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Carlos
26-10-2010, 08:36
Surely the news of the Hobbit entering production cannot have escaped anyones' attention.

What do you think the chances are of GW getting the rights, or does the existing New Line contract extent this far?

blongbling
26-10-2010, 09:20
time will tell

Jo Bennett
26-10-2010, 10:03
They already have the rights to the book of The Hobbit, don't they? That's how come we had Battle of 5 Armies isn't it?

Wintermute
26-10-2010, 10:38
I very much doubt if the New Line Contract would include the rights to The Hobbit movies.

I suspect in order to get the rights to The Hobbit GW will have to enter new negotiations with MGM.

Grimtuff
26-10-2010, 11:43
Yes, it's painfully obvious that The Hobbit will be a license to print money, and we all know that when lots'o'money is involved GW will be over it like flies around a big steaming poo.

blongbling
26-10-2010, 11:45
They already have the rights to the book of The Hobbit, don't they? That's how come we had Battle of 5 Armies isn't it?

there are two different contracts that GW is in, one with Newline cinemas to produce products using the imagery from the movie, the other is with Tolkein Estates to produce things from the books.

The Hobbit movie will be a licence from Newline cinema (or whoever) and not from Tolkein estates.

I would anticipate GW trying for the licence though as it netted them a reasonable amount of money though that was mainly through BGiME which GW has vowed to never do again...so we shall see

mdauben
26-10-2010, 14:09
there are two different contracts that GW is in, one with Newline cinemas to produce products using the imagery from the movie, the other is with Tolkein Estates to produce things from the books.
This is not quite true. ;)

JRR sold the rights to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings years ago and the Tolkein estate no longer has any control over them. GW's contracts are with New Line Cinema for the film rights and United Artists (IIRC?) for the book rights.

According to what I have read, the Tolkien family (particularly his son Christopher) were actually opposed to the films or any other non-literatry exploitation of the books. Right now they only control the rights to The Silmarillion and the various postumosly edited and released works of Tolkien like The Histories of Middle Earth, which is why neither GW nor anyone else is making movies, games, miniatures, etc. based on any of that material.

yabbadabba
26-10-2010, 15:21
@mdauben - I am sure that its Tolkein Estates logo on the non-film models and not United Artists

Lord Malorne
26-10-2010, 15:25
They did the battle of five armies didn't they?

Grimstonefire
26-10-2010, 15:47
I find it plausible that GW would want to buy the license, but really is there that much that they could actually release this time?

Unlike WoTR, there aren't nearly as many new models they can release. So presumably they would argue the cost right down to the amount they feel it's worth for a small number of models.

You probably could play hobbit style games already with the models they sell, and they would benefit from all the cross over interest in LoTR/WoTR without having to spend anything really if they don't get the license.

Harry
26-10-2010, 17:51
I find it plausible that GW would want to buy the license, but really is there that much that they could actually release this time?A Hobbit, 12 dwarves .... and a big Dragon. :D


Oh, and five armies. :D



They were certainly working on trying to snag the license before the 'delay' .... I can't see any reason it is not still a good idea.

Wintermute
26-10-2010, 17:51
The Hobbit movie will be a licence from Newline cinema (or whoever) and not from Tolkein estates.

New Line Cinema ceased to exist several years ago. As i've already mentioned MGM own the rights to The Hobbit movies.

yabbadabba
26-10-2010, 17:55
New Line Cinema ceased to exist several years ago. As i've already mentioned MGM own the rights to The Hobbit movies. Hence why some of the problems as MGM owed about $4bn. Same with James Bond.

orlanth1000
26-10-2010, 18:54
I suggest that anyone interested in what Tolkien Estate licenses out, go have a look at their website.
It's quite interesting to see who does what, and GW's logo is in their some where up to about 3 months ago when I last looked.

Having been involved with a company that held licenses from New Line at the time of LotR movies, it was the biggest money earner they ever had in over 35 years of business.

Meanwhile as the New Zealand Prime Minister negotiates directly in person with the Warner Brothers Executives today.....
We are changing the employment laws in NZ this week in a bid to keep the movies here.

As usual in this beautiful country of ours, a small group of activists can screw up the whole place and economy.
What a shambles, hence why I am moving to Australia.

LittleLeadMen
26-10-2010, 19:14
New Line Cinema ceased to exist several years ago.

I don't know where you got your info on that one, but I work in film and I can verify that New Line Cinema still exists! They just did Sex and the City 2, Going the Distance, and are releasing the new Nightmare on Elm Street film.

They better still exist... I have a pitch meeting with them soon. :)


PS- if you actually look at the initial press releases re: The Hobbit, you'll see its a joint one from New Line and MGM.

Grimstonefire
26-10-2010, 19:44
5 Armies...

Goblins and Wargs - Moria Goblins and isenguard wargs. Check

Men of the Long Lake - Ok. I'll grant you that they could release models for them, unless people wanted to use all the other human looking WOTR models out there.

Mirkwood Elves - Plenty of elf models already, but I suppose they could do more.

Dwarfs - As above.

Eagles... Need some models I think(?)

Seems to me that if they do buy the license they wouldn't need that many, and considering they'd probably be selling mostly to the WoTR crowd they'd need to convince them to buy armies when they have models that are already useable.

I know, a lot of people wouldn't use 'counts as' armies, but really it seems to me that there is nowhere near the same scope for the cost involved. They'd need to get a bargain price for the license, as otherwise they won't be making a decent profit from it any time soon.

yabbadabba
26-10-2010, 19:47
Just for the record, if GW do have the hobbit licence the model design will be out of their hands as it will be down to what the film determines the figures in the film look like. There shouldn't be a difference but you never now - creative licence and all that.

starlight
26-10-2010, 19:57
The actors from the LotR trilogy had approval veto over the models that represented their image, so I expect the new movies will have similar conditions.

