopic. You lay the blame at senior management's feet, and a lot of it belongs there, but the real villains are those recieving those statements, tutting and wiping a quarter of a profitable company's value off the market. If we really, really gave a shit about this issue we would be organising community buy-back. We would be moving the shares back into the community and then offering to sell them back to GW for product. This would free them from corporate scourges and give them license to innovate once more. But we won't. Because it is easier to whinge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a way I couldn't agree with you more.

      I've debated several times a kickstarter to buy GW shares. lol.

      Delete
    2. But they didn't start out as PLC did they?

      They grew as a company right from the start...and continued to grow until shortly after it was floated on the LSE in the mid 90's.

      They were driven by innovation & enthusiasm in the early days. Now its all just about walking the same old trodden ground & expecting the same spectacular results!

      Continually going over the same old material (no matter how shiny it is) is not a formula for long term success....by anyone's measure.

      Oh, and labeling people who aren't happy with the direction GW is taking their hobby as "whingers" is not particularly constructive. Or do you think we should sit idly by while they dissect the game we all grew up with & loved without a murmer?

      Delete
    3. I have to disagree about shops closing if GW product disappears.
      Most LGS's now stay open by selling Magic, not WHFB, or 40K.

      It will make a dent, and SOME store might close. But, for the most part, those that are smart, and have diversified their store product lines will do just fine if the giant disappears from their shelves.

      Delete
    4. Totally agree. What started as an interesting series, has fallen into an irnony-filled rant-o-matic fest. And this last article just delves into rumors that haven't even been confirmed nor denied. This only serves to amplify the ranting to new "I told you so, I was right" levels.
      Ranting over the interent could have value, when you keep focus on the problem and add solutions. Yelling I told you so for 7 consecutive articles is hardly something constructive.
      Oh and yes, GW is failing because it's a public company. Returning to private is the only way to save the company, not price decreases nor changing of management.

      Delete
    5. The Pee Vee makes valid points and I believe that he has experience in just this matter.

      GW management may make some baffling decisions at times, they may be the most secretly savvy bunch ever with a Master Plan that comes to light further down the line like the finale of a twisty film that makes you go "Aahhhhh, riiiiiight!" or they might be a bunch of ham-fisted bunglers looking after the immediate result. But Viking is quite right in that GWM walk a fine line between pleasing the shareholders who own the company and us fans who fund it. I guess the next year or two will be the telling few...

      Delete
    6. Games workshop clearly isn't doing something right. Blaming the stock market for the poor management of a company and poor sales (direct result of poor management, FYI) just sounds like more execuspeak for "we suck at everything, but it is your fault anyway." The blame has to go somewhere. Does it go to consumers for not buying a shoddy product? No. How about the manufacturer, which met all specifications? Nope. The stinky fish lays directly at the feet of management, as it should.

      My store is pretty open about its practices. Should GW go under, privateer press will just have a bigger wall. There are other products than games workshops. Many are as good, or better.

      Delete
    7. You should do the math before you consider some sort of "community buy-back".

      As someone lower down did:
      "51% of GWs current market cap is approximately $143,000,000(or 87,500,000 GBP or 103,000,000 Euros). According to their website, the most successful Kickstarter to date raised $10,000,000"

      To put it in smaller numbers, 1% of GW shares would cost about $2,850,000.

      But if anyone tried to buy a significant amount of GW shares, say 3% or so, share price would go up. You want something badly, you can expect to pay dearly.

      Delete
    8. With a distance of about 10 days it's good to come back to check on some of the comments. And I particularly agree with the last post. A "We just buy GW by doing a Kickstarter" is about as unrealistic as it gets. Even if you raised the money it is not guaranteed that you would succeed at actually buying the necessary stock.

      And for those of you who think I am only 'ranting' - I respectfully disagree. I try to write things in a entertaining way and - if you look at the history, I said 'I told you so' not because I want to be right now, but because 'I told you so.'.

      :D

      Delete
  9. It never occurred to me to think that the poor decisions made my GW are based on their belief that tabletop gaming is dead, and they need to milk it dry before its over. When viewed from that perspective, it makes MUCH sense.

    Unfortunately, I do not think it is possible to change the minds of management when they believe their core product is obsolete. They would be rolling out new products if they seriously thought there was a future, instead it looks like they are lowering the lifeboats.

    Funny thing is they could probably get a pretty significant bump in sales in the short term just by focusing on community and events. I friend who managed the former FLGS where I played said what drove GW sales was the buzz having three or four games going on a busy Saturday drove. Lots of walk through traffic and some customers would ak questions, get excited and purchase. Especially when they knew there was a community already in place to join. Don't GW understand community and word of mouth is chiefly what has grown them this big? Certainly not their advertising (is there any?).

