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Baragash
16-01-2014, 10:31
http://investor.games-workshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/2013-14-Press-statement-final-released.pdf

Highlights:

Revenue down from £67.5m to £60.5m
Operating profit down from £11.0m to £7.7m
No dividend declared

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 10:37
Revenue down from £67.5m to £60.5m

Sweet Jesus. :confused:

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 10:38
I have said we will need to revise the 8% downward for WFB 's share of the overall revenue after the summer period and here we are… 6% looking likely for the end of summer period.

However, it is only the calm before the storm - of sales that will be welcomed when GW usher in Warhammer skirmish and the entrant level sales go wild.

dalezzz
16-01-2014, 10:39
Big drop in profits there, have they made any big investments? ( would the computer games due for release incur some sort of cost?) or can we mostly put this down to lots of people being annoyed with 40k?

Rick_1138
16-01-2014, 10:45
Interesting reading about the regional sales managers, that has implications for a few mates. :(

Seems GW are really paring the staffing right down as lean as is fair for a company of the size with retail outlets. Time will tell how this goes, and the fact that they did the big hours shake up with mon\Tuesdays closed and later evenings being curtailed (again due to staff shortage) so it remains to be seen if the profits will flatline or continue to fall or pick up until I would say next Aprils statement.

Telling though that the price gouging has effected sales to some degree but its not a colossal fall as many would seem to have expected from some of the more raving posts on here.

Also interested to see they took an extra £600k over the same period from revenue income, I assume this is brand name use with computer games or Fantasy flight etc??

williamsond
16-01-2014, 10:51
well from my untraind eye it looks a bit bad, but i look forward to the deconstruction by our resident economy fox Reinholt

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 10:53
Telling though that the price gouging has effected sales to some degree but its not a colossal fall as many would seem to have expected from some of the more raving posts on here.

A 10% drop in revenue compared to a year ago is colossal, by any measure.

I know Xmas 2013 wasn't strong for any retailer, but Xmas 2012 wasn't exactly a return to the free-spending days of old itself.

Herzlos
16-01-2014, 10:53
Sales down quite a bit in the UK, Europe and the US:

UK
13.7 Vs 15.6
Continental Europe
16.9 Vs 19.6
North America
15.6 Vs 18.1

The US is likely because of the embargo, and Europe may be because of the store closures, but the UK?

There's also mention of a reduction in sales through independents, maybe because a lot of them seem to be dropping GW because of the way they do business?

winterdyne
16-01-2014, 10:57
Share price dropped by over 23%.

Edit: As for the dropping sales, my local group has all but abandoned GW entirely now. X-wing, Perry Wars of the Roses (ironically using the ditched WAB ruleset), FoW and various board and card games have taken over. All of those feel like better value.

Not like this hasn't been seen coming for a long, long while now. I'm surprised the drop is as small as it is to be honest.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 11:01
A 10% drop in revenue compared to a year ago is colossal, by any measure.

I know Xmas 2013 wasn't strong for any retailer, but Xmas 2012 wasn't exactly a return to the free-spending days of old itself.

Absolutely correct, it's a worrying time for them but they have new strategies in place and they will take time to come to fruition.
If they don't well… thats another matter.
In the meantime we can be hopeful because the games are still supported and there is still a profit margin.

Darnok
16-01-2014, 11:04
A 10% drop in revenue compared to a year ago is colossal, by any measure.

This.

As usual, I'm interested to read the opinion of our man in orange. :yes:

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 11:16
I have said we will need to revise the 8% downward for WFB 's share of the overall revenue after the summer period and here we are… 6% looking likely for the end of summer period.

It might be better to avoid the word "we" when you are the only unsupported source for that 8% figure, and also now the only unsupported force of that 6% figure.

Maybe you have evidence that it's accurate, but if you won't provide that evidence, it just looks like a false detail (in the "did you know that 76.3% of statistics are made up?" sense) so it might be better to just stop using it.

Furthermore, even if you're right and Warhammer contributes 8% of revenue, but revenues are down 10%, then your confident predictions of Warhammer suddenly exploding in popularity won't actually help much anyway, because that would mean revenue from everything else would have gone down by 9.2% which is still an awful result.

Herzlos
16-01-2014, 11:20
Share price dropped by over 23%.

Looks like it's only down by 22.3% at the moment, but that's a phenomenal drop. The big investors must have lost millions. I wonder if people are starting to lose confidence and we'll see a run?

Rick_1138
16-01-2014, 11:21
A 10% drop in revenue compared to a year ago is colossal, by any measure.

I know Xmas 2013 wasn't strong for any retailer, but Xmas 2012 wasn't exactly a return to the free-spending days of old itself.

TBF I see a drop of something like 25-50% as colossal as that's where they start worrying if the company (any) will stay afloat etc.

10% is massive but its recoverable, (HOWEVER!) wheather or not GW can recover in its current form is very debatable, they need to do something radical and soonish.

The amalgamation of FW etc and allowing all of the stuff to be used in any game may help as I know a lot of vets want to use FW lists but couldnt' now they are free too and are interested in trying some ideas.

This wont save the company but if it gets a foot of the disgruntled Vet back in the door....

We will see. You never know Kirby could retire in 2-4 years and there could be another buy out or a board re shuffle. if they became more like FW at their seminars I feel GW would be a lot more accessible.

Rick_1138
16-01-2014, 11:22
Looks like it's only down by 22.3% at the moment, but that's a phenomenal drop. The big investors must have lost millions. I wonder if people are starting to lose confidence and we'll see a run?


Is that the share price this morning, I heard it had fallen down! But as they say its only money when its cashed in, but bet a few investors got a twitch this morning.

EDIT: An interesting aside on Dakka in a similar thread, the discussion that the release of PS4 and XB1 and all the associated marketing hype had slowed traffic into various forums and apparently GW website quite noticeable from about September up to Xmas.

This has led a few to wonder how much of an effect this would have had on sales, i.e. folk buying a game for their relatives\kids etc instead of a Dark vengeance set or a few marine boxes etc. Obviously this wont have made up much of the 10% drop, but it probably didn't help.

Herzlos
16-01-2014, 11:37
Is that the share price this morning, I heard it had fallen down! But as they say its only money when its cashed in, but bet a few investors got a twitch this morning.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GAW.L

It's only money when someone buys it from you, and it's lost £1.615 a share today alone. If everyone gets cold feet and tries to dump stock, it'll drop even further. If no-one wants to buy it you're pretty much stuck.


TBF I see a drop of something like 25-50% as colossal as that's where they start worrying if the company (any) will stay afloat etc.

10% is massive but its recoverable, (HOWEVER!) wheather or not GW can recover in its current form is very debatable, they need to do something radical and soonish.

10% reduction is definitely recoverable, but since this appears to have happened despite the restructuring, cost cutting and increased release schedule, I'm somewhat at a loss as to what they can do to stem it.

Rick_1138
16-01-2014, 11:44
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GAW.L

It's only money when someone buys it from you, and it's lost £161.50 a share today alone.



10% reduction is definitely recoverable, but since this appears to have happened despite the restructuring, cost cutting and increased release schedule, I'm somewhat at a loss as to what they can do to stem it.

OOf bet that drop hurt, but a lot of that will be the usual spike upon release of info and will settle (albeit not back to original high).

However I think the biggest thing they could do is dump the Hobbit\New Line tie in and try to become more encompassing, yes still a slaes business but be more flexible, make folk want to come in to the store as footfall - sales = cash. Not a Creche etc but making it a more relaxed atmosphere would be a good start, as many I speak to now just have the joy taken out of it from even a year ago as staff members, that's telling. The rot is within, not the community just not wanting GW anymore, the enticement isn't there.

Melkanador
16-01-2014, 11:46
Seems like GW will be shrinking even more.

And considering their support of their games (rules, FAQs, events, ...), the bill is served by the customers.

The yes-sir culture at the HQ doesn´t help with the situation GW is in.

GW loses to competitors they created themselves (most of the other productlines not from GW are done by people who used to work there and were dissatified).

I´d love WHFB/40k not to go the Battle Tech way, but I doubt that the management at GW at the moment can turn things around.

In Germany these rumours are floating around what will happen in 2014 with GW (Source (http://www.tabletop-thüringen.de/index.php/forum/Sci-Fi/2241-Sci-Fi-Tabletop-News?limit=6&start=264#4875), reliabilty unclear):

- new onlineshop and website
- lord of the rings goes to forgeworld
- forge world may produce codices from now on
- forgeworld stuff can be ordered via the new site, so from gw stores as well
- ~50% of the products will be discontinued
- no more finecast
- wood elves, bretons, khemri, beastman, sororitas go the squat way
- ~1/3 of all plastic boxes will become MO only.

I don´t think these measures, should they occur, will turn the trend around.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 11:52
10% reduction is definitely recoverable, but since this appears to have happened despite the restructuring, cost cutting and increased release schedule, I'm somewhat at a loss as to what they can do to stem it.

Yeah, this. They're already slashing costs aggressively and have been for years... continually rising prices is not (at the moment at least) making up for lower units shipped... they're bringing out more, bigger things, faster... what else is left? Only what they don't want to do (cut prices) or what we don't want them to do (drop less profitable lines).

ObiWayneKenobi
16-01-2014, 11:55
The thing is... if their problem is dwindling sales they should look at the root cause (i.e. extremely high prices, very high cost for a newbie to get involved) and rectify that instead of cutting things. I've been looking through some old White Dwarf magazines for nostalgia: In 2002 a 10 man Tactical Squad was $24.99 and a Codex (paperback and smaller but with the same relevant info) was $14.99. Now a 10 man tactical squad is $40 and a Codex costs more than that at $50 because it's hardcover and with extra padding to up the page count. Even taking into account inflation, that's a pretty steep price hike when the quality is comparable with minor differences (e.g. today's Marine sprue has the wrist and bolter together and separated from the hand versus the hand as one cast and the bolter separate).

Sureshot05
16-01-2014, 11:57
A hastily announced sales redesign? 10% drop in sales? These are not good signs for GW as a business and the 23% drop in share price will directly affect Kirby I imagine. We've known that they've counted heavily on Video game income in the last few years to keep the profits healthy. I am guessing that they will not change course for the next year, as the internal culture has difficulties in changing course. The heavy amount of digitisation of everything has been a sign of trouble as they are charging for practically anything and everything at the moment. The lack of goodwill jestures is very apparent. The recent mpves to make Forge world models all legal in games, escalation and strongholds also indicate a need to push all sales. We've gone to a situation where every model is playable.

Bigger question is what now? A price cut would lure some in, but the damage done by high prices and new competitors has not been really addressed by GW at all. The need to revamp and repair their games has always been obvious and I suspect that Warhammer for GW is the telltale sign that the long term strategy for 40k may be in trouble. I wonder how well the management realise the problems, or are they at a loss as to what to do?

Darnok
16-01-2014, 11:59
The thing is... if their problem is dwindling sales they should look at the root cause (i.e. extremely high prices, very high cost for a newbie to get involved) and rectify that instead of cutting things.

That has been the problem for almost a decade now, so it is neither something new, nor is it rocket science to see it.

There are only two options: the people in charge are aware of that option, or they are not. The latter can be ignored, because they can not possibly be that stupid. The only remaining conclusion is this: they know about this option, but do not want to implement it. Quite frankly: their fault! They already get the bill for their ignorance...

ObiWayneKenobi
16-01-2014, 12:02
That has been the problem for almost a decade now, so it is neither something new, nor is it rocket science to see it.

There are only two options: the people in charge are aware of that option, or they are now. The latter can be ignored, because they can not possibly be that stupid. The only remaining conclusion is this: they know about this option, but do not want to implement it. Quite frankly: their fault! They already get the bill for their ignorance...

That's my guess. They know the prices are too high but don't care (or didn't care) because they could get away with it. Now though there are alternatives when a few years ago there wasn't. I would think with them constantly lowering the cost of casting figures they would (should?) pass those savings onto the consumer with lower prices, but GW mentality doesn't work that way.

It will definitely be interesting to see what, if anything, they do because I know for a fact right now as much as I might want to play 40k again I have been priced out of it due to the high cost of building or even adding to an army.

lanrak
16-01-2014, 12:09
@ Herzlos.
I tend to agree with you.The trend of falling sales volumes has been around for a while.
And the GW CEO T.Kirby responded with retail price increases and cost cutting measures to combat this.

However, when the price elasticity snaps, and the only cost cutting left will potentially damage you ability to add value to your product.
You need to adopt a different approach.

But the options to make changes to turn the situation and fortunes of GW plc around have always been available.So why did GW not follow these options earlier?

Were GW waiting for the drop in profits despite price rises and cost cutting , BEFORE implementing these changes?

Or did they believe the 'make fewer customers pay more for less' option would work for much longer than it has?

Only time will tell....

Rick_1138
16-01-2014, 12:09
In Germany these rumours are floating around what will happen in 2014 with GW (Source (http://www.tabletop-thüringen.de/index.php/forum/Sci-Fi/2241-Sci-Fi-Tabletop-News?limit=6&start=264#4875), reliabilty unclear):

- new onlineshop and website
- lord of the rings goes to forgeworld
- forge world may produce codices from now on
- forgeworld stuff can be ordered via the new site, so from gw stores as well
- ~50% of the products will be discontinued
- no more finecast
- wood elves, bretons, khemri, beastman, sororitas go the squat way
- ~1/3 of all plastic boxes will become MO only.

I don´t think these measures, should they occur, will turn the trend around.


These points concur with some of what I have been hearing away from the internet for the last few months.

Webstore redesign and FW incorporation is a given and a good idea.

LOTR to FW (unlikely, they have lots to do with Heresy) I think LOTR may quietly die after Hobbit 3, NLC has been a bit of a poison chalice in the long run.

FW codices, hmm hard to say, may add to an already high workload, however if they design them then may work better as the FW rules work better than th vanilla GW stuff.

FW stuff could be ordered from GW stores already they just didn't like it as it didn't count towards store sales targets. However FW sales may boost with allowance in all games (TBH this should have happened years ago)

50% of stuff discontinued, hmm hard to say, that's a lot of stock to get rid of and the backlash could be massive.

Finecast is an (Expensive) failed experiment, even GW sort of admitted this if you know who to ask, it will fizzle out till all stuff is plastic with each new updated dex.

Squating those armies may be a possibility, especially given fantasy's health at the moment, tbh would people miss them? I don't mean the vets, I mean new starts, what you don't know etc... (lots of salt there)

1/3 mail order only is believable as this has been creeping in for about 5 years now, after a month of new release, stuff gets ordered in, a pain if you want something in store on the day but if its free postage to store, fine.

One thing it may do is clear some shelf space and have room for painting shelf stations with stool seats against a wall, to create a more interactive area in stores?? just an idea.

These measures may not turn the trend around, but it couldn't hurt to slim down what is a massive range! A smaller skirmish game I think would be a good box game sale as these have always been popular and sell them in shops not just GW, space crusade got me into GW and that was bought in a local toy store in 1990!

Difficult times lay ahead, but they could make something fresh if they put their mind to it but experience has burnt us before.

Herzlos
16-01-2014, 12:26
@ Herzlos.
I tend to agree with you.The trend of falling sales volumes has been around for a while.
And the GW CEO T.Kirby responded with retail price increases and cost cutting measures to combat this.

However, when the price elasticity snaps, and the only cost cutting left will potentially damage you ability to add value to your product.
You need to adopt a different approach.

But the options to make changes to turn the situation and fortunes of GW plc around have always been available.So why did GW not follow these options earlier?

Were GW waiting for the drop in profits despite price rises and cost cutting , BEFORE implementing these changes?

Or did they believe the 'make fewer customers pay more for less' option would work for much longer than it has?

Only time will tell....

I think they've just misjudged the price elasticity of the fanbase; they seemed to think they were completely price insensitive and are starting to be proven wrong.
Ignoring the competition was a bad idea too; vets that are approaching their price limit might stick around if they don't know they can get better games for less elsewhere.

In short I think they genuinely believed that no matter what they did, the fanboys would keep paying up, and that plan is starting to go wrong (even my fanboy friend has stopped buying stuff because it's too expensive).

Darnok
16-01-2014, 12:27
As much as the N&R sections are not a place to discuss GWs financial discussion, this thread is not the place to discuss only vagueley related rumours. Please take those rumours into the threads and sections they belong in.


Darnok [=I=]

jack da greenskin
16-01-2014, 12:32
This is a step in the right direction but I'd like to see more drops by the time june rolls round.

Samsonov
16-01-2014, 12:33
People have been predicting the death of GW for about 15 years yet year on year they post increasing profits. Perhaps now they have reached the tipping point. Does anyone know when they last had financial difficulties?

As for the solution, perhaps just try and copy warlord games: lower prices, customizable rules and become more interactive with the consumer (release schedules in advance, take on board feedback over rules, expand the product range base on user feedback (a new Man o War would sell, unlike dreadfleet)). If they have to close many brick and mortar stores to do this then so be it.

Baragash
16-01-2014, 12:38
Does anyone know when they last had financial difficulties?

You mean bad "sales performance" rather than "financial difficulties" (their balance sheet is still in good health). ;)

After the LotR bubble burst (roughly) 2004-07 was a period of decline before they steadied the revenue ship, though revenue growth has been hard to come by and volume growth continued to decline. Also, I think just prior to the turn of the millennia they had a period of poor performance, but I would need to fact check that statement.

Mattcrowther00
16-01-2014, 12:39
I still think it's a long way from the death of GW, sure turnover and profits have declined, but the Net Worth of the company has actually increased! Though their goodwill does look a little over valued when you see the rage and hate on Warseer! I imagine and hope that they will pull some amazing plan out of the bag and start a new golden age for toy soldiers!

tristessa
16-01-2014, 12:50
Cutting prices isn't an option for two reasons. First off they love the high margins and that makes them attractive to shareholders.

Secondly they have trialed better value boxes (Chaos Knights, Cold One Knights) and they haven't sold any more than they did at higher price points. They're pretty sure that despite the opinion of the internet, they can sell what they sell at the price point. Whatever we think that isn't going to change. Independent store revenues are down so that shows that even with discounting, people are buying less.

Don't think its a disaster but GW need to act now to preserve what they have. Hopefully in a way we'll all agree with.

Nogginthenog
16-01-2014, 12:54
Hmm, its not just a 10%+ revenue drop.

It is a 10%+ revenue drop during a period of maximum product launch - they put out more new 'must buy' product the last 6 months than at any time in the companies history, a lot of it digital (meaning very high profit margin-especially non itunes purchases with no middle man taking a cut).

That makes the drop even more drastic, because everything they did there should have increased revenue significantly from a flat customer base.It's a sign of a significant drop in customers, and I would suggest its because the games have just lost there way completely.

They are focusing on how many models they can shift, and seem to have forgotten the models only exist within the framework of a set of gaming rules, warhammer is frighteningly expensive now, 40K is just a mess, so many add ons, supplements , dataslates that completely rewrite the games rules, it is simply impossible for anyone to keep up to date with it all.

meanwhile you have kings of war that you can buy 1 box for £50 or so that includes an army and the rules, £27 for a starter in infinity and the rules are free - and also has minis better suited to the collector painter as well than the current GW line - deadzone which you can buy and play on a tabletop - I bought the box for £56 before christmas, Malifauz 2.0, the privateer press games which even do the hobby magazine part cheaper and better and a dozen or more other games too.

There are games that are better written, games that are cheaper, games that have arguably better models consistently, and a few that are all three. GW were the market leader, hell when I started gaming in second edition they were pretty much the market, now they are not. This is what happens when companies stagnate.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 13:01
Secondly they have trialed better value boxes (Chaos Knights, Cold One Knights) and they haven't sold any more than they did at higher price points.

Unfortunately an almost completely meaningless trial. If you want to buy Dark Elves, and you look at the price of an army and it's going to cost you £400 and you decide that's too much, but GW make one of the boxes cheaper so it's "only" going to be £390... they might as well not have bothered. You're still going to think the price of the army is too much, and a "better value trial" for one, relatively uncommon, unit within that army makes no difference.

Cut the price of the army to £200 and suddenly you might be interested.

