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Yodhrin
09-09-2005, 15:51
Ok, this is the senario. You have just won/inherited/somehow earned enough money to buy Games Workshop. You own every last shred of the company, and are in complete control. What would you do? What direction would you take the company and hobby in?

Personally, I would start by axing LotR. It aparently takes up 40% of the development shedule, yet only makes up 22% of sales, so not only is it impacting on the Warhammer games, its doing so in a stupidly inefficient manner. I would then use the development time regained to provide more support for specialist games, and give some back to Fantasy and 40K.

White Dwarf would regain its focus as a hobby magazine, rather than simply being a way to push the latest releases. New release advertising and promotion would not dissapear, but it would take a backseat to painting, converting, terrain making and new rules articles.

Recruitment and training policies would be tightened up significantly, as it appears there is a big shift in the quality level of staff and customer service depending on the store.

Wages would be looked at in detail. I would rather be paying the staff more and cutting the massive discount they get on products a bit than paying them peanuts and watch them rape the discount.

Melchor
09-09-2005, 16:00
Well this is an easy one...
I'd look for a way to lower the prices!

ironduke
09-09-2005, 16:11
I'dmake stupid business decisions based on a whim with no forecasting done prior to them. I will then spend most my time mulling over why i went wrong and make amendments that will further distance myself from the customers and their satisfaction.

Woops sorry i thought i was the head of GW there anyway

I wouldn't scrap LOTR, I'd lower prices, I would destroy this zero hour .contract that some key timers are working under, Um scrap all the cack from white dwarf, make it longer, stop endlessly redoing metal into plastic and charge more (i thought it was cheaper to produce) Ummm lower prices, change the discount, I would try not to dissilution my veteran customers, longer games nights etc

rkunisch
09-09-2005, 16:16
Personally, I would start by axing LotR. It aparently takes up 40% of the development shedule, yet only makes up 22% of sales, so not only is it impacting on the Warhammer games, its doing so in a stupidly inefficient manner. I would then use the development time regained to provide more support for specialist games, and give some back to Fantasy and 40K.
LOL, I do not understand where you get such stupid rumours. :rolleyes:

Yes, LotR is the absolut devil! As soon as we start to ax LotR, pigs can fly! [/sarkasm]

Have fun,

Rolf.

Melchor
09-09-2005, 16:30
Why would you change the staff discount? I don't see any harm in it. The pay is crap anyway and I think it is a nice balance.
And on top of that, seeing people build new armies is very inspiring (a local redshirt churns out a great new army almost monthly!) and the staff discount is a very good way of motivating your staff to build armies.

TzarNikolai
09-09-2005, 16:50
i'd start by screwing over the marine codex, then go on to mess up all T4 power armour...

but yeah. LOTR has definately got to go. try to trick independants to buy all that stock :rolleyes:

also try to stop older people getting distanced from the game.

pnweerar
09-09-2005, 16:56
Communication
Make all GW senior managers join message boards, listen to people, and be available to answer questions. Morale and understanding all round would improve.

Strategy
Teach an appreciation of cult branding to execs focusing more on larger markets and margins. GW was built on people who secretly worship the Emperor, and their value remains considerable.

Intellectual Property
Open source the rule system. Why are we paying people to work on this when our job is it to sell minis? Make public our guidelines for codexes and our formulae for calculating balance, and let the massive engine of our involved fan base develop new codexes for us. Publish the best submissions, and publish or sanction the most popular ones. Every codex and rule book available online, for free, forever.

Third Party Figures
Offer figs to people who are creating their own games, using our open source rule system. Offer cheap spincasting services to even small groups of fans who want to make a few of their figs for personal use, or for their own, fledgeling titles.

Fluff Management
Buy BL titles after their sales figures dip, and put them online for people to download. Toy soldiers builds fans, but fluff about toy soldiers builds cultists. Get a panel of dorks to be available to BL writers for fluff coherency checks, or at least awareness.

Community
Support online wargaming sites with donations. Encourage GW staff to support local charities, and involve especially the younger players in charity and social service programs managed at the store level.

Expansion
Increase sales, not costs. I'd rather see our price for a few dollars in Walmarts, than GW stores all over the place. Make up for lower prices with larger volumes.

Staffing
Introduce profit sharing, a la Starbucks. Find SOME way to increase wages, failing in that side bennies like health insurance and such.

Retailers
Be really nice to game stores. Allow online NIB retailing again. Find a better way to grow profits without preying on the market share these people have created for us.

Prepainted
Stop farting around and get IN on the Lean Consumption agenda: (http://www.paintedfigs.com/unpaintedsucks.html) . If we want to grow the market, go beyond the gamer-painters, and offer pre-painted options to all the gamers out there who don't care to paint. Give people a choice, and make it affordable.