Regardless of what GW *could* use from their existing line, I would expect them to exploit every opportunity to sell more models, old or new.

enyoss
26-10-2010, 20:14
I don't know where you got your info on that one, but I work in film and I can verify that New Line Cinema still exists! They just did Sex and the City 2, Going the Distance, and are releasing the new Nightmare on Elm Street film.


They exist after a fashion, but after their recent merger with Warner Bros. they can't really be classed as being that independent. They're allowed a certain amount of free reign, but only as long as WB lets them.

Wintermute
27-10-2010, 06:33
I don't know where you got your info on that one, but I work in film and I can verify that New Line Cinema still exists!

I got a little mistaken.

They merged with WB in 2008a and are no longer a separate entity.

Tymell
27-10-2010, 08:16
I find it plausible that GW would want to buy the license, but really is there that much that they could actually release this time?

Eh, not having much to actually do didn't stop them milking LOTR for years after the film bubble burst :p And similarly, existing models hasn't stopped them releasing a half a dozen different versions/poses of the same thing. I think they'll jump on this chance, depending on what kind of deal they can get.

Shadowheart
27-10-2010, 09:51
@mdauben - I am sure that its Tolkein Estates logo on the non-film models and not United Artists
Tolkien Enterprises, recently renamed to Middle-Earth Enterprises. Part of the Saul Zaentz Company, who bought the righs from United Artists, to whom Tolkien sold them. The Tolkien Estate owns whatever he didn't sell and is much less inclined to license any of it.

A major reason GW bought the LotR license in the first place was to prevent anyone else from getting it. That'll still be true for the Hobbit. I imagine it'd be pretty awkward for all concerned if two different companies owned the Hobbit and LotR. So the competition might not be so eager to shell out for it.

GW won't be aiming the Hobbit game at existing LotR players. Not primarily, anyway. There'll be a whole new crop of people/kids drawn in by the movies. To whom GW can then advertise the existing LotR range.

I fully expect the new movies will feature distinctive new designs wherever possible. We know Del Toro came up with a new warg design, for starters. The most duplication we're liable to see is another batch of Gandalf variants.

Besides, there'll be about ten years between the LotR and Hobbit ranges. After such time GW tends to redo its minis anyway.

Middenmordheimer
27-10-2010, 11:46
I would anticipate GW trying for the licence though as it netted them a reasonable amount of money though that was mainly through BGiME which GW has vowed to never do again...so we shall see

Why dont GW ever want to do BGiME again it was very popular wasnt it?

scarletsquig
27-10-2010, 15:16
Massively popular, and mainly because it was a great way to buy GW models at less than RRP and get a magazine as well.

This was in a time before discount webstores.

blongbling
27-10-2010, 15:48
Why dont GW ever want to do BGiME again it was very popular wasnt it?

GW attributes the LOTR bubble to BGiMe and therefore wont do it again

freddythebig
27-10-2010, 16:24
It was BGiME that got my kids into GW which in turn got me into GW after 30 odd years of being a historical modeller and gamer.
Now they have grown out of GW and I am returning to my historcal roots....far more bang for my bucks.

Regarding models based on the hobbit, I can see it now,
Bilbo at Bag End
Bilbo meeting Elrond
Bilbo under the Misty Mountains
Bilbo in Mirkwood
Bilbo meets Smaug

Oh yes, multiples of all those dwarves.

Not for me.

yabbadabba
27-10-2010, 16:51
Regarding models based on the hobbit, I can see it now,
Bilbo at Bag End
Bilbo meeting Elrond
Bilbo under the Misty Mountains
Bilbo in Mirkwood
Bilbo meets Smaug

Oh yes, multiples of all those dwarves.

Not for me. I think you are kind of missing the point.

LotR is a different product from normal wargames as there are some of its customers who just collect the models. A wargamer only needs one Bilbo so arguably you are getting a greater range of choice for that Bilbo. A collector needs all the bilbo's to ensure his collection is complete. The multiple models are not aimed at you.

General Veers
27-10-2010, 17:04
I'm someone that "collects" GW LotR miniatures. I don't play those games anymore but I still give GW my hard earned cash for those miniatures. I enjoy painting them as well. I will buy multiples of Bilbo without a second thought.

Tymell
27-10-2010, 17:08
I think you are kind of missing the point.

LotR is a different product from normal wargames as there are some of its customers who just collect the models. A wargamer only needs one Bilbo so arguably you are getting a greater range of choice for that Bilbo. A collector needs all the bilbo's to ensure his collection is complete. The multiple models are not aimed at you.

I'm willing to bet he's right though :p

freddythebig
27-10-2010, 19:40
I think you are kind of missing the point.

LotR is a different product from normal wargames as there are some of its customers who just collect the models. A wargamer only needs one Bilbo so arguably you are getting a greater range of choice for that Bilbo. A collector needs all the bilbo's to ensure his collection is complete. The multiple models are not aimed at you.

How can I be missing the point with regard to talking about myself.

Like I said 'Not for me'

Others obviously have their own opinions and I would not presume to speak for anyone else.

The Ginger Ninja
28-10-2010, 04:22
Just a quick thought regarding The Hobbit, GW, and the current GW LotR models.
They may make them different sized, forcing most who want to play the new system to buy new models, and not be able to use the LotR models.
My 0.02 Cents.

starlight
28-10-2010, 04:51
No, they make the LotR the specific (non-GW core game model) scale they do so they don't easily fit with the regular GW models. The chance they'll make a *third* scale is...doubtful...

I'm betting the new LotR models will be the same scale as the existing LotR models.

blongbling
28-10-2010, 08:03
No, they make the LotR the specific (non-GW core game model) scale they do so they don't easily fit with the regular GW models. The chance they'll make a *third* scale is...doubtful...