(I realise the numbers I showed here are made up. The underlying point should be clear. Experimenting with less-expensive-than-they-would-otherwise-be prices for one unit at a time is a completely meaningless trial, because that's not what is putting people off. I also realise that it's completely impractical for GW to cut their prices by 50%, from £400 to £200 for an army, overnight, and even if it were possible you'd be betting the company on it, which is a big risk. Again - the specifics aren't important, it's the larger problem that matters).

baransiege
16-01-2014, 13:09
It is a 10%+ revenue drop during a period of maximum product launch - they put out more new 'must buy' product the last 6 months than at any time in the companies history, a lot of it digital (meaning very high profit margin-especially non itunes purchases with no middle man taking a cut)

Not sure I agree with this. Must buy products are things like new additions or new paint sets, in the last 6 months it's just been the normal products - models for some armies and niche products like Sigmar's Blood and Escalation which, unlike Blood in the Badlands or Crusade of Fire, are only relevant to a sub-portion of the customer base.

On the digital front it's only really been a few supplemental codexes and titles for niche armies like Sisters of Battle and Inquisition. Sure things like the 40k rulebook are available digitally but it's a book that anyone interested will have already bought long ago. It will be different when a digital rulebook for a new addition launches at the same time as the physical.

budman
16-01-2014, 13:12
the 24% down If was gonna buy gw stock to sell on T-5 por t-10 trade now would be the day
in fact I am tempted

nosebiter
16-01-2014, 13:25
the 24% down If was gonna buy gw stock to sell on T-5 por t-10 trade now would be the day
in fact I am tempted

Ehhh,what?

shelfunit.
16-01-2014, 13:27
Ehhh,what?

Something about the stock being low enough now that it would be a good idea to buy. This only works if a recovery looks likely though...

Down 24.34% now.

budman
16-01-2014, 13:30
the price share has dropped on this news right given that shares tend to bounce it may be worth buying some to make some spending to buy more minis with :D

Ghal Maraz
16-01-2014, 13:45
Not sure I agree with this. Must buy products are things like new additions or new paint sets, in the last 6 months it's just been the normal products - models for some armies and niche products like Sigmar's Blood and Escalation which, unlike Blood in the Badlands or Crusade of Fire, are only relevant to a sub-portion of the customer base.

On the digital front it's only really been a few supplemental codexes and titles for niche armies like Sisters of Battle and Inquisition. Sure things like the 40k rulebook are available digitally but it's a book that anyone interested will have already bought long ago. It will be different when a digital rulebook for a new addition launches at the same time as the physical.

Ehm...

New Space Marine Codex anyone (moreover, with Black Templars folded back into)?

New Tactical Squad (that it sells to any kind of Marines player, Grey Knights notwithstanding)?

These are GW bestsellers by a long shot. Certainly not some marginal web product.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

budman
16-01-2014, 13:48
Ehm...

New Space Marine Codex anyone (moreover, with Black Templars folded back into)?

New Tactical Squad (that it sells to any kind of Marines player, Grey Knights notwithstanding)?

These are GW bestsellers by a long shot. Certainly not some marginal web product.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Oh I Agree but the 6th month before had the suprise selling TAU and to the back end of 6th ed sales...

WokeUpDead
16-01-2014, 14:00
..only one way out now: increase prices by at least another 25% :D

I'm not exactly happy that it's going down for them, but I hope it leads to a (rude) awakening;
lower your prices from plain-insane (looking at you, witch elves etc) to a level like the competition and take a serious look at your rule-set, how it's published, handled, FAQed and polished .. then realise it's not 1990 but 2014 and act accordingly.
the vets (or is it addicts? ;)) are dissatisfied, but many of us would come back, if GW could get their head out of their as*es.
personally, I love the fluff and the minis in general, but prices and the whole GW attitude nowadays just keeps me and my wallet at a very safe distance.
looking at that numbers, I'm not alone ;)

Darnok
16-01-2014, 14:05
Not sure I agree with this. Must buy products are things like new additions or new paint sets, in the last 6 months it's just been the normal products - models for some armies and niche products like Sigmar's Blood and Escalation which, unlike Blood in the Badlands or Crusade of Fire, are only relevant to a sub-portion of the customer base.

On the digital front it's only really been a few supplemental codexes and titles for niche armies like Sisters of Battle and Inquisition. Sure things like the 40k rulebook are available digitally but it's a book that anyone interested will have already bought long ago. It will be different when a digital rulebook for a new addition launches at the same time as the physical.

You have to compare it to the time before though. And in the last six months we had indeed more stuff than ever before. It also had the new Space Marines, which is GWs biggest seller by a huge margin. If anything, the last six months should have seen increasing revenue and profits by all previous assumptions. That 10% decline weighs so much stronger in light of this...

baransiege
16-01-2014, 14:07
New Space Marine Codex anyone (moreover, with Black Templars folded back into)?

New Tactical Squad (that it sells to any kind of Marines player, Grey Knights notwithstanding)?

These are GW bestsellers by a long shot. Certainly not some marginal web product.


Granted the SM codex was a big deal but that's one must buy, not loads like the original poster said.

Tactical Squads are a big seller but I don't imagine many people are going to rush out to replace the tons of tactical marines they already have with the new ones. Tactical marines would sell to new players regardless of the new kit, it's not a new kit that's going to make pre-existing marine players rush down the shops and purchase like a new unit would, I say this as a Dark Angels player.

budman
16-01-2014, 14:09
..only one way out now: increase prices by at least another 25% :D

I'm not exactly happy that it's going down for them, but I hope it leads to a (rude) awakening;
lower your prices from plain-insane (looking at you, witch elves etc) to a level like the competition and take a serious look at your rule-set, how it's published, handled, FAQed and polished .. then realise it's not 1990 but 2014 and act accordingly.
the vets (or is it addicts? ;)) are dissatisfied, but many of us would come back, if GW could get their head out of their as*es.
personally, I love the fluff and the minis in general, but prices and the whole GW attitude nowadays just keeps me and my wallet at a very safe distance.
looking at that numbers, I'm not alone ;)


why this is not the first time this drop has happened on half years
http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/summary/company-summary-chart.html?fourWayKey=GB0003718474GBGBXSSMM

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 14:19
You have to compare it to the time before though. And in the last six months we had indeed more stuff than ever before. It also had the new Space Marines, which is GWs biggest seller by a huge margin.

Can anyone remember what was out in the latter half of 2012?

We've identified that the latter half of 2013 had the new Space Marine Codex (huge), with new units not just a replacement Tactical box; the first major release in a decade or so of Tau (huge), which appeared anecdotally to be wildly successful; a seemingly never-ending stream of digital releases which have practically zero per-unit costs after initial R&D; and the echoes of Apocalypse, which was the first half of the year, but should still have seen people buying super-heavies and formations, especially with Escalation meaning you can take them in non-Apocalypse games. Plus a new Horus Heresy book (huge), though I think the first one (even huger, to be fair) was the same period the previous year? Plus the new Dark Elves, the new Hobbit range (for whatever that's worth) and in general (as has already been said) more releases than in any similar period in the company's history.

So yeah... what did summer-winter 2012 have that was comparable, even just to a Marine relaunch let alone all the rest? And they still lost 10% of revenue?

Scaryscarymushroom
16-01-2014, 14:26
why this is not the first time this drop has happened on half years
http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/prices-and-markets/stocks/summary/company-summary-chart.html?fourWayKey=GB0003718474GBGBXSSMM

The market works in mysterious ways. :shifty:

If you look at the past 5 Januarys, stock price dropped a bit in 2010, shot up in 2011 and 2013, and stayed flat in 2012.

By all accounts, the share price has been steadily rising for the past five years. They've done very well for their investors in that time. The last major drop they had was from the public announcement on Facebook about Spots the Space Marine. Share prices dropped about 5% that day. 24% is pretty drastic.

Then again, I always thought GW's shares were enormously overvalued. They're being propped up by a bunch of bleeding hearts that are in love with the IP. A foundation of sand.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 14:33
Summer is always slow, thats a given for GW, bringing out Space marines in that period maybe wasn't the best plan because the kids are away and they won't be coming in to the store.
So 40K starter sets sales are down, so the corresponding releases surrounding the down time suffer.
Slower summer period sales are Industry standard for GW.
They used to get around this by running bigger in store campaigns for the kids over the holiday breaks but with the drastic cutting of store staff it's not as effective for covering the quiet period as it used to be.
What will be more interesting is the sales figures of the following 6 months...

Jim30
16-01-2014, 14:36
My take as I put on Dakka:
I would argue it is even worse than before. Note that last year royalties made up only £0.4m of profit at £11m total while now they make up £1m of £6.6m profit. Strip out the royalties and operating profits from sales have effectively halved at same time as prices have gone up.
In other words less is selling for more and now people that previously bought are no longer doing so. Thet trend seems global, Europe, uk and North America are all down about 15-20% in terms of sales - this is a consistent drop across their main markets implying g it's not a regional thing, it's a wider push back. I would argue they have reached their tipping point and need to learn fast how to fix it.
Finally why would wf need to do kickstarters, their cash pile is ridiculously large and they keep paying large dividends each year as by their own admission don't know what to do with it. Kickstarter only works as a means of providing funding now which they patently do t need.

Darnok
16-01-2014, 14:37
Apocalypse and two expansions for GWs best selling game, plus multiple digital releases - plus Space Marines for crying out loud - should result in rising revenue... by GW logic so far. It didn't, but on the contrary: revenue and profit dropped significantly. GW won't die from that drop, but anybody can see that things are not running as planned.

On a related topic: are the "royalties receivable" part of the overall revenue?

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 14:42
Summer is always slow, thats a given for GW, ... Slower summer period sales are Industry standard for GW.

If this summer was slow, and summers are always slow, then last summer would also have been slow. So differences between this summer and last summer aren't going to be "because summer is slow"... it's summer in both cases.

Scaryscarymushroom
16-01-2014, 14:44
What will be more interesting is the sales figures of the following 6 months...

I'm sorry, I don't follow. Will it be interesting because there are no shopping frenzies between January and June? Leading to the expectation that this will be a really lousy fiscal year for them?

They also typically release new game editions in July/August, which puts them in the same report as the Christmas season.

As for Summer-Winter of 2012, didn't Eldar come out? Or was it Daemons? Also, escape from goblin town.

(also worth noting that they didn't implement their annual price adjustment this year)

Baragash
16-01-2014, 14:47
Will it be interesting because there are no shopping frenzies between January and June?

H2 is December to June, H1 finished on the 1st of December (hence it will include the Xmas shopping frenzy).

Scaryscarymushroom
16-01-2014, 14:48
Oh nevermind then. Haha

EDIT: wow, it has been a busy year for GW. Just checked, according to Wikipedia the Chaos Space Marines came out in October of 2012, which puts 6th edition in last year's summer-winter report. Dark Angels weren't until January 2013.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 14:53
(also worth noting that they didn't implement their annual price adjustment this year)

True, though (as was observed at length in the pricing feedback thread) they went through a period of increasing prices a little bit more with each new release. That seems to have slowed and (hopefully!) stopped now, but it meant an "adjustment" across the board was much less necessary because they were raising prices over the course of the year anyway.

Archibald_TK
16-01-2014, 15:03
A note regarding independent retailers. We have a delay between the moment we order and the moment we pay GW for it. I assume it shall vary depending on the country but shall be as high as 60 days for some.

That means that, despite covering the June to November period, a chunk of the orders done by independent retailers in October/November will only appear in the next results, while a chunk of the orders done in April/May shall actually appear in the current results.

EDIT-
For whoever read that post now, I was corrected by Scaryscarymushroom a few posts later that it doesn't work that way as chances are that GW need to report its outstanding receipts and debts as they are incurred, rather than when they are paid.

budman
16-01-2014, 15:06
The market works in mysterious ways. :shifty:

If you look at the past 5 Januarys, stock price dropped a bit in 2010, shot up in 2011 and 2013, and stayed flat in 2012.

By all accounts, the share price has been steadily rising for the past five years. They've done very well for their investors in that time. The last major drop they had was from the public announcement on Facebook about Spots the Space Marine. Share prices dropped about 5% that day. 24% is pretty drastic.

Then again, I always thought GW's shares were enormously overvalued. They're being propped up by a bunch of bleeding hearts that are in love with the IP. A foundation of sand.

24% is "pretty drastic" is an understatement at any other firm the MD would be history

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 15:08
I'm sorry, I don't follow. Will it be interesting because there are no shopping frenzies between January and June? Leading to the expectation that this will be a really lousy fiscal year for them?

They also typically release new game editions in July/August, which puts them in the same report as the Christmas season.

No it doesn't, you've got it wrong.
The next set of results from Dec 1st 2013 through to May 2014 (the Winter/Spring results) will have the xmas buying period and the Jan spending period which is always historically stronger for GW, it also includes the colder months where kids are inside playing games etc.

June through to November are where the hurt comes on the GW sales. Kids are on holiday with their folks in Europe or elsewhere with their parents, or else the kids are playing outdoors during the good weather.
The next set of six monthly sales figures will be interesting because they 'should' show better numbers.
As it is the numbers are not good but the pre-tax profit is still healthy enough.
The PLC board members are abundantly aware of the situation and thats why we will be seeing the big fix coming up for Fantasy.
No dividend should make for an interesting AGM.

Scaryscarymushroom
16-01-2014, 15:10
A note regarding independent retailers. We have a delay between the moment we order and the moment we pay GW for it. I assume it shall vary depending on the country but shall be as high as 60 days for some.

That means that, despite covering the June to November period, a chunk of the orders done by independent retailers in October/November will only appear in the next results, while a chunk of the orders done in April/May shall actually appear in the current results.

I haven't actually looked at the report this year, but I would be very surprised if GW didn't use an "accrual basis" method of accounting. In order to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (aka GAAP) you need to report your outstanding receipts and debts as they are incurred, rather than when they are paid.

Virtually all public companies are GAAP compliant. Investors turn a wary eye on companies that report the cash, rather than the debts and outstanding bills, because otherwise they could be sitting on a pile of money, look healthy on paper, and then be bankrupt a month later when they start paying the bills. No, investors don't like that.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 15:15
The next set of results from Dec 1st 2013 through to May 2014 (the Winter/Spring results) will have the xmas buying period and the Jan spending period which is always historically stronger for GW

But these results compare with the SAME PERIOD last year. It's not comparing June-Nov with Dec-May... it's comparing June-Nov 2013 with June-Nov 2012.

An explanation for these bad results will not include the phrase "summer is a bad time" ANYWHERE because results for THIS SUMMER are 10% down from LAST SUMMER. It is summer in BOTH PARTS OF THE COMPARISON.

It will indeed be interesting to see whether this becomes a trend (big trouble for GW if it does) but not because winter/Xmas has more sales than summer, because this is a comparison of summers.

IJW
16-01-2014, 15:22
June through to November are where the hurt comes on the GW sales. Kids are on holiday with their folks in Europe or elsewhere with their parents, or else the kids are playing outdoors during the good weather.
The next set of six monthly sales figures will be interesting because they 'should' show better numbers.

As already mentioned in the thread, this isn't really relevant because it's a year-on-year comparison to the same seasons in the previous year.

Archibald_TK
16-01-2014, 15:37
I haven't actually looked at the report this year, but I would be very surprised if GW didn't use an "accrual basis" method of accounting. In order to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (aka GAAP) you need to report your outstanding receipts and debts as they are incurred, rather than when they are paid.

Virtually all public companies are GAAP compliant. Investors turn a wary eye on companies that report the cash, rather than the debts and outstanding bills, because otherwise they could be sitting on a pile of money, look healthy on paper, and then be bankrupt a month later when they start paying the bills. No, investors don't like that.
Oh, I wasn't aware it worked that way. That's quite an interesting thing to learn!

Then it means that contrary to what I believed, the orders we do in preparation of Christmas actually appear on the reports.

Baragash
16-01-2014, 15:39
I haven't actually looked at the report this year, but I would be very surprised if GW didn't use an "accrual basis" method of accounting. In order to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (aka GAAP) you need to report your outstanding receipts and debts as they are incurred, rather than when they are paid.

Virtually all public companies are GAAP compliant. Investors turn a wary eye on companies that report the cash, rather than the debts and outstanding bills, because otherwise they could be sitting on a pile of money, look healthy on paper, and then be bankrupt a month later when they start paying the bills. No, investors don't like that.

They're required to report on an accruals basis, only very small companies can choose not to (and even then IIRC they need to have a good reason), so yes, revenue will be recognised in line with IFRS (IAS 18 if anyone cares) and unless GW generally views it's trade customers as unreliable debtors, or has certain specific types of agreement with them (which seems unlikely), revenue will be recognised when they invoice for it or when it is delivered (whichever is later), not two months later when it's paid.

Scaryscarymushroom
16-01-2014, 15:54
... unless GW generally views it's trade customers as unreliable debtors...

That would be funny.

Skyth
16-01-2014, 16:59
I haven't actually looked at the report this year, but I would be very surprised if GW didn't use an "accrual basis" method of accounting. In order to be in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (aka GAAP) you need to report your outstanding receipts and debts as they are incurred, rather than when they are paid.

Virtually all public companies are GAAP compliant. Investors turn a wary eye on companies that report the cash, rather than the debts and outstanding bills, because otherwise they could be sitting on a pile of money, look healthy on paper, and then be bankrupt a month later when they start paying the bills. No, investors don't like that.

Just as an addendum...Sales are counted when the product ships, not when it is ordered. So depending on the lag time between placing the order and having it shipped to the customers, it may or may not include the Christmas ordering.

Baragash
16-01-2014, 17:07
Just as an addendum...Sales are counted when the product ships

To consumers yes, to trade partners when both delivery has been completed and an invoice issued.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 17:09
As already mentioned in the thread, this isn't really relevant because it's a year-on-year comparison to the same seasons in the previous year.

To be accurate it's a 6 month period report which is related the the same 6 month period of the previous year.
This is not a year ending annual report.
The comparisons are valid accordingly.


But these results compare with the SAME PERIOD last year. It's not comparing June-Nov with Dec-May... it's comparing June-Nov 2013 with June-Nov 2012.

Yep, thats right and we're on the same page about that.


An explanation for these bad results will not include the phrase "summer is a bad time" ANYWHERE because results for THIS SUMMER are 10% down from LAST SUMMER. It is summer in BOTH PARTS OF THE COMPARISON.

Agreed. Why are you shouting? :-)
It doesn't change the fact that (the northern hemisphere) summer is also the more difficult 6 months period, historically, for GW sales figures. Check the numbers and see for yourself.
I'm more interested in seeing how the winter/spring period goes for GW because this is historically a better sales time for them and they could bounce back.
Yes it's not a good report for the shareholders, but, they are still showing a pre tax profit of £7 million pounds.
They have time and money to make the changes necessary. The changes are coming and then next year we will have to see if the changes are successful. Either way GW is with us for the foreseeable future as a profit generating corporate entity and thats goods news.


It will indeed be interesting to see whether this becomes a trend.

There are a variety of trends that will be interesting to look for, I just hope there is some positive ones coming up soon.

Sgt John Keel
16-01-2014, 17:14
I still think it's a long way from the death of GW, sure turnover and profits have declined, but the Net Worth of the company has actually increased! Though their goodwill does look a little over valued when you see the rage and hate on Warseer! I imagine and hope that they will pull some amazing plan out of the bag and start a new golden age for toy soldiers!

Goodwill in the financial sense has little relation to the customer perception of the company. It's created when the company buys another company for more than the value of the assets it has on the books. So, if GW bought Citadel for £10M, and Citadel had £9M worth of assets, GW would've put £1M in the Goodwill item. This is not adjusted unless the 'market value' of the acquisition falls below the purchase price.



June through to November are where the hurt comes on the GW sales. Kids are on holiday with their folks in Europe or elsewhere with their parents, or else the kids are playing outdoors during the good weather.


Kids aged 12+ playing outside when there are computers and consoles? Seems unbelievable to me.

Inquisitor Kallus
16-01-2014, 17:40
Kids aged 12+ playing outside when there are computers and consoles? Seems unbelievable to me.

Only if you let that kind of behaviour become commonplace. I know a number of parents who restrict 'computer gaming'. Its not paticularly healthy for the development of a child to remain inside sitting down playing video games for days on end. Going out playing with friends, walking, cycling etc are all better, life fulfilling activities, and parents still know this.

Reinholt
16-01-2014, 17:47
So, yeah, that's not good, huh?

Here are my notes:

- The warnings I have been putting out for years, which have fallen on deaf ears, are starting to come home to roost slowly. GW has pushed further and further out on the pricing chain, and they have slipped past the point of loss in multiple places. The arguments that these are short-term disruptions in the notes just make this troubling. Let me be clear: these are not short-term disruptions.