    ReplyDelete
  10. There's two assertions in this article I'd challenge:

    1) "We often say, "Games Workshop's management doesn't know what the frak they are doing" - and I showed in part 1 and 2 of our series, I don't think that's true. They know EXACTLY what they are doing. The problem is more that they are not working for us. They work for shareholders. And at the end of the day, they work for themselves. The do not give a frak about us fans and everyone who says anything different needs a reality check, imo."

    Running a company for the shareholders and running a company for the customers are not mutually exclusive (or to put it another way, they're only mutually exclusive because GW management doesn't know what it's doing). Also, just because GW has managed to improve popular shareholder metrics over the last few years doesn;t mean they're running it in the interests of the shareholders, prioritising the short term at the cost of the medium and long term isn't running a company in the interests of shareholders.

    2) "Games Workshop's problem is the same problem that the rest of the world and most likely the Universe suffers from alike: It is run by bankers and accountants and not by nerds, visionaries and dreamers who understand the value of community and also happen to know how to run a global business."

    If I had £1 for every time someone blamed something on "bean-counters" I could retire ;-) In cases where this statement is true it means they're BAD accountants. Good accountants don't just work with the numbers when making recommendations or decisions, they understand the context and the market in which the decision is being made. That's why most, if not all, UK retailers either write business partnering into their management accountant's job descriptions or have rebranded the roles as business partner role. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd agree with you on "bean-counters" - the problem is not usually the specialists, but when specialists are managed by non-specialists. The kind of people who simply do not understand that systems exist to aid in the accomplishment of actual goals, and that systems are not goals in themselves. The kind of people who are so starved of innovation, whether personal or technical, that they have to meddle, interfere, and micro-manage purely to justify their own existence.

      Sadly, the kind of people who invariably survive when layoffs come, and somehow, cockroach-like endure till the bitter end.

      Delete
    2. No attack on bean counters here ;)

      Bean counters are necessary for the survival of a company. But if the reports that are created by bean-counters are interpreted by bean-counters and the business is about all but beans - it's not a good thing ;)

      Plus, improving some shareholder metric does not necessarily mean it's good for the company. You can cost-save yourself out of the market easily. And the formula sales = quantity x price is obviously correct, but we all see what's happening at GW right now. The effects of price elasticity are a fact they can't ignore.

      I am not saying GW needs to fire all accountants. That would be bad.
      What I am saying is that GW needs someone in the board that has a vision about what the market could and should be and how GW can contribute to that. And they don't have that person.

      Delete
  11. People keep saying that GW is going to disapear and many say in the same breath, "So What?". I'm curious to know what you think the impact of GW's death would be for the hobby as a whole. Wouldn't it just make room for better companies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All tabletop players I know started with something from GW. Most of them started, like me, with 40k. All the non GW-games, which I and my friends play, were spread through this community.
      How many of us would play tabletop games if there wasn’t GW? How big would the community be today if there wasn’t GW? I think much smaller. I assume GW was and is for most gamers the first contact with the tabletop hobby.
      If GW would disappear now, many companies on the market would benefit from this gap, because gamers spend their money, they would have used for GW-products, on the other companies products. But who on the market could replace GW? Who could be the new hobby leader who introduces the hobby to the rest of the world like GW did it and who could have so much success that he will have such an expansion through the hobby shops like GW had it? P3? Mantic? Who could keep the community alive?

      Delete
    2. I am such a tabletop gamer, one who got into the hobby exclusive of GW. Even as someone who never adopted any GW games I was very interested in this article and analysis because of GW's role in tabletop gaming's history. That said, I am confident that the death of WH40K et al. would not be the death of tabletop. Not by a long shot. Why? Because people like you and I enjoy playing games, painting, and customizing minis.

      The second that any of these games die, a percentage of the player base will abandon it, sell their armies at discount prices to be rid of the little plastic devils and get some return before immediately moving on to a different system. Another percentage of the player base will buy up quite a lot of the dumped minis in order to complete their collections (this is a collector's heyday); this percentage will then do what the next percentage does. The final percentage will still play WH40K et al. with decreasing frequency while becoming more and more interested in other games. They will slowly adopt another system just so that they can play regularly; in fact, they are likely to adopt the same system as many of their ex-WH40K friends adopt so that they can play together. Slowly, their WH40K armies are relegated to more and more closet time. Eventually, WH40K is a relic, a game of nostalgia that they pull out every so often after reminiscing with their old WH40K friends. Maybe they even play a game or two for good measure, but it's not the same.

      Assuming, of course, that GW doesn't successfully sell off their IPs to a more interested and (slightly) more competent company.

      Delete
    3. I think the trend that we can observe right now will just continue. In our FLGS here, you hardly see people play WHFB or 40K anymore. It's Flames of War, War Machine, Malifaux, ...

      I would even say that the recruitment of entry level gamers (kids) that GW is supposed to be known for, also is more and more a thing of the past. Just look at the amount of customers in a store today and compare that to 10-15 years ago.