Old Games
Bring them back. Boxed games / starter games: go after the Milton Bradley-ites and the Hey-Look-Another-Catan market, with shelves and shelves of our our board games.

Old unsalvageable games: Put up the rules, tilesets, graphics, etc... for all our games online: we sell figs dammit, not pieces of paper that get in the way of selling figs. If we see a lot of downloads and old fig conversions, make new figs for these games.

Self-contained, dead-end games: With a new culture of cheaper figs and a continous stream of new games to play, these are less of an issue. I also don't care what people play, as long as they are using GW figs.

International
Properly study other cultures before trying to sell to them (China, Japan). Don't go into these markets without being prepared to give it our all to do it right. Make different, much cheaper games to sell to Third World markets and produce them locally.

Vision
Turn Games Days into gigantic celebrations of the GW culture: storyline tournaments; fluff reenactments by professional actors; rock concerts at the end of each. Find some excuse to throw in bikini models. Get a low budget but high quality Live Action movie done, and get some high budget, high quality, anime series done.

Build a freaking Golden Throne, and encourage an annual pilgrimage (pilgrimage only figs, deep discounts, meet and talk to the senior managers, movie / anime / new product releases).

Navin

Yodhrin
09-09-2005, 17:02
LOL, I do not understand where you get such stupid rumours. :rolleyes:

Yes, LotR is the absolut devil! As soon as we start to ax LotR, pigs can fly! [/sarkasm]

Have fun,

Rolf.

Games Workshop's official sales figures. You can remove your foot from your mouth now.

As to why I would change the staff discount, well, I would like to see GW staff getting payed better, but if you give them a higher wage you have to offset that somehow. Lowering the staff discount to a more standard amount for the retail industry would balance a pay rise well. If they're buying models it doesnt leave them any worse off, providing you balance the two right, but it gives them more money to spend on other things like...you know, food( :p ), when they dont want to buy minis.

Most retail workers get something in the order of 10-25% off products, as opposed to the 50% off retail and the "by weight" system for mail order which can run as high as 90% off depending on location/whether you buy metals or plastics for GW staff. That's just silly.

Mr Tiddles
09-09-2005, 17:09
Personally, I would start by axing LotR. It aparently takes up 40% of the development shedule, yet only makes up 22% of sales,

Two points
1 Where do you get the 40% figure from?
Go and look at this years releases and tell me which system has had the bulk of releases and, by extension, development resources. (Clue: it isn't LotR)
2 "Only" 22%. That's more than 1 in 5 of your customers. If you're cutting stuff because it "only" sells 22% then presumably you'd also want to cut the system that sells even less than LotR in the UK - WFB? (Which also happens to be the system that is the answer to my question in point 1).

Grimshawl
09-09-2005, 17:16
Okay, playing along, if I suddenly found myself running Games Workshop, the first thing I'd do would be to anounce it loudly and often online and in the stores and in White Dwarf so customers and gamers could pick up on the fact that changes were in the making and the whole Under New Management thing you see at places that suddenly need customer support again would hopefully kick in while I run around trying to resort GW back into a gaming company instead of a stuffed suite company. Jervis would imediately get back his Fanatics and his Specialist Games budget, I'd be looking so hard at the GW USA branch I'd get eye strain, I'd reinstate a system of out riders and try to reestablish a good working relationship with the indie stores in USA , alow online sales again and probably work myself into an early grave trying to correct about half million other problems, Oh and I'd find someone to do a better job of public relations for my company and lower prices a bit too.

Mr Tiddles
09-09-2005, 18:08
Well this is an easy one...
I'd look for a way to lower the prices!

No you wouldn't.
Because having just spent £160 million or whatever buying the company, you'd be looking to increase your profits, not lower them.

EVIL INC
09-09-2005, 18:40
Okay, playing along, if I suddenly found myself running Games Workshop, the first thing I'd do would be to anounce it loudly and often online and in the stores and in White Dwarf so customers and gamers could pick up on the fact that changes were in the making and the whole Under New Management thing you see at places that suddenly need customer support again would hopefully kick in while I run around trying to resort GW back into a gaming company instead of a stuffed suite company. Jervis would imediately get back his Fanatics and his Specialist Games budget, I'd be looking so hard at the GW USA branch I'd get eye strain, I'd reinstate a system of out riders and try to reestablish a good working relationship with the indie stores in USA , alow online sales again and probably work myself into an early grave trying to correct about half million other problems, Oh and I'd find someone to do a better job of public relations for my company and lower prices a bit too.
Pretty much this with some additions...
1. Do my best to get Andy C back.
2. Look at new ways of making money for the company cheaply so that prices would go down and profits would go up. For example, re-printing all of the old codexes and fluff books such as Rogue Trader, Realm of Chaos, Original fantasy roleplay ect ect. This would get a lot of the old timers back into the game and offer a lot more options to the players. Easy, fast money for the company that we could pass on to the customers in savings.