I'm betting the new LotR models will be the same scale as the existing LotR models.

Absolutely what they will do

Jo Bennett
28-10-2010, 10:43
They might decide that for most of The Hobbit, 54mm scale is more appropriate, given the small number of characters. Can you imagine the geek-gasms over 54mm multipart plastics?

Plagueridden
28-10-2010, 11:34
nothing wrong with 54 mm models, would be great imho.

Osbad
28-10-2010, 14:18
Tolkien Enterprises is a trading name for a division of the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) based in Berkeley, California which owns the worldwide exclusive rights to certain elements of J. R. R. Tolkien's two most famous literary works; The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. These elements include the titles of the works, the names of characters contained within as well as the names of places, objects and events within them, and certain short phrases and sayings from the works" https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Tolkien_Enterprises

GW do hold a current licence from Tolkien Enterprises.
http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html

Judging from the number of "named character" (how many versions of Aragorn are there?) models GW released for LotR, I would imagine there would be a good demand for similar ones from the new films, even if plastics and non-hero models couldn't be justified.

I suspect GW would release a new ruleset for the sake of it, even if the rules were pretty similar to the LotR ruleset - why pass up the chance to release another £35 rulebook on the world?

I heard a pretty well substantiated rumour that GW had decided to not renew the New Line film licence from when it expired in 2011 (having extended it to 10 years from the original 5), because New Line were wanting more than GW were prepared to pay for a licence that was losing its lustre. However that was 2 years ago, and they are still coming out with new stuff, so my sources may be out of date.

It would make sense for GW to go for a Hobbit Film licence, but, their idea of what it is worth may not be the same as New Line's. Also, I think GW have learned a lot about the nature of licence tie-in bubbles from their nearly-disastrous experiences of 2004/05 and this time around may have much more focused ideas about what it is sensible to deliver. They won't be expecting the bubble effect to last beyond the release of the last DVD for instance!

Intrepid Adventurer
28-10-2010, 16:59
Guys, what the heck? GW made a ton of cash with LotR (as far as I know, anyway), but by now the enthusiasm for the game is dwindling. What better way to revitalize the whole thing than a new movie? Of course GW is going to be getting the license, they'd be insane not to.

And I can't imagine them not finding a way to rerelease everything. The five armies for WotR, tons of other stuff for SBG. We've got Wargs, spiders, Beorn and his dudes... and that's not even touching the whole assault on Dol Goldur which is supposed to be the second movie or something.

There is tons and tons of material out there and GW will release it all. Why? Because they'll draw in hordes of new players and, maybe, just maybe... because it's just freaking cool Tolkien material, which NEEDS to be released!

yabbadabba
28-10-2010, 17:43
Does tend to suggest that maybe SBG becomes the Hobbit ruleset and WotR is the LotR ruleset.

blongbling
29-10-2010, 08:07
Guys, what the heck? GW made a ton of cash with LotR (as far as I know, anyway), but by now the enthusiasm for the game is dwindling. What better way to revitalize the whole thing than a new movie? Of course GW is going to be getting the license, they'd be insane not to.

And I can't imagine them not finding a way to rerelease everything. The five armies for WotR, tons of other stuff for SBG. We've got Wargs, spiders, Beorn and his dudes... and that's not even touching the whole assault on Dol Goldur which is supposed to be the second movie or something.

There is tons and tons of material out there and GW will release it all. Why? Because they'll draw in hordes of new players and, maybe, just maybe... because it's just freaking cool Tolkien material, which NEEDS to be released!

you misunderstand, the LoTR licence in itself didn't generate huge amounts of revenue on ti's own....it did generate some as existing players tried something new. What made LoTR the runaway success was the DeAgostini Battlegames in Middle Earth supplement.

That magazine put toysoldiers onto every TV screen in Europe and into every newsagents. That advertising brought in people to the stores that hasn't really seen soldiers before. Without that type of advertising any new licence that GW obtains would not be as successful

Osbad
29-10-2010, 13:51
Which of course begs the question of whether they will consider a De'Agostini periodical this time around? I really hope they do. That periodical was a triumph. Mark Latham's finest hour! Not to mention being a great source of relatively cheap models!

blongbling
29-10-2010, 17:06
Which of course begs the question of whether they will consider a De'Agostini periodical this time around? I really hope they do. That periodical was a triumph. Mark Latham's finest hour! Not to mention being a great source of relatively cheap models!

Well Mark Wells has stated categorically that they will not do another.

ctsteel
30-10-2010, 20:26
Given the licence restrictions on using LoTR models with GW models (ie can't use them in tournaments) they could just as easily impose the same restrictions with the new Hobbit merchandise if it is licenced with a different company.

I'd imagine GW would be of two minds with this - on one hand it means extra sales as existing models are not valid (at least in an officially sanctioned environment) but on the other had it inconveniences players and may deter their interest.

blongbling
31-10-2010, 09:06
Given the licence restrictions on using LoTR models with GW models (ie can't use them in tournaments) they could just as easily impose the same restrictions with the new Hobbit merchandise if it is licenced with a different company.

I'd imagine GW would be of two minds with this - on one hand it means extra sales as existing models are not valid (at least in an officially sanctioned environment) but on the other had it inconveniences players and may deter their interest.

Just to clarify this, you can't/couldn't use a cross match of GW and LoTR models in one army at a tournie. There are LoTR tournies which are fine, it is more about using both types of models at once

AndrewGPaul
01-11-2010, 09:17
Just to clarify this, you can't/couldn't use a cross match of GW and LoTR models in one army at a tournie. There are LoTR tournies which are fine, it is more about using both types of models at once

Does anyone have a link to, or a quote from the document saying this? I take it it would only apply to official GW-run tournaments in any case.

yabbadabba
01-11-2010, 09:49
Does anyone have a link to, or a quote from the document saying this? I take it it would only apply to official GW-run tournaments in any case. Yes it only applies to GW events and locations. Individual Tournies will have to look out for themselves and the fun police stopped making house calls ages ago :D

Osbad
01-11-2010, 11:09
Well Mark Wells has stated categorically that they will not do another.