      WHAT we would see as a big difference is that the 'massive army' tabletop would go away. Armies with dozens of different models, vehicles and so on. Currently I don't see anyone being able to provide the same amount of models as GW. Making minis is expensive - and the up-front-cost of several million would probably be too much for any of the current players.

      But then again, I don't think GW will vanish completely.

      Delete
    4. If 40K ever disappears, I'm done with tabletop. It's really that simple.

      I don't even care how good those other systems are and how well made the minis are and whatnot. The first time I walked into a gaming shop that also had some 40K (and I was there for the RPGs mind you) I walked out with a box of Genestealers.

      And it's just simply that Nostalgia factor that is keeping me. That's it. No more 40K and tabletop wargaming would be dead to me and I'll spend my time and money on computer and console games.

      It's the same with PnP role playing games. 4E DND, great, love it. It's going away to be replaced by that DND Next Dreck and this is now my last PnP campaign. After 20 years of RPG.

      Delete
  12. I hope CMON's Wrath of Kings makes a ton of money and becomes insanely popular. I don't think tabletop's dead -- the face of it has changed thanks to Kickstarter and consumer expectations -- but I think (and on some level hope) that WH tabletop is dead. Not to spite any current players, but because GW doesn't deserve our business and then WH players can migrate somewhere that might actually care about its player base.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For all the people saying that immediately dropping price would save GW- it might help them but it would kill the independent stores, unless GW rebate the difference between the old product values & new ones.

    Any extended range stockist is holding a considerable value of stock at any time, and the margins on it aren't great and a lot already have to sell at 10% or 20% off to get the stuff moving. So a big price cut on the existing GW range could kill any return on investment on the independent's stock on hand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this + it would cause havoc for the smaller miniature manufacturers.

      Only the high prices of GW enabled many small companies to enter the market at a slightly lower price. So in a way we can thank GW for allowing some awesome competition into our hobby market.

      Delete
  14. I think dropping prices right now would even worsen the situation. The damage is done.

    The effect of the high prices has already driven a lot of people out of the hobby, and maybe they won´t even get information about a drop in prices, and then there is still the question if they return.

    Another issue is that the people that just bought some material on the higher price will feel tricked, maybe eventually losing them as customers too.

    And then there is the issue of the independent retailers that David explained.

    So in my opinion a price drop is the wrong way. So what else can you do? If just GW could in any way add value to the product after it was sold... this would - to some extend - justify the higher price, satisfy existing customers and the miniature could still be sold for the same price. And it would be so easy. Just put some old scenarios on the webpage for free download, like in the good old days. (I wonder if you can still download Gravaines Quest - it used to be on their homepage for free download some years ago)
    I think if we put 10 random GW-fanboys in one room for an one-hour-brainstorming, they would come up with at least 3 good ideas that come at almost no cost but would make a big difference. But as you explained - the big "black snow" bubble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably don't even need 10 of them, or an hour, or even fanboys.

      A production run of some of specialist games would likely offset any cost involved in dropping some prices. A small drop in prices now with a larger drop in the cost of future releases would help ease the burden on people who have the current overpriced stock (shops and players alike), new codices at decent prices, as well as new editions of the rulebooks. Bringing back some of the old rules (and writing new ones) that allowed you to do more with the same set of miniatures... Slowly going through the old specialist games that died a painful death and (using sales data from the recasts mentioned earlier) giving them new life.

      Chances are that'd work better than the current course, and it didn't take 10 fanboys an hour ;)

      Delete
    2. I think if GW just focused on supporting Gamers right now - with tournaments, events and BETTER RULES (WHFB), they could not only stop the downfall but turn it into a big win.

      I know how I would do it. ;)

      Delete
  15. In my eyes, GW is a Zombie, a walking dead. And they know it. Currently, they are trying to get as much as possible out of their brands before dropping completely. This phase is very disturbing to us hobbyists, because it means they produce as cheaply as possible for a very high price (pricing on the latest single plastic minis is just insane).
    An interesting question for me is, what happens to the GW brands after they collapsed ? The last thing they will do in their death struggle will be the selling of their brands and production facilities. Who will jump in ? Will it be hasbro ? Or is there an existing player who is willing to take up enough money for that feat ? Let's hope, the new owners of WHFB and WH40K (will they be the same?) will listen more to the community. I guess they will, because if you buy the brands, you do believe in the future of Warhammer. LOTR will die, because GW does not own this brand.
    There will be dark times until GW falls. After that, both WH brands will see a bright future. But that's just my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The question would be whether a potential new owner would want to continue mass-army-tabletop.

      If NOT, the production is secondary and only the IP would be interesting. And Hasbro with FFG could be a good fit.