- The fall in unit volumes is getting ugly. If we assume a ~5% increase in prices, you lost ~15% of your customers on a year over year basis. That kind of thing is getting into "losing your market position" territory.

- The punch line is "more of the same, only worse and faster". Despite royalties being up, revenue is way down. They are running out of costs to cut. Paring back product lines and eliminating armies is an admission of failure at this point. Worse, they seem not to understand what the core problems are. Continuation along the current path will accelerate this trend, not reduce it.

- I have a nagging suspicion that GW has passed the point of no return in many places regarding customer density. I know a lot of friends who have stopped playing because they don't have people to play with anymore. I also know a lot of people who have stopped playing because prices are too high. The result is a lot of people playing other games, and GW pulling them back will be more difficult than it was to recruit them the first time, and would require some massive re-engineering at the company. When you were market dominant and lose that position, getting it back is a painful and costly endeavor. This is the road GW may now be facing.

Overall, I don't need to say much here, because I've said it all before. GW, your prices are too high, your quality continues to slip, your relations with your customers are an atrocity, your relations with your independent retailers are somehow even worse, and your cost of entry (in particular) is shockingly high compared to your competition. The exact things anyone with a background in business would think would happen in this situation are exactly the things which are happening to you.

As people have said, the path out of this is obvious, but I suspect GW does not want to embrace it, and things will get significantly worse before they get better (if they do).

redben
16-01-2014, 18:01
Despite royalties being up, revenue is way down. They are running out of costs to cut.

Which is why the most obvious endgame for GW is being bought out by a company who wants to exploit the IP rather than produce minis. Much as Disney did with Marvel.

Darnok
16-01-2014, 18:06
Which is why the most obvious endgame for GW is being bought out by a company who wants to exploit the IP rather than produce minis. Much as Disney did with Marvel.

GWs IP is strong, but it lives and dies together with the models. On its own, the WHF world is just another fantasy setting. On its own, the IP is not strong enough to survive - see what happened to WAR.

Kegslayer
16-01-2014, 18:08
Which is why the most obvious endgame for GW is being bought out by a company who wants to exploit the IP rather than produce minis. Much as Disney did with Marvel.

Which would be bad

eriochrome
16-01-2014, 18:16
Well this past year they did not actually directly raise all the prices just the new stuff was more expensive than it would have been before. So they will probably take from it that they need a price increase.

redben
16-01-2014, 18:17
GWs IP is strong, but it lives and dies together with the models. On its own, the WHF world is just another fantasy setting. On its own, the IP is not strong enough to survive - see what happened to WAR.

If I were buying GW to exploit the IP I'd be much more interested in the 40K setting. Also, Disney didn't shut down the comics part of the Marvel business, they still get made, but they're not where the money is. Exploiting the IP in other fields makes Disney money on Marvel.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 18:17
- The warnings I have been putting out for years, which have fallen on deaf ears, are starting to come home to roost slowly. GW has pushed further and further out on the pricing chain, and they have slipped past the point of loss in multiple places. The arguments that these are short-term disruptions in the notes just make this troubling. Let me be clear: these are not short-term disruptions.

Those warnings have been around for decades to be fair, but they have certainly been ratcheted up in the last few years.


The fall in unit volumes is getting ugly. If we assume a ~5% increase in prices, you lost ~15% of your customers on a year over year basis. That kind of thing is getting into "losing your market position" territory.

It's true Reinholt the drop off in volume sales is worrying but they can still turn it around.


The punch line is "more of the same, only worse and faster". Despite royalties being up, revenue is way down. They are running out of costs to cut. Paring back product lines and eliminating armies is an admission of failure at this point. Worse, they seem not to understand what the core problems are. Continuation along the current path will accelerate this trend, not reduce it.

They are running out off costs to cut but they still have a few and it looks like middle management are about to get the chop. Or should that read as restructured out of a job.

The onset of war hammer skirmish to reach out to the young entrant level means there is some hope at the end of the tunnel. If they price it appropriately.


I have a nagging suspicion that GW has passed the point of no return in many places regarding customer density. I know a lot of friends who have stopped playing …

Whoa, you lost me right there… Anecdotal evidence is largely useless.
The PLC is targeting kids for new business not grognards. The Kirby hive mind has not been interested in older players since around 1999.


As people have said, the path out of this is obvious, but I suspect GW does not want to embrace it, and things will get significantly worse before they get better (if they do).

GW are making major changes with the Warhammer Skirmish approach, lets see how that goes down with the target market next year. It might be a tonic for the troops.


Kids aged 12+ playing outside when there are computers and consoles? Seems unbelievable to me.


Only if you let that kind of behaviour become commonplace. I know a number of parents who restrict 'computer gaming'. Its not paticularly healthy for the development of a child to remain inside sitting down playing video games for days on end. Going out playing with friends, walking, cycling etc are all better, life fulfilling activities, and parents still know this.

Couldn't have answered that better myself. I have a 15 year old and his computer/console time is restricted and he has activities and sports he participates in outside of school as well.

plantagenet
16-01-2014, 18:31
Looking at those revenues you would have to say that the total GW customer base now is significantly less than half a million people world wide. Its this decline as other have said that I find the most significant as falling customers makes it harder to find people who share the love of the hobby and want to play. It almost becomes self perpetuating issue as less people there are who play the less likely you are to continue or gather new players to enter the market.

One observation I would make however is that the console market went through a very major refresh during this period which clearly didn't happen during 2012. This competition may have eaten heavily into GW revenues as people chose to buy xbox ones and ps4 rather than gaming material.

Sephillion
16-01-2014, 18:33
I for one think they have no clue how to get new players hooked. Before the slim rulebook, unless you wanted to play Dark Angels or Chaos Space Marines (DV IS an absolute bargain), you looked at a 90$ rulebook plus a 60$ army book so 150$ even BEFORE your first model! Not including glue, cutters, etc., let alone paint, brushes, etc. Don’t get me wrong, the new codices are gorgeous compared to the older ones, but they’re also more expensive! The passage from 5th to 6th meant that the rulebook and codices increased in price by 50%: from 60 to 90 and from 40 to 60, respectively. That’s a huge increase!

And their Web site is not really friendly when it comes to new players. I had to look elsewhere to get an idea of where to start and what I would need and have the slightest idea of how the game was played.

Compare other games with free online rulebooks, no codices or cheaper rulebooks…

And the worst thing is… they don’t seem to understand their customer base really well, nor have any idea how to make their game more appealing.

nosebiter
16-01-2014, 18:36
I for one think they have no clue how to get new players hooked. Before the slim rulebook, unless you wanted to play Dark Angels or Chaos Space Marines (DV IS an absolute bargain), you looked at a 90$ rulebook plus a 60$ army book so 150$ even BEFORE your first model! Not including glue, cutters, etc., let alone paint, brushes, etc. Don’t get me wrong, the new codices are gorgeous compared to the older ones, but they’re also more expensive! The passage from 5th to 6th meant that the rulebook and codices increased in price by 50%: from 60 to 90 and from 40 to 60, respectively. That’s a huge increase!

And their Web site is not really friendly when it comes to new players. I had to look elsewhere to get an idea of where to start and what I would need and have the slightest idea of how the game was played.

Compare other games with free online rulebooks, no codices or cheaper rulebooks…

And the worst thing is… they don’t seem to understand their customer base really well, nor have any idea how to make their game more appealing.


I dont think the customer has been the focus for quite a while. The main focus seems to have been pleasing the shareholders.

IJW
16-01-2014, 18:39
To be accurate it's a 6 month period report which is related the the same 6 month period of the previous year.
This is not a year ending annual report.
The comparisons are valid accordingly.

OK. You appeared (and not just to me by the number of replies) to be saying that we couldn't make comparisons because sales are higher in winter than summer, when everyone else was comparing summer to summer.

Reinholt
16-01-2014, 18:42
I dont think the customer has been the focus for quite a while. The main focus seems to have been pleasing the shareholders.

You make your shareholders happy by retaining your customers, for the most part. I think the whole "shareholders want x" meme is way, way overdone. Companies that manage with the idea that shareholders want short term profit at the expense of long-term value are BAD MANAGEMENT, to put that down as clearly as I can. Shareholders should NOT like that kind of management, and I think the stock price action today makes it pretty clear what shareholders thought. What shareholder wants to lose a quarter of their investment because management tried to "make them happy"?

Sorry, I will get off my soapbox now. Nosebiter, that's not directed at you, it's just something I see repeated in the press over and over and it couldn't be further from the truth when you talk to good investors. They actively avoid short-term focused management.

Autumn,

I agree with what you are saying about what GW will do, but what they will do is also fail. They need to be concerned about retaining their actual customer base (older than they think), and realize that recruiting the young kids depends on having veterans around (else you become a boom/bust fad, which for a single product company means a boom/bankrupt fad, which is unfortunately similar to what is happening now). The punch line is that they need to do a lot more than just have warhammer skirmish around. That's like a new paint job when your car is on fire, sadly. The time for that was back in the 2006-8 range.

Lars Porsenna
16-01-2014, 18:48
Edit: nevermind, question already answered.

Damon.

canberraguy
16-01-2014, 18:51
Lots of issues for GW, and make no mistake, a 10% drop is massive for a retailer, recoverable, but a real concern.

I just hope GW get it together and has a long hard look at why customers are leaving GW and why newbies are going with other games.

The reasons are many and have been discussed a lot and GW is more than capable of implementing solutions, but the increasing prices have to stop, they have literally priced themselves out of the market. The numbers as well as the comments from any gamer prove this. WAKE UP GW!!!!!

DoomedDiceThrower
16-01-2014, 19:08
"The days close in and Mankind stands before the precipice. Now, say the priests, is the time of judgement, where faith
shall be tested in fire, and courage pushed to its very limits. Secession and rebellion are rife[...]

Desperate messages from across the galaxy echo through the Warp. Astropaths work feverishly to pull the transmissions
from the Immaterium and translate them, to sift the meaning from the garble. The messages are dire[...]

Daily, the news grow worse, the attacks steadily rising[...]
straining as never before to push through the unseen borders.

This is Mankind's darkest hour. . . "

- BRB 6th, The Time of Ending, p. 172

Kulgur
16-01-2014, 19:14
On its own, the IP is not strong enough to survive - see what happened to WAR.

Point of order, WAR lasted much longer than most MMOs (5 years, when a rather large amount barely made it to 1)

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 19:24
The punch line is that they need to do a lot more than just have warhammer skirmish around. That's like a new paint job when your car is on fire, sadly.

Yeah. Either it's standalone, in which case people will buy 15 models and nothing else - if that was enough to bring in billions, Mordheim would still be with us. Or, it's a stepping stone to the mass battle game, in which case people will buy 15 models, take a look at how much the mass battle game costs and check out. (Which I guess is an improvement on the current situation by 15 models, but it's not enough to turn things around).

Don't get me wrong - everything I hear tells me the new Warhammer is going to take risks in an effort to win back mindshare and market share, and nostalgia makes me want those risks to pay off (despite the details, which sound designed intentionally to put me off). But simply saying "oh, Warhammer skirmish will bring in millions of new players and fix everything!" is - if you'll pardon the phraseology - pure fantasy.

I think a really big part of the problem, which GW are somewhat unusual in suffering from (though I used the term "suffering" advisedly; it is largely self-inflicted) is the terrible image that they've got with the customer base. Suppose, say, Sky TV found themselves losing market share and needed to claw it back. There wouldn't be many people (previously their best customers) who would actively want them to fail. There are seemingly thousands of people, who used to be GW's biggest fans but who got turned away by the constant price rises, who apparently hate GW and exult in seeing them do badly - and they will be celebrating over these results, and reminding everyone how great Mantic/Warmahordes/whatever are. Most companies don't have that problem, the worst they get are people who don't care about them any more; very few companies have people who are actively against them, GW and Microsoft are the two main ones that spring to mind. What I'm getting at is: there's a lot of people (myself included) who used to spend a lot on GW stuff, and would do so again if, say, the price were slashed in half. But there's a lot of people who used to spend a lot on GW stuff... and will now never come back, and have furthermore become enthusiastic evangelists for the competition, not even because the opposition is better but because the opposition is not GW. It's one thing to know you'll never reach someone's wallet because they'll never want to spend money on wargaming... it's something else to know you'll never reach someone's wallet because they hate you.

I only hope that GW see this as a wake-up call... and that there's enough customers left that don't hate them, for them to recover. But they won't do it by sticking their head in the sand. They're a long way from dead (they still posted a profit!), but 10% revenue loss and 24% share price crash are fairly substantial wounds.

williamsond
16-01-2014, 19:34
It's a sad state of affairs that after 25 years even old codgers like me are spending my GW hobby budget on stuff like x wing, or buying 2nd hand stuff from ebay, hell i don't even bother with fantasy battle any more.

I don't want them to fail I just want them to stop acting like the evil empire, we get they are a in the business of making money but you can't abuse your consumer base and expect it not too tell.

I hope the 25% share drop is a wake up call (they will probably just sack more people and raise prices)

lbecks
16-01-2014, 19:40
Time to buy some stock

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 19:47
The business criticism etc is sound but nobody is sighting on the Kirby Hive Mind.
He is the Kingpin, the key player in the mix.
He will be exhorting the troops forward. Telling them to tighten their belts and get ready for a roller coaster ride and pulling out his six guns (or something like that) circling the wagons and digging the trenches.
GW is in a tough fight to get through to next year with an operating profit intact so they can launch the new war hammer skirmish.
Im picking the old warrior will manage it.
He isn't ready for the golden handshake and retirement yet...

Nogginthenog
16-01-2014, 19:50
Time to buy some stock

Only if you think they will turn it around fairly quickly.

The investment funds all sold their GW stock in the third and 4th quarter last year, which is very telling.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 19:55
New rule: any post from Autumn Leaves containing either of the phrases "8%" or "Warhammer Skirmish" gets ignored.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 20:02
Oh I am so looking forward to giving you the biggest "Told You So" since I last won an argument with the wife… hmmm….

Inquisitor Engel
16-01-2014, 20:06
Aren't there only 100 or so shareholders of GW anyway?

Kirby is retiring soon, and is barred from selling stocks outside of windows of opportunity like this - I wouldn't be shocked if the stock price drop is entirely him gearing up for a comfy retirement.

Denny
16-01-2014, 20:25
"The days close in and Mankind stands before the precipice. Now, say the priests, is the time of judgement, where faith
shall be tested in fire, and courage pushed to its very limits. Secession and rebellion are rife[...]

Desperate messages from across the galaxy echo through the Warp. Astropaths work feverishly to pull the transmissions
from the Immaterium and translate them, to sift the meaning from the garble. The messages are dire[...]

Daily, the news grow worse, the attacks steadily rising[...]
straining as never before to push through the unseen borders.

This is Mankind's darkest hour. . . "

- BRB 6th, The Time of Ending, p. 172

. . .

Well played Sir.
It just got meta.

Reinholt
16-01-2014, 20:28
I wouldn't be shocked if the stock price drop is entirely him gearing up for a comfy retirement.

I would be. If the valuation of the company isn't changing, he should be able to find buyers for his shares at a reasonable price. However, today, when the news was announced, 17.5x the daily average number of shares traded. It's not just Kirby.

Torga_DW
16-01-2014, 20:38
Also keep in mind that kirby has said in the past that other competition (like new x-boxes or whatever) don't affect gw, neither do harsh global financial issues. I think it's still to early to make any 'sky is definitely falling calls' at this point, i'd be waiting for the annual report still to see how the second half does.

Some of the investors seem largely calm, maybe we should try to be more like them? http://www.iii.co.uk/investment/detail/?display=discussion&code=cotn%3AGAW.L&threshold=0&pageno=1&it=le

Having said that, at least now i have 6 months to decide if i should go tinfoil hat or pants on head. Decisions, decisions. ;)

ashc
16-01-2014, 20:40
I hear the people at gw are all in tinfoil pants now.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 20:41
Oh I am so looking forward to giving you the biggest "Told You So" since I last won an argument with the wife… hmmm….

That's fine. Because so far, all you've told us is:

- "8%" (which, even if it's accurate, is impossible to confirm, or at least you've made no effort to provide evidence; so whatever you're telling us about it isn't useful)

- "Warhammer Skirmish will explode" (which would be nice if it happens, though again you've made no effort whatsoever to explain why you think Warhammer Skirmish will take over the world when all their other skirmish games in the past failed to do well enough for them to even continue supporting)

- and "Don't forget Kirby!" (and, y'know... we're not. But he's not Steve Jobs, nor anything close, so I'm really not sure why you think him telling everyone to pull together is going to achieve anything at all. If he couldn't stop them getting into this mess - arguably he may even have caused it - how do you think he's going to heroically get them out of it?)

...so really, only the middle thing of those is you telling us anything at all, and it's not been much more than repeating "Warhammer Skirmish" over and over and over again without context or explanation.

Latro_
16-01-2014, 20:45
Does anyone think the rise in the last six months of the likes escalation and the sudden influx of dataslates, whw events allowances etc has been a desperation tactic to bring in more revenue? With these figures it kinda sheds that light on it... ditching game balance etc for a quick(ish) buck.

Torga_DW
16-01-2014, 20:50
@ashc: my hat off to you sir. I can now have my cake and eat it. :)

@latro: i'd say most of whats been coming out for a long time now has been like that. This was just a bit more obvious.

Scribe of Khorne
16-01-2014, 20:51
Does anyone think the rise in the last six months of the likes escalation and the sudden influx of dataslates, whw events allowances etc has been a desperation tactic to bring in more revenue? With these figures it kinda sheds that light on it... ditching game balance etc for a quick(ish) buck.

Yes.

However all its done is generate a whole lot of apathy as its never a stable product now, and people feel they cannot keep up (unless they pirate) which defeats the whole purpose. Digital releases are out in the wild same day as release for example.

Its all looking pretty grim imo. :p

Dryaktylus
16-01-2014, 20:53
Just had a look at the website:

What's New Today
Even more Desolation

Well...

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 20:55
Just had a look at the website:

What's New Today
Even more Desolation

Well...

<applause>

Latro_
16-01-2014, 20:56
One thing i have noticed on a very low level.

Me and a couple of guys run a games club, we get 15-25 people a week so its average sized.

When we started october 2012 it was literally all 40k. Last week it was:
2 games of warmachine
2 games of dead zone
2 games of 40k
1 game of fatasy
1 game dreadball
2 board games (settlers of catan etc) going on
a load of yugiooh? card games

There have been weeks when no one has played 40k or fantasy at all and its been a lot of board games / smaller wargames like WM etc...

Might be the natural evolution of our club... but the fact there is so much stuff to evolve 'into' is very telling. 5-10 years ago a similar slump i'd just expect no one to come anymore... but the club is thriving

Orrinocco
16-01-2014, 20:57
Though their goodwill does look a little over valued when you see the rage and hate on Warseer! !

They have goodwill on the balance sheet? Wonder where that comes from. IFRS rules specifically prohibit the capitalisation of internally generated goodwill (ie valueing your product higher than its cost because of some inherant 'people will pay more' factor). The only goodwill you can hold comes from paying more for the purchase of a business (or licence) than it is worth on an asset basis.
Perhaps it is the Hobbit licence? But again, there would have to be rigorous tests to prove that the value of the goodwill existed (ie that the money would be recovered in future sales), or it would have to be written off.

ASs an accountant I'd really love to get my hands on some of the details to answer my questions!

Sureshot05
16-01-2014, 21:01
Does anyone think the rise in the last six months of the likes escalation and the sudden influx of dataslates, whw events allowances etc has been a desperation tactic to bring in more revenue? With these figures it kinda sheds that light on it... ditching game balance etc for a quick(ish) buck.

Completely. These articles use to be in White Dwarf, and now you have to buy them seperately. Hell, they are even selling the painting guides in seperate downloads (which you need the How to paint guide to use). The latest set of tyranid formations being sold after the codex is immediately released shows a desperate side to the sales as rules for the Tyranids should really have been included in the codex, not sold seperately to draw in more mone money. I thought escalation and stronghold at xmas were a simple but effective attempt to get players to buy one of them and a big kit as a xmas gift. It doesn't appear to have had the great success that was hoped for. Similarly the statement that "All rules are now legal, including experimental" though welcome I doubt was done for players benefit but to encourage everyone to buy more Forgeworld to remain competitive. I think GW are very concerned, but not sure how to get out of the pit.

If they drop prices now, it will take time to recoup both customer loyalty, but also repay losses to independents.
If they don't the competition continues to full the vacuum.