Well, that's not unexpected, but still a shame. From my point of view I saw it as the most inovative and exciting development in tabletop wargaming since the release of the 1st edition of Warhammer, but I can see why the wouldn't want to cope with the downside of all that extra short-term interest.

Oh well, bang goes my hope of el-cheapo miniatures on ebay... ;)

Osbad
01-11-2010, 11:23
Does anyone have a link to, or a quote from the document saying this? I take it it would only apply to official GW-run tournaments in any case.

I can't find one. Not in the current "Throne of Skulls" stuff anyway.

As far asI understand it, actually it is fiine to mix models in official GT tournies (at least according to their rules packs). The only comment on "co-mingling" of figures I can find at all dates back to the 2008 LOTR GT, where there is a comment as follows:


USING MODELS FROM OUR THE LORD OF THE RINGS RANGES
Please note that at this time, due to the nature of our licenses, The Lord of the Rings forces that feature models or model components from our Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 ranges cannot be nominated for the Best Army Award.

If any of the other awards are won using an army containing models from Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000 ranges, the army unfortunately cannot be
photographed or featured on the Web or in any Games Workshop publication.

This was the case right back ever since the publication of their "Shadow and Flame" supplement to LOTR in 2003. At this point New Line got more trusting of GW, and allowed them more slack in mixing their own designs with New Line's, where initially New Line were very concerned about GW bastardising their creations.

In other words GW were fine with you doing it, it was just that if you happened to win best army, they wouldn't take a picture of your army.

Over the years I have heard many blue and red-shirts misquote this rule and claim there is some restriction on it, but when I spoke to Alessio about it in person (when he was the "ringbearer" back in 2004, so of course things may have changed, but I suspect not) he explained the situation as it really was.

It wouldn't be the first time that GW's official policy got misunderstood by their redshirts...

Of course if there is any official publication referring to this as policy released since 2008 I stand corrected...

yabbadabba
01-11-2010, 12:51
Over the years I have heard many blue and red-shirts misquote this rule and claim there is some restriction on it, but when I spoke to Alessio about it in person (when he was the "ringbearer" back in 2004, so of course things may have changed, but I suspect not) he explained the situation as it really was.

It wouldn't be the first time that GW's official policy got misunderstood by their redshirts... They didn't misunderstand anything. They were specifically told. If GW management decided that they didn't want the red shirts making any errors, then simply leaving it black and white, no matter how erroneus that might be, was the best choice.

Korraz
01-11-2010, 15:00
The way I see it, the Hobbit will be the big last stand of the LotR-Ranges. They'll milk it as hard as they can in the next years, aiming for the new wave of kids. Still, it won't be as big as the LotR-Bubble, as the films will most likely not attract as many children and thus target audience for that range. No Aragorn, no Legolas, nothing, most of the time just a bunch of dwarfs, Bilbo and a Gandalf that is far less "awesome and cool" than in the trilogy.

Since they split the book into two films, this will go on for some years. I predict something around 6 years until GW will stop making new stuff. Several versions of the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf. 5 Armies. Maybe 6 or 7 (Knowing GW, they will most likely make the Mirkwood Elves and Misty Mountain guys stand-alone armies). New trolls. 3 named special trolls. New wargs. Another Gollum. 2 Smaugs, maybe another regular dragon. Maybe some ringrwaiths for good measure. 3 or 4 books, released twice.

54mm would be kinda rad (54mm Smaug!), but I doubt it.

And then they hopefully bury it. And start to revive the important stuff, like the SGs.

Osbad
01-11-2010, 16:14
They didn't misunderstand anything. They were specifically told. If GW management decided that they didn't want the red shirts making any errors, then simply leaving it black and white, no matter how erroneus that might be, was the best choice.

Yeah, I didn't meanthe redshirts were making mistakes, but rather that GW management wasn't always consistent in what it said.

Nowadays, it is my understanding that official policy is that it is OK. However, that may not have filtered down to local stores. And even if it has, it is a useful way of less scrupulous managers (we all know they exist in some places) massaging more sales out of the kids if necessary.

One of the reasons I have never played in a "GW official" environment in over 5 years now is because of this sort of nonsense. That and so many of the lower ranking GW staff being 40k-loving LotR-Haterz, again something that is and always was against official head office policy, but still happened, even as high as regional manager level, and in the studio.... ;)

Tymell
01-11-2010, 16:47
The way I see it, the Hobbit will be the big last stand of the LotR-Ranges. They'll milk it as hard as they can in the next years, aiming for the new wave of kids. Still, it won't be as big as the LotR-Bubble, as the films will most likely not attract as many children and thus target audience for that range. No Aragorn, no Legolas, nothing, most of the time just a bunch of dwarfs, Bilbo and a Gandalf that is far less "awesome and cool" than in the trilogy.

Since they split the book into two films, this will go on for some years. I predict something around 6 years until GW will stop making new stuff. Several versions of the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf. 5 Armies. Maybe 6 or 7 (Knowing GW, they will most likely make the Mirkwood Elves and Misty Mountain guys stand-alone armies). New trolls. 3 named special trolls. New wargs. Another Gollum. 2 Smaugs, maybe another regular dragon. Maybe some ringrwaiths for good measure. 3 or 4 books, released twice.

54mm would be kinda rad (54mm Smaug!), but I doubt it.

And then they hopefully bury it. And start to revive the important stuff, like the SGs.

Exactly how I think/feel, word for word ;)

Shadowheart
01-11-2010, 18:55
Yeah. And as soon as GW has redone the Grey Knights they'll stop making Space Marines and get back to real armies, like the Squats.