      Delete
  16. Games Workshop shouldn't look towards the negativity some games communities can harbour (see World of Warcraft, or League of Legends, and even there it's a small minority), but towards what great communities can achieve (see EVE Online, I think 5 years running for "best community" on some of the largest MMO related websites on the planet, despite all of us being "amoral bastards" in the game itself :P).
    If they (GW management that is) don't get with the times quickly, they'll obliterate themselves, no matter what we try to do to stop them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree. However, that means that hey need to acknowledge the negativity in the community first. Ignoring that means also ignoring some great ideas.

      Delete
  17. Does anybody know who is he major shareholder? If that guy starts selling than GW is going down. Otherwise it will just lose money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are. Go to part 2. The top 3 shareholders in 2012 sold about half of their shares in the 2013 rankings.

      For example, take the first, Nomad:
      2012, 21% of stock, 6.6 million shares.
      2013, 10.9% of stock, 3.5 million shares.

      The 4th likely dropped out because if they sold half their shares, they wouldn't be significant enough to be in the rankings.

      Delete
  18. I haven't bought anything from GW since the DV set and the DA codex. The worst part is I have even stopped feeling rage towards them. Sadly we all know the opposite of love isn't hate - it's indifference. That's how I feel about this whole ordeal. Meh, it was long overdue. Can't wait to get my hands on those TTG ladies from Raging Heroes though!

    ReplyDelete
  19. German Management is NOT closed down.

    Look:http://careers.games-workshop.com/2014/01/15/continental-retail-manager-dusseldorf-germany/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! Yes they are ;)

      1. Some HQ staff has already been terminated, others got an offer for Lenton.
      2. The Retail Manager ad was created on January 15th and lasts till January 19th = OVER THE WEEKEND. Not going into the legal reasons as to why to do this.
      3. HQ Germany and German operations will be consolidated in UK. Germany will host the EUROPEAN coordination team. At least for now. You can actually read this in the half-year-report, too.

      :)

      Delete
  20. The disappearance of the high-street name brand shops would be interesting. I think it might mean more gaming store focus. People who play table top games and who like figures would have nowhere else to go! Hopefully, once the company dies then the intellectual property will drop into the public domain. Warhammer would become a genre rather than a trademark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am no GW lover anymore, they have angered me as a mini gamer for years now and alienated me away from being a fanboy that I have to admit I was seven or so years ago.

      I mean no offense here but I'm sorry GW is not going out of business anytime soon. Even if they did their IP will NEVER drop into the public domain, another company would pick it up and they'd go on. Likely they'd go into receivership and just re-organize, cut costs, lay all the UK people off close the stores and just start making all their stuff in China like everyone else does.

      I would love that all their stuff would suddenly become public domain as well but it is super wishful thinking and would never happen.

      A stock price drop does not mean a company is going out of business. By the summer they will likely be back past where they were before the drop.

      Delete
  21. Regarding the rumor GW would close all stores in Germany, I assume this was just a misunderstanding.
    It started when Brückenkopf posted the news “GW Deutschland wird geschlossen“ and went on when Faeit212 posted “Games Workshop Germany Shut Down”, which was mostly just a translated copy of the Brückenkopf article. When you just check the headline, and don’t read the rest of the article with care, it could create the misunderstanding GW would close everything in Germany.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's a bit sad, but I approach this with utter apathy. I was a kid in the 80's, buying their figures overseas, scrimping and saving for that precious lead and then they flounder. I might have tried, but now that I have more disposable income than ever I find myself out of their target audience, facing ridiculous rules and prices that I could easily pay, but choose not to now. There are other games and companies with better rules and figures. Warhammer had some great ideas, but they became bloated and now GW is ready to be scrapped, and I sadly find myself not caring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, and to this day I don't understand why GW focuses on the new gamer (kids) and not on the long time nerd fans...

      Sure, a good percentage of kids buy stuff worth 800$ in the first year of the hobby. But just a glimpse in my hobby room tells me that I spent a significant 5-digit amount in the last 21 years. Because they kept me as a fan. At least until recently that is ;)

      Delete
  23. In my opinion this is a sign that they have finally hit a tipping point on their price hikes. Also that they are atrociously managed, but that's fairly obvious. They can't just keep doing business as if the world isn't changing around them and expect to have success and long term sustainability. It's catching up to them.

    Their prices are really getting ludicrous. This is the year (after more than 10 years of heavy buying from them) I finally just had to stop, and I make a very good living. It's not "can't afford it" - it's that they are asking too much more than the perceived value of the goods.

    The thing is - the negative effect of high prices has an amplified negative effect on their business.

    Say you charge too much for vacuums and don't sell enough vacuums one year. That's ok - people will pretty much always need vacuums and so you can bring out a new product line at a lower cost, cut costs and prices, stuff like that.

    However, what GW doesn't understand is they need to foster a community of players and keep growing that player base! They need to grow it and replace those who fall out of the hobby based on life circumstances etc.