If 7th Ed is not a comprehensive and balanced take on the rules, other companies with more balanced rules will become more popular (look at X-wing, etc).

If I wanted to gamble I suspect we will see Kirby's retirement sooner than later, and maybe a takeover bid in the next four years.

Kulgur
16-01-2014, 21:03
One thing i have noticed on a very low level.

Me and a couple of guys run a games club, we get 15-25 people a week so its average sized.

When we started october 2012 it was literally all 40k. Last week it was:
2 games of warmachine
2 games of dead zone
2 games of 40k
1 game of fatasy
1 game dreadball
2 board games (settlers of catan etc) going on
a load of yugiooh? card games

There have been weeks when no one has played 40k or fantasy at all and its been a lot of board games / smaller wargames like WM etc...

Might be the natural evolution of our club... but the fact there is so much stuff to evolve 'into' is very telling. 5-10 years ago a similar slump i'd just expect no one to come anymore... but the club is thriving

If that was Bedford weird boyz, the game of fantasy was somewhat of a rarity too, Deadzone and Warmachine seem to be on the rise.

Latro_
16-01-2014, 21:06
yea man! heh whos that? yea i'v been indoctrinated into warmachine i did enjoy it but i said i'd finish painting an army first.

Think thats prob what it is, takes one two people to start and that setting sparks an interest. Deadzone is becoming pretty popular.

And in a setting like the club, its anything goes really... unlike GW games nights which used to be open till 10 and sometimes twice a week. Bless wayne at gw bedfor he works really hard but i cant even tell you if there is a games night there anymore? its a bit much to ask for one man stores... back in the day i used to buy all my stuff at the gw games nights.

I feel bad for new gamers since our place is 18+ that 14-17 magic time where its so easy for puberty to take you away from the gw hobby. Some of my best friends i met at GW games night when i was 15... and we are all still part of it, total spending over the 15+ years of all of us probably dwarfs an army of 1-2 year stint kid gamers... one of us has liek 20 ******* baneblades

Its not really surprising customer numbers are falling. In the current climate if i was 15 again i doubt i'd be in the hobby right now.

and the above isnt even taking price into consideration!

Sgt John Keel
16-01-2014, 21:29
They have goodwill on the balance sheet? Wonder where that comes from.

They did buy Citadel in the distant past, yes? Edit: Hm, maybe not. The events are confusing to me.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 21:31
That's fine. Because so far, all you've told us is:

- "8%" (which, even if it's accurate, is impossible to confirm, or at least you've made no effort to provide evidence; so whatever you're telling us about it isn't useful)

I also said it will probably drop to 6% by late summer. Current trends are showing us that. But… a decent xmas and January sales trend could keep it afloat and even lift it a little. Fingers crossed. Secondly, don't belittle my esteemed clairvoyancies and dismiss them so lightly, I've had to read a lot of animal entrails to bring this sensitive information to light you know...


"Warhammer Skirmish will explode" (which would be nice if it happens, though again you've made no effort whatsoever to explain why you think Warhammer Skirmish will take over the world when all their other skirmish games in the past failed to do well enough for them to even continue supporting)

Now come on, play fair, I never raved about explosions, what i said was Warhammer Skirmish will be the new advancement from GW PLC as the entry level starter set for the WFB core game, and it will be. WFB will take a back seat for a while as the last books come out over the year and Warhammer skirmish will be the new focus to bring in more new customers. I 'hope' it will be successful but I don't have enough animals in the witching basket to give you a call on that one. Probably better to ask mark Carney whats in his crystal ball.


and "Don't forget Kirby!" (and, y'know... we're not. But he's not Steve Jobs,

Well you'd hope not, wouldn't take much to be more effective than Steve Jobs is nowadays (caution - black humour alert)


... how do you think he's going to heroically get them out of it?

Once again, play fair, I didn't say he was going to heroically get them out of a tight spot, I said, "He is the Kingpin," and he is. I also played it tongue and cheek which you possibly didn't pick up…
They will be looking to him for leadership. GW PLC doesn't make these changes overnight. They are ready for many months in advance and the decision to nudge WFB into the background a bit and create Warhammer Skirmish as an entrant level box set happened some time ago.
Will it turn WFB sales around?
Maybe...

Reinholt
16-01-2014, 21:41
WFB skirmish won't do anything if they don't address some of the core issues with the WFB game.

If they don't do that, they will, at best, create a smaller following for WFB which does prevent some loss and does shift more models. Strictly speaking, this is good. The problem is, it's not enough.

They should be doing the same with kill team for 40k, but part of what they need to be doing is looking themselves in the mirror and asking some hard questions about how they got here.

I don't get the sense they have the will to do that, and I don't get the sense they will. As someone who rebuilt a failed business myself that turns over roughly as much as GW does, it's a painful and ugly process, so people are averse to it (I also had to eliminate almost everyone involved with the previous operation). I don't think GW has the guts to do thus, which is unfortunate. I suspect they make incremental changes while they need to do much more, and by the time realization happens, it's too late and someone else will take over and do it for them (in a good way, as in, buy out, restructure, fix, or in a bad way, as in destroy them and do it themselves instead).

Torga_DW
16-01-2014, 21:46
WFB skirmish won't do anything if they don't address some of the core issues with the WFB game.

If they don't do that, they will, at best, create a smaller following for WFB which does prevent some loss and does shift more models. Strictly speaking, this is good. The problem is, it's not enough.

They should be doing the same with kill team for 40k, but part of what they need to be doing is looking themselves in the mirror and asking some hard questions about how they got here.

I don't get the sense they have the will to do that, and I don't get the sense they will. As someone who rebuilt a failed business myself that turns over roughly as much as GW does, it's a painful and ugly process, so people are averse to it (I also had to eliminate almost everyone involved with the previous operation). I don't think GW has the guts to do thus, which is unfortunate. I suspect they make incremental changes while they need to do much more, and by the time realization happens, it's too late and someone else will take over and do it for them (in a good way, as in, buy out, restructure, fix, or in a bad way, as in destroy them and do it themselves instead).

Or they die a slow/quick death and get periodically re-animated for brief periods of time like battletech. I like that battletech refuses to die, but it isn't the ideal i'd be striving for in terms of "the company has sunk but the game's not finished yet". Battletech managed to spawn a kid's tv series at one point, i'm not sure 40k could do that (or that i'd want 40k to be streamlined for the 'younger' market).

Graeme
16-01-2014, 21:57
Firstly, Bedford Wierd Boyz ho! Heh. Can't believe we're all on here at the same time.

Secondly, Autumn Leaves, for the sake of the dark gods, either explain where your getting this 8% from, or just shut up about it. It's becoming almost painful now.

Autumn Leaves
16-01-2014, 22:05
They did buy Citadel in the distant past, yes? Edit: Hm, maybe not. The events are confusing to me.

You're going back a long way now.
I doubt there is much comparison between the Games Workshop under private ownership and the PLC under the Kirby hive mind.

Torga_DW
16-01-2014, 22:08
I thought kirby referred to himself as the emperor? Perhaps we should be looking for signs he's constructing a large throne to spend the remainder of his days to sit upon. Gold is all over the place at the moment, perhaps porcelain would be a better material to build the throne out of? ;)

As for the 8% rumour, take with a grain of salt like anything else. It may be bunk or we may find out in 20 years time (when no-one cares anymore) that it was spot on.

Sgt John Keel
16-01-2014, 22:21
You're going back a long way now.
I doubt there is much comparison between the Games Workshop under private ownership and the PLC under the Kirby hive mind.

Admittedly I am not sure about how accounting standards work, but I don't think accrued Goodwill would just disappear, company structure/leadership notwithstanding.

Reinholt
16-01-2014, 22:34
Goodwill is an accounting plug that appears under only very specific allowable circumstances. The name is very unfortunate because it confuses almost everyone who hasn't studied what it is. For those who aren't accountants or finance people who have to know this stuff (and those few of you who are, you have my deepest condolences), I would advise that the best thing you can do is mentally replace "Goodwill" with "FUDGE FACTOR TO BALANCE THE BALANCE SHEET" and just ignore it, as long as it's not big relative to the balance sheet itself (which would indicate something weird is going on).

static grass
16-01-2014, 22:40
One thing i have noticed on a very low level.

Me and a couple of guys run a games club, we get 15-25 people a week so its average sized.

When we started october 2012 it was literally all 40k. Last week it was:
2 games of warmachine
2 games of dead zone
2 games of 40k
1 game of fatasy
1 game dreadball
2 board games (settlers of catan etc) going on
a load of yugiooh? card games

There have been weeks when no one has played 40k or fantasy at all and its been a lot of board games / smaller wargames like WM etc...

Might be the natural evolution of our club... but the fact there is so much stuff to evolve 'into' is very telling. 5-10 years ago a similar slump i'd just expect no one to come anymore... but the club is thriving

Back when I was a kid our gaming club we rarely played 40K or fantasy because we spent just as much time playing Epic, Man'o'War, BB, SH, Necro or anything else GW produced but now thats all gone because it didn't make enough money!

nosebiter
16-01-2014, 22:47
Ah, the old epic scale, i loved that game. The large titan hit location templates, the masses of little plastik dudes, the weird way you built a tyranid army with hex tiles to build the synapse network.

eriochrome
16-01-2014, 23:47
In terms of the share volumes, yesterday a block of 700,000 shares was moved around a couple of times. Who ever unloaded those saved themselves a million pounds. If it was an insider it would have to be a prescheduled sale, and if it was an outsider without insider knowledge then they did very well for themselves. I think many of us are not surprised that GW sales were down but I at least expected a smaller drop giving all the releases they were pushing out the door.

Trasvi
17-01-2014, 02:32
The PLC is targeting kids for new business not grognards. The Kirby hive mind has not been interested in older players since around 1999.


Grognards are a big part of the community.
The BEST part about 40k as opposed to any other game is the ability to show up to pretty much any store, any gaming club, and get a pick-up game of 40k. And that is why it is so resilient despite all that GW is doing - the network effects are huge, and few of the other games have sufficient mass to be the go-to game.
If GW only sells to kids and retains them in the game for 6 months, you don't get that network. You don't get the gaming clubs, and so you restrict the number of people you can play against. None of the people I started in the hobby with are playing anymore - but I've found a much larger community to be part of. If GW doesn't keep the 'grognards' interested, they wouldn't be getting my money.

Jadawin
17-01-2014, 03:46
All of this financial info makes me think that there is indeed 40k 7th due in the summer. I'm quite sure it isn't going to be released to tidy up the mess of 6th but to try and get a summer sales splurge to try and balance the books.

Thrax
17-01-2014, 05:11
So the band continues to play on the Titanic?

Llew
17-01-2014, 05:38
This is the report that many of us have been expecting for several years. I was surprised it took this long, but the loyalty of GW fans is really quite impressive. (I've been in discussions with guys who will **** and moan a blue streak about GW, and their prices and business practices, and rule sets and just about everything, but as soon as you mention looking at another games company that addresses those very issues, they go berserk.)

If it's followed by a full year report as bad, look for things to drop dramatically. Once you cross the event horizon, things go bad quickly.

I'll be interested to see if they find a way to pull back in the latter half of the year. If they do, I'll be genuinely impressed.

Trasvi
17-01-2014, 08:01
Honestly, what can they do in the remaining 5 months of the financial year to get to equivalent levels as last year?
What major releases can they do that would attract that much interest?
40k and Fantasy have both had relatively recent editions most of their most popular armies already have codexes for this edition - including Space Marines. What is left? Imperial Guard, but I haven't heard that they're in the pipeline. Orks?
Maybe if they have a plastic box set of Blood Bowl ready to go, that MIGHT keep the second half performance comparable to last year's... but judging from last year's performance, even the next edition of 40k couldn't get the sales bump needed to get their year end profits for 13/14 to be more than 12/13

MiyamatoMusashi
17-01-2014, 08:31
Imperial Guard, but I haven't heard that they're in the pipeline.

Pretty sure they're the next 40K release.

Could be wrong.

Rick_1138
17-01-2014, 09:23
After having a good read of various forums on this topic. I still cannot fathom the hate for GW. I don't mean why we should\shouldn't hate the company, I just mean why people seem to want a company that has provided many years of entertainment for hundreds of thousands, produce a good product (price points not withstanding, the stuff is good quality) and if GW did collapse, there would be a massive void in the wargamming community and it would go back to a cottage industry of ssmall niche groups playing the various alternatives (of which there are many!).

I get why many people don't like GW;s business model of high price, high volume requirement to get into it, but its not the only game in town, but what it does do is bring many people into the wider gaming world, most folk wouldn't know flames of war, dropzone commander, Infinity, dystopian wars etc etc if you asked them to name a wargame, 9 times out of 10 they would say Warhammer\GW, then as they meet more people into the hobby, they would see what else is out there.

Myself and my friends have been into wargamming for over 20 years now and it all started with GW, and for over 10-15 years it really was the only game in town (especially in the UK), now we have dozens of startups, high quality 'game in a box' sets that offer a very different flavour to the tabletop experience.

GW will plod in in some form for plenty of time to come, they are so well kown and popular its not going to die (even if it becomes a different company, the IP will live on) but I cannot fathom the hate, if you don't like the game, try something else, there are many options.

As a group we are looking to set up a local high quality gaming club that promotes all of the major tabletop games, with bespoke table options, tournaments, rulesets and series options, i.e. evenings for GW, DZ commander, X-Wing etc etc, all will be welcome and hopefully it will promote a less angry attitude towards GW as many can enjoy a game of 40k\Fantasy, but be introduced to other options also.

GW offers a good fun game that if played with friends is still excellent fun, however if the WAAC and extreme tournament bunch keep banging on to folk on the internet that its a bad game simply because the rules are a bit all over the place, that's not a reason to simply not play it (Note: I am not saying GW rules are perfect....quite far from it).

Anyway, we will see how GW is headed this time next year or so I feel, the planned changes and full implementation of 1 man stores, death of Games Day, and amalgamation of FW and more access to all the toys of the range, it could be great fun.

I will leave with a line I overheard from the table adjacent to me last night, playing a game of 1500 40k, 2 kids were discussing Escalation, and one of them was trading that D-weapons in normal games of 40k were ridiculous, and that this was simply a huge money grab by GW and it was ruining the game. My friend and I asked him why he couldn't simply not use D weapons, but play escalation with a normal style list but learn how to beat the deathstar\mega unit etc? He exclaimed that D-weapons and void shields were a new gimmick to force people to buy massive models just to be competitive, I disagreed as my 1500 raptors army was almost totally infantry, but had weapons and unit breakdown to be very dangerous to superheavies and once that D-weapon carrier went pop, the opposing army would start to crumble as they had gambled on winning just because D-weapons were 'broken'.

I then asked him if he had ever played third\4th edition (he hadn't, too young....I felt old at this point! only 31!), I told him that at that time elder could take D-weapon artillery batteries which could hide behind terrain that you couldn't see through and shoot at units unsighted, D-weapons have always been about, its just now thay are back in the game in a different fashion and you just learn to work around it, you don't HAVE to buy anything.

That's the whole point of this in a nutshell, if you don't like GW, don't buy it, buy privateer press, McVey stuff, Perry historicals. Save the Hate and enjoy the hobby. Dreaming of Kirby's demise wont make it happen anytime soon.

Apologies for rambling post, got massive headache.....

JWhex
17-01-2014, 09:28
Mordheim did not result in a huge recruitment of people into fantasy. It was a great game but all you needed was the boxset and a small number of models if you wanted to do other warbands. People are attracted to 40k because of the setting, people are attracted to whfb because it is a particular type of wargame, a skirmish game is a different type of game and there is no reason to expect a person interested in skirmish level to be interested in army level games.

BUT>>> if a lot of people are seen playing warhammer skirmish and it loks like fun then at least it may introduce the IP to more people who may pick it up. I would like to see a good skirmish game but dont see it as the main way forward.

The fantasy IP NEEDS work as much as the game.

Morathi's Darkest Sin
17-01-2014, 09:44
That's the whole point of this in a nutshell, if you don't like GW, don't buy it, buy privateer press, McVey stuff, Perry historicals. Save the Hate and enjoy the hobby. Dreaming of Kirby's demise wont make it happen anytime soon.


Thats the problem I see with many of the counter arguements to folks raising issues with the company and sorry to pick you out on this (especially with the headache, I get those myself on occasion) but seriously it needs to stop. People need to realize you can be a huge fan of the games and still dislike the company, I said it yesterday on facebook and I'll say it again here. If I dislike something the British PM has done I'll bloody say so, and I'm certainly going to say if I think a small games company is making a bad call. I've spent five thousand on GW in the last two years, a lot of it direct from GW or its stores, I've spent my money and like it or not that gives my an opinion.
I love the game, have loved it for nearly twenty five years. I have run at least three games clubs bringing easily forty to fifty new gamers into the hobby and yet I have watched GW's actions over the past three years with a silent disbelief.

A disbelief that a company could make so many bad judgement calls, offend so many of its playerbase, and worse the independant retailers who have helped them be a success, and although I love the games I struggle to have any sympathy for those running the company right now. I don't want to go and find a new game, to be fair I have tried a couple, some I will continue with on the side, but my focus has been and always will be GW games.

I hope this is a wake up call, I really do, but I fear Reinholt is correct in his statements.

Rick_1138
17-01-2014, 10:09
Thats the problem I see with many of the counter arguements to folks raising issues with the company and sorry to pick you out on this (especially with the headache, I get those myself on occasion) but seriously it needs to stop. People need to realize you can be a huge fan of the games and still dislike the company, I said it yesterday on facebook and I'll say it again here. .

TBF I actually meant to agree with this, but the rambling got the better of me.

My main gist is that people Hate GW, as in the company and its operating methods. However many of us love the product, its a bit, hate the player, don't hate the game idea.

If GW became more accessible ala the FW bunch at the various stands and Games Days, the whole thing would be so much more fun, but the clamp down of secrecy, slapping down rumour and any belief that what they are doing may need changing (looking specifically at LOTR, it needs to die, its had its time and is costing them money), if GW was run with the fun and lighthearted ness of even 10 years ago, where shops with a small group of staff had fun, made friends of gamers and gre the hobby, I think it would solve a lot of their issues.

Many state that its the price that has pushed them out, and for many that may be true, but for just as many price isn't a barrier, its the faceless, 'buy our stuff, now get out' feeling that has alienated a LOT of people, the joy has been sucked out of it, especially with the 1 man store idea. If people enjoy something, they will spend time and money on it, if they feel they are just buying plastic sprues to not do much with then you start to think 'hang on, I don't really need these, and I have food bills.... That impulse purchase comes from liking something and wanting to be part of it, if you feel GW is ajust a shop like any other and not a community, spending that £25 on 10 marines will make you go £25!!!! rather than, ' If I buy these marines I can have a great game with Dave next week and try out that new list I fancy etc.

Its an odd situation but I think GW really needs to look at itself and go back to the welcoming business atmosphere of 10-15 years ago.

But if it died I would be sad.

Chrysalis
17-01-2014, 10:16
Granted the SM codex was a big deal but that's one must buy, not loads like the original poster said.

Tactical Squads are a big seller but I don't imagine many people are going to rush out to replace the tons of tactical marines they already have with the new ones. Tactical marines would sell to new players regardless of the new kit, it's not a new kit that's going to make pre-existing marine players rush down the shops and purchase like a new unit would, I say this as a Dark Angels player.

And anyway, wouldn't it be like: "Oh, focusing almost only on marines didn't work! Lets focus EVEN MORE on marines!!!" A little bit more serious interest for Xenos (and generally for non-marines) would be nice. Damn, I would buy all Craftworld supplements for my Eldars! But look at what they did with the tyranids... :(

Darnok
17-01-2014, 10:36
All of this financial info makes me think that there is indeed 40k 7th due in the summer. I'm quite sure it isn't going to be released to tidy up the mess of 6th but to try and get a summer sales splurge to try and balance the books.

This is not how GW works, or in fact, can work. New products have a certain time from conception to release, and with new editions this time frame is between two and five years - yes, they usually work on the next edition of WHF and 40K once the "new one" just hit stores. Even if 40K 7th is only a compilation of the latest FAQs, expansions and some minor tweaks, it will have been in the works for at least the last year. It is currently in print, to be ready for distribution in summer. So whatever 40K 7th is supposed to achieve, it has nothing to do with these numbers.

Modhail
17-01-2014, 10:39
Rick, I think that a lot of hate is generated because the impression is very strong that we care about GW's games and setting but GW themselves don't.