Oh, and bring back biker squats. LOL :eek: :evilgrin:

Melchor
09-09-2005, 18:45
No you wouldn't.
Because having just spent £160 million or whatever buying the company, you'd be looking to increase your profits, not lower them.

Ah... But wouldn't people buy more if it was cheaper? :D

Durham_red
09-09-2005, 19:20
Ah... But wouldn't people buy more if it was cheaper? :D

Maybe, but they would also but the cost to you would go up to enable you to produce that extra product.

eg jonny buys £40 pounds of space marines gets two tactical squads (current price)

Jonny buys £40 pounds of Space marines gets 2 tactical squads and a couple of bikes. (new lower price)

Jonny gets more for his pound but it cost GW more to produce those extra Items. meaning less profit.

starlight
09-09-2005, 20:30
However economies of scale kick in and it costs less to produce the items, thus balancing out. The upsides to lower prices are that people are more inclined to impulse buy and that it opens up the appeal to a wider range of purchasers.

Wolf Scout Ewan
09-09-2005, 21:04
The 40% dev time thing was from GW... for the past couple of years during the three LotR boxes.

22% sales... for 40% development time ISNT profitable... this is why there has been a severe cut/reduction in the number of army books and codecii recently.

The more time given over to producing all the LotR junk in WD and books/boxes has hit the other two "Cool Games". Instead of every 2 - 4 months its every 6 months per game. I'm not calling for a axe to LotR just a reduction of time gioven to it when it only brings 20% return.

What would I do though? Hire more people to develop and sculpt.

More plastics, more fluff, advance the story arcs.

Look at reducing costs induced through bureaucracy. Look at how staff discounts work to see if they are causing profit vacuum's.

But most of the rest has been said before innthis thread.

Mikhaila
09-09-2005, 22:10
Taking the thread seriously?

I'd take a month to study the company, go over the books, make un announced visits to stores, the studio, and manufacturing. Learn all I could about the company, and try to find 3 people in the company that could be the best advisors. Then make some changes.

or.. I could go with a pre-concieved wishlist of things put together off the top of my head while skimming the internet.

Gaebriel
09-09-2005, 23:06
>> Hire professional managers, developers, and salesmen who are into the hobby or taught the basics, instead of employing hobbyists to be professionals.

>> Get a huge and well-researched PR-departement which also handles rules-questions and monthly updates.

>> Try to invent marketing plans based on customers, instead of trying to push marketing plans on them (see the US).

>> Try to balance price per unit/unit sold in a way that price per unit could be lowered.

>> Keep all three core systems, but expand development teams to serve a four months cycle (instead of six months).

>> Make all outdated core system material available online.

>> Increase support of the non-core systems.

Lardidar
09-09-2005, 23:28
Wow I bought GW!! Looks like my teachers were wrong and I did make something of my life ....... my shrink will be so proud.

• First things first I would commission work to begin on new versions of Warhammer Fantasy and 40k ... LOTR just got a new book and is fine. These new games would be allot more in depth and not the frankly laughable system they have now (I'm thinking 40k here)

• I would advance the timelines of the games to be after SoC/EoT and change characters in books.

• All stores would move to gaming bunker locations and would have the old 'grand openings'.

• All staff would be promoting the hobby and not the product..... The spirit of the game would be heavily pushed to all people starting as I try to wean out the win at all cost attitude.

• Grand Tourneys would start at store level and tickets would be free to winners (the still have to pay for Drinks, food, the new spangly GT limited edition figure and accommodation, but hey we have the new Bugmans hotel complex on Lenton Industrial estate) This will ensure that the winners will be the best all round hobbyists and not just the ones that bought a ticket.

• I would get a new bottle for poly cement that doesn’t erupt when you open it.

• I would seek out ways to make it easier to collect an army (more mega forces) these would also save you money.

• I would respect Vets and new hobbyist equally.

• I would train members of the web team to look at forums and confirm/deny rumours -nip those nasty squat threads in the bud.

• I would as head of the company take 1 week out of every month to work at a GW store someplace in the world to view my company from the shop floor.

• I would listen to staff and when they have a good idea they would get the reward and recognition they deserve.

• Re hire Rugie to make his terrain for Gaming rooms and independents.