    It's not about rules, although yes they could be doing a lot better in that department. The plain fact is it's getting really, really expensive to get into their hobby and they are probably getting a lot less new blood and seeing faster and faster attrition as older hobbyists just throw up their hands and go play something else that doesn't break the bank.

    The price issue is also amplified by the fact that there are far, far more options for entertainment these days than there were before - competing for those dollars that used to go to plastic crack. Mobile games, free to play, League of Legends, and OTHER wargame companies. They can't afford to be cavalier about this stuff, they have to get serious about competing and thriving.

    Lastly, part of growing their customer base is building a thriving and healthy community - they are just abysmal at it. It's like they don't want to admit the internet exists (other than to sell products). There are so many tools now for engaging fans and building a loyal fan base that will evangelize the hobby to newcomers.

    What's New Today was a great step in the right direction - and then it faltered and became "let's just talk about new releases all the time".

    Also, they effectively insult their customer base with all the ridiculous products like "one click bundles" and limited editions that are far higher priced for what amounts to a dust jacket. They need to realize consumers aren't stupid, and don't respond well to be treated as if they are stupid. It's a losing strategy in the long run.

    For the love of god get some marketing people, this stuff isn't rocket science. They should be absolutely killing it right now.

    They need a serious overhaul across the whole business, starting at the very top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. > It's not "can't afford it" - it's that they are asking too much more than the perceived value of the goods.

      This. I didn't stop buying Eldar because I didn't have the money. I stopped because I am offended by how their total disregard for me as a customer (one aspect of which is their pricing shenanigans). So now I have nice WM and FoW armies instead (and FoW's pricing is pretty crazy too, especially if you buy via your FLGS at full price, but they are a *great* company that is very engaged with their players, so I pay it).

      Delete
    2. Too late to foster a community. They've driven off vast numbers of formerly loyal customers (I loved everything GW for nearly 15 years before 5th and 6th ed. era 40K finally drove me away). There are many loyal customers still and always new teenagers who wander in to one of their stores and convince their parents to dump $200.00 on a buy in (only to have the stuff end up in a shoe box by the end of the month because they are too lazy to assemble and paint it all). But for every new customer they bring in I think they have lost an old guard hobbyist.

      A huge part of all this is the departure of all the old guard from their design team. Guys like Rick, Andy, etc. etc. etc. are all gone and the company seems to have lost its soul.

      Delete
    3. Couldn't agree more with OP. And no, it really ain't rocket science.

      I do believe, however, that it is NOT too late to foster a community. Mostly, because large portions of the community are angry. And as sad as it is, anger is a pretty strong emotional attitude towards anything. And that can be EASILY engaged in a positive and meaningful way.

      It will be too late when people are indifferent. And as many of the posts to all of these articles have shown - more and more players are indifferent when it comes to GW. They have moved on. Beyond reach.

      Delete
  24. I have enjoyed reading the "walls of text" and agree with much of it.

    One key difference is my interpretation of managements actions over the past 5 years.

    Being a listed company automatically makes the Boards and thus managements primary objective "Maximising Shareholder Returns."

    The board flows this objective down to the management team via KPIs. The CEO, and thus everyone under him who has a major portion of their remuneration performance base (cash or stock options), have the common objective of raising the share price

    The Management team focus on their KPIs, or more simply, the results that maximizes their remuneration, even at the expense of long term sustainability. This can be typically be sustained for 3 to 7 years at which point the executives seeing the writing on the wall bail out, cashing in their options and leaving the problems created to the new guy/owner.

    In my opinion this is what has occurred. It is standard practice in large listed companies, whose shear size and momentum keeps them rolling. Unfortunately GW is a relative small, undiversified entity and so a period of substantial pain (at best) is coming.

    The strange thing is that all the little people, sales, designers, administrators, artists, etc. are all working really hard to deliver the best possible customer experience and long-term sustainability of the company.

    Defining KPIs that achieve the intended goals without having unexpected negative consequences is very difficult. Managers will almost always do what is best for them even at the expense of the company. I have seen it far to many times.

    The one observation that I had not considered was the continual decline of unit sales that must be occurring given the MONUMENTAL price hikes/box content decreases that appear every year. This puts GWs financials in a very different light.


    Thank you again for your insights,

    Matthew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whereas I generally agree with the idea that publicly floated companies are in the game to 'maximize the ROI for investors', there are different ways of 'maximizing' profits.

      Firing everyone in the company while selling all your stock and not producing any new would be a way to REALLY maximize your profits. But that would be a rather short term solution as next year you would be gone.

      What I don't see in GW's actions is growth. I mean really growing the hobby and not just the profits or the sales. I believe this hobby can be grown way beyond what it is now. I also believe GW's management right now does not believe this. That's why they are maximizing profits - in the short run. But the short run is over, eventually. Then what?