Lord of the Rings - ruining everything good about GW since 2001. About to die since 2003.

starlight
01-11-2010, 19:02
LotR - The only reason GW was able to afford all the fancy new plastic toys in the line-up.

Quit looking the gift horse in the mouth.

Korraz
01-11-2010, 20:01
I think Space Marines object to that.

yabbadabba
01-11-2010, 20:26
Yeah. And as soon as GW has redone the Grey Knights they'll stop making Space Marines and get back to real armies, like the Squats.
Lord of the Rings - ruining everything good about GW since 2001. About to die since 2003. The rot had set in long before LotR mate. As it is LotR is one of GWs better games, with some great miniatures and a rule system easily compatible with other historical periods. It really is a class system.


LotR - The only reason GW was able to afford all the fancy new plastic toys in the line-up.
Quit looking the gift horse in the mouth.True


I think Space Marines object to that. Doubt it.

In 99-2000 GW was making about £75-80m. It broke £100m approx in about 2001/2. By 2004 it had boosted sales to £140m approx. Thats up £40m in 3 years. It then dropped and has settled out at approx £120-5m.

That lump wasn't space marines mate, but they do add alot of cash to the pool.

starlight
01-11-2010, 20:31
The yabbadabba knows of what he speaks. :)

yabbadabba
01-11-2010, 20:35
The yabbadabba knows of what he speaks. :)bugger, rumbled :D

Korraz
01-11-2010, 23:41
I don't doubt that. 2004 was a good time for LotR, the wave was as big as never before. They made a great deal of money of it, and it was good. Since then it most likely declined.
I just wanted to emphasize that LotR isn't the sole reason for GW still being in business :D

starlight
01-11-2010, 23:50
No one ever said it was.

What they have said, over and over again, is that LotR created the illusion that GW was doing well by masking serious problems in their fundamental business model that they still haven't addressed (that we can tell from the most recent numbers).

GW is still in business because they had lots of fat to trim (which they have done...if not all in the right places), and they are large enough in many places (mainly the UK) that their sales continue despite boneheaded moves by senior management. Unfortunately GW's sales volumes worldwide continue to decline.

eldargal
02-11-2010, 04:22
I'm not sure how much we can read into the sales decline. Last time they provided sales figures they had increased in Great Britain and the US, but declined in Europe. Then the GFC hit and there was a general reduce in the sale of luxury goods. Costs are much lower than they were in 2004, profits are high, revenue is high, debt is almost non-existent. They are a healthy company.


Having said that, LOTR did mask serious flaws in GWs old business model, despite it being a good system I find it difficult to have anything to do with it because of that.:shifty:


No one ever said it was.

What they have said, over and over again, is that LotR created the illusion that GW was doing well by masking serious problems in their fundamental business model that they still haven't addressed (that we can tell from the most recent numbers).

GW is still in business because they had lots of fat to trim (which they have done...if not all in the right places), and they are large enough in many places (mainly the UK) that their sales continue despite boneheaded moves by senior management. Unfortunately GW's sales volumes worldwide continue to decline.

starlight
02-11-2010, 04:53
I'm not sure how much we can read into the sales decline. Last time they provided sales figures they had increased in Great Britain and the US, but declined in Europe. Then the GFC hit and there was a general reduce in the sale of luxury goods. Costs are much lower than they were in 2004, profits are high, revenue is high, debt is almost non-existent. They are a healthy company.


Having said that, LOTR did mask serious flaws in GWs old business model, despite it being a good system I find it difficult to have anything to do with it because of that.:shifty:

Not sure we're comparing the same company... Profits are high...? Really...? :eyebrows:

Besides which, during the last downturn GW actually did rather well compared to the economic norms...whereas during this downturn they didn't do so well... Their previous behaviour was typical of hobby companies (who generally do well during downturns), but their behaviour during the recent downturn...not so much.

GW is losing sales (declining sales volumes), and they're only showing a profit on paper (ie due to currency exchanges, not due to increased sales). They can only cut costs so far before they go back to losing money like they've been doing for most of the last decade. :(

Hopefully they've fixed the problems, but the evidence has yet to be shown...and any money from The Hobbit films may just mask existing issues rather than turn things around... :(

eldargal
02-11-2010, 05:14
Well, in 2007 their operating profit was £1.8m, in 2010 it was £13m (with £126m revenue). This isn't just a downturn, not in Europe anyway, but the most serious financial decline in eighty years.
And according to the last sales data, sale volume was up in Great Britain and the US on a constant currency level.

I'm not saying GW doesn't have things to be concerned about, but I just don't see anything supporting claims of an irreversible, long term decline. I've even had some friends of my fathers that act as consultants for companies trying to turn things around look at GWs financial reports to get an unbiased opinion and they couldn't see any reason to think GW were in decline.

Though whar you said about the Hobbit profits potentially masking what problems there are does make me hope they proceed cautiously.:shifty:

Osbad
02-11-2010, 11:19
I'm not saying GW doesn't have things to be concerned about, but I just don't see anything supporting claims of an irreversible, long term decline.

You have to go behind the headline numbers. Turnover is the key measure for long term performance of a hobby company like GW as so much depends on their critical mass of interested hobbyists - dependent as they are on their won admission on "word of mouth" advertising.

Once you strip out the effects of higher-than-the-prevailing-rate-of-inflation price rises, and the massive exchange rate gains made when the UK£ fell by 20% against the US$ (GW exports a lot to the US). Once you strip out also the growth in turnover from their Black Library and Forge World divisions and the bubble from WAR licence fees over 2009-10, and you take out the impact of the 2001-2004 "LotR bubble" which was gained on the back of (relatively for GW) massive TV advertising for the DeAgostini tie-in magazine. Then there is an incontrovertible long-term trend dating back to 2001 of continued fall in volume sales of their core models. Sure GW has come up with some sticking plaster short term fixes that have earned them a timely buck or two, and without which they would have been down the pan, but that isn't the "long term sustainable growth" they have been proimising their shareholders was just around the corner for the last decade!