• Hire David Gemmel to write some Warhammer books.

• Have fun, hell at the end of the day it’s a toy shop.


This may all be rambling as I am at this moment very drunk.

One last thing I am under no illusions that the hobby would probably fold under my command but people would say 'remember GW they were a great company' and not 'GW is teh evil'

Peace all I’m off to pass out :evilgrin:

starlight
09-09-2005, 23:40
This may all be rambling as I am at this moment very drunk.

One last thing I am under no illusions that the hobby would probably fold under my command but people would say 'remember GW they were a great company' and not 'GW is teh evil'

Peace all I’m off to pass out

<the sound of thundering applause>

Sadly it is not to be. :cries:

hilltroll
09-09-2005, 23:57
The 40% dev time thing was from GW... for the past couple of years during the three LotR boxes.

I don't suppose you could point out to me where it says that?

Oh, and I don't see how that is justification for axing LotR. Its like judging apples and oranges. The 40% could be the amount it takes to hire one man and a dog, whilst the 22% could be a trillion dollar profit. LotR is still making a very healthy profit. You may want that to dissapear, but I hope you never become self imployed.

Or perhaps you think that GW is depriving the other core games of developers. How does that percentage give you that idea?

Thanks for this fun little thread.

The pestilent 1
10-09-2005, 00:22
id announce that Fantasy was pulling no profit, so Bretonnia shall now be reffered to as Dol amroth, the Northern wastes are now Mordor and Lustria is the undying lands.
then id release no new Fantasy models for three months.
then put it all back and say "stop whining already! its here to stay"
and then id be mobbed i should imagine.

Gavmo
10-09-2005, 00:41
I would raise prices on all products even though they are the same as the cheaper ones you bought last week.
I would slowly phase out every game but 40k.
Space Marines would occupy at least 90% of White Dwarf, the rest would be filled with ads and mail order deals that arnt really that good.
The required knowledge base for GW workers would be 4th ed 40k.

Oh wait! This is what they're planning anyway!!! :eek:

Taliesynkp
10-09-2005, 03:33
I would slowly sell off all my stock trying not to be noticed. As soon as I got caught I'd dump everything to salvage as much money as I could. Then I'd invest in something with a lot more long term profit potential.

Shadowheart
10-09-2005, 07:23
First things first, I'd inform myself thoroughly and would make sure I would be kept informed of any future developements. I'd leave the task of running the company to people who actually know how to run a company, although I would of course keep a close eye on their work.
I wouldn't make decisions based on rumours and conjecture, nor would I make decisions in matters that I don't have a proper understanding of without consulting experts. Just because I heard or would like to think that a certain army or game isn't pulling its weight, doesn't mean it's so.

Someone might just as easily claim to have heard "from GW" (how specific) that LotR outsells 40K by a landslide and that they're barely shifting the Necrons at all anymore. I could use that as an excuse to push my favourite game and ditch an army that I dislike. Doesn't sound like good business practice though.


Things I would like to do in so far as the situation allows are:

- Make the company as environmentally friendly as possible. Protecting the world is a good thing, it stops filter masks and clean water from becoming luxury articles that compete with your miniatures.

- Try to make peace with mr. Moorcock and everyone else whose works have been getting shamefully ripped off for years. Taking inspiration from other people is all good and well, but GW haven't been very respectful about it. I should like to acknowledge the sources more openly, and to honour the original material, instead of making a travesty of it.

- Join forces with "mainstream" companies in various fields for special projects. It worked with Milton Bradley when they did Heroquest, it's working with DeAgostini for Battlegames in Middle-Earth. It could've worked with Exile for the Bloodquest movie/series too. The idea is not to advertise Warhammer to the world, but to make more people familiar with the concept, so that it'll be easier to draw them in.

- Focus more effort on finding a stable basis for non-core games and other niche interests. I'd want more room for the designers (and gamers) to do unusual, different stuff, be it in terms of models, rules, background or art. This playing around should throw up some ideas that could be incorporated into the main games, and thus make it pay for itself by keeping Warhammer fresh.

- Do something about the godforsaken prices, because there is a limit to how much people will pay, and at this rate that's bound to be hit sooner rather than later. I wouldn't aim to make things cheap, because quality should be paid for. But 10-25% price hikes about once a year can't go on indefinitely.

- Set up a secret project to research human cloning, in order to get more than one Jes Goodwin. Failing that, give the original another raise and make sure he never, ever leaves the company.

Cheesejoff
10-09-2005, 08:10
Well this is an easy one...
I'd look for a way to lower the prices!

You'd need to look for a way? Just sack the accountants, the money saved will be easily enough to lower the prices!