Chrysalis
17-01-2014, 10:40
This is not how GW works, or in fact, can work. New products have a certain time from conception to release, and with new editions this time frame is between two and five years - yes, they usually work on the next edition of WHF and 40K once the "new one" just hit stores. Even if 40K 7th is only a compilation of the latest FAQs, expansions and some minor tweaks, it will have been in the works for at least the last year. It is currently in print, to be ready for distribution in summer. So whatever 40K 7th is supposed to achieve, it has nothing to do with these numbers.

On the other hand, the rulebook is the only product every player has to buy, whatever the time frame. If they wanted to make money quickly and easily, releasing 7th ed would be a good way to do so.

duffybear1988
17-01-2014, 10:41
Rick, I think that a lot of hate is generated because the impression is very strong that we care about GW's games and setting but GW themselves don't.

Yes it's feeling even more like that lately.

lanrak
17-01-2014, 10:48
@Rick1138.
No one hates the GW staff and no one hates the GW IP.

We are showing growing concern/displeasure/alarm at the level of arrogance and or ignorance shown by the senior management of GW plc.

That have taken the market leading company, with an enthusiastic fan base , and inspiring IP.
And managed to drive away so many potential customers and independent retailers,they can not maintain revenue with retail price rises and cost cutting any more.

IF GW plc had maintained their sales volumes from 2005 , they would have a Annual Revenue over £300M! That is how much sales volume they have lost in real terms!(Appx 60%)

Love the IP, want to play the games , but GW plc seem determined to stop as many people as possible from playing them!

Darnok
17-01-2014, 10:56
On the other hand, the rulebook is the only product every player has to buy, whatever the time frame. If they wanted to make money quickly and easily, releasing 7th ed would be a good way to do so.

That still doesn't change the fact that GW needs time to react to those bad numbers. You can not just say "crap, we better release a new rulebook next month!" and do so. It's just not possible.

You are right with the core rulebooks making a reliable amount of money though. Wether I think 7th edition at this point in time is a good idea, is a question for another thread (short answer: no).

Killgore
17-01-2014, 11:12
I think a lot of the problem is that GW are struggling to get existing customers to buy updated kits for older basic elements of their army.

The GW good years of the early 00's was due to the explosion of good quality plastic regiments and units, replacing old single pose models that have been around since the early 90's. Many of us still use the same models we bought during that era with little intention of spending £23 updating each Tactical squad to the new kit.

It’s a self-defeating problem GW can do nothing about. The updated units need a high price as very few people are purchasing them, for example people new to the army or beginners, but that also serves as a barrier to entry due to the price. GW get money from existing players by introducing new units, which we only need one or two off and that’s us done for another five years.

It’s all very well saying reduce the cost of everything and people will buy more, but this won't be the case! I know people who are happy with the models that they own and have no intention of buying new armies, and drastic cost reductions will cut too much into profit.

Only way out I can see would be to introduce a new game now that LOTR/ Hobbit have run their course and hope enough people buy it.

Baragash
17-01-2014, 11:19
Cross-posted from Dakka


http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/27655.html



Over $55 million was raised for tabletop games on Kickstarter in 2013, according to an analysis by ICO Partners, a UK-based consulting firm specializing in online games. That’s up from around $16 million in 2012, and represents a huge infusion of mostly direct-to-consumer dollars into tabletop game publishers.

Perhaps even more impressive, the money raised for tabletop games in 2013 nearly equaled the amount raised for video games.

We’ve been tracking the Top 10 Tabletop Game Kickstarters, and that ranking can shed some light on the 2013 growth. Seven of the top ten tabletop game Kickstarters, all over $1 million, were in 2013 (see "Top 10 Tabletop Game Kickstarters"). Of those, three were over $2 million and one was over $3 million. Those represent new highs; only one project, the first Bones Kickstarter, topped $2 (or $3) million in 2012.

http://www.icopartners.com/blog/archives/3439


http://www.icopartners.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/001-2013_per_category.png


http://www.icopartners.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/002-vg_bg_comparison.png




Yep, that’s right. Tabletop games represent almost half of the money that was pledged for games on Kickstarter in 2013. Being a board gamer, it makes me incredibly happy. But more on this later, I will keep looking at video games for now.

Darnok
17-01-2014, 11:35
I think a part of that drop in revenue might indeed be due to people putting their cash into KS projects. GW will need to adress this, otherwise they might lose even more in the future.

MiyamatoMusashi
17-01-2014, 11:45
Many of us still use the same models we bought during that era with little intention of spending £23 updating each Tactical squad to the new kit. [...] It’s a self-defeating problem GW can do nothing about.

There is a lot of truth in this, but I think it's not the complete truth.

Wargames are avaricious by nature, and most of us are constantly looking for our next fix of plastic crack. Releasing new Tactical Marines may not inspire existing Space Marine players to replace all their squads - but it might just inspire someone who's previously only ever played Eldar to say, "hey, y'know what, power armour is actually pretty sweet..."

So both by introducing new units, and replacing old ones, there's still room for GW to get money out of both new players and existing players. However - you're still effectively right, in practice, in that there is a limit to it. I will probably never need to buy another High Elf as long as I live, I've just got that damn many of the buggers, even if/when GW release a new kit... but if you show me a new Dwarf, it might be very pretty but I just don't like Dwarfs, so I won't be buying it (and if I did like Dwarfs, I'd have a Dwarf army already, with the same problem).

In the old days, GW got around this by releasing other games (so I disagree when you say there's nothing GW can do about it). I might have 17000 points of High Elves, but - oh look, spaceship combat, that's new! Or a dungeon crawler. Or a fantasy sports game! Now, GW have denied themselves that option. They can re-do the models I've already bought in the hope I might replace them all, or come up with increasingly unconvincing new units to encourage me to expand the army I already have (pigeon chariots WTF), or hope that I'll buy a new army... but none of those options really appeal. So I go to other companies.

I guess what I'm saying is: while GW confine themselves to only Warhammer and 40K, they are going to suffer from people encountering the problem you describe. But it's not an insoluble problem: it was their choice to confine themselves only to Warhammer and 40K.

Killgore
17-01-2014, 11:48
I think a part of that drop in revenue might indeed be due to people putting their cash into KS projects. GW will need to adress this, otherwise they might lose even more in the future.

Kickstarters might be more appealing for some of GW's older customer base, however the primary customer might have been saving for Playstation 4's and Xbox Ones. £400 for a console would probably be my entire GW gaming budget for the year.

Rick_1138
17-01-2014, 11:56
@Rick1138.
No one hates the GW staff and no one hates the GW IP.

We are showing growing concern/displeasure/alarm at the level of arrogance and or ignorance shown by the senior management of GW plc.

That have taken the market leading company, with an enthusiastic fan base , and inspiring IP.
And managed to drive away so many potential customers and independent retailers,they can not maintain revenue with retail price rises and cost cutting any more.

IF GW plc had maintained their sales volumes from 2005 , they would have a Annual Revenue over £300M! That is how much sales volume they have lost in real terms!(Appx 60%)

Love the IP, want to play the games , but GW plc seem determined to stop as many people as possible from playing them!

I should note, I meant GW PLC management when I said 'staff' in my experience 9 times out of 10 the day to day and middle management guys are some of the best friends I have ever known :)

And GW IP is some of the best going. I just don't like that a lot of people do sometimes come across a bit like GW is doing them a 'personal' injustice, when in fact they simply don't care, its all about selling toy soldiers to kids, at high prices. The 'hobby' idea died about 10 years ago, from an internal company perspective.

Replicant253
17-01-2014, 11:56
I think a lot of the problem is that GW are struggling to get existing customers to buy updated kits for older basic elements of their army.

The GW good years of the early 00's was due to the explosion of good quality plastic regiments and units, replacing old single pose models that have been around since the early 90's. Many of us still use the same models we bought during that era with little intention of spending £23 updating each Tactical squad to the new kit.

It’s a self-defeating problem GW can do nothing about. The updated units need a high price as very few people are purchasing them, for example people new to the army or beginners, but that also serves as a barrier to entry due to the price. GW get money from existing players by introducing new units, which we only need one or two off and that’s us done for another five years.

It’s all very well saying reduce the cost of everything and people will buy more, but this won't be the case! I know people who are happy with the models that they own and have no intention of buying new armies, and drastic cost reductions will cut too much into profit.


Only way out I can see would be to introduce a new game now that LOTR/ Hobbit have run their course and hope enough people buy it.

I think this a very good point and i know my motivation for buying on the basis of improved quality has dipped off as the improvements, although still there, are not as great as they once were. Pathfinders were a good example of this, nice new models but weren't a vastly better than previous cast.

MiyamatoMusashi
17-01-2014, 11:58
Kickstarters might be more appealing for some of GW's older customer base, however the primary customer might have been saving for Playstation 4's and Xbox Ones. £400 for a console would probably be my entire GW gaming budget for the year.

Again, some truth. But it's not like computer games are a new phenomenon. It is a new generation, granted, but there's always something coming out to compete for people's leisure time... not everyone buys their new console on launch day, in fact most console sales come a long time after launch (80M Xbox 360s sold, only 4M were even manufactured in its first year)... so even in a non-console-launch year, wargaming money is competing with videogames money.

Lord Solar Plexus
17-01-2014, 12:16
The PLC is targeting kids for new business not grognards. The Kirby hive mind has not been interested in older players since around 1999.


Then the plc is plain wrong, end of story. It's self-evident to everyone with one working brain cell that not being interested in customers - and that's exactly what you claim, with no if or but - somewhat contradicts a company's raison d'etre (unless that is money laundring).


There is a lot of truth in this, but I think it's not the complete truth.

Wargames are avaricious by nature, and most of us are constantly looking for our next fix of plastic crack. Releasing new Tactical Marines may not inspire existing Space Marine players to replace all their squads - but it might just inspire someone who's previously only ever played Eldar to say, "hey, y'know what, power armour is actually pretty sweet..."

So both by introducing new units, and replacing old ones, there's still room for GW to get money out of both new players and existing players. However - you're still effectively right, in practice, in that there is a limit to it. I will probably never need to buy another High Elf as long as I live, I've just got that damn many of the buggers, even if/when GW release a new kit... but if you show me a new Dwarf, it might be very pretty but I just don't like Dwarfs

Well, that's a shame but no offense - that's just you. Who says which type of customer is in the majority, that Eldar player starting a second army or the HE player starting a competitor's force?

I do like WoC, and started a second WFB army...am I right or are you?

Morathi's Darkest Sin
17-01-2014, 12:37
The whole PLC vets don't matter only partially works in the UK due to store concentration, and even then I'd not believe it for a second. I'd like to see some hard figures based on what new players buy vs vets. They don't exist sadly so I'm asking for the moon, but I seriously think they have it wrong or at the very least are seriously underestimating the damage loosing the vets wiill have long term and the falling sales are starting to show that. I am pretty confidant Vets helped shore up the drifting youngsters passing in and out, and I think it is the alienation of the same vets that is killing them now.

It certainly wasn't new players running games clubs and tournies when I was growing up, and from watching folks chat about the hobby over the years it appears that is the same story everywhere.

MiyamatoMusashi
17-01-2014, 12:47
Well, that's a shame but no offense - that's just you. Who says which type of customer is in the majority, that Eldar player starting a second army or the HE player starting a competitor's force?

I do like WoC, and started a second WFB army...am I right or are you?

Who says it has to be just one of us? Shouldn't they want to get both? That's the point I'm making. GW are saying, "we want to target this subset of people playing only these games", and it's not working (it did for a while, but was never going to last forever). I'm not saying to abandon those games, or those customers - it's not about me versus you - just that there are other customers out there who would give them money if only they wanted to take it.

Lord Solar Plexus
17-01-2014, 12:55
According to what I hear, such figures and analysis do exist. What they say, what questions they ask, what method they use or how they can be interpreted however is not within my purview. However: Even if they show that "older gamers/longtime-players/grognards etc." buy less because they've already built up armies, what does the player/consumer distribution actually look like? I mean, for how long can someone remain a new player/customer? I mean even the terminology I use here is vague...? At what point does the company lose interest in me? After I've bought 1,500 points? After one year? Two Landraiders and a Shadowsword? Why even require the use of more dolls through something like 8th edition? Was that somehow not targetted at existing players?

It's all very irritating. New players often learn about GW on the net today, the same place they learn about the competition. It's not like in 1990 when there were only GW stores in malls and ships were still coal-fuelled.

Chivs
17-01-2014, 13:05
After having a good read of various forums on this topic. I still cannot fathom the hate for GW. I don't mean why we should\shouldn't hate the company, I just mean why people seem to want a company that has provided many years of entertainment for hundreds of thousands, produce a good product (price points not withstanding, the stuff is good quality) and if GW did collapse, there would be a massive void in the wargamming community and it would go back to a cottage industry of ssmall niche groups playing the various alternatives (of which there are many!).

I get why many people don't like GW;s business model of high price, high volume requirement to get into it, but its not the only game in town, but what it does do is bring many people into the wider gaming world, most folk wouldn't know flames of war, dropzone commander, Infinity, dystopian wars etc etc if you asked them to name a wargame, 9 times out of 10 they would say Warhammer\GW, then as they meet more people into the hobby, they would see what else is out there.

Myself and my friends have been into wargamming for over 20 years now and it all started with GW, and for over 10-15 years it really was the only game in town (especially in the UK), now we have dozens of startups, high quality 'game in a box' sets that offer a very different flavour to the tabletop experience.

GW will plod in in some form for plenty of time to come, they are so well known and popular its not going to die (even if it becomes a different company, the IP will live on) but I cannot fathom the hate, if you don't like the game, try something else, there are many options.

As a group we are looking to set up a local high quality gaming club that promotes all of the major tabletop games, with bespoke table options, tournaments, rulesets and series options, i.e. evenings for GW, DZ commander, X-Wing etc etc, all will be welcome and hopefully it will promote a less angry attitude towards GW as many can enjoy a game of 40k\Fantasy, but be introduced to other options also.

GW offers a good fun game that if played with friends is still excellent fun, however if the WAAC and extreme tournament bunch keep banging on to folk on the internet that its a bad game simply because the rules are a bit all over the place, that's not a reason to simply not play it (Note: I am not saying GW rules are perfect....quite far from it).

Anyway, we will see how GW is headed this time next year or so I feel, the planned changes and full implementation of 1 man stores, death of Games Day, and amalgamation of FW and more access to all the toys of the range, it could be great fun.

That's the whole point of this in a nutshell, if you don't like GW, don't buy it, buy privateer press, McVey stuff, Perry historicals. Save the Hate and enjoy the hobby. Dreaming of Kirby's demise wont make it happen anytime soon.

Apologies for rambling post, got massive headache.....

One thing to bear in mind is people may have been waiting for the numbers to drop so much, there are different reasons why. Some people are so dissatisfied with the company as a whole that they want to see it burned to the ground. Bridges were burnt long ago, and what started as a huge passion for the game has grown into a hatred to match. Those with such hatred almost have to have been huge fans beforehand; hatred doesn't grow from a mild indifference to or slight like of a product.

But others are cheering at results like this as we hope it may finally be the wake up call for GW that all is not well. Many of the threads asking about GW's decisions in either this forum section or others, generally all lead to the same answer. Why does it take so long for GW to release FAQs? Why isn't there more of an effort to balance the game? Why are the prices so high on models? The answers generally boil down to "Because GW feel they make more money this way." or "Doing so is not worth Games Workshop's time." and quite often the overwhelming message is "If you don't like it, vote with your wallet, as it's only going to change when it affects profit lines."

Well people have voted, and now an effect is being felt. From my own point of view, my dissatisfaction with GW has come from the prices and poor balance. The game is impossible to perfectly balance, but as you said yourself, it is "quite far from it". When the best answer for why FAQs aren't published more to reduce the problems in the game, and the consensus seems to be that "They don't consider it worth the time/effort.", it's a pretty depressing attitude.

This is a financial result that I myself have been waiting for for a while, and I'm hoping for a similar result in 6 months. I don't want a quick release like 7th Ed 40k to make this report an anomaly and for GW to not learn any lessons. I think it's time they started looking closer at the problems in their product line, both models and game rules, and making serious changes. But I don't want the company to die out, and I'm not alone in this. Just because we're not happy with the current situation, doesn't mean we should either put up with it silently or leave.

eriochrome
17-01-2014, 13:29
If you look at GW corporate stuff, their problem is very clear. Look for places where they talk about customers in the reports. Bringing value or improving experiences or even attracting and retaining customers. Guess what? Those places in their corporate reports are very hard to find. One that comes to mind from a few years back was when the CEO said that he did not know why customers bought their products. That is a very telling comment about the continued problems with GW. The response also seems to be again in the wrong direction with more centralization in the sales chain ie lets move even more decisions farther away from the people who actually deal with the customers. Poor GW store managers with lots of pressure to keep up sales but with very little real control of anything.

ObiWayneKenobi
17-01-2014, 14:58
I would certainly choose to play if the game was more accessible. As it stands though I can't justify spending large amounts of money to play a game with imbalanced rules and where players don't actually seem to be having a good time (seriously most 40k games I've watched didn't look like either person was enjoying it, they were just going through the motions).

InstantKarma
17-01-2014, 15:02
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GAW.L

It's only money when someone buys it from you, and it's lost £1.615 a share today alone. If everyone gets cold feet and tries to dump stock, it'll drop even further. If no-one wants to buy it you're pretty much stuck.



10% reduction is definitely recoverable, but since this appears to have happened despite the restructuring, cost cutting and increased release schedule, I'm somewhat at a loss as to what they can do to stem it.

But what is one mans loss can be another's gain. Drop in price means others can purchase it where before they wouldn't. Doesn't necessarily = spiral.

Also I thought this restructuring only started around mid of last year, so it's not like we're either near the end or beginning of such a process.

Poncho160
17-01-2014, 15:24
The CEO really said, "he didn't know why people bought their products?" That's just funny.

I can only comment on my own experience, but it might be ring true to a lot of people and explain a lot.

Back when the Codexes and Army Books were £25 I used to buy every single one (and have book shelves full of them, lol) and usually a couple of minis or boxes on each release, now since the price rise to £30, I have bought three (High Elves, Space Marines and their Chaos counterparts).

On books alone, if they were still at their £25 price, by my figures I would have spent £300 so far, on all the updated books. Where as because of the price rise, and my perception they aren't worth that much, I have spent £90. Plus all the extra minis I would have bought. I wanted to buy the digital Nid Codex this month, but stopped myself when I saw its £35 price tag.

Now some people might just see this as me not spending an extra £210 with GW, but with me not buying all the extra stuff, comes a lack of interest in all them product lines, so GW have lost money their.

Now this might just be me, but I can imagine that this applies to a lot of other people as well and if it does, could lead to a lot of loss of money for GW.

Secondly as a well paid male, with a lot of disposable income, is balking at the prices, I can only imagine how the youngsters afford it all, or what their parents think about them.

Russell's teapot
17-01-2014, 15:42
Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity
Cash is king

Welcome to the wonderful world of accountancy...

Profits can be manipulated, so to a lesser extent can balance sheets. Cash is much harder.

I refer you to page 8 - "Consolidated cash flow statement"

Cash is leaving the business. That said, stop the dividends & the company produces cash again. The pain of being a listed company is that that might not be so easy.

However, underlying, the company is still cash generative. Looking at the "year to June 13" against the "6 Months to December 12", then you can see that the "investment" cash (doing up shops & spending on IP & R&D) burns at a fairly constant rate, but operating cash (stuff you sell minus the cost of selling that stuff) was far higher in the December - June period (£9.2m to 2 December 12 v's £17.4m to June 13) I don't know why that was - was there a major release? I doubt that you can put all of that down to Christmas (see note 13), although some/most undoubtedly is...

If we assume that the same profile in operations follows this year (i.e. to June 2014) then you'd expect 2nd half operating cash to be c£11.5m, still a healthy margin over the c£6m of investing activity. Of course, a reduction in operating cash in a retail business of c1/3 against the same period in the prior year isn't a great result.

Add into the mix that the group has £9m in the bank, then it suddenly doesn't look too bad.

That said:

There are a couple of little funnies in here.

Stock has gone up a lot (£1.25m - pg14, note 8), against a fall in stock in the comparator period, however, the absolute value (on the balance sheet of £8.9m) has remained about the same. This suggests that they've got a load of stock sitting in the warehouse that they can't shift. Is that because it's not selling, or because they hold more stock themselves than ship to independent retailers, or even that they had a "purge" of stock in the comparator period? Probably a mix of both the first 2.