GW is indeed "leaner and meaner" than it ever was - it has improved the bottom line, and to an extent, in the short term, that is what business is all about. But still fewer and fewer boxes of their core product are being shipped year on year. That means that in the last 10 years they have continually*lost* market penetration with their WFB and 40k main ranges, and there is no sign of this trend ending. That's not to say it won't end - and I think their flagship 40k offer now is better than it has ever been (can't say the same for WFB, and LotR is looking rather tired indeed), their wizard short term wheezes may have got them over a hump, but as yet, the "rottenness" is still appears to be at the core of their business model. If they don't have a vibrant and strong core of 40k and WFB sales, then everything else which currently earns them money, and has earned these short term profits - computer game and boardgame licence fees, Black Library and Forgeworld, exchange rate hedging, etc. - will not be worth a dime in the end.

Brandir
10-11-2010, 10:46
One of the key reasons GW secured the LOTR rights was to prevent another company getting them. A tabletop game based on The Hobbit may be a good vehicle for a competitor to gain market share and will GW risk this? They didn't take the risk with LOTR.

Templar Ben
10-11-2010, 14:49
The way I see it, the Hobbit will be the big last stand of the LotR-Ranges. They'll milk it as hard as they can in the next years, aiming for the new wave of kids. Still, it won't be as big as the LotR-Bubble, as the films will most likely not attract as many children and thus target audience for that range. No Aragorn, no Legolas, nothing, most of the time just a bunch of dwarfs, Bilbo and a Gandalf that is far less "awesome and cool" than in the trilogy.

Since they split the book into two films, this will go on for some years. I predict something around 6 years until GW will stop making new stuff. Several versions of the dwarfs, Bilbo and Gandalf. 5 Armies. Maybe 6 or 7 (Knowing GW, they will most likely make the Mirkwood Elves and Misty Mountain guys stand-alone armies). New trolls. 3 named special trolls. New wargs. Another Gollum. 2 Smaugs, maybe another regular dragon. Maybe some ringrwaiths for good measure. 3 or 4 books, released twice.

54mm would be kinda rad (54mm Smaug!), but I doubt it.

And then they hopefully bury it. And start to revive the important stuff, like the SGs.

Funny you think this is less kid friendly since The Hobbit was written for kids and the LotR was for an older audience.

I see them trying to play up the Necromancer (and I think they already have models for that) and then they can keep doing characters from LotR and trying to cross over. I am sure GW would also have Beorn (sp?) and maybe Radagast the Brown (even though I don't think he was in the book). I see different orcs and lots of spiders.

I would not object to some Laketown kits.

yabbadabba
10-11-2010, 15:01
And then they hopefully bury it. And start to revive the important stuff, like the SGs. Why? Just financially there is no reason to "revive" SGs. Even now I reckon LotR could well be making more money than any SG in a similar timeframe. LotR and The Hobbit are probably a far better bet financially than the SGs would ever be so why flog a dead horse?

Korraz
10-11-2010, 19:01
Screw the god damn financial reason, I want support for BFG, Mordheim and Necromunda! SGs were only a dead horse, because they were drowned after birth. Drowned by non-suport.

yabbadabba
10-11-2010, 19:30
Screw the god damn financial reason, I want support for BFG, Mordheim and Necromunda! SGs were only a dead horse, because they were drowned after birth. Drowned by non-suport. I certainly feel that the SGs released as frontline product got plenty of support when released. SGs - or most of them - are probably a great cottage industry and when GW gets sold off I will look forward to their revival.

And of course you have the financial data to back that up?Because if you haven't then I am content with BlongBling's word on this subject which says that SGs weren't the money spinner everyone thinks they were.

We can of course see what happened when LotR was released, and we can successfully extrapolate what happened when SGs were released just by looking at charts. You can't ignore the financial side just because you like something, and nor can GW. Hence LotR/Hobbit>SGs - fact.

starlight
10-11-2010, 19:39
The upside to LotR/The Hobbit is that the bulk of the advertising costs are assumed by outside agencies, but the downside is little cross pollination to other GW games.


The downside to SG is GW bears all the costs, but the (as yet unknown) upsides are that most of them cross pollinate with GW Core Games. This is where GW is missing out (IMO) because they are only looking at short term revenues, rather than long-term retention... :(


Oh well, they're the multi-millionaire business owners...for now... :shifty:

yabbadabba
10-11-2010, 19:46
The upside to LotR/The Hobbit is that the bulk of the advertising costs are assumed by outside agencies, but the downside is little cross pollination to other GW games.
The downside to SG is GW bears all the costs, but the (as yet unknown) upsides are that most of them cross pollinate with GW Core Games. This is where GW is missing out (IMO) because they are only looking at short term revenues, rather than long-term retention... :(
Oh well, they're the multi-millionaire business owners...for now... :shifty: For now .....

They could cross pollinate SGs, the question is whether the time and money taken to effect this would actually bear any fruit. In addition with GW's prices their model sales would likely not benefit enough to generate the profit margns they would be looking for.

Plus as I have said before, GW is not run by hobbyists - therefore if you cannot make SGs sing the right sort of financial notes they don't have a hope.

starlight
10-11-2010, 19:56
The point isn't straight up profit competition, but increasing retention. As long as the SGs are breaking even, then retaining gamers who later spend more on the higher profit Core Games. I know plenty of people who leave GW to various games because GW doesn't offer that style of games (skirmish/etc). If GW maintained the models for the SGs and allowed designated groups to maintain Living Rulebooks they would likely see an acceptable rate of return. :shifty:

Korraz
10-11-2010, 22:07
I'm a raging nerd on the internet. I can ignore whatever I want!
And you got me wrong there. Acutally, I fully agree with you about the financial issue of the SGs. From what I've heard, they were quite a money sinkhole for GW. One of the reasons was, in my opinion, the lack of support later on. I think with more attention, a good deal of people would play them. After all, the games seem to have a very loyal fanbase with a long breath, that isn't even that small (at least in Vienna.)