MidnightResistance
10-09-2005, 09:09
I'd empty a can of petrol on LOTR and throw a match at it.

Yodhrin
10-09-2005, 09:48
I don't suppose you could point out to me where it says that?

Oh, and I don't see how that is justification for axing LotR. Its like judging apples and oranges. The 40% could be the amount it takes to hire one man and a dog, whilst the 22% could be a trillion dollar profit. LotR is still making a very healthy profit. You may want that to dissapear, but I hope you never become self imployed.

Or perhaps you think that GW is depriving the other core games of developers. How does that percentage give you that idea?

Thanks for this fun little thread.

What do you mean apples and oranges? It's a simple percentage. If 40% of development time is being used on LotR, that means the other games, all of them, are only getting 60% of development time. If it makes up 22% of GWs profits, then that's what it makes.

It's a simple ratio. It uses more development time than games which make more profit, how is that sensible?

To simplify, if there are ten development staff, and four are working on LotR, then the other six are split between 40K, fantasy and all specialist games(which are now a part of the main design team). If they were being sensible from a business perspective, LotR, in this example, would have two staff working on it, because it makes up approx. 1/5 of profit.

I love the LotR books, I enjoyed the films, and I dont feel any particular animosity towards the game. I simply feel that it is getting more attention than it deserves with regards to development time, and that since the "film bubble" has already burst, it would be best to get out now rather than keep using a disproportionate amount of resources keeping the game afloat and then being left with tons of stock that will never sell.

pnweerar
10-09-2005, 09:57
I would spend 40% of my time arguing over only 22% of the larger picture of running GW.

Shadowheart
10-09-2005, 11:22
Isn't there anyone who can refer to a source for these numbers that are being thrown about? If this is based on fact, then show us the facts. 40% of developement spent on LotR doesn't even make sense. It smells like the sort of ******** propagated by those that dislike the game.

Go and have a look here (http://investor.games-workshop.com/Results2005/preamble2005.htm) and take note of the following line:

The Lord of the Rings product sales have declined faster than we anticipated after the unsustainable levels of the last two years, but we still see them contributing to our sales and expect them to do so far into the future.

Someone go and find a quote that says LotR is in any way failing to be profitable. I expect you can't, seeing as a friend of mine was reliably informed by a redshirt who overheard a conversation in games developement on his trip to the studio that Jervis Johnson's hairdresser had heard an indy retailer say that according to Matt Ward, at least 40% of what Warhammer gamers say about LotR has no basis in reality.

Praetorian
10-09-2005, 12:10
I sooo could care less about the LOtR rules, its the figs I want. I paint like crazy and role play/GM in spurts so I need tons of bulk figs to satisfy both those lusts.
They are nice minis and cheap like borscht.
I'm sure that adds up to tons of sales alone, as many of my pals have bought them for the exact same reasons. Who knows, I may even play a game one day ;)

If I were the boss, I'd hook everyone on the crossovers too. I'm sure they knew these pieces would be a bit of a collectors item to boot. More stuff like that could boost sales. Get some more movies to cough up the rights to their flicks. Can you imagine Marvel dudes by GW and the like. Some neat new games like the old days.
It can only make the core games stronger by pulling those kind of bucks. I'm not saying every dork flick that comes out, but the biggies and properly pay for the IP that they already basically steal, but without the marginalization. They could have easily scored Aliens and Starship troopers and did them up right. Think of the crossover fun!

Heck, make your own movies, there is 50yrs of fluff here, look at 30yrs of Trek over a way smaller premise. And, I still dig Trek.

Teethgrinder
10-09-2005, 13:24
Someone go and find a quote that says LotR is in any way failing to be profitable. I expect you can't, seeing as a friend of mine was reliably informed by a redshirt who overheard a conversation in games developement on his trip to the studio that Jervis Johnson's hairdresser had heard an indy retailer say that according to Matt Ward, at least 40% of what Warhammer gamers say about LotR has no basis in reality.

No, someone read it on the actual Internet, and you can't argue with that sort of credibility.

Bear in mind, however, that it's statistically proven and well-known that 87.4% of statistics are made up on the spot to fit the situation. And that's a fact.

Gaebriel
10-09-2005, 14:00
I would also be interested in the source of the 40% development involvement in LotR. Where the 22% sales figure comes from I know (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=192901&postcount=1).

Is there any hard evidence besides the number has been quoted to death on this board?

Mr Tiddles
10-09-2005, 16:59
I would also be interested in the source of the 40% development involvement in LotR. Where the 22% sales figure comes from I know (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=192901&postcount=1).

Is there any hard evidence besides the number has been quoted to death on this board?