      Delete
  25. I left the GW hobby world in 2008, when the recently (and in my opinion) poorly written ork codex removed the ability for me to field my custom models, and not for game balance reasons, but purely for their own profit motives. This clearly demonstrated to me (then) how out of touch they were with their community - now you could only field units for which they produced models. The ork community was (and still is I'm sure) an exceedingly resourceful one where hobbyists would really reach to piece together one or two price units, like Skarboyz. To build mine, for instance, I had to use a fantasy command sprue in addition to a 40k boy sprue for each single skarboy, but to me, that cost was acceptable. Now though, they were unusable.

    Over my time as a GW fanboy, customer, modeler, gamer, (and in the end jilted lover), I saw them over-moderate their forum, close their forum, eliminate the bitz truck, go on what appeared to be an outright war against independent game shops, reduce Games Day (Baltimore) from a weekend to a single day, cancel grand tournaments, eliminate bitz ordering over the intranet, raise model prices well past any level of reasonability, failed to produce a feature or short film (a true pity, as they really have one of the better back story environments for both 40k and fantasy), and repeatedly issue poorly proofed, written, and clearly untested rule sets and codices. Their self engineered path of self-destruction was very clear, and sadly effective.

    At this stage, they represent nothing more than a poorly run product manufacture, and deserve bankruptcy. Hopefully when that happens, they will be picked up by someone who understands both gaming, and the community. I'd participate in a kickstarter campaign to help that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ScarpiaMRR, you hit the nail on the head perfectly... right up until you said, "Kickstarter." ;-)

      Delete
    2. Scarpia! I remember you from The Waaagh back in the day :-) I used to post under the (oh god this is embarrasing) KingNic nickname.

      I still remember your wonderful conversions and absolutely agree on the whole Orky thing. I'd just managed to track down enough bits for a 10 man mob of skarboyz before the new codex dropped. My £50 odd unit never saw a single game...

      And that's another point. Back in the day, the £50 it cost me to put together than skarboyz mob seemed like an utterly ridiculous amount of cash. Now it seems to be the going rate for a decent unit...

      Hope you're keeping well, anyway.

      Delete
  26. But. But I LIKE Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game T_T

    ReplyDelete
  27. Although the shareholders run the show, management can influence a lot of things.

    Steve Jobs did not give a frak about what the shareholders (or anybody) though. He had a vision and followed it.

    The fact that GW is still run by the same bunch that was there in the 1990s is one of the reason for the lack of inovations and the numerous bad decisions and conservatives moves.

    Right now, GW has tons of IP and games that they could dust out to stimulate sales.

    Zaphod can you see anything if the rerelease of Space Hulk was profitable? If yes, they maybe something there for them.

    They do not even need to produce the thing themselve, they could give a licence for someone to produce Man o war, Gorkamorka or Necromunda and revenues would go up.

    They used to produce great inovative fun games, now they produce very good miniatures. I still fail to see the point were this is not compatible.

    I think that GW is the classic example of a companie that is mismanaged and undervalued under current management

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am actually absolutely surprised that there was no follow up on something along the same lines as Space Hulk. Well, actually, there was... Dread Fleet. Great quality, not as 'desired' of course as Space Hulk.

      The Space Hulk sets were sold out within 24 hours or so. Great quality at a fair price. Almost had a 'kickstarter' feeling to it - with regards to the hype. Collectors made a lot of money selling the OOS boxes on ebay. Everyone was happy. GW could even have sold much more...

      I have a dream that one day Necromunda, Gothic, Inquisitor and BLOOOOD BOOOOOOWL follow in the steps of Space Hulk and we all feel much love for GW again. At least for a short while :P

      Delete
  28. A company that does everything it can to limit sales channels is doing poorly in sales? Damn, never saw that coming. They got small independent brick-and-mortars that are willing to spend their own money to advertise, present, and sell their own product, and rather than having their product sold through inexpensive channels, they limit the product available so that people have to go direct to a GW store for their specific needs, while making things difficult for the individual retailer.

    It's asinine, when there are people willing to pay you and you refuse their money to funnel them into stores which cost you money to run. GW is losing money because they act like they're allergic to it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  30. If quality and passion alone are not good enough your product is simply not good enough and you should stop hawking your wares to the unwilling masses. Now, the plastic miniatures are good enough, that's a start. Aggresive over-pricing and ignoring an existing customer base are simply killing the quality they have. We'll see wher this goes. For now my wallet is closed and my business goes elsewhere, because I do want awesome miniatures. I just don't want a second mortgage. - See more at: http://masterminis.blogspot.nl/2014/01/the-future-of-games-workshop-part9.html?showComment=1390166635427#c2658335827738996152