And yes, I know I'm heavily biased by my love for the specialist games. So, yeah...

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 01:07
Screw the god damn financial reason, I want support for BFG, Mordheim and Necromunda! SGs were only a dead horse, because they were drowned after birth. Drowned by non-suport.

Why not support the games though? The answer to that is really simple if you understand GW. They are trying to maximize profits. If you buy every warband in Mordheim you will have spent less than a "normal" army in Fantasy. Why should GW spend all that extra effort to get the equivalent of a single army sell to a group of players when they can use a fraction of that to get one new player for Fantasy.

It sucks but it is just business.

I agree that they could try to increase retention among gamers but GW doesn't think it is worth it. They have the view that people will quit after 2 years no matter what so any effort to retain players is wasted and effort should instead be on replacing the natural attrition. We can argue how wrongheaded that is but from that mindset GW is doing what is expected.

blongbling
11-11-2010, 08:18
Screw the god damn financial reason, I want support for BFG, Mordheim and Necromunda! SGs were only a dead horse, because they were drowned after birth. Drowned by non-suport.

ah the anonymous rage of an internet poster :) (no slight intended)

I could argue that if people who so vehemently support SG had bought more stuff in the first place then GW would have had a case to support it. As it stood there wasn't that demand.

On the flip side the SG's were always meant to be a stop gap until the big game releases, nothing more, that is why support never ranged mush beyond two years for them.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 08:44
I agree that they could try to increase retention among gamers but GW doesn't think it is worth it. They have the view that people will quit after 2 years no matter what so any effort to retain players is wasted and effort should instead be on replacing the natural attrition. We can argue how wrongheaded that is but from that mindset GW is doing what is expected. The question isn't about whether SGs aid retention, I believe they do. That retention needs to be directed at the main products though. If SGs are not commercially viable for GW full support as a product on their own, then it starts to raise questions of how many of those people will then stay with SGs with a very low spend rate, quit, or return to 40K, WFB, LotR. If the business purpose of SGs is to a) aid retention and b) make money and they do both of these poorly, then surely it makes sense to explore other avenues and/or drop them?

Whitehorn
11-11-2010, 09:10
GW do hold a current licence from Tolkien Enterprises.
http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html


Probably worth throwing in the *new* company website and link here:
http://www.middleearth.com/current_licensees.html

EmperorNorton
11-11-2010, 09:12
Considering there are a handful of companies whose business model is to make alternative minis for Blood Bowl (and since they've been around for years I assume they are making money), how can it possibly not be profitable for GW to support that game properly?

Brandir
11-11-2010, 09:16
Because GW is a multi million pound company and these BB alts sell in very small amounts - too small for GW.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 09:16
Considering there are a handful of companies whose business model is to make alternative minis for Blood Bowl (and since they've been around for years I assume they are making money), how can it possibly not be profitable for GW to support that game properly? Because it might not be. It depends what you deem as "support", especially as GW keeps everything but the living rulebooks inhouse and even these are still tightly controlled.

Korraz
11-11-2010, 09:23
I'm not asking for full-blown-every-two-months-new-stuff support. No. Just a nod, now and then. A reworked rulebook every five or six years. A new faction. Some new miniatures. I know that full support wouldn't pay off for GW. But...just something.

EmperorNorton
11-11-2010, 10:14
I'm not asking for full-blown-every-two-months-new-stuff support. No. Just a nod, now and then. A reworked rulebook every five or six years. A new faction. Some new miniatures. I know that full support wouldn't pay off for GW. But...just something.

At this point it'd be a big improvement if they simply sold all the models you actually need to play, models they already made, but took from the store.
If you want to play Sisters of Sigmar in Mordheim, you need an Augur, but GW doesn't sell the model anymore, so they go for crazy amounts on ebay.
Getting a proper gang together for either Mordheim or Necromunda can be very difficult.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 10:24
Only if you are chasing official models and aside from ascetic reasons, why would you want to do that?

EmperorNorton
11-11-2010, 10:28
Only if you are chasing official models and aside from ascetic reasons, why would you want to do that?

Sure, for a lot of things you can use replacements.
Some, like the aforementioned Augur, are rather specific, though, and hard to find a stand-in for.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 10:48
Sure, for a lot of things you can use replacements.
Some, like the aforementioned Augur, are rather specific, though, and hard to find a stand-in for. This is why SGs are not feeder or beginner games. The level of skills needed to play the game properly even when all the models were available are above that needed of a 40K, LotR or WFB game - modelling, scenery, tactics, campaign play etc - all this requires far more skill and experience than the main games.

The Bretonnian Damsel (http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat440036a&prodId=prod780912) is a fine augur model and requires only slight modelling skills. No doubt their are cheaper and more appropriate models out there.

As an old crusty hobbyist, and as someone like many on here who has had to deal with the issues of retail/manufacturing, I tend to feel that what GW does and what I do for toy soldiers only need to cross when they have something I like. If I choose not to take advantage of that interest at that time, and GW changes its direction, then I either get on with it or find an alternative.

GW clearly don't think SGs are viable for progressive support. Therefore I need to take control of that myself.

Cuchulain84
11-11-2010, 12:19
I don't see the fuss about needing support for the SGs.

Most of the rules are free download. You can still buy all of the mini's. There have certainly been new mini's for Necromunda and Blood Bowl since I left the hobby less than a decade ago. But who needs new mini's anyway as the current ones are all fine?