But remember, that's the German numbers you're looking at there.
In the UK I believe the LotR % is slightly smaller (20%), but that's still larger than WFB which is currently only 16% of sales in the UK.
The source for this is my local GW store manager. All GW managers were taken up to head office last week and shown "how important LotR is to us" (his words). Those were the figures he was shown and quoted. I've no reason to disbelieve him, and it kind of matches with the German figures.

However I'd be interested to know the 40% resources quotation source. As I've already said in this thread and others, the bulk of resource in the current calendar year has *clearly* gone to WFB, with two completely new ranges of models, 3 army/scenario books and three new batallions. In the same period LotR has a re-written (but only very minor tweaks and lots of hobby reprints)rulebook, some hobbits and a plastic fellowship.

I'd say the resources look to be fairly evenly split with a bias to WFB this year. Something like 30%LotR-30%40K-40%WFB.
If I'm right that means 40% development time on 16% sales in the UK, so clearly the system to axe first isWFB...
:)

Mr Tiddles
10-09-2005, 17:05
Ah... But wouldn't people buy more if it was cheaper? :D
I'm sure they'd buy more, but that's not the point.
Would they *spend* any more.
If you reduce a £20 box to £10, how many boxes will people buy?
I'd buy 2, thereby giving you exactly the same amount of money for something that's cost you twice as much to make.
For your model to work folks would have to buy 3 or more to keep your profits the same.
You'd be gambling on your lower prices attracting more customers, but with the quite high fixed costs GW appear to have you'd need to attract a significant mass market to compensate for any serious reduction in prices.
Either that or you'd need to hack into your overheads. Closing all those expensive retail stores would be a start...

After investing all that money I wouldn't be taking that kind of gamble.

Brandir
10-09-2005, 17:45
I'd buy out Decipher, securing the LOTR RPG licence. Then I would re-vamp the line using the WFRP engine.

Employ Weta to provide conceptual designs/phots for LOTR minis.

Issue a properly supported LOTR version of Warmaster, with minis that are based on the LOTR film.

Stock Professor Tolkien's works in GW shops.

Bin the BOPF and SOG minis and get them re-sculpted using Weta's conceptual art/phots.

Madfool2
10-09-2005, 19:09
if i had somehow gained the company through buying out/blackmail/mind controll devices i would do this in no particular order
1. try to get people who want to start 40k start an army not beginning with space marines
2. make LOTR either specialist game or cheaper
3. have sales on in the stores
4. make the staff promote the hobby NOT the new space marine stuff
5. more campaigns that matter to the fluff (if for example middenhelm got battered badly in the SOC campaign then it will say so! no stupidity like the fishmen saved the empire)
6. listen to the customers
7. find ways to make WHFB seem more appealing to the customers
and thats all i can think of i know there rubbish

The Ape
11-09-2005, 00:30
GW cant do sales under the LOTR contract. Apparently.

Staff do TRY and promote the hobby. Its getting people to listen that is the problem. That, and GW seem to release a SM army every other month, so its hard to promote armies that dont have cool new stuff coming out for them.

Speaking from experience as an ex-staff member...

(edit- added that i was an EX staff member)

KingNic
11-09-2005, 01:40
I would do the following:
-Cut out the corporate bloat. Restructure the company so there's less Administration and the same amount of workers.
-Give up on America. Keep the stores which are making a profit, drop the stores which aint. Try to re-establish ties with Independent stores.
-NO MORE EXPANSION until restructuring is finished
-Put an increased emphasis on Mail order getting orders CORRECT. There's a ridiculous amount of mistakes and with the policy of "Oh keep the mistake - we'll send you twenty-two new ones to make up for it", it can't be doing the company any good. Harsher punishments for getting orders wrong (not a punishment for every single order - no-one's perfect, but make more than 2/3 mistakes a week and you get a stern warning).

Makaber
11-09-2005, 03:31
I'd lower mail order shipping costs. There is no valid reason for keeping it at 8 quit for Europe, when a tiny indy company like Heresy can have their at what, 2?

I'd divert resources away from Space Marines, and to neglected Warhammer Fantasy armies like beastmen and vampire counts. How come they're sculpting entire squads of Black Templars (a not spectacular marine chapter) while I, as a beastman player, has to make do with half my army consisting of miniatures that are about 8 years old?

Then, I'd make sure Gary Morley, and Trish & Aly Morrison got a lot stricter quality controls. I bet they're nice people and all, but their sculpts are generaly abysmal.

Finally, I'd fire myself, leave business management with those who know it, and get a job as games developer or something like that.

anarchistica
11-09-2005, 15:02
I've given this some thought, like every other Warhammer player out there. Now i doubt any of the people here would do a very good job being Tom Kirby or whoever "runs" GW at the moment, but there are of course some things that i think could be improved: Quality control.