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am not so much into this business stuff. Do does somebody here know, or could make an educated guess, how much money a kickstarter campaign would need to be able to buy 51% of the stock? I mean there is a big community out there and knowledge, creativity in the company there has to be a possibility to get this together. Our am I too optimistic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Games Workshop's Market Cap(the total price of all shares on the market) is ~175,000,000 GBP. So ~87,500,000 GBP, or $143,000,000. Optimistic doesn't even begin to describe what you're being here.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, that won't work ;)

      I actually do have a plan that I am convinced would work, but I left the corporate world b/c I didn't want the stress of being responsible for a 24/7 multi-national operation anymore :D

      Delete
  32. As of today there are 31,852,537 shares issued. (That is quite a stragen number, did I get the number of issued shares wrong?) For being able to control GW you would need 50%, which in this case would be 15,926,269 shares. This multiplied by todays cost per share of 6,826 EUR per share makes 108,712,712 EUR, not considering that only the announcement of such an attempt (only starting the kickstarter) is likely to boost the shareprice. So, as long as you haven´t got a really rich daddy, this doesn´t seem to be an option.

    http://www.onvista.de/aktien/GAMES-WORKSHOP-GROUP-Aktie-GB0003718474

    Could someone please double check the numbers? For some reason they seem odd t me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A kickstarter could be successful nevertheless. But that could devolve into complete mayhem after buying the company. So many owners with an opinion is like controling rants over the internet: impossible to handle.

      Delete
    2. 51% of GWs current market cap is approximately $143,000,000(or 87,500,000 GBP or 103,000,000 Euros). According to their website, the most successful Kickstarter to date raised $10,000,000

      So yes, a Kickstarter could be successful, if it managed to raise over 14 times the previous most successful kickstarter. Nevermind that as has been said, any announcement of an attempt to do this would almost certainly raise the stock price, pushing the required goal even further into the realm of totally impossible.

      Delete
    3. A Kickstarter to raise $143,000,000? That might be enough to buy Kickstarter itself.

      But seriously, at that price, you can make your own version of Kickstarter. You can make your own gaming company with capitalization second only to GW itself.

      There are many more profitable and satisfying you can do with $143 million than to attempt a hostile takeover of GW.

      Delete
    4. AFAIK there are exactly 42,000,000 shares issued. Not all of them are floating on the market, though. That alone is a sign that the company really should belong to me :D (42 and all :P)

      And no, Kickstarter won't work. Plus, with that kind of money I'd start my own GW and call it Wayne's Gurkenshop. With a legal department to match.

      :D

      Delete
  33. I don't think its that much of a big deal, if you look at their year end statement. We all know that long term GW is in a very unknown position. Stock price varies Amazon, Walmart, Google, etc. all have big swings at times just because GW's price is down doesn't mean anything has changed for them.

    I think they are slowly painting themselves into a corner with their business model though and at some point they are going to bump up against some bad times. I think this fall their profits were down because they didn't have amazing releases vs. last year. Last year was early 6th ed, stuff like Dark Angels was new, Dark Vengence was still kinda new, they had better stuff that was new out for the hobbit, etc. This year what was their big awesome stuff out right before xmas? I don't think they had the same level of product this year. Their royalties are way, way down which they mentioned in their annual report back in July, etc. etc.

    As much as I'd like to gleefully laugh at them and say its all bad business choice ... I think this is just a normal deal that has less to do with them charging too much and being dicks and just a normal business cycle thing that just happens sometimes.

    Who knows though we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found that applying common sense in a business environment often separates you from the rest and makes you rather successful ;)

      Delete
  34. I find it interesting that there is even a debate, that the death of gw could some how kill off tabletop gaming! With all due respect to warhammer and 40k players there only a small lifeline of gaming. Historical tabletop gaming has been around forever and the death of games workshop won't make the slightest difference to us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I didn't come across as proclaiming that. TT will survive no matter what. I couldn't agree more. ;)

      Delete
  35. I do believe you need to spend a few semesters in business school. For starters, the point of any business is to maximize shareholder value. This is sort of business 101 no brainer sorta stuff. To run counter to this, as you suggest, will only run this company further into the ground. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that. But hey, once you're in the "rant highway" there is no telling what you'll write to prove your (already incorrect) point.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the continued discussion on this issue.

      Sorry to disappoint you though, I have been in the shoes of a CxO for long enough, guys...

      But it's a free blog and I respect any comment - even if I do concur that you may or may not know what you are talking about.

      I may be wrong, sure. But so far I wasn't. Claiming someone is on a 'rant highway' either shows me you don't know what a good rant really looks like and is probably one of the least constructive ways one can participate in this discussion.