What more do you want?

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 12:35
The question isn't about whether SGs aid retention, I believe they do. That retention needs to be directed at the main products though. If SGs are not commercially viable for GW full support as a product on their own, then it starts to raise questions of how many of those people will then stay with SGs with a very low spend rate, quit, or return to 40K, WFB, LotR. If the business purpose of SGs is to a) aid retention and b) make money and they do both of these poorly, then surely it makes sense to explore other avenues and/or drop them?

I am not sure if SG were ever to actually make money. I viewed it as GW trying to fill a need even at a loss so that you didn't explore the competition. The view that attrition was due to finding other games and not due to realizing that it is actually more fun so smooch in the back seat of a car.

I do understand where GW is coming from in their treatment of SG. I am just not sure if they have the understanding of the customers to properly use a tool like SG properly. Loss leaders can simply be a loss or if used properly can be a great marketing strategy.


Considering there are a handful of companies whose business model is to make alternative minis for Blood Bowl (and since they've been around for years I assume they are making money), how can it possibly not be profitable for GW to support that game properly?

Not all companies have the same cost structures. GW has a great deal of overhead and has shifted to a model of high fixed costs and low variable (per unit) costs. By that I mean they have moved to being a plastic provider and the company is geared for that. Any time you have high FC and low VC you are going to need volume to be profitable. The alternative of low FC and a higher VC (such as your garage company that is selling items with much less margin) can make a profit even with low sales. That is because the profit is not needed to pay for a $40,000 mold.


I'm not asking for full-blown-every-two-months-new-stuff support. No. Just a nod, now and then. A reworked rulebook every five or six years. A new faction. Some new miniatures. I know that full support wouldn't pay off for GW. But...just something.

Rulebooks are generally not profitable. It would be better if GW just updated the PDF online as needed (or better yet a volunteer) and you could order a POD copy if you "must" have a hardcopy. It is not worth GW's time to make models but it could be worth it if GW had a section in WD on how to make the new Necromunda gang using Catachans and the SM scout box just to help push some sales. In fact they could make a mail order section for gangs where you order the sprues needed for the gangs which were really sprue 1 from this box and sprue 3 from that box. That way GW doesn't have any added design work or sunk costs but moves more plastic (at a significant mark up since they are saving you from buying to boxes).

Then again I think GW should do something similar for 40K where they add in new races such as Exodite and make them mail order with you in effect buying sprues from Wood Elves and the Eldar lines.

Now I am wishlisting though so back to the Hobbit.

I would love for GW to go ahead and rerelease the Battle of Five Armies. I have a copy but it is a great game and since they already have the work done it is not too much to make more. They can then sell those in Wal Mart and let people know that they exist. Wal Mart sold tons (literally :D) of LotR stuff during the movies and they would move a lot of those boxes too. Having fliers inside that give the website where fans can also buy models of Aragorn and Legolas (and Space Marines, don't forget the Space Marines) will not hurt their numbers. Even if the BoFA is sold cheap to get into Wal Mart, the mark up could be because you are moving from 15mm to 28mm. Nerds can find a way to justify anything.

Cuchulain84
11-11-2010, 12:39
I would love for GW to go ahead and rerelease the Battle of Five Armies. I have a copy but it is a great game and since they already have the work done it is not too much to make more...

Why do they need to rerelease it? It's still being sold isn't it?

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 13:30
Why do they need to rerelease it? It's still being sold isn't it?

Is it? I was under the impression it was no longer being sold. It is not like I buy from GW so I am not sure.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 13:35
Is it? I was under the impression it was no longer being sold. It is not like I buy from GW so I am not sure.
http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/landingArmy.jsp?catId=cat480011a&rootCatGameStyle=

;)

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 13:50
I know what I was thinking of. The little expansion blister that had Smaug and some other models in it.

Since GW is still set up to make those then it is still an opportunity to get their name out by placing those boxes anywhere The Hobbit viewers can buy it.

Plagueridden
11-11-2010, 13:54
hmm not much info on that box from GW, anyone can shed some more light on it?
I have been intrigued since release and also did not know it was still produced.

AndrewGPaul
11-11-2010, 14:20
You can still buy the boxed game. What you can't get are the metal add-on blister packs - Elven cavalry, Smaug, etc.

EmperorNorton
11-11-2010, 14:34
Not all companies have the same cost structures. GW has a great deal of overhead and has shifted to a model of high fixed costs and low variable (per unit) costs. By that I mean they have moved to being a plastic provider and the company is geared for that. Any time you have high FC and low VC you are going to need volume to be profitable. The alternative of low FC and a higher VC (such as your garage company that is selling items with much less margin) can make a profit even with low sales. That is because the profit is not needed to pay for a $40,000 mold.
Considering about half of GW's releases are still in metal I don't find that argument convincing.

yabbadabba
11-11-2010, 15:04
Considering about half of GW's releases are still in metal I don't find that argument convincing. There are other considerations to it than just Ben's explanation. GW is not Walmart, nor is it Peter Pig. In some respects when it comes to manufacture it can end up in a no win situation whatever it does.

In short, when you buy a model from GW, you are paying for other parts of the business whether you use them or not, that have no direct impact on toy soldiers.

Templar Ben
11-11-2010, 16:31
Considering about half of GW's releases are still in metal I don't find that argument convincing.

Well it is not nearly half by volume. They make a few special characters in metal but the lion's share are in plastic. In fact the only items in metal are those that are known to not move. I am surprised that the move has not been to get away from metals even more and to have special characters be ones that you make yourself much like the generic SM commander box. £13.50 for a few cents worth of plastic and the sunk costs of design and mold manufacture? Yes please.

starlight
11-11-2010, 21:05
Basically the move to plastics is (and has been for nearly ten years now) as fast as they can justify the costs for the moulds.