Models and packaging.

The distinction between game and background.

One game to rule them all. Quality control

To be blunt, GW sells or has sold alot of ****** and poor products. The old "bolter-shell" paint pots, glue in pots, certain models and of course alot of books. Now of course this results in easy money, but it also results in angry customers who won't come back for more. I'd try to prevent this, actually testing products before they are sold. Products like paint pots can be tested technically. Models can be tested technically to see if they have unacceptable weaknesses (Gaunts) and some customer feedback would help too (no more Captain Cortez's). There'd be actual editors and proofreaders working on publications before these are printed. Any rules would be tested by top tournament players. WFB rules by Cavatore and 40K rules by Thorpe would be tested twice. :p

Any GW Hobby Centre worker should have a basic understanding of the rules and background. All army books and codices should have the same set up. Any rules are formulated according to one standard. There will be no more "IG Bionics" and "CSM Bionics" to give an example. Magic Resistance will always apply to the bearer and his unit and will never be worded along the lines of "gives +1 dispel dice for spells cast against the unit" instead. One term, one rule. The whole rules writing process will be reversed. First you write the rules, then you make the armies (40K 4th edition is already a step in the right direction).

Models and packaging

First of all, the blister would cease to exist. Everything should be in boxes or sold seperately, metal should be replaced by plastic whereever possible. There would be 4 products: Boxed sets, seperate sprues, metal models and pre-painted units. Boxed sets contain multiple or single units at their minimum size. They're fairly similar to the current boxed sets except that they always have units at their minimum size and contain only models, command group bits, shields (if applicable) and if the unit only has one weapon option or similar weapon options (one/two hand weapons, halberd/great weapon, etc) those come in the box.

Seperate sprues contain about 1-3 models. One Ogre/Tyranid Warrior, 2 Space Marines/Swarms, 3 Imperial Guardians/Goblins. These are filler models and come in just two variations with the same options you get in their 'parent' box aside from command group bits. Besides this there are sprues with weapon options, enough versions of one or more weapon options for the minimum size of a unit. No more 5 different missile weapons on Gaunt Sprues. No more lacking Rending Claws. Etc. Metal models are repackaged from sprues into small boxes and one piece metal models are available like plastic models come on sprues so. you could buy one Ravener, 2 metal Marines or 3 metal humans seperately but without packaging.

Finally, as has been suggested before, boxes with pre-painted models. Very much the same as the glueless filler models GW will be releasing, just pre-painted by some poor Chinese chap who earns 10 cents per day.

The distinction between game and background

Rules and background material would be seperated as they are very different entities. Background material will often be relevant for years on end, rules can be outdated quickly. Codices and Army Books would be split up in background books and rules books. The background book would have stories, fluff, artwork, unit descriptions, painting and modelling guides, terrain suggestions, etc.

The rulebook would be just that: A book with rules. It would have all basic rules, special rules, optional rules, campaigns, etc. Everyone'd need one as it has all (common) Special Rules for units but at least it'd be cheaper and lighter.

Army Books would be flimsy booklets similar to Ravening Hordes, available for something like 1 or 2 euros. Every 6, 8 or 12 months there'd be an updated version. In the mean time, test-rules and errata are available in similar booklets. Both can be downloaded for free from the GW site.

One game to rule them all

I really like the idea of there being on basic game with different scales and settings. You could simply use the WFB rules (modified for round bases et all) and have standard or optional rules for other systems. The scale would vary from Inquisitor size warbands to Epic forces. In between are Mordheim/Necromunda, Warhammer <2000 points and Warhammer >=2000 points. There'd be several skill levels like "demo battle", "beginner", "normal player", "veteran", "historical wargame freak".

To give an example: You could play a Warhammer game at 500 points using the WFB rules but utilising the LOTR Initiative system.

This'd make it far easier to sell models (only one rulebook required) and allow you to mix systems to some extent.

/rant

Spacemunkie
11-09-2005, 16:47
Invest in production facilities in China, and gradually close the UK and US production centres. They'd clean up long term....

TheHood
11-09-2005, 23:11
Sleep on a bed of miniatures and little kids weekly allowance.

And cackling insanely and muttering something about 'it being mine, all mine!'...

:p

ironduke
12-09-2005, 10:25
I'd empty a can of petrol on LOTR and throw a match at it.

I do this instead with 40k or i would look for a way to turn it back into a game where tactics do come in to play rather than who rolled the highest and with the most dice.