      Still I am happy that you took the time to tell me I am a douche. Keeps me on the ground. ;)

      Delete
  36. What I'd like to know: If GW has priced their stuff so high that it's damaged their sales #'s, how is lowering the price not a viable solution? The market has spoken: your stuff is too expensive! If they want to attract new customers and regain lost ones, it's the most obvious move. Refusing to contemplate such a drastic move is akin to playing chicken with an SUV when you're driving a Cooper Mini.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're not guaranteed to get customers back. A lot of gamers have either given up completely or moved onto competitors. If GW dropped their prices then sure, over time, customers might slowly come back. Most have seen the quality of games being put out by GWs competition and wouldn't want to go back to GWs poor games writing.

      Money isn't a problem for me. My monthly hobby budget is around £300, so even at GW prices I could afford to buy a new army every month. There's no way that I'd go back to GW now though since I've played competitors games and they're not only much better, but also much cheaper. Ironically GW would need to drop their prices to being lower than their competitors for me to come back, and even then I'd likely just use GWs minis in other companies games.

      Delete
    2. People pay high prices, if they feel they get an adequate value. Look at anything with an Apple on it. A good product that is totally overpriced. Yet, people line up days before a new product is launched.

      I think GW needs to keep its current prices (not raise them further) and invest heavily in its community. The problem is that they are currently doing the exact opposite: Killing their premiere community events (Games Days) and shutting down all communications.

      It's not the prices that kill GW. It's GW.

      Delete
  37. I'm still trying to work out what business model GW is following. I can't think of a single business that has survived over the long term by ignoring the customer base. Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but I thought the key to growth and increased fiscal gain depends on a good relationship with the community. It was my understanding that a business that provides the community with goods and services that the community wants, the business is going to receive the patronage of the community. I'm sorry if my communist free enterprise hating perspectives offended anyone, obviously I don't know anything about the market economy....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, you hit the nail on the head ;)

      The only reason I can think of (and I wrote it in the series as well), is that you believe your market is dying. And you basically just rake in as much as you can. Why GW would think that I don't know. But it is blatantly obvious that they do not do anything FOR the hobby.

      Delete
  38. Cutting armies!?!

    That's the last thing they should do. They should be bringing back armies. Starting with the Squats.

    And confessing that the "technology is good" short guys without beards who live off of Japanime designs dumbed-down, and the wild Kroot with their Krootox mounted heavy weapons aren't just a variation on the Squats Brotherhood - Biker system.

    With an idiot system of elements that is a desperate claw reaching for Magic players, and continued use of silly names. Kroot. Krootox. Sound like stuff you'd use to clean the lavatory after you had a bad case of the Squats.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good post, I agree with much of it, but:
    * Finecast was only ever intended to be a stopgap. Their stated long-term aim has been "plastic all the way baby" since the days of Rogue Trader. Probably phased out faster since I'm sure that metal sales >>>> finecast sales. Due to "quality" and price.

    * There's a danger for those of us who don't live in GW's favoured regions (yeah, I'm in Australia!) when Forgeworld fuses with GW. Did you know that FW kits are pretty much on price parity or cheaper than standard plastic GW kits for us? Watch those prices shoot for the sky when the websites merge. Watch their business shift even more to Chinese "sources". You're welcome.
    * LotR Busts? Nice idea, but the licences for these things are very strict. They can make 25(28)mm figures only. They don't have a free-for-all licence for LotR/Hobbit. Anyway, Sideshow's finished, painted mini-busts are cheaper than FW's would be, based on the much smaller and very expensive FW busts.

    Otherwise, interesting articles and a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comments!

      Yes, the problem with finecast was not it's intention. It was the way it was communicated: We replace expensive material with cheaper ones and make the best casts ever. Great so far. Just don't make crap and sell it at a higher price then ;)

      I did not know that FW stuff is on par with prices elsewhere, interesting!

      And yes, LotR busts are only possible if it falls within the terms of the license agreement, which, sadly, no-one send me a copy of yet ;)

      Delete
  40. Ok All I have to do now its win the Lottery and get 51% of the company in order to save the day and be the hero of the new age.

    This is gonna take time.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thats really a nice and informative blog about business games.I would like to thanks to share such a nice blog with us and want to continue with it.Thanks for this blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  44. It's very interesting and also useful post...I really happy to read this amazing post..

    thanks for share this post..

    hey guys..!!

    Must be download this most addictive android kids game - Kids Shopping..!! It's free game for limited time..!! Hurry..!!

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gameimax.kidsshopping

    ReplyDelete
  45. For many people, learning the language of business was complicated enough in their own native tongue, and they find it very difficult to learn the skills needed to talk business with people in other countries. However, in the expanding business network, it is often an advantage to be able to talk to a colleague, a new business associate, or even a potential sponsor, in their own language. Rather than giving you a general knowledge of speech patterns and grammar, business language training can help you to focus your efforts on learning how to speak. http://smart-detox.web.id/agen/

    ReplyDelete
  46. Nice Informative Blog having nice sharing..
    Subway surfer hack

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...