The segmental operating profit (page 11, note 2) looks a bit, erm, odd. Profits falling roughly in line with sales in every sector (except Australia & Asia - assume that this is due to the massive price hikes), but then there's a £6m saving in "product & supply" - assume that this is re: failcast not being an issue the last 6 months(?) but that's a lot!

Royalty income is 13.5% of Profit Before Tax, as opposed to 4% in the comparator 6 months, and 4.7% in the prior year. I don't know what that is... But it looks like they've been paid it.


Difficult to take much from these numbers other than they're pretty bad. For reference, supermarkets get an absolute hammering for a 2% reduction on like for like sales.

Looking at retail trends, see here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_349320.pdf (figure 1 on page 3) shows that December 12 was pretty flat, whereas December 13 is far higher than preceing months. So it might be that GWs numbers are simply a reflection on the market... I'm outside my sector here, so I'll leave it at that.

I'm afraid I've not read much of the thread, so appolgies if I'm going over old ground. And don't read too much into the Interim Management Report "blrb" at the front, it's mostly boiler plate stuff.

Torga_DW
17-01-2014, 20:22
That still doesn't change the fact that GW needs time to react to those bad numbers. You can not just say "crap, we better release a new rulebook next month!" and do so. It's just not possible.

You are right with the core rulebooks making a reliable amount of money though. Wether I think 7th edition at this point in time is a good idea, is a question for another thread (short answer: no).

The other side of this issue is that even if they could drop a new rulebook with a month's notice, that may not (almost certainly won't) fix the problem because at this point you need to look at how many fans/customers you're burning by doing so. What if they release the new rulebook and not enough people buy it? May as well get the petrol can and the matches and make sure the building is well insured at that point.

edit: just to clarify, responding to darnok here in response to that other guy (i forgot the name sorry), agreeing with darnok though.

ashc
17-01-2014, 20:25
They need to actually attempt to engage positively with their customers, past present and future. Hire someone who damn well understands how to use social media. Throw customers a bone here and there, it has surprising results.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

Torga_DW
17-01-2014, 20:30
They need to actually attempt to engage positively with their customers, past present and future. Hire someone who damn well understands how to use social media. Throw customers a bone here and there, it has surprising results.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

First they need to identify their customers. Right now its people who are obsessed with buying things for some reason we don't know why and are grateful to give us large sums of money for the privilege of buying those things off us. Not a recipe for success.

ashc
17-01-2014, 20:38
First they need to identify their customers. Right now its people who are obsessed with buying things for some reason we don't know why and are grateful to give us large sums of money for the privilege of buying those things off us. Not a recipe for success.

That is why I mentioned customers of the past, not just the fanatics left. :)

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Torga_DW
17-01-2014, 20:41
That is why I mentioned customers of the past, not just the fanatics left. :)

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

Hehe i know, but that line was from several years ago now. Who'd have thunk it? ;)

Sgt John Keel
17-01-2014, 21:03
. One that comes to mind from a few years back was when the CEO said that he did not know why customers bought their products. That is a very telling comment about the continued problems with GW.


The CEO really said, "he didn't know why people bought their products?" That's just funny.

Sounds quite a lot like the The Onion article (http://www.theonion.com/articles/even-ceo-cant-figure-out-how-radioshack-still-in-b,2190) on Radio Shack's CEO.

Jobu
17-01-2014, 21:41
I am sorry, but who will buy warhammer skirmish? What person who is not already familiar with GW will know about WFB skirmish? Who outside of the single ven circle that is the GW gamer will even have the slightest idea this IP or products exists without any advertising?

Captain Cortez
17-01-2014, 22:23
Maybe this is the kick in junk that GW needs to figure out what they need to improve there "house of card" business strategy. I'm a Fantasy player and have been for years, infact I think it still better than 40k. But GW needs to wake up finally.

Whitwort Stormbringer
17-01-2014, 22:49
I am sorry, but who will buy warhammer skirmish? What person who is not already familiar with GW will know about WFB skirmish? Who outside of the single ven circle that is the GW gamer will even have the slightest idea this IP or products exists without any advertising?
The presence or absence of Warhammer Skirmish is seemingly irrelevant to your question of who, besides GW gamers, knows about GW's IP or products, so you may as well be asking how GW recruits customers at all, which they obviously do.

The notion of a single-circle Venn diagram, i.e. that anyone who knows about GW also already plays GW games, is inaccurate. At any given time, there are some number of people who know about and are considering buying into GW games, but have not yet. The problem is that the cost of getting the rules and collecting an army causes many of these potential customers away. The point of something like Warhammer Skirmish would be that the lower cost of entry would increase the recruitment from potential GW customers to actual GW customers.

You have a point, though - GW relies too heavily on word-of-mouth. I'm not sure how or where it would be profitable for them to advertise, since they're the big fish in a niche market, but people learning about their games are pretty much restricted to accidental discovery or promotion by a friend.

Vazalaar
17-01-2014, 23:02
Maybe this is the kick in junk that GW needs to figure out what they need to improve there "house of card" business strategy. I'm a Fantasy player and have been for years, infact I think it still better than 40k. But GW needs to wake up finally.

I agree.

Who knows maybe this isn't a GW only problem, but is the whole wargame-miniature hobby shrinking. *Shivers*
PS 4 and the new x-box are imo a direct concurrent for the wargame hobby. I mean you only have x amount of free time and money.

ForgottenLore
17-01-2014, 23:07
The presence or absence of Warhammer Skirmish

I admitedly don't pay much attention to the fantasy boards, but where did this WH Skirmish rumor come from? This thread is the first and only place I have seen it mentioned.

Torga_DW
17-01-2014, 23:14
The presence or absence of Warhammer Skirmish is seemingly irrelevant to your question of who, besides GW gamers, knows about GW's IP or products, so you may as well be asking how GW recruits customers at all, which they obviously do.

The notion of a single-circle Venn diagram, i.e. that anyone who knows about GW also already plays GW games, is inaccurate. At any given time, there are some number of people who know about and are considering buying into GW games, but have not yet. The problem is that the cost of getting the rules and collecting an army causes many of these potential customers away. The point of something like Warhammer Skirmish would be that the lower cost of entry would increase the recruitment from potential GW customers to actual GW customers.

You have a point, though - GW relies too heavily on word-of-mouth. I'm not sure how or where it would be profitable for them to advertise, since they're the big fish in a niche market, but people learning about their games are pretty much restricted to accidental discovery or promotion by a friend.

Yes, but knowing about gw and considering buying is a null - they know about the product, but aren't buying into it. They may want to, but by the time they get around to it they may not be willing/able anymore. The advertising is to grab the attention of people who know nothing about it, so at the very least they're into "thinking about it" territory.

Licensing out their IP is (and was) a potentially good way to do it. I say "warhammer 40k" and friends ask what? I say "dawn of war" and they go "oh that game, that was pretty cool, dow2 sucked though". And therein lies the problem with that approach - churning out tons of 'bad' games associated with the IP can give just as bad an impression as putting out a single (and for me the good gw computer games are very rare) 'good' game. All before the potential customer has even googled 40k or games workshop.

The problem with word of mouth is this is a social product (requires more than 1 person to operate) - given gw's interaction with its fanbase (and i mean the actual pro-gw folk who still got hit with various legal sticks), word of mouth may not be as good as it used to be. And thats before you get into the outside gw incidents - trying to whack spots the space marine wouldn't have been good for them at any level.

Senbei
17-01-2014, 23:19
I admitedly don't pay much attention to the fantasy boards, but where did this WH Skirmish rumor come from? This thread is the first and only place I have seen it mentioned.

I really don't know, but it's raised its head in several different parts of the forum, from different users, without seeming to ever turn up on the WFB rumours board.

A game that uses 10 similar models for a force could be a handy way to shift regiment box-sets though, even to people like me who generally aren't terribly interested in GW's recent releases.

dalezzz
17-01-2014, 23:31
I am sorry, but who will buy warhammer skirmish? What person who is not already familiar with GW will know about WFB skirmish? Who outside of the single ven circle that is the GW gamer will even have the slightest idea this IP or products exists without any advertising?


Very much so , GW rely on word of mouth and random chance it seems. It was heroquest that got me when I was about 10 , now I've no doubt that I eventually would have got into the hobby anyway , but this certainly speeded it up ( GW Manchester is my nearest and at the time it was on brown street ie I would have never walked past it. tbh the one shoved at the back of the arndale now isn't in a much better spot)

for a company that's focus is on new customers they really don't try very hard to actually get any

otakuzoku
17-01-2014, 23:56
GWs main problem is cost and greed. They see people buying game consoles and think “hell people will spend £400 on a hobby” and think thay will spend the same on a table top game. It dousent enter there minds that 1) games consoles drop in price over time. 2) your not left playing the same game if you dont like fps games you can get a driving game or something more to your taste. You £400 investment isnt lost because you dont like the halo get gta5 instead, you spend £300 on a space marine army, you cant just spend £35 on a box and suddley have a full tau army. Or switch to whfb for £35. if GW is looking at video games and there price points as a lead there going to be like a dog chasing a bird of a cliff.

(Unless thay want to start selling the rule book for £350 pound and charging £40 for a 2000 point army and codex !)

GW needs a low price point entry skirmish game not just the dark vengeance set. One that importantly uses the same models (and if possible the same codex). If thay built it around elites. HQ, fast attack and heavy options.

1) more people will star to take up the hobby. 2) people who stick with the hobby can 1- buy more models and go to full blown 40k or 2- stay with the skermish game and buy different armies for more varied play.

lorelorn
18-01-2014, 00:26
TBF I see a drop of something like 25-50% as colossal as that's where they start worrying if the company (any) will stay afloat etc.

Compared to the same period last year (to the nearest 1%):
Op Profit has dropped by 30%
Revenue has dropped 11%
Earnings per share (eps) have dropped by 31%
Dividends have fallen by 100%

The fall in eps is the telling figure and I'd expect the share price to fall by less than that if the market feels the company can recover, and by more than that if not. Will GW do anything other than bring forward another Space Marine release and raise prices? I won't hold my breath.

Taking a longer view of the share price history we see a company that is chronically unable to capitalise and build on its own successes, leading to a series of short-term share price rises followed by sharp falls (aka "bubbles"). It looks like a third bubble is popping now.

Whitwort Stormbringer
18-01-2014, 00:37
I admitedly don't pay much attention to the fantasy boards, but where did this WH Skirmish rumor come from? This thread is the first and only place I have seen it mentioned.
I dunno, this thread is the first I've heard of it, too.


Yes, but knowing about gw and considering buying is a null - they know about the product, but aren't buying into it. They may want to, but by the time they get around to it they may not be willing/able anymore. The advertising is to grab the attention of people who know nothing about it, so at the very least they're into "thinking about it" territory.

Licensing out their IP is (and was) a potentially good way to do it. I say "warhammer 40k" and friends ask what? I say "dawn of war" and they go "oh that game, that was pretty cool, dow2 sucked though". And therein lies the problem with that approach - churning out tons of 'bad' games associated with the IP can give just as bad an impression as putting out a single (and for me the good gw computer games are very rare) 'good' game. All before the potential customer has even googled 40k or games workshop.

The problem with word of mouth is this is a social product (requires more than 1 person to operate) - given gw's interaction with its fanbase (and i mean the actual pro-gw folk who still got hit with various legal sticks), word of mouth may not be as good as it used to be. And thats before you get into the outside gw incidents - trying to whack spots the space marine wouldn't have been good for them at any level.

I think there's an assumed long-term aspect to the "potential buyer" status - the idea that someone has known about GW games, and has a lingering interest in them, but just hasn't gotten around to them, or doesn't have the funds - which I wasn't trying to imply.

Really, when I was talking about potential customers, I was talking more about people who have just found out about GW games (sorry for not clarifying that at all). I think those are the people who are most likely frequently turning away. They find out about the game. They see how much stuff you need and how much it costs to get started. They decide against it, and now GW games are probably off of their radar for good. A cheaper game would, theoretically, catch them after the initial discovery, but before they were deterred by the cost.

I definitely agree that GW could use better advertising, which of course would bring more people into the "thinking about it" territory, where they want them to be so that they even get to decide whether or not it's cost-prohibitive. The video games were probably a good idea, at least conceptually, especially if they also advertised the minis games in the video games. I never actually bought any of the video games - did they do this, with a flyer or something? They could also have a leaflet advertising the games in the FF board games, although I suspect most people that play those already play, or know about, the larger games.

Otherwise, though, it's also kind of hard to think of where GW should bother to advertise. Being the big name in wargaming, it's not like they need to advertise within the gaming community at large (not that they would anyways, or even acknowledge the existence of other games), so where does that leave you? I would think that, for GW, the best tactic isn't to try and recruit wargamers to their game, but rather to try and recruit people that aren't aware of the hobby of wargaming yet, but would be interested in it. I'm not sure where the best space for that is, to be honest.

Scaryscarymushroom
18-01-2014, 02:14
If the warhammer skirmish minis look nice, are comparatively cheap, and don't already look like things that I own, I would be interested in it.

I have a question for the accountants out there: I have heard that there are circumstances under which a company can defer debts or accelerate certain earnings from one report period to another as long as it gives a more accurate financial picture of the company. First, is this correct? Second, is there any indication of anything like that in this report?

Also, EPS has always looked a little on the low side when compared to, say, AT&T or Key Bank or some other random company. A 31% drop on EPS is like 17 cents. I don't mean to negate this point, I just think it needs a little perspective.

lorelorn
18-01-2014, 03:11
Using rounding for simplicity, the earnings drop comes to 8 cents. 18 is the current earnings, down from 26.

The company hasn't earned 8 cents less, they have earned 8 cents less PER SHARE. A drop in eps north of 30% for a company the size of GW cannot be insignificant.

Let me put this another way; if your hourly salary dropped by 31%, the actual figure per hour wouldn't look like much - the price of a nice meal maybe. But that would represent a serious decline in your earnings. That's what we have here.

Whitwort Stormbringer
18-01-2014, 03:52
If the warhammer skirmish minis look nice, are comparatively cheap, and don't already look like things that I own, I would be interested in it.
I doubt they'll be comparatively cheap, and in fact wouldn't be surprised if they were a bit more expensive per model (as the rationale often goes with low model-count games, e.g. Infinity or Malifaux). I'm guessing, assuming Warhammer Skirmish is even a thing at all, that the point will be that the overall cost of getting into the game at that level will be lower than the mass-battle WFB.

Scaryscarymushroom
18-01-2014, 06:12
I doubt they'll be comparatively cheap, and in fact wouldn't be surprised if they were a bit more expensive per model (as the rationale often goes with low model-count games, e.g. Infinity or Malifaux). I'm guessing, assuming Warhammer Skirmish is even a thing at all, that the point will be that the overall cost of getting into the game at that level will be lower than the mass-battle WFB.

If they were character-style miniatures, and there were, say, 10-20 or so, I'd be willing to pay probably $100, same price as Dark Vengeance. What honestly gets me is having to paint a bunch of the same model over and over again. Skirmish games are just so much more manageable, and much less mind numbing.

But I don't think this project could possibly be the thing that turns them around in the second half.

frozenwastes
18-01-2014, 07:24
If you look at GW corporate stuff, their problem is very clear. Look for places where they talk about customers in the reports. Bringing value or improving experiences or even attracting and retaining customers. Guess what? Those places in their corporate reports are very hard to find. One that comes to mind from a few years back was when the CEO said that he did not know why customers bought their products. That is a very telling comment about the continued problems with GW. The response also seems to be again in the wrong direction with more centralization in the sales chain ie lets move even more decisions farther away from the people who actually deal with the customers. Poor GW store managers with lots of pressure to keep up sales but with very little real control of anything.

** roused from slumber by another GW financial report **

I think you nailed it. GW doesn't seem interested in the customer's experience of their product. As a business they just don't talk about product experience on the financial side of things. Other games that are having major growth just won't shut up about customer experience. Like Mark Rosewater constantly talking about it in terms of Magic: The Gathering product design.

I guess Alan Merrit was right when he said in the CHS lawsuit that the GW hobby is buying GW products. They might not really have any idea about why their customers buy and what experience they could give that would cause more sales.

Take a look at this job posting where they are looking for someone to figure this all out for them:

http://careers.games-workshop.com/2014/01/15/customer-experience-interim-2-years-nottingham-uk/

It's still focused on the stupid store experience. On the experience of being sold GW product. What about the actual experience of the customer with the product itself!?!

And just look at the term. Two years. Then the final report. Then things get handed over to the strategic projects team. So there's no solution from GW. They're going to bring someone in to go around the world and see how people interact with GW's sales process for two whole years and then what? It'll go in a report to the CEO and be passed off to a committee.

GW has no plan to turn this around. Zero. Zip. Nothing.

** That said... **

They are currently still profitable and, as has been pointed out, if they cut their dividend, they can stop the cash from leaving their business. They didn't actually lose money, they just showed that all their previous talk about opportunities or positioning or growth or whatever was all a pipe dream. They are holding on, not expanding, not innovating. They're not leading the market, they're trying to keep a hold of their shrinking share.

Those who have been paying attention to GW's revenue relative to prices have figured out that they've been dealing with the issue of declining market share for quite some time. And their massive cost cutting has allowed them to even be profitable during that time. And it looks like there will be further cuts to retail as it is restructured yet again.

GW isn't a growth story. They're a story about being a managed decline. A slow slide towards irrelevancy.

If they want that to change, they need a complete overhaul from the ground up in terms of customer experience. They need to go and look at the type of things they were doing when they experienced their greatest periods of growth when they grew from a UK importer of D&D to an international company, figure out what worked and what didn't and look at how the company and the customers interacted during that time. What was visiting a GW store like during that time? How did they interact with independent stockists during that time? (they were grateful for every product sold through any distribution channel they could get it into rather than trying to control all levels of distribution). And then they need to not go back to that, but to figure out a way forward based on that.

What is more of the same going to do? Where are new customers supposed to find out about GW? Where might they come across GW's products and buy them? What will relying on word of mouth mean when your customer base is shrinking?

Darnok
18-01-2014, 08:00
I admitedly don't pay much attention to the fantasy boards, but where did this WH Skirmish rumor come from? This thread is the first and only place I have seen it mentioned.

May I direct your attention to this post (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?386475-No-9th-Edition-in-2014&p=7039857&viewfull=1#post7039857), and the following ones. In short: there are no rumours of a WHF Skirmish, only wishlisting.

That said: this is a topic for WHF General. Please keep it out of this thread.

MiyamatoMusashi
18-01-2014, 08:43
That job posting is extraordinary. The first question (of many) that springs to mind is: how do they know it will take two years? [edit] Never mind, just seen there's a separate thread for it.

Lord Solar Plexus
18-01-2014, 08:59
Well, the closing down of GW Germany and GW France is another piece in the puzzle. Whatever else it shows is that they *have* seen the writing on the wall. Mene, mene tekel, upharsin...

Darnok
18-01-2014, 09:06
Well, the closing down of GW Germany and GW France is another piece in the puzzle. Whatever else it shows is that they *have* seen the writing on the wall. Mene, mene tekel, upharsin...

What did I miss? GW Germany closing down? :wtf:


P.S.: This is heading off topic, so maybe just PM me that one, including a source. Or is there an active thread on this? Where? Thanks in advance.

EmperorNorton
18-01-2014, 09:24
What did I miss? GW Germany closing down? :wtf:


P.S.: This is heading off topic, so maybe just PM me that one, including a source. Or is there an active thread on this? Where? Thanks in advance.

http://www.brueckenkopf-online.com/?p=98657

da_dude
18-01-2014, 09:39
Well yes, i don't want to sound like a doomsayer BUT GW never should have gone to the stock market. It's just that investors want to see MORE money then they are getting and the wrong ones get punished for it....

I hope they can stabelize the situation and not start a domino effect

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Promethius
18-01-2014, 09:53
I think a part of that drop in revenue might indeed be due to people putting their cash into KS projects. GW will need to adress this, otherwise they might lose even more in the future.

I would argue that this is largely self inflicted. Recently I have bought AoW dwarfs and joined the Oathsworn kickstarter. Why? Because Gw having not updated their line in 7 odd years, the plastics look rubbish and the competitors are better value for money. If gw had been focused on customer experience and crucially value for money I might never have looked elsewhere. The change to more rapid release schedules is long overdue though if you are interested in only one or two product lines you might be buying new kits only twice a decade with the older model of releases.

I can't help but come back to the issue of prices. A 15 pd army book and a twenty pound box would see regular monthly purchases from me - 35 pd in gw pocket. At 30 +30 no dice I'm afraid, no money for gw and I'm amazed they don't seem to understand that most of us aren't walking around with a hobby budget, just a budget and we won't buy if the product is too expensive or not perceived as being good value for money

Satan
18-01-2014, 10:23
Wh... store experience? I haven't bought anything in-store for well over 6 months, and they expect that kids will continue hanging out in their stores? Get a grip already.

Baragash
18-01-2014, 11:28
They didn't actually lose money

I realise you mean "they still made a profit", but their cash position declined by ~30% mostly as a result of the decline in operating revenue.

Lord Solar Plexus
18-01-2014, 12:12
I would argue that this is largely self inflicted. Recently I have bought AoW dwarfs and joined the Oathsworn kickstarter. Why? Because Gw having not updated their line in 7 odd years, the plastics look rubbish and the competitors are better value for money.

Uhm, wait a second. They're bringing out new stuff all the time, while some models are even older than 7 years, so what are you talking about? *Some* plastics like State Troops look indeed dated but a whole lot of plastics look brilliant. The problem is definitively not that they're making ugly stuff. I certainly don't want or need a more rapid release schedule, and if you criticize the expenditure, you don't want that either. People would not be swapping their perfectly viable SM Tacticals for new ones just because for example, and they would not buy more just because they're renewed every two years.

EmperorNorton
18-01-2014, 12:16
Uhm, wait a second. They're bringing out new stuff all the time, while some models are even older than 7 years, so what are you talking about?
Looks like he is talking about Dwarfs specifically.
Sure, they're bringing out new stuff all the time, but some armies can go for the better part of a decade without seeing anything new for them, giving those who play these armies little incentive to buy anything.
With the switch to weekly releases and new ways to distribute rules other than the armybooks/codices I guess that might be a thing of the past, though.

Yamamoto
18-01-2014, 12:23
My shop experience? uhmm well ..
*me enters the shop*
Clerk: Hi, Frank! What can I sell you today?!
Me: Oh just looking around, probably getting a few colours as replenishment, and perhaps will buy this General for my WoC Army ..."
Clerk: Thats great Frank. Here, have a look at this fantastic and gorgeous new Dire Avengers we got in yesterday. 5 finely detailed models in breathtaking finecast quality, oh and dont forget to grab a bottle of liquid green stuff and modelling tools. Why don´t you buy the new 40K Starter set as well?! It contains 2 great armys to beginn with...!
Me: uhm well .. As you know i only play WHFB and didn´t the Avengers cost 20% less last week for 10 models?
Clerk: ohhh... this old box of inferior quality is not produced anymore, instead we swapped this to glorious finecast for your convinience ... have you seen the new 40K Starter box already?!, Why dont you take 2 so you have a great start with a Chaos Space Marine Army...?!
and so on, and
so on ...
...
..
.

Tuatha Dar
18-01-2014, 14:12
On page 10 of the report, there's a note about ceasing production in the US as of March 2013.
Guess I missed that.
So all production has now moved to the UK?

Reinholt
18-01-2014, 14:13
Well yes, i don't want to sound like a doomsayer BUT GW never should have gone to the stock market. It's just that investors want to see MORE money then they are getting and the wrong ones get punished for it....

I hope they can stabelize the situation and not start a domino effect

Gesendet von meinem GT-N7105 mit Tapatalk

I see this come up repeatedly, and I once again have to state that going public is not the problem. There are plenty of very well-run public companies. Shareholders want a return on their capital, period, and will reward the people who get it. Generally, this doesn't involve burning your customers, pissing everyone off, and doing things that profit in the short term while destroying your company in the long-term. Those chickens always come home to roost.

Going public is not the issue. Is anyone walking around being like "oh, those Amazon guys, they never should have gone public" or "look at how being publicly owned is just destroying Apple!"? No. The problem here is poor management, which is an issue if you are publicly or privately owned. The one thing private ownership might do is create a much more aggressive set of owners who flush out bad management quickly. The downside is that the reverse can also be true... if you have a poor owner and are privately owned, you are pretty much screwed if they don't sell.

KingDeath
18-01-2014, 14:15
The game went conceptualy wrong when GW started to turn it into Apocalypse light during 5. editon. Add the hyperinflation of prices ( often in tandem with a decline of relative miniature quality, have a look at Chaos marines or Tau Firewarriors ), the ever declining attention towards producing a tight and balanced ruleset ( contrary to popular believe clear and balanced rules are fun for everyone ) and the absolute unwillingness to agressively recruit new players.

By now nothing but a radical restructuring of the entire game and it’s underlying concepts (even at the cost of a further reduced market share in the short term in exchange for longterm growth) will offer even a slight chance of long term success. Although i believe, as long as the company remains profitable noone there will realy care. They haven't done so in the last few years, substituting growth entirely with cost cutting and by now all help might be too late.

AlexHolker
18-01-2014, 14:22
*Some* plastics like State Troops look indeed dated but a whole lot of plastics look brilliant.
The State Troops are not "dated". They were ugly garbage the day they were sculpted, and far inferior to to the previous miniatures.

Lord Solar Plexus
18-01-2014, 14:28
That's a wee bit hysterical. One bad report and it's all too late? Meh. Could be, could be different. Having more models on the board and bigger regiments - I think that's what you mean with Apoc light - isn't bad per se. I actually like it in Fantasy, and I liked it in 40k. It is actually possible to build up an army over time.


The State Troops are not "dated". They were ugly garbage the day they were sculpted, and far inferior to to the previous miniatures.

You've put it more eloquently than I could have hoped to! ;)

Promethius
18-01-2014, 14:56
Uhm, wait a second. They're bringing out new stuff all the time, while some models are even older than 7 years, so what are you talking about? *Some* plastics like State Troops look indeed dated but a whole lot of plastics look brilliant. The problem is definitively not that they're making ugly stuff. I certainly don't want or need a more rapid release schedule, and if you criticize the expenditure, you don't want that either. People would not be swapping their perfectly viable SM Tacticals for new ones just because for example, and they would not buy more just because they're renewed every two years.

EmperorNorton had it, I was talking about dwarfs specifically. If you collect one faction and they do an update of that product line once a decade your wallet is closed the rest of the time and you are looking at competitors. GW have started to address this but the fact remains that dwarf players have been able to go on kickstarter and support AoW, spend a lot of money and so far no release for dwarfs since skull pass (rumoured to change soon). GW allowed a competitor to produce a range of quality plastics for better value and so far have yet to release anything in response.

Nogginthenog
18-01-2014, 15:48
EmperorNorton had it, I was talking about dwarfs specifically. If you collect one faction and they do an update of that product line once a decade your wallet is closed the rest of the time and you are looking at competitors. GW have started to address this but the fact remains that dwarf players have been able to go on kickstarter and support AoW, spend a lot of money and so far no release for dwarfs since skull pass (rumoured to change soon). GW allowed a competitor to produce a range of quality plastics for better value and so far have yet to release anything in response.

Not only that. The stepping back from supporting tournaments and even gaming in their own shops also removed the reason people went with official only in the first place. The cost cutting itself has opened the door to alternative miniatures at a time when kickstarter is exponentially increasing those alternatives, and customers are paying in advance for them too, whilst GW is running warehouses full of stock.

Lord Solar Plexus
18-01-2014, 16:04
My shop experience? uhmm well ..

That's hard to believe from where I stand. Of course they know me by now but my shop experience goes more like "Thursday I'll bring some cake, why don't you come in for a while?"


EmperorNorton had it, I was talking about dwarfs specifically. If you collect one faction and they do an update of that product line once a decade your wallet is closed the rest of the time and you are looking at competitors.

Only if you want to spend that money on dolls. People here seemingly get angry when and because GW rolls out new AB's and new models every five years (like "all the time"). "What, a new edition so soon? Just when I'm halfway familiar with this one?" is what one guy just said a fortnight or so ago.

lbecks
18-01-2014, 16:18
The State Troops are not "dated". They were ugly garbage the day they were sculpted, and far inferior to to the previous miniatures.

I like them, they're interesting.

Inquisitor Engel
18-01-2014, 16:19
On page 10 of the report, there's a note about ceasing production in the US as of March 2013.
Guess I missed that.
So all production has now moved to the UK?

A mix of the UK and China, most likely.

Lord Dan
18-01-2014, 16:37
Share prices are down from 750 per share to 550 per share.

Ouch.

draccan
18-01-2014, 16:39
Looking at the last five years the stock price seem to be in great shape overall and the drop right now will probably even out quickly...

Reinholt
18-01-2014, 16:42
Looking at the last five years the stock price seem to be in great shape overall and the drop right now will probably even out quickly...

Are stock prices mean-reverting?

Reinholt
18-01-2014, 16:42
Looking at the last five years the stock price seem to be in great shape overall and the drop right now will probably even out quickly...

Are stock prices mean-reverting?

frozenwastes
18-01-2014, 16:48
I realise you mean "they still made a profit", but their cash position declined by ~30% mostly as a result of the decline in operating revenue.

Absolutely. Although the payment of the previous period's declared dividend also came out of this period's cash. Money is indeed leaving the business faster than it is coming in.

Lord Dan
18-01-2014, 16:48
Are stock prices mean-reverting?

Sure.

Though if we look at the last 5 years their stock jumped from 200 per share to 750 per share.

...so, maybe this "tanking" is just their mean-reversion to ~475 per share. :p

clovis
18-01-2014, 16:56
I don't think GW will change:cries:Maybe that's what they need: a Wake up call!The Game is sooooooooo expensif:mad:They either have to do battleforces that are affordable(2000pts for 150euros) or a skirmish game with small box set for 30 euros;because as it stands parents are NOT buying anything for their kids or less and less are!!!

Dryaktylus
18-01-2014, 16:57
Here, have a look at this fantastic and gorgeous new Dire Avengers we got in yesterday. 5 finely detailed models in breathtaking finecast

Sort your facts before writing made-up stuff.

AlexHolker
18-01-2014, 17:18
I like them, they're interesting.
Is "interesting" a synonym for "homo sapiens"? No? Then you might see my problem with the kit.

lbecks
18-01-2014, 17:39
Is "interesting" a synonym for "homo sapiens"? No? Then you might see my problem with the kit.

On a technical level the sculpting is fine. The biggest complaints I see about the kit are they don't have matching outfits, the guy with no shoes seems to irk a lot of people, and they're hard to rank. I think their individual outfits are interesting and their poses are interesting.


I don't think GW will change:cries:Maybe that's what they need: a Wake up call!The Game is sooooooooo expensif:mad:They either have to do battleforces that are affordable(2000pts for 150euros) or a skirmish game with small box set for 30 euros;because as it stands parents are NOT buying anything for their kids or less and less are!!!

They got their wake up call but they're not changing a big problem for a lot of people which is price. They're changing other things. They're redoing white dwarf, consolidating sales and production, hiring someone whose task is to revamp the stores, but no word on the high prices. I wouldn't be surprised if they did one more equalizing price raise.

Karak Norn Clansman
18-01-2014, 17:59
This has all the looks of a retreat. Reinholt covers the issues with GW to the letter. See also Harry's thread (the one asking where it went wrong for GW).

Also, the current pyjama men buffoon State Troopers really should instead have looked like professional rennaisance soldiers with hats, feathers, chestplates and slit puffs.

Darnok
18-01-2014, 18:53
On a technical level the sculpting is fine.

I hate going off topic, but I can't let this stand...

The current Statetroops kit is horrible, on an artistic and technical level. If you want to see what can be done with plastic troop kits of a similar kind, look to Perry Miniatures. If you want to see what can be done with plastic in general, you can even take GW itself for comparison. With the Statetroops a lot of things were done really wrong, and it often feels like the designers didn't even bother. And that's only on the technical level. Please don't get me started on the shoeless and donkeyfaced guys...

If you feel like you need to reply: please either PM it to me, or start a new thread. Thanks in advance for not further derailing this thread.

Omniassiah
18-01-2014, 19:27
Sort your facts before writing made-up stuff.

Couldn't have been that he got confused trying to figure out a reason why a unit box got cut in half and stay at effectively the same cost?

but on topic like Reinholt said they need to take a really hard look at their overall business. Things like a price cut won't do it alone. They need to look at the Internet for marketing, their competitors (and the fact that ,yes, they have them) and what they are doing right, as well as the barriers for both vets and new players. With out doing that chances are they will take a lot of time and money fixing problems that are really symptoms and at the end of it they won't be any better off.

totgeboren
18-01-2014, 20:06
Not surprising as it sort of mirrors the local situation for me. From my experience I don't see many new (young) faces when I go to the local GW supplier, and the vets are generally sort of slowing down their purchasing because of pricing (they actually are, they are not just whining like always). I mean, someone who was thinking of buying Dire Avengers will definitely not buy any with the new box. I know GW has always been an expensive hobby, ever since I started during RT/2ed days, but lot of the new pricing puts the entire hobby well out of reach most younger potential players.

At the very least, GW needs to sell cheap army starters so the kids have something they can afford that will enable them to play and get hooked. Like MTG decks. The basic decks is fairly cheap, but if you want the really useful stuff, be ready to spend some money.

Torga_DW
18-01-2014, 22:33
I think there's an assumed long-term aspect to the "potential buyer" status - the idea that someone has known about GW games, and has a lingering interest in them, but just hasn't gotten around to them, or doesn't have the funds - which I wasn't trying to imply.


I would hazard a guess (marketing not something i'm familiar with) that these people would be less effective marketing, because they already know about the product. Not wasted marketing, but still not as good as getting the attention of someone who knows nothing of their existance. That doesn't make sense to me, but looking at bank ads on tv they're always trying to grab new customers first, then hesistant customers, and existing customers i assume exist (since i have a bank account) but i never see promotions from my bank targeting me. All speculation on my part of course.



Really, when I was talking about potential customers, I was talking more about people who have just found out about GW games (sorry for not clarifying that at all). I think those are the people who are most likely frequently turning away. They find out about the game. They see how much stuff you need and how much it costs to get started. They decide against it, and now GW games are probably off of their radar for good. A cheaper game would, theoretically, catch them after the initial discovery, but before they were deterred by the cost.


I agree with this. The abhorrent pricing (competing with consoles and the like) is a killer. The idea that you get more value out of it because you have to spend time constructing/painting the army doesn't always fly with people. Imagine if xbox sold a console where you had to write your own code for the game itself, and they sold supplementary products like compilers etc. As i write this, i'm thinking of several people who would be in hog's heaven at the prospect, but most people? no. Also the idea that you'll never play that computer game again but the gw army will last forever - thats just wrong in so many places at so many levels.



I definitely agree that GW could use better advertising, which of course would bring more people into the "thinking about it" territory, where they want them to be so that they even get to decide whether or not it's cost-prohibitive. The video games were probably a good idea, at least conceptually, especially if they also advertised the minis games in the video games. I never actually bought any of the video games - did they do this, with a flyer or something? They could also have a leaflet advertising the games in the FF board games, although I suspect most people that play those already play, or know about, the larger games.


Er, no, sorry. *trails off to silence*. Its more that if i know someone has played DoW they'll be 'primed' for the IP. But no, no synergistic advertising in that respect that i can remember. Me i'd be having a code or something that you could enter in the gw website to redeem a novelty ingame hat or something like that as part of the games. Otherwise gw is just another logo on the starter screens that no-one wants to look at. But primed for the IP is better than nothing, right? right? please say right? ;)



Otherwise, though, it's also kind of hard to think of where GW should bother to advertise. Being the big name in wargaming, it's not like they need to advertise within the gaming community at large (not that they would anyways, or even acknowledge the existence of other games), so where does that leave you? I would think that, for GW, the best tactic isn't to try and recruit wargamers to their game, but rather to try and recruit people that aren't aware of the hobby of wargaming yet, but would be interested in it. I'm not sure where the best space for that is, to be honest.

Well i'm not sure about that. They're the big name in scifi/fantasy wargaming, but i've been lead to believe they don't compete with historical wargaming (could be very wrong here though). Its kind of like being the big fish in the orthodontist water-pick/gun (those things they put in your mouth at the dentist) pond. They may have all the right stuff (capital, quality, fanbase, etc) to kill in any field they choose to enter, but if they don't try to attract customers it won't end well.

Personally if i was marketing for gw, i'd start by aggressively going after/against computers and consoles (well i'd probably start by acknowledging them as competition, then going after them). How many times have you heard people saying 'get them off the computer'? Its been programmed into society at this point (even if people don't agree, they've probably heard the line). Hey, heres something that stimulates the brain, promotes creativity, and encourages socialization. Come into our family friendly hobby stores and check it out.

Dryaktylus
19-01-2014, 00:38
Personally if i was marketing for gw, i'd start by aggressively going after/against computers and consoles (well i'd probably start by acknowledging them as competition, then going after them). How many times have you heard people saying 'get them off the computer'? Its been programmed into society at this point (even if people don't agree, they've probably heard the line). Hey, heres something that stimulates the brain, promotes creativity, and encourages socialization. Come into our family friendly hobby stores and check it out.

You mean something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du0emDgJ-L4)?

Reinholt
19-01-2014, 00:54
You mean something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du0emDgJ-L4)?

I'd almost rather have been rick rolled.

Lord Dan
19-01-2014, 01:37
I'd almost rather have been rick rolled.

In a way, you were.

Amnar
19-01-2014, 03:27
Haha are those girls playing? In twenty years I've known two girls who play wargames of any kind...

The Marshel
19-01-2014, 06:47
My shop experience? uhmm well ..
*me enters the shop*
Clerk: Hi, Frank! What can I sell you today?!
Me: Oh just looking around, probably getting a few colours as replenishment, and perhaps will buy this General for my WoC Army ..."
Clerk: Thats great Frank. Here, have a look at this fantastic and gorgeous new Dire Avengers we got in yesterday. 5 finely detailed models in breathtaking finecast quality, oh and dont forget to grab a bottle of liquid green stuff and modelling tools. Why don´t you buy the new 40K Starter set as well?! It contains 2 great armys to beginn with...!
Me: uhm well .. As you know i only play WHFB and didn´t the Avengers cost 20% less last week for 10 models?
Clerk: ohhh... this old box of inferior quality is not produced anymore, instead we swapped this to glorious finecast for your convinience ... have you seen the new 40K Starter box already?!, Why dont you take 2 so you have a great start with a Chaos Space Marine Army...?!
and so on, and
so on ...
...
..
.

I've noticed my local GWs don't really do this anymore, which is nice cause I actually do like being able to go in a browse without the hard sell

Archibald_TK
19-01-2014, 09:35
Ahah. One of the new customers we had this week was sent to us by people playing at the local GW store (big thanks whoever they were). He told us he was horrified how he the local manager constantly pestered one of his friend who just wanted to buy a box of dwarfs by trying to make him start a HE army and buy an Island of Blood box instead. In his own words, "the guy was nice, but also insufferable" :)

Herzlos
19-01-2014, 12:13
There's no way a trained member or retail staff should be trying to push sales like that. If it works, you've probably made some money but lost a customer who'll resent you, and if it fails you've just annoyed a customer who may go on to resent you. If the guy was after a box of dwarfs the only upselling really should have been something related (a lord, some paints, basing materials or something they can use). I imagine they've been told to try and sell starters so are going to try selling anyone who comes in the starter, which just won't work.

Darnok
19-01-2014, 12:40
There's no way a trained member or retail staff should be trying to push sales like that. If it works, you've probably made some money but lost a customer who'll resent you, and if it fails you've just annoyed a customer who may go on to resent you. If the guy was after a box of dwarfs the only upselling really should have been something related (a lord, some paints, basing materials or something they can use). I imagine they've been told to try and sell starters so are going to try selling anyone who comes in the starter, which just won't work.

Sadly quite some GW staffers these days don't work like that at all, but exactly like the bad example given.

I Am Forsaken
19-01-2014, 12:59
So I won't pretend I understand all this financial stuff and whether or not what I'm asking is relevant to investors or whoever reads these reports; but I noticed it doesn't discriminate between the three games systems in terms of how well each one sells.


Do they publish this data? I for one would like to know how valuable the Lotr/Hobbit stuff is to them compared to how much they pay to use its IP.


My shop experience? uhmm well ..
*me enters the shop*
Clerk: Hi, Frank! What can I sell you today?!
Me: Oh just looking around, probably getting a few colours as replenishment, and perhaps will buy this General for my WoC Army ..."
Clerk: Thats great Frank. Here, have a look at this fantastic and gorgeous new Dire Avengers we got in yesterday. 5 finely detailed models in breathtaking finecast quality, oh and dont forget to grab a bottle of liquid green stuff and modelling tools. Why don´t you buy the new 40K Starter set as well?! It contains 2 great armys to beginn with...!
Me: uhm well .. As you know i only play WHFB and didn´t the Avengers cost 20% less last week for 10 models?
Clerk: ohhh... this old box of inferior quality is not produced anymore, instead we swapped this to glorious finecast for your convinience ... have you seen the new 40K Starter box already?!, Why dont you take 2 so you have a great start with a Chaos Space Marine Army...?!
and so on, and
so on ...
...
..
.


Thankfully I can say I've never had a GW employee pull this crap (and crap truly is the word for it) on me, nor have I seen them do it to any customer, new or otherwise. The guys at my store have always seemed to try and get to know the regulars a bit, at least on the level of what armies/games they play. Sure they always drop the "have you got all your paints and glues" line, buts that's to be expected. Trying to force a whole new army on someone is just plain rude, let alone poor business practice.

Baragash
19-01-2014, 13:20
So I won't pretend I understand all this financial stuff and whether or not what I'm asking is relevant to investors or whoever reads these reports; but I noticed it doesn't discriminate between the three games systems in terms of how well each one sells.

They don't, but they specifically called out WFB in the 2012-13 annual report as doing badly. You have to bear in mind tht companies don't generally call out things that are doing badly because reports are always spun to the positive, they only call out struggling products doing horrendously.

Baragash
19-01-2014, 13:20
So I won't pretend I understand all this financial stuff and whether or not what I'm asking is relevant to investors or whoever reads these reports; but I noticed it doesn't discriminate between the three games systems in terms of how well each one sells.

They don't, but they specifically called out WFB in the 2012-13 annual report as doing badly. You have to bear in mind tht companies don't generally call out things that are doing badly because reports are always spun to the positive, they only call out struggling products doing horrendously.

rwphillipsstl
19-01-2014, 13:44
I have been following this and related threads since started the other day, and I generally agree with the tone and content of the posts. HOWEVER, yesterday I stopped by my local GW store (medium-sized Midwestern city here in USA, in a smaller and slightly-out-of-the-way storefront) and it was packed, most importantly I saw two young teens playing games and another with his dad shopping. I know recently of another teen, a 14-year-old Boy Scout, who sold many of his collectibles to throw hundreds in WFB. This causes me to reconsider the inevitability of the gloom and doom.

I still think the ship can be righted, though I tend to share the pessimism of those who say it won't be because of stubborn management philosophy. Naysayers have been predicting GW's decline and fall for more than a decade as it grew dramatically the other way, and now some of these same naysayers are more reminiscent of a broken clock (right twice a day even though broken, if you recall) rather than accurate forecasters.

It is odd--GW has a lousy web presence by most any standard and yet is worsening its brick and mortar presence with the one-man shop idiocy. My visit yesterday, despite the upside of youth participants, showed the problem with one staff guy in a crowded shop running to and fro--and the impending silliness of him shutting his doors for lunch about one hour after I left (necessarily shooing people out of the store). If GW is going to be a destination store in my community it can lease far cheaper space (and get much larger gaming area for the money), or it can spend a few more bucks and get better foot traffic. Right now it has neither. Because I am someone who receives the regular local business real estate listings, I know pretty specifically what the store is paying and what it could or could not be paying instead. There is a major independent gaming retailer in our area who is doing well, following a different model, so I know it can be done.

Thorin Hubertson
19-01-2014, 14:12
Their Website is down. Maybe it is just a coincidence so short after that "Half-Year-Results-earthquake".

quizmaster
19-01-2014, 14:23
Sure, one 14 year old boy will save a million dollars company by spending his savings. I don't want to be sarcastic but Americans can't save the whole world.

Omniassiah
19-01-2014, 14:30
They don't, but they specifically called out WFB in the 2012-13 annual report as doing badly. You have to bear in mind tht companies don't generally call out things that are doing badly because reports are always spun to the positive, they only call out struggling products doing horrendously.

Usually, it is also a sign of either major revamp/rebrand of the product or it being axed in the near future. They put that in there so in later reports if the company has any significant expenditures towards that product they can point back to the previous report as why it needed to be spent. And to reinforce Reinholt on being publicly traded not being an issue, there are quite a few companies that go into the red for a year or two and their stock does great, the key thing is that those companies usually have a very solid reason for being in the red like expansions and acquisitions. Shareholders themselves have spent money in order to make money through buying shares, they understand that concept just fine,


I have been following this and related threads since started the other day, and I generally agree with the tone and content of the posts. HOWEVER, yesterday I stopped by my local GW store (medium-sized Midwestern city here in USA, in a smaller and slightly-out-of-the-way storefront) and it was packed, most importantly I saw two young teens playing games and another with his dad shopping. I know recently of another teen, a 14-year-old Boy Scout, who sold many of his collectibles to throw hundreds in WFB. This causes me to reconsider the inevitability of the gloom and doom.

During the growth years of GW, they were doing it using a lot of unsustainable methods, choosing or not knowing well enough that while they were getting good growth they were burning a lot of bridges with their customers. A lot of us realized that there would be a point where things would start to go bad and very possibly go bad quick. Nailing down that point would take a lot more effort and a good sized chunk of real cash so for the most part the more rational naysayers like Reinholt for example put it as the long term problem it was. This report shows that it may no longer be a long term problem but a short term problem.

It is much the same as people talking about the issue with the US Debt, most people know its going to be a serious problem someday but when is a lot more complicated of a prediction then the prediction it is a problem. Not knowing the exact date doesn't make it not a problem it just means when it hits your more likely going to not be prepared to deal with it.

breadbin
19-01-2014, 14:51
Their Website is down. Maybe it is just a coincidence so short after that "Half-Year-Results-earthquake".

According to iidrn.com, the GW site has been down for over 17 hours. For a company trading mainly online, this is quite a significant time. Server overload seems unlikely given the long down time (unless staff cut-backs mean the IT department shuts on Sundays). Odd. Could it be that the rumored new site is about to launch?

Poncho160
19-01-2014, 16:34
According to iidrn.com, the GW site has been down for over 17 hours. For a company trading mainly online, this is quite a significant time. Server overload seems unlikely given the long down time (unless staff cut-backs mean the IT department shuts on Sundays). Odd. Could it be that the rumored new site is about to launch?

Seems to be working fine for me :) and has been all weekend.

IcedCrow
19-01-2014, 16:44
Site has worked for me all weekend fine. Also our GW store is packed pretty much every weekend. I guess its subjective on where you live. My city is not a big city but our warhammer community has over 100 active players, which seems just by reading online to be pretty big.

breadbin
19-01-2014, 16:45
Seems to be working fine for me :) and has been all weekend.

Back up for me too now. It was down for 19.5 hours starting yesterday (you can see the down time here: http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/games-workshop.com.html)

I was hoping they were finally sorting their terrible site, and launching something new, but unfortunately the menus are still a mess. Someone on Dakka suggested the down time was the result of the site being relocated to Hasbro servers :D

Reinholt
19-01-2014, 16:52
Seems to be working fine for me :) and has been all weekend.

Myself as well. For instance, the front page tells me that fewer than 440 of the limited edition Tyranid codices are left, which is many less than the 467 that were available last weekend. At the current rate, I only have approximately FOUR MONTHS to get one.

IJW
19-01-2014, 17:07
Naysayers have been predicting GW's decline and fall for more than a decade as it grew dramatically the other way, and now some of these same naysayers are more reminiscent of a broken clock (right twice a day even though broken, if you recall) rather than accurate forecasters.

I though revenue had been pretty flat for the last decade once you took inflation and currency fluctuations into account?

The bearded one
19-01-2014, 17:28
I though revenue had been pretty flat for the last decade once you took inflation and currency fluctuations into account?

GW's profit and revenue has been growing year after year for quite a while, but at some point they'd have to reach a point where maxing prices and cutting costs and freebies would reach the customers' breaking point. A 10% drop is quite steep. We'll have to see at the next report whether it'll continue to drop, and preferably a 3rd one for a pattern. As it stands GW reached the top of the mountain and is now about to tumble down the other side. We'll see if they can arrest their fall, or hike back up.

I wonder if this persists, and if it will correspond with different behavior from GW.


Myself as well. For instance, the front page tells me that fewer than 440 of the limited edition Tyranid codices are left, which is many less than the 467 that were available last weekend. At the current rate, I only have approximately FOUR MONTHS to get one.

Lol. You better hurry! :D

The limited edition codices and armybooks are targeted to invested collectors/fans, the type that is more likely to continue buying from GW regardless of the financial side, rather than to more casual players that buy significantly less as the prices creep up. I don't suspect that the sale of limited edition books necessarily corresponds that much to the growth and drop of the general revenue; Tyranids just isn't that popular, and the previous and new book pretty mediocre.

Asher
19-01-2014, 18:28
Sadly quite some GW staffers these days don't work like that at all, but exactly like the bad example given.

I had a GW employee trying to sell me a Stormraven for my Deathwing army as an future investment to my force in 2011.

Sgt John Keel
19-01-2014, 18:43
Myself as well. For instance, the front page tells me that fewer than 440 of the limited edition Tyranid codices are left, which is many less than the 467 that were available last weekend. At the current rate, I only have approximately FOUR MONTHS to get one.

Interesting. It says 218 on the UK/EU sites. I wonder if it's cumulative. Edit: And sold out in Australia. So I assume they have 658 left of 2000 total?

shelfunit.
19-01-2014, 19:40
GW's profit and revenue has been growing year after year for quite a while,

Although if you take price hikes and inflation into account they have been treading water at best.

Shimmergloom
19-01-2014, 20:05
This is not how GW works, or in fact, can work. New products have a certain time from conception to release, and with new editions this time frame is between two and five years - yes, they usually work on the next edition of WHF and 40K once the "new one" just hit stores. Even if 40K 7th is only a compilation of the latest FAQs, expansions and some minor tweaks, it will have been in the works for at least the last year. It is currently in print, to be ready for distribution in summer. So whatever 40K 7th is supposed to achieve, it has nothing to do with these numbers.

I think you are right that it has nothing to do with these particular numbers. However looking at the numbers for the past 2-3 years they have only had middling profits vs major cost cutting measures + major price increases. So I think the writing had been on the wall for a long time that this was on its way and it is still possible that because of that, they had planned a year ago to put out a new 40k edition to try and stem the tide that was coming.

There entire mindset for years has been incredibly short term oriented. They go for short term profits vs long term prosperity every time. They aren't acting like a company that really plans on being around for the long term, despite what their propaganda attached to this financial statement claims.

The bearded one
19-01-2014, 20:13
Although if you take price hikes and inflation into account they have been treading water at best.

Yes, that is what the remainder of the sentence points to, following right after the section you quoted. :shifty: I'm not playing apologetic where you have to point out sugarcoated GW malpractice.

GW increased their revenue by hiking prices, but their sales volume either stayed the same or dropped repeatedly. Now they reached the first time that it doesn't cut it, and quite severely so. It's anybody's guess if it'll drop next half year as well. I cautiously suspect it will, even if maybe not as steep as 10%.

I Am Forsaken
19-01-2014, 20:15
Site has worked for me all weekend fine. Also our GW store is packed pretty much every weekend. I guess its subjective on where you live. My city is not a big city but our warhammer community has over 100 active players, which seems just by reading online to be pretty big.

our store is usually pretty busy on weekends and Thursday nights too, but I think that's also part of the problem. Those are the times people are in looking for a game, and I know a couple of the players have said they are just going to play with what the have and not buy anything else. I was there all day Saturday (it was slower than usual I'll admit) and I think I saw maybe 4 people buy anything.

Darnok
19-01-2014, 21:28
I think you are right that it has nothing to do with these particular numbers. However looking at the numbers for the past 2-3 years they have only had middling profits vs major cost cutting measures + major price increases. So I think the writing had been on the wall for a long time that this was on its way and it is still possible that because of that, they had planned a year ago to put out a new 40k edition to try and stem the tide that was coming.

Oh, on that I can agree. I was simply commenting on those believing in any relation between the current numbers and this years release(s).

Torga_DW
19-01-2014, 21:53
Yes, that is what the remainder of the sentence points to, following right after the section you quoted. :shifty: I'm not playing apologetic where you have to point out sugarcoated GW malpractice.

GW increased their revenue by hiking prices, but their sales volume either stayed the same or dropped repeatedly. Now they reached the first time that it doesn't cut it, and quite severely so. It's anybody's guess if it'll drop next half year as well. I cautiously suspect it will, even if maybe not as steep as 10%.

I think its also that they didn't have big licence income (from a computer game, etc) to divert attention away from their core business.

edit: typo

The_Real_Chris
19-01-2014, 23:05
It is completely unsurprising. GW have had falling volume fairly constantly for some time now, it just seems to have finally bitten, with many saying they have hit the mutually reinforcing fall (less players, so less advertising, so less opponents so less players) that wipes out future growth and shrinks the company down to be one of the pack (assuming no change from GW). All this too in a time when the market segment they are broadly part of is having considerable growth, making the shrinkage even worse (relatively).

How they got here seems fairly straight forward. They grew the 'post wargames' market (you young pip squeaks wouldn't know but the popularity of miniature games as in numbers playing them as a % of the population was in the past, the 70's i think). They had a range of products, changing over time. They then focused on the younger customers and the core games allowing customers to slip away - often very angry having 'bought in' to then be given the cold shoulder and actively encouraged to sling their hooks - and other companies to offer those same style of games. Even better they tended to be low model count affairs making entry even easier. At the same time they faffed about with how they sold models, at one point with online discounts apocalypse boxes and the like GW was remarkable cheap for a company that gets flack for price.

The upset former customers exploded onto the internet, something I doubt GW expected, nor the venom directed at them, or the way their stores that had undermined independents were in turn undermined by online sellers and did the reactions outlined above.

So GW have in turn acted to cut out the undermining sales channels (everyone but GW), cut their costs (stores and the service they offer) and upped their prices while hammering discounts.

They are left with a reduced group of players, a brace of entry level competitors, the store network that was the main recruiting tool in bad shape, and an incredibly hostile internet presence that means any kid doing a websearch hits as many negative points as positive (the legalhammer sadly did not have the desired effect) all combining to mean if you do get into 'heroic' wargaming it is no longer a given it will be with GW.

Toss into that mix the games aren’t good. Certainly people like them, but they are somewhat limited affairs. They have a lot of special rules and list building that rely appeals to younger players, but very little on table challenge (the ultimate challenge is of course something like chess or go, but we like our chrome). GW just didn’t engage with the trend for fun, 1 ½-3 hour games with the majority of decision making in game and that hits their scalability to wider customer groups (for an example of what GW can do when it is in the zone is 4th edition Epic Armageddon – it has the list building and special rules but also a fantastic, varied, on table experience with balanced army lists).

I often wonder by axing the unperforming branches (like British Rail did) they suffered withering of the main product and stopped suppression of the other companies, all for long term problems.

I really don’t know what I would do. I can’t rely on the ‘fans’ because they are fewer in number and the older ones range from indifference to loathing (with a few misty eyed stalwarts, but not enough). I can’t do the shop network because the shareholders want a return that is incompatible with that approach. I can’t shift to direct only as that means losing size rapidly and hitting all the problems of a reducing market share, not to mention increasing the relative amount of my fixed costs. I can’t just re-release all the other games people want as my own data shows while there is a small increase in sales, most is cannibalised from the main game lines (well it is what happened in the past when BFG got re-launched in the US and so on, course that was a fair while ago).

Every choice seems to involve short term pain for uncertain long term results.

Maybe the only solution is to move to being a toy company and getting eaten by Hasbro. The other things needed - better core games, sensible collecting paths, either more stores or a new approach to promotion/advertising, a wider selection of games to take the fight to competitors, new relationship with shops that an help grow my player base, etc etc are all challenging with uncertain reward.

Certainly I would take the risk and try – have Specialist Games as a spin off company to help saturate the gaming environment again with the IP at all levels, handling Warhammer historical as well as other scales, launch a legends service that would re-issue old models, bring back skulls to bring more business to the webstore, have a good webstore, make the core games appeal to a wider group of players, have a good intro game at the same scale as the main game sold widely, get model based board games into ‘normal’ shops, synchronise game releases with video game adaptations, upload to the website thousands of old white dwarf articles and the old website stuff to be the source for general modelling etc advice.

Some of it is timing and organisation, some of it self funds (skulls – here being a webstore only reward scheme, SG, a legends service), some of it is hopefully cost neutral (good fixed terms of trade with brick and mortar shops) though I recognise that weakens the return per $ and some costs money (rules and game development, uploading all the vast resources to the web). And I would look to get myself out there – allow websites to use the stock images, not be fascist over web articles, leaks and names, work with companies to bring out mods to models, get the spun off SG to do kickstarters, get free/in game purchase games of decent quality onto devices, hopefully multiplayer based. Ideally if someone sees something to do with heroic wargaming - it will be GW. Course all that still requires cash and is an uncertain return...

kidterminal
20-01-2014, 01:46
I've written an article on this revenue using facts and statements from GW's own financial statements. You can check it out here http://fiendsinwaistcoats.blogspot.com/

Lord Dan
20-01-2014, 02:22
I've written an article on this revenue using facts and statements from GW's own financial statements. You can check it out here http://fiendsinwaistcoats.blogspot.com/

Nice assessment. I found this part particularly informative:

“During the year Mark Wells left Games Workshop, after more than ten years, five as chief executive, he has gone to graze in pastures new. His tenure as CEO saw our return on capital increase from around 10% to over 50%. He is a man who truly understands about shareholder value and put that understanding into good practice."

You point out later that a 50% return is nothing but "looting". I'm not going to go that far, however such high return (especially such an increase in such a short period of time) is suspicious at best. I've been dismissing for a while now that GW upper-management is at least somewhat intentionally driving the company into the ground in order to maximize returns for a select few investors (so, "looting", I suppose), however comments like the one above seem to point in that direction. It's also the only other real explanation for why they persist in their quarterly margin-stretching and cost-cutting despite the fact that anyone who has taken even an entry-level business class would know that such a model is suicidal over the long-term.

frozenwastes
20-01-2014, 02:40
My prediction for the year to come is more of the same (yeah, I know, what a bold prediction :D ).

They'll keep opening their one-employee stores at a rate ever so slightly higher than the rate at which they close them. In the last six months, they closed 20 and opened 27. So if they can keep doing that and manage to get some stores that actually stick and stay profitable, it'll keep them going for now.

They're slashing costs like mad as well. Entire national operations are being axed and now things are being run primarily out of GW UK with regional managers. If you noticed their staff changes in the last annual report, they sales force and manufacturing drop the most, but there was still a really high amount of administration. So that's what they are hitting now.

I don't think there will be across the board price hikes again, but instead they'll continue to price new releases aggressively.

The end result will be continued falling sales volume, flat and dropping revenue and only the massive cuts allowing them to stay profitable.

Sort of like a carefully managed slow winding down of business. It can't go on for ever, and I hope they are forced to change, but nothing about this financial release, their recent job posts or anything else they are doing suggests that Kirby is at all interested in real change at this point.

Inquisitor Engel
20-01-2014, 03:18
They're slashing costs like mad as well. Entire national operations are being axed and now things are being run primarily out of GW UK with regional managers.

So... not unlike their smaller and more nimble competitors... ;)

kidterminal
20-01-2014, 04:20
You point out later that a 50% return is nothing but "looting". I'm not going to go that far, however such high return (especially such an increase in such a short period of time) is suspicious at best. I've been dismissing for a while now that GW upper-management is at least somewhat intentionally driving the company into the ground in order to maximize returns for a select few investors (so, "looting", I suppose), however comments like the one above seem to point in that direction. It's also the only other real explanation for why they persist in their quarterly margin-stretching and cost-cutting despite the fact that anyone who has taken even an entry-level business class would know that such a model is suicidal over the long-term.
Don't forget the praise for Mr. Wells' ability to "return capital" is openly stated in their year end financial report published for their principled shareholders. So if these principle shareholders had any concern for the long term prospects of GW they would have stopped him. For a public company's board is composed of representatives of the major stockholders. They were please that Mr. Wells returned 18million pounds to the stockholders in the 2012-13 year. I realize my wording sounds strong but its difficult to find another word to accurately describe what they are doing.