Jedi152
12-09-2005, 10:50
Haven't had chance to read all the thread, so i don't know if this has been posted or not, but i'd make all mini's GW has ever produced available for MO.

Obviously some can't be, mini's with deteriorated moulds, or mini's that GW no longer hold the rights to.

But apart from that - i'd do it!

Praetorian
12-09-2005, 12:27
Invest in production facilities in China, and gradually close the UK and US production centres. They'd clean up long term....

<Crocodile Hunter voice> danger, danger- they just might hear you ;)

Apollyon
12-09-2005, 14:59
Awesome I'd only add one other thing a layered ruleset with all the core games so that entry moderate and expirienced players will stay on board. Best example is Battletech. I my 9 year old and his freinds play level 1 rules,
my 15 year old his and my freinds play level 3 rules. We share mini's and mapboards and everybody havs a good time.




Communication
Make all GW senior managers join message boards, listen to people, and be available to answer questions. Morale and understanding all round would improve.

Strategy
Teach an appreciation of cult branding to execs focusing more on larger markets and margins. GW was built on people who secretly worship the Emperor, and their value remains considerable.

Intellectual Property
Open source the rule system. Why are we paying people to work on this when our job is it to sell minis? Make public our guidelines for codexes and our formulae for calculating balance, and let the massive engine of our involved fan base develop new codexes for us. Publish the best submissions, and publish or sanction the most popular ones. Every codex and rule book available online, for free, forever.

Third Party Figures
Offer figs to people who are creating their own games, using our open source rule system. Offer cheap spincasting services to even small groups of fans who want to make a few of their figs for personal use, or for their own, fledgeling titles.

Fluff Management
Buy BL titles after their sales figures dip, and put them online for people to download. Toy soldiers builds fans, but fluff about toy soldiers builds cultists. Get a panel of dorks to be available to BL writers for fluff coherency checks, or at least awareness.

Community
Support online wargaming sites with donations. Encourage GW staff to support local charities, and involve especially the younger players in charity and social service programs managed at the store level.

Expansion
Increase sales, not costs. I'd rather see our price for a few dollars in Walmarts, than GW stores all over the place. Make up for lower prices with larger volumes.

Staffing
Introduce profit sharing, a la Starbucks. Find SOME way to increase wages, failing in that side bennies like health insurance and such.

Retailers
Be really nice to game stores. Allow online NIB retailing again. Find a better way to grow profits without preying on the market share these people have created for us.

Prepainted
Stop farting around and get IN on the Lean Consumption agenda: (http://www.paintedfigs.com/unpaintedsucks.html) . If we want to grow the market, go beyond the gamer-painters, and offer pre-painted options to all the gamers out there who don't care to paint. Give people a choice, and make it affordable.

Old Games
Bring them back. Boxed games / starter games: go after the Milton Bradley-ites and the Hey-Look-Another-Catan market, with shelves and shelves of our our board games.

Old unsalvageable games: Put up the rules, tilesets, graphics, etc... for all our games online: we sell figs dammit, not pieces of paper that get in the way of selling figs. If we see a lot of downloads and old fig conversions, make new figs for these games.

Self-contained, dead-end games: With a new culture of cheaper figs and a continous stream of new games to play, these are less of an issue. I also don't care what people play, as long as they are using GW figs.

International
Properly study other cultures before trying to sell to them (China, Japan). Don't go into these markets without being prepared to give it our all to do it right. Make different, much cheaper games to sell to Third World markets and produce them locally.

Vision
Turn Games Days into gigantic celebrations of the GW culture: storyline tournaments; fluff reenactments by professional actors; rock concerts at the end of each. Find some excuse to throw in bikini models. Get a low budget but high quality Live Action movie done, and get some high budget, high quality, anime series done.

Build a freaking Golden Throne, and encourage an annual pilgrimage (pilgrimage only figs, deep discounts, meet and talk to the senior managers, movie / anime / new product releases).

Navin

Praetorian
14-09-2005, 08:08
Here's one that may have come up--- EBAY.
Why doesn't GW take right over there and stop the snobbery and go hardcore online in the world's biggest maketplace??? I mean DOMINATE it. No overhead in just about every dept you can think about! No nothing to worry about--- oh yeah all those big stores they have invested in, well OK. Gotta do something there.
But, it is the way to do business now and there are huge companies that have cottoned on the this idea and are making a killing. :angel:

Brother Frog
14-09-2005, 08:45
If I were the (evil) head of GW, I wouldn't have made a load of the guys who pack/take the store's stock orders redundant.

This week, I was informed that my local GW won't be getting much stock (if any) because someone is sick in the warehouse, and there isn't anyone else who can do it.

Now THAT'S how to run a business! :eyebrows: