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Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 12:14
There seems to be a LOT of discussion lately about the health of GW considering the disappointment of the last period financials (with a 10% drop in top line revenue and a hefty reduction of cash on hand) in spite a time of rapidly increased product release schedules. For someone who has been involved in gaming as long as I have (since 1977) the parallels with the decline of the previous industry behemoth, TSR, and GW of today just seem a bit to familiar.

Before going into those I see, let me clarify a couple of things. First, during the last years of TSR, I was one of those who blindly defended them despite all the warning signs around me and the discussions of my regular D&D gaming group of 8 people. Also, I currently own several 40k armies (Ultramarines, Imperial Guard, Tau, Tyranids and a HUGE Eldar army), a few large Warhammer armies (Empire, Chaos and High Elf), a complete copy of Warhammer Quest with all expansions, including White Dwarf supplements, two large Epic armies, three Necromunda gangs, six Mordheim warbands, and three Battlefleet gothic fleets. So I in no way WANT to see GW go away, but the current parallels cannot be ignored.

So let's look at these parallels:

Named Designers leaving: In the last two years of TSRs existence, many of the names that made them famous moved on for greener pastures. Many of them were long term employees of TSR. GW has seen the same loss of Rick Priestly, Andy Chambers, Gaving Thrope, Jake Thornton, among others. These are the people close to what is going on, and an en masse departure is not a good sign. Warning sign number one.

Accelerated Release Schedule: TSR was cranking out stuff near the end, much as GW is doing today. Yet that still didn't stem the tide of mass exodus of customers.

Thinking they were more than they are: In the end, TSR products were drastically overpriced compared to competitive products because they believed it was D&D and people will pay anything for it. Coupled with the decline in quality, it didn't help. People began moving one. With GW we have a similar situation. Most competitors sell 256 pg, full color, hard bound rulebooks for the $40 US to $50 US range (or $0.15 to $0.19 a page) while GW sells a 104 pg, full color hardbound book (avg. Codex) at $49.50 (or $0.47/pg. or 161% more than comparable products). Likewise, most model paints today are running at about $0.15-$0.17/ml and are of better quality than GWs, while GW is running at $0.33/ml (101% more than comparable products). Like TSR, GW is putting WAY too much faith in their brand power (and D&D is a MUCH stronger brand than Warhammer ever was).

Drop in Product Quality: The quality of TSR products went down hill fast leading to rumors that Lorraine Williams, then CEO of TSR, had forbidden playtesting of products. Many employees from the final days denied this but did confirm that the relentless pace of getting products out the door did in fact lead to little getting playtested. The latest products from GW are showing the exact same thing. Did anyone test D-Weapons in standard 40k games? Why are they issuing FAQs only one week after a book is released?

Cramming stuff into an established paradigm that doesn't belong: TSR tried to put everything they could around the popular D&D title where they should have been there own games. Instead of Buck Rogers RPG, we got Spelljammer crammed into the fantasy universes. Likewise, GW is adding superheavies, mini-titans (Riptide, Wraithknight, and Imperial Knights) and flyers in a 28mm game where they do not belong.

Abandoning everything around one brand: TSR uses to have many RPGs - D&D, AD&D, Boot Hill, Star Frontiers, et al. In the last days, TSR thought that their other products were detracting from sales of core D&D, thus they abandoned all the other titles and focused on making D&D versions of them. So, as they abandoned Star Frontiers and went with Spelljammer in fantasy worlds, we had Traveller and a few other RPGs fill in the spot. GW has the same attitude. Focus around two core brands because our other products detracted from people buying for those brands and ignore that the competition is picking up (and growing) by this conscious decision to leave them an opening into the market). How shortsighted and stupid can anyone be about this. Did Apple stop selling the iPod because the have the iPhone, no. Because they realize there are different markets for these products.

Increased pricing: TSR started rapidly increasing prices in the end as their customer base dwindled. When coupled with the materials being absurd additions (Spelljammer) and the noticeable drop in product quality, people began to feel ripped off by TSR and started using other products. Once that happened, and they realized other companies could produce products of like or better quality, the acceleration away from TSR quickened. GW is facing the exact same thing today, yet continues to operate in a complete vacuum of ignorance like TSR did then.

View of customers being suckers: It is no secret that Lorraine Williams held gamers (their customers) with high contempt, and she made no secret about it. She considered them blind sheeple who would buy and love anything that TSR put out and, ultimately in the end it showed in their products, but not in the sheeples buying attitude. GW has A LOT of customer and channel relation issues right now (not to mention their absurd pricing) and they, like TSR, seem to be sticking their fingers in their ears and saying "La, la, la, I don't hear you. Everything is fine..."

Soullessness leading to market disconnect: As the previous point mentioned about the CEOs attitude, TSR became soulless as a result when they used to have passionate people who designed good materials because they also played the game. Heck, Raistlin Majere, the famous wizrd from the Dragonlance series, came about because of the active playing of the game. Likewise, GW seems to be all about the money today with no passion for the game anymore from the staff.

Ignoring and Enabling competition: White Wolf Studios benefited immensely from TSRs mis-steps. So did a few smaller publishers. Today, I give Hasbro/WotC credit for recognizing 4th edition D&D was a huge mistake (thus why they have stopped sales of 4th edition and haven't put out a new product in over a year) and have decided the wiser course was to focus on D&D Next to save the brand. Why did Hasbro recognize this? Because Pathfinder/Paizo has stolen marketshare by sticking to their old formula. In other words, they recognized the threat of competition. GW refuses to see the rise of Wyrd, Corvus Belli, Privateer Press, Cipher Studios, Hawk Wargames and Fantasy Flight Games during a global recession as any threat, or as a result of their mis-steps giving the competition an opening into the market.

Aggressive IP defense: TSR started going after fans and anyone they felt remotely came close to infringing on their IP, gaining them the moniker T$R. GW seems to have adopted the same policy that was proven in TSR's time to be stupid and damaging to the financial health of the company.

TLDR: It is hard to ignore the similarities of a previous industry behemoth, TSR, to GW today. GW of today seems to be following the exact same patterns as TSR in the last days which eventually lead to TSRs demise in very quick fashion (it is safe to say it was an actual collapse). Could GW possibly suffer that same fate considering those parallels?

EldarWolf
27-02-2014, 12:28
In my family we all agree it is going this way, the only difference is in how long before it does.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 14:18
It's really sad because GW used to be a pretty good company and then just went downhill when they started pursuing profit above all else, and basically closed their doors. They don't want criticism, they want blind faith and praise, and that no longer works. It's almost like they want to pretend the internet doesn't exist.

tu33y
27-02-2014, 14:30
has anyone read the Little Black Book? I am assuming most ex-staffers on here have. I have a current copy, written by The Emporer himself... customers don't matter, they know nothing. We know best.

Reinholt
27-02-2014, 14:45
I agree with many of these parallels. On the current path, GW's fate is likely to be similar to TSR (picked up by someone else who will take better care of it than GW will).

The timeline is... flexible. I want to see how GW's cash position looks over the next few quarters. The big issue they will ultimately face is the lease obligations for stores. When people say GW has no debt, that isn't quite true. GW has no corporate level debt; they have lease obligations that they are required to fulfill, and if they cannot, they will end up getting into trouble.

The most likely chain of events for GW receivership is falling sales > negative cash flow > inability to pay all lease obligations > subsequent legal proceedings > receivership.

This assumes nobody purchases them in the interim.


It's really sad because GW used to be a pretty good company and then just went downhill when they started pursuing profit above all else, and basically closed their doors. They don't want criticism, they want blind faith and praise, and that no longer works. It's almost like they want to pretend the internet doesn't exist.

I see this stated over and over, but I don't think it's actually true. I think the bigger issue is that GW doesn't even understand how to make long-term, durable profit! Incompetence is not a strategy, it's just incompetence.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 14:51
I see this stated over and over, but I don't think it's actually true. I think the bigger issue is that GW doesn't even understand how to make long-term, durable profit! Incompetence is not a strategy, it's just incompetence.

It could be; I'm not privy to their decisions of course but it's always felt that at some point they said "Screw it, people are buying whatever we toss at them" and switched from actually caring about rules and different types of games to just selling soulless figures and not caring about anything other than sales. Maybe it was just because I was younger but I remember in the waning days of 2nd edition and into 3rd edition that (like 1995 to 2001) that GW at least gave the impression they cared about promoting the hobby and having good, solid games versus trying to be the one stop for everything. Then all of a sudden things just stopped and they stopped doing all of the things that made them a hobby - no more terrain articles in WD but "Buy our new plastic terrain", no more quality articles showing how staff members painted their own army (which often wasn't near the standards of the Studio but good tabletop quality armies) but "Follow these paint by numbers tutorials to paint like we do", removal of the game articles and the like and just focusing on pushing new things.

Inquisitor Engel
27-02-2014, 14:57
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures. Are there parallels? Sure. But GW has a lot more room to maneuver, both internally and externally, and try new things than TSR did. They have cash-on-hand and that's extremely valuable.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 14:58
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures.

More like GW has convinced themselves they're a miniatures company; whether they believe it or not they're a games company by virtue of selling a game, whether or not it's their main focus. The comparison is still apt because TSR was the RPG equivalent of GW, and GW is making the same mistakes that drove TSR bankrupt and nearly killed the RPG genre.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 15:10
I guess the should have named themselves, Miniatures Workshop instead then.

GW would sell very few miniatures if they were JUST a miniatures company like Studio McVey, Reaper or Andrea, for example. They sell a ton of miniatures BECAUSE of their games. If there was no game, there would be very little "Games" Workshop.

And this just speaks to where I believe the problem started. When they started saying they were a miniatures company instead of a games company.

williamsond
27-02-2014, 15:18
Without trying to derail what i think is a very good start to a thread, I also feel that thinking they are a miniture company not a games company for me at least is a big part of the problem

I know i would not buy figures if i didn't intend to play games with them. while i do buy stuff that ends up never making the table this is not my intent. If 40K becomes unplayable i will stop playing and buying, as i've done with fantasy.

I don't want to get into the fantasy vs 40k argument lets just say i didn't like this version, so i stopped playing it and haven't bought a single product after the codex and teh main rulebook. I could see this happening with 40k too if it carries on the way its going.

will i ever play fantasy again? probably but not in its current form. I'm sure there are a lot more people like me out there and this is where the not carring about balance or playtesting comes in to play.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 16:06
Ironically I've heard that Fantasy is more balanced than 40k as far as the quality of the rules, just the pricing scheme is worse (boxes of 10 = needing to buy 2 boxes for a single unit). I'd choose Kings of War over Fantasy just for the streamlined rules (and in most cases you can use your WHFB army so you lose nothing by trying it out), but 40k doesn't have a viable alternative yet.

Reinholt
27-02-2014, 16:14
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business.

They're pretty damned close.

What is more like GW:
TSR or Apple?
TSR or Chipotle?
TSR or Sony?
TSR or Piper Jaffray?
TSR or Allstate?
TSR or Porsche?
TSR or EA?
TSR or Boots?
TSR or Blizzard?

You don't even have to think about the answers until that last one (and I'd pick TSR by a mile). No, GW is not identical to TSR, but it's pretty closely comparable on a relative basis.

Sotek
27-02-2014, 16:19
I agree. The accelerated schedule makes me wonder if the next 2 years is their swansong when they release as much as they can.

Scaryscarymushroom
27-02-2014, 17:37
They're pretty damned close.

What is more like GW:
TSR or Apple?
TSR or Chipotle?
TSR or Sony?
TSR or Piper Jaffray?
TSR or Allstate?
TSR or Porsche?
TSR or EA?
TSR or Boots?
TSR or Blizzard?

You don't even have to think about the answers until that last one (and I'd pick TSR by a mile). No, GW is not identical to TSR, but it's pretty closely comparable on a relative basis.

GW could be a banana farm and the OP's concerns would still be a problem. I mean, look at the nature of these issues:


Named Designers leaving:
Accelerated Release Schedule:
Thinking they were more than they are:
Drop in Product Quality:
Cramming stuff into an established paradigm that doesn't belong:
Abandoning everything around one brand:
Increased pricing:
View of customers being suckers:
Soullessness leading to market disconnect:
Ignoring and Enabling competition:
Aggressive IP defense:

They're more related to branding and business management than the actual product or service being sold.

Personally though, I would challenge the idea that there is actually a drop in product quality. I wouldn't say that new plastics are a drop in quality, at any rate. Even the quality of Finecast models seems to have improved since it was released several years ago.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 17:54
Maybe drop in value is more appropriate. The quality has gone up but the price has as well to almost-ludicrous levels and the value has diminished. I give Eldar Dire Avengers as an example - reduced the box to 5 and raised the price from the previous edition. Also look at any WHFB infantry box - you get 10 figures and a bunch of extras that mostly aren't used outside of conversions, but the price is more than a box of 16 was a few years ago, and since it's insanely rare to field infantry units 10-strong, you end up spending 2x the amount for two boxes for each single unit of troops you want.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 17:58
GW could be a banana farm and the OP's concerns would still be a problem. I mean, look at the nature of these issues:



They're more related to branding and business management than the actual product or service being sold.

Yet, as shown in my OP, they have a dramatic impact on the product or service being sold.


Personally though, I would challenge the idea that there is actually a drop in product quality. I wouldn't say that new plastics are a drop in quality, at any rate. Even the quality of Finecast models seems to have improved since it was released several years ago.

Cut and paste supplements and book FAQs issued one week after a $50 book is released show poor product quality. Finecast, while I didn't even discuss it above, was another example. While I agree it improved, it still is nowhere near the quality of metal minis that it replaced, nor did it help that it was said to be done to save costs while simultaneously passing on a price increase to customers.

Next, as other threads have discussed, there is a noticeable drop in quality in the overall product direction, of 40k as a whole. It has gone from something that seems to have a consistent process, to something that appears to be throw anything out the door that we think customers will buy. This is EXACTLY what TSR did in their last two years in business and it is only done in desperation of falling revenue and trying to stem the tide of the declining customer base - yet it is the exact opposite of what should be done.

Lastly, with the plastic miniatures, it has been less about quality and more about value. $78 for three plastic Centurians ($26 for one plastic guy?)? $30 for a single plastic Space Marine Librarian (probably the most offensive pricing I have ever seen on one 28mm plastic guy), $58 for a single Warhammer Troll? $75 for a Land Raider? Price going from $47 for three plastic Tyranids to $51 for the same kit (almost a 10% price increase) for no reason other than the Codex released. Simply put, their prices have reached a point where, even if you like the minis, people are having a very hard time with the price points based on the value returned.

f2k
27-02-2014, 18:09
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures. Are there parallels? Sure. But GW has a lot more room to maneuver, both internally and externally, and try new things than TSR did. They have cash-on-hand and that's extremely valuable.

I'm not too sure about that.

The parallels are quite striking and the external room that Games Workshop has is rapidly disappearing as smaller companies are circling like sharks. Worse, Games Workshop has shown, time and again, that they have no intention of actually trying to defend that room, instead abandoning it entirely in favour of an (almost) exclusive focus on 40K. As for internal room, years of cost-cutting has gutted their retail chain to the point that they simply cannot do any more without closing stores for good. On that front there's hardly any room left at all.

bosky
27-02-2014, 18:25
Excellent OP, and I think very true. The desperate "throw everything in and see what sticks" approach recently particularly rings true.

I'd be interested to see if there are parallels to FASA before they shut down, since that was another company with a powerful brand and leading game (Battletech) that had their empire crumble.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 18:27
I think it will be interesting to see how, if at all, GW addresses this, or if they collapse like the other giants before them.

Scaryscarymushroom
27-02-2014, 18:30
Yet, as shown in my OP, they have a dramatic impact on the product or service being sold.

Right. By problem I mean "valid concern." They do indeed have a dramatic impact on the products, but what I mean to say is that all these things together; they're what an ailing business looks like no matter what the business actually sells.



Cut and paste supplements and book FAQs issued one week after a $50 book is released show poor product quality. Finecast, while I didn't even discuss it above, was another example. While I agree it improved, it still is nowhere near the quality of metal minis that it replaced, nor did it help that it was said to be done to save costs while simultaneously passing on a price increase to customers.

Next, as other threads have discussed, there is a noticeable drop in quality in the overall product direction, of 40k as a whole. It has gone from something that seems to have a consistent process, to something that appears to be throw anything out the door that we think customers will buy. This is EXACTLY what TSR did in their last two years in business and it is only done in desperation of falling revenue and trying to stem the tide of the declining customer base - yet it is the exact opposite of what should be done.

Lastly, with the plastic miniatures, it has been less about quality and more about value. $78 for three plastic Centurians? $58 for a single Warhammer Troll? $75 for a Land Raider? Price going from $47 for three plastic Tyranids to $51 for the same kit (almost a 10% price increase) for no reason other than the Codex released. Simply put, their prices have reached a point where, even if you like the minis, people are having a very hard time with the price points based on the value returned.

- Books. I agree. I hadn't thought of that. Though if you set aside the price, the full-color hardcovers (if they were done right) would be an improvement over the mostly grey paperbacks of the late 90s/early 00s.

- Finecast. I agree with your point about metal. But in the spirit of the devil's advocate, finecast replaced metal a long time ago, and recent finecast models are miles better (if still flawed) than the early finecasts. Also, for what it's worth, there are rumors that GW is abandoning the material in favor of plastic. These seem like improvements to me. At least, in some sense.

- Value returned. Here's where Inquisitor Engel's point is most relevant. I almost never game, so it makes little difference to me whether I get 10 of something or 16. From a modeling perspective, the Dark Eldar Warrior kit of 2009 was a shocking improvement on the Dark Eldar Warrior kit of '94 (was that really the year?), despite the fact that there were less models per box. The same kit being more expensive for less models (dire avengers & tyranid warriors) is a price increase issue, not a product quality issue.

Ultimate Life Form
27-02-2014, 18:35
Also look at any WHFB infantry box - you get 10 figures and a bunch of extras that mostly aren't used outside of conversions, but the price is more than a box of 16 was a few years ago, and since it's insanely rare to field infantry units 10-strong, you end up spending 2x the amount for two boxes for each single unit of troops you want.

Just to do away with this little misconception; only the most elite and pointswise expensive (=very few) Rank & File units warrant use of unit sizes of 10-20. The pictures that GW publishes may also be a bit misleading. 25-30 is more realistic these days, and with the really weak stuff, you may want even more. Basically, a unit cannot be big enough. With for example Skaven Slaves at 2 Points each, it would easily be possible to make a very impressive (and also very viable) unit of 50 or even 100.

When I looked at the new Dark Elves and realized that the single unit of Witch Elves that I wanted alone would tick in at 180€, the idea was instantly put ad acta.

It's also a bit bizarre... some stuff gets insanely expensive, while other things stay the same. For example, even with the new book the Lizardmen Saurus Warriors box is still 20 pieces at 30€, while Skinks are even 24 pieces, like they have been for many, many years now. I thank GW for not shafting my favorite army here.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 18:38
Jeez I've been away a while, you want 30 of regular infantry now, so 3 boxes for a single regiment? If true that basically means you're looking at over $100 per unit.

Ultimate Life Form
27-02-2014, 18:45
Jeez I've been away a while, you want 30 of regular infantry now, so 3 boxes for a single regiment? If true that basically means you're looking at over $100 per unit.

At the least. Basically, in 8th, what makes R&F so good is the Steadfast rule, which means they will likely not break from combat if they have more ranks that the opposing unit. That means you want as many ranks as possible, and each ranks has to be 5 models. Or you could make Ranks of 10 models to field a Horde unit (which allows more models to attack), but this is so expensive I've never seen it done.

Samsonov
27-02-2014, 18:48
Well, I for one hope the parallel stands and that Warlord Games picks up GW and their IP. You'd have plenty of ex-GW staff who were involved in various golden ages of GW, they would have complete freedom on the IP and I'd expect prices would be frozen or be reduced. Just imagine how good the first issue of white dwarf would be with Paul Sawyer and Rick Priestly writing it.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 18:50
Well, I for one hope the parallel stands and that Warlord Games picks up GW and their IP. You'd have plenty of ex-GW staff who were involved in various golden ages of GW, they would have complete freedom on the IP and I'd expect prices would be frozen or be reduced. Just imagine how good the first issue of white dwarf would be with Paul Sawyer and Rick Priestly writing it.

Oh god... I'm really surprised there isn't some kind of alliance between the ex-GW companies. Mantic, Warlord, I'm pretty sure at least one other.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 18:53
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures. Are there parallels? Sure. But GW has a lot more room to maneuver, both internally and externally, and try new things than TSR did. They have cash-on-hand and that's extremely valuable.

First, to the point of the OP, yes they have other areas they COULD maneuver but, like TSR, they are choosing to circle the wagons around their two core brands. Leaving an opening for their competitors which have ALL grown while they has declined.

Second, they do have more cash on hand but they have a massive overheard compared to what TSR ever did. They have manufacturing facilities and storefronts, which TSR never did. TSR also made a half-hearted attempt to recognize a new form of competition with Magic: The Gathering by introducing Dragon Dice, but by then their reputation was so tarnished it never really stood a chance.

Speaking of Magic: The Gathering one final point here since it bears parallel. MTG is the number one game ever created in the hobby space, currently surpassing $200M a year on it's own (more than ALL of GW). That game would never have come into being if it weren't for Peter Adkinson, CEO of WotC at the time, noticing a need for customers. He looked at people waiting in convention lines and told Richard Garfield he wanted a game they could play while waiting (Richard Garfield was pitching RoboRally to WotC at the time). Thus was born MTG, but more importantly, Peter Adkinson knew exactly who and why customers would be for this game. This is where GW is also failing - they do not know who they want to sell to anymore. They say 14-16 year old kids, but average pocket money for that age group averages £7 to £9 (http://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/financial-planning/pocket-money-averaging-5-75-a-week/), since GW is in the UK, yet a box of Space Marines is £25 and a 40k rulebook is £45. SO by their pricing that doesn't make sense. So they must be targeting high income veterans, like myself, but I am not going to pay $30 for a plastic Space Marine Librarian, not because I can't afford it, as I easily could, but that is ludicrous for a single plastic guy. In other words, I won't pay it because it is a terrible value. So, I say again, exactly who is GW targeting for their customers?

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 19:01
More than that was that WotC (eventually) embraced the independent retailer with events (e.g. weekly FNM) and promotions. GW has done everything it can to drive out the independents and thinks the world revolves around the GW store.

That alone has done more for MTG than GW could ever hope to do. The idea you can make a small purchase and then turn up every week to get some guaranteed games and a shot at new swag is pricess versus spending a small fortune and hoping you can get a game, and then hoping that your opponent isn't "That Guy" who brings a tournament army with all the bells and whistles to a friendly game.


So, I say again, exactly who is GW targeting for their customers?

Kids with rich parents? They've stated that their target demographic is kids, but as you point out what sort of kid is going to have that kind of money around or be able to get their parents to spend hundreds on them? I often think if they really expect people to buy things or just figure that a kid will get bought the boxed game and that's it, but that can't be the case.

ForgottenLore
27-02-2014, 19:12
While I agree with most of the OP's points, I read an editorial by someone who worked for TSR at the time of the buyout and apparently a big problem was that TSR wasn't charging enough for most of their products. There was such a total lack of understanding about the manufacturing process that TSR was actually losing money on every boxed set they sold.

Which matches my personal experience, I remember most D&D products from the time being quite reasonably priced (for an unemployed college student) and that prices shot up when WotC took over.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 19:16
Oops, forgot to mention Warlord Games as a rapidly rising competitor - especially with Bolt Action. Speaking of them, it is amazing how they can sell a resin tank German Tiger Tank for $40 whereas the GW equivalent plastic tank Lemun Russ is $50 US. Also, it is strange how a Lemus Russ is $50, yet a similar sized Land Raider is $75. Again, no sense at all to GW pricing.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 19:18
While I agree with most of the OP's points, I read an editorial by someone who worked for TSR at the time of the buyout and apparently a big problem was that TSR wasn't charging enough for most of their products. There was such a total lack of understanding about the manufacturing process that TSR was actually losing money on every boxed set they sold.

Which matches my personal experience, I remember most D&D products from the time being quite reasonably priced (for an unemployed college student) and that prices shot up when WotC took over.

Actually, that was when Lorraine Williams took over. She corrected that and then some with the pricing. While they did at first raises prices to reasonable levels to make a profit, when the last 2 years of her ten year tenure came it moved on to just continually upping prices feeling customers would pay anything.

They were reasonably priced versus anything GW, but at the end, they were, in many cases, almost 50%-75% more than similar products from competitors. I particularly remember picking up two adventure modules near the end. One was a third party produced one with 96 pgs. for $9.99. The other was a TSR one with 64 pgs. for $14.99. Both were of similar quality but I got far less from the TSR one for a higher price. This is what I meant by GW mimicking TSR in delivering less for a higher price (i.e., screwing their customers in value).

Horus38
27-02-2014, 19:18
Increased pricing: TSR started rapidly increasing prices in the end as their customer base dwindled. When coupled with the materials being absurd additions (Spelljammer) and the noticeable drop in product quality, people began to feel ripped off by TSR and started using other products. Once that happened, and they realized other companies could produce products of like or better quality, the acceleration away from TSR quickened. GW is facing the exact same thing today, yet continues to operate in a complete vacuum of ignorance like TSR did then.

A well structured and thought out post. I do however disagree with the point quoted above. I've been playing WHFB & 40k for about 12 years and never before has the quality of their products been higher IMHO. The sheer versatility and detail of almost all the new kits has been incredible, and I see few comparable products that are sold at a lower price.

Horus38
27-02-2014, 19:21
Oops, forgot to mention Warlord Games as a rapidly rising competitor - especially with Bolt Action. Speaking of them, it is amazing how they can sell a resin tank German Tiger Tank for $40 whereas the GW equivalent plastic tank Lemun Russ is $50 US. Also, it is strange how a Lemus Russ is $50, yet a similar sized Land Raider is $75. Again, no sense at all to GW pricing.

Is that a joke? A Leman Russ and a Land Raider are miles apart in detail/size/kit versatility...

Ultimate Life Form
27-02-2014, 19:31
It really doesn't matter if the product is priced reasonably from the manufacturer's point of view. If no one can afford it, it's all useless. They have to cut their production cost or something. Also targeting 0,1% of the general populace is not a very sound strategy. If Richie Rich is your only customer, you've done something wrong.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 19:43
A well structured and thought out post. I do however disagree with the point quoted above. I've been playing WHFB & 40k for about 12 years and never before has the quality of their products been higher IMHO. The sheer versatility and detail of almost all the new kits has been incredible, and I see few comparable products that are sold at a lower price.

I agree about the model quality, but they are not $26-$30 for a single 28mm guy in quality. $58 for a single chaos troll, no matter how detailed is ludicrous. Is the new $30 plastic Space Marine librarian that much better than the previous librarians (or for that matter the $16 Finecast librarians available or the $22 librarian in Terminator Armor). Are the new SM Centurions really worth $26 a piece? Nothing changed with the Tyranid Warriors at all, yet they increased in price from $47 to $51 with the release of the Codex. So, I do agree the model quality is there, but the value for the price is plummeting fast - and that is what I referred to in the post - increased pricing reaching a point where it has an adverse effect on revenue rather than a positive one.

And, their books, especially recently have been subject to poor quality. There are far, far more negative reviews of the codex supplements than positive ones. Escalation and Stronghold Assault were pretty much huge cut-and-paste jobs. And we have had FAQs come out on new books one week after release.

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 19:44
Is that a joke? A Leman Russ and a Land Raider are miles apart in detail/size/kit versatility...

Not 50% in price difference miles apart. I own three land raiders and 4 Leman Russes so I understand a bit of the kit differences.

f2k
27-02-2014, 19:52
A well structured and thought out post. I do however disagree with the point quoted above. I've been playing WHFB & 40k for about 12 years and never before has the quality of their products been higher IMHO. The sheer versatility and detail of almost all the new kits has been incredible, and I see few comparable products that are sold at a lower price.

That is certainly debatable. But then again, most subjective things are...

FineCast was, and still is, a terrible mistake. A material and work-process so unsuited to the purpose that I sincerely hope that the guy who got that idea has been fired.

As for plastic, I find that many of the new models are downright bland and scream "3D-designed" so loudly that it's not even fun. There's absolutely no soul left in them.

Sure, some of the models are nice - the new Knight, for example, show what they can do when the model, the design method, and the material all suits each other. But that still cannot hide that fact that it is massively overpriced for what it is. As for versatility, I like extra odds and ends in my box so I can customize and convert. But I have absolutely no need for the ton of torsos and other assorted bits that are left over from the new dual-box style packaging. And I strongly recent having to pay for that much extra stuff.

Finally, someone here once said something about painting the handkerchief on the third guy from the right in the second to last row being insanity. And that is very much true. So even though the models might individually be of an acceptable quality, and fairly detailed, they are generally unsuited for their purpose as there are too many fiddly details to paint considering the sheer amount of models that you need. And that's not even looking at the price for a reasonably sized Fantasy regiment...

Personally, I find Games Workshops current line of products somewhat baffling. They're detailed as though they're for a skirmish-level game, they're priced as though they're limited-run models from a small garage-company, and yet you need a ton on the tabletop as you're playing a mass-combat game. And while their new Apocalypse-level models are well done and characterful, they're so expensive that they're completely out of the range for the kids that are supposedly the target demographic.

shelfunit.
27-02-2014, 19:54
For example, even with the new book the Lizardmen Saurus Warriors box is still 20 pieces at 30€, while Skinks are even 24 pieces, like they have been for many, many years now. I thank GW for not shafting my favorite army here.

Only 16 in a box I'm afraid.

Laniston
27-02-2014, 19:57
Well, I for one hope the parallel stands and that Warlord Games picks up GW and their IP. You'd have plenty of ex-GW staff who were involved in various golden ages of GW, they would have complete freedom on the IP and I'd expect prices would be frozen or be reduced. Just imagine how good the first issue of white dwarf would be with Paul Sawyer and Rick Priestly writing it.

My fear is that GW would so over-value their IPs and stubbornly refuse to come down in price they would end up in legal battles for years and keep anyone from touching Warhammer.

Verm1s
27-02-2014, 20:04
Well, I for one hope the parallel stands and that Warlord Games picks up GW and their IP. You'd have plenty of ex-GW staff who were involved in various golden ages of GW, they would have complete freedom on the IP and I'd expect prices would be frozen or be reduced. Just imagine how good the first issue of white dwarf would be with Paul Sawyer and Rick Priestly writing it.

Given that stuff I've heard about Bolt Action makes it sound like Warhammer 1.94K, and Rick Priestly's into his second desperate attempt to zap some kind of life and interest into his new sci-fi game via WG, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the ideal outcome; WG's other games nonwithstanding.


Finally, someone here once said something about painting the handkerchief on the third guy from the right in the second to last row being insanity. And that is very much true.

I think we should start a sig-quote campaign with that, and challenge the might of J.A.D.E.D. and Mat Ward jokes.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 20:04
Personally, I find Games Workshops current line of products somewhat baffling. They're detailed as though they're for a skirmish-level game, they're priced as though they're limited-run models from a small garage-company, and yet you need a ton on the tabletop as you're playing a mass-combat game. And while their new Apocalypse-level models are well done and characterful, they're so expensive that they're completely out of the range for the kids that are supposedly the target demographic.

That's kind of the thing. The figures are superbly detailed and that's the justification for the high prices, but insane detail isn't needed for a wargame beyond characters. Comparing a GW Dwarf with a Mantic Dwarf, the GW dwarf has a ton more detail, most of which is lost when you're looking at a regiment of 20 or so. The Mantic Dwarf has enough detail to clearly be a dwarf infantryman, but the overall detail is less because you're painting him and 19 friends, and the visual look of the unit as a whole is greater than the individual unit; by comparison though some of the Mantic heroes have just enough detail to stand out without being pretentious.

Ultimate Life Form
27-02-2014, 20:08
Only 16 in a box I'm afraid.

Heck... WHAT?

I actually fell for it! And they even made it look like it's still 4 ranks worth of models in the picture! That's false advertising! That does it, GW just incurred my immortal wrath!

Wayshuba
27-02-2014, 20:12
My fear is that GW would so over-value their IPs and stubbornly refuse to come down in price they would end up in legal battles for years and keep anyone from touching Warhammer.

While this is slightly off-topic. Given the fast rise of Bolt Action, I think Warlord maybe on to something. Warhammer 40k doesn't have any real direct competition - YET. Given Mantic going at WFB, and the well known workings of Rick Priestly on Gates of Antares, one does have to wonder.

If that game is good, and Warlord does a nice job on the models at the price points they use for Bolt Action models, GW will be looking at some very serious competition against their crown jewel. If Gates of Antares does what Bolt Action has done, GW will be in for a serious world of hurt to the point where I believe it could be the death knell of the company.

Reinholt
27-02-2014, 20:19
A well structured and thought out post. I do however disagree with the point quoted above. I've been playing WHFB & 40k for about 12 years and never before has the quality of their products been higher IMHO. The sheer versatility and detail of almost all the new kits has been incredible, and I see few comparable products that are sold at a lower price.

I think the OP was thrusting more towards quality of rules than quality of models.

I would argue the quality of plastics, in particular, has never been higher, but the quality of rules has slipped dramatically.

ObiWayneKenobi
27-02-2014, 20:22
FWIW Mantic also has their 40k equivalent, Warpath, although it's not fleshed out that much yet (KS coming soon I think). From what I've read of Bolt Action though it seems like THE perfect game to simulate 40k-style combat with mostly infantry but a couple of extras, so it will be interesting to see what comes of both Warpath and Gates of Antares. I think GW is shooting themselves in their foot in many ways by pushing 40k larger and larger instead of having four different types of games in the same world like they used to:

* Small skirmish (Kill Team/Necromunda/Inquisitor) with maybe a squad of guys
* Platoon/company level (40k) with several infantry/mobile squads and a smattering of vehicles
* Large scale battles with lots of troops and tanks that allow for things like an entire armored company (Epic)
* Fleet battles with flyers and ships (BFG)

One of the dumbest things GW ever did was not position the entire 40k experience as being all four games versus just one.

clovis
27-02-2014, 21:27
Sometimes I think what is happening to GW is just a natural thing; I just picture GW as the roman empire , it started with humble beginnings, grow, mature, get fat and decline or change/evolve and survive or not; but does this matter! I used to worry and be annoyed at the way the company was going, not anymore(I take the best GW offers and leave the rest behind), and you want to know why? life is too short! This same parallel happened in 2007 on this same forum, this is now 2014 and GW is still alive,I understand that people here are very passionate and would like things to be different ; maybe they will fail but not before I get few new knights:p

cornonthecob
27-02-2014, 21:55
Ironically I've heard that Fantasy is more balanced than 40k as far as the quality of the rules, just the pricing scheme is worse (boxes of 10 = needing to buy 2 boxes for a single unit). I'd choose Kings of War over Fantasy just for the streamlined rules (and in most cases you can use your WHFB army so you lose nothing by trying it out), but 40k doesn't have a viable alternative yet.

Warpath (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/e62f0c35454fa3ba687404d69/files/Warpath_II_Rules.pdf), admittedly it's in its second edition and still being actively play tested by the public, but it's a good little holdover until they eventually get to Kickstarting the final hardback book.


While this is slightly off-topic. Given the fast rise of Bolt Action, I think Warlord maybe on to something. Warhammer 40k doesn't have any real direct competition - YET. Given Mantic going at WFB, and the well known workings of Rick Priestly on Gates of Antares, one does have to wonder.

If that game is good, and Warlord does a nice job on the models at the price points they use for Bolt Action models, GW will be looking at some very serious competition against their crown jewel. If Gates of Antares does what Bolt Action has done, GW will be in for a serious world of hurt to the point where I believe it could be the death knell of the company.

Only issue is that GOA is basically using the Bolt action rules system with an over watch option added. Many people I know have lost any interest from what was described on the kickstarter to now being 'Bolt action innnnnnnnn spaaaaaaaaacccce'.

Ultimate Life Form
27-02-2014, 22:49
I just had a look at this Warpath stuff and to say it's "targeted" at GW is quite an understatement. It looks like a complete ripoff of 40K and Fantasy. I mean, Orx (groan)... c'mon, they're not even trying here. I'm surprised GW could do nothing to stop them. Why would anyone want to play a bootleg version of the real game? They must be really confident in the quality of their rules to even try and pull this off.

The only redeeming feature I can see is Skaven in Space. That is really awesome.

Autumn Leaves
27-02-2014, 23:02
It's really sad because GW used to be a pretty good company and then just went downhill when they started pursuing profit above all else, and basically closed their doors. They don't want criticism, they want blind faith and praise, and that no longer works. It's almost like they want to pretend the internet doesn't exist.

GW became a PLC and from that point it all changed.
This is not new it's just that in years gone by they made some very shrewd moves with lotR, and converting to plastic almost across the board.
However, now, there is a long standing global recession and the pricing point is reaching the danger zone where it is turning away potential new customers.

Fear Ghoul
27-02-2014, 23:29
The decline of GW has always been inevitable, and it is all just a part of the natural cycle of life. By definition even 1000 year empires must end.

Ultimate Life Form
28-02-2014, 00:08
The decline of GW has always been inevitable, and it is all just a part of the natural cycle of life. By definition even 1000 year empires must end.

While it is true that one must perish so others can flourish, there is a difference between dying of natural causes and driving your car over the cliff at max speed.

All this desperate and ineffectual thrashing while the competition circles overhead like greedy vultures waiting to fight over the rotten carcass of a fallen giant is rather unsightly and undignified.

williamsond
28-02-2014, 00:46
For me the only things that keeps me playing are the people I play against, and the fluff. I'm invested in the universe and after 25-26 years I'm institutionalised. I do hope that when (sooner or later) the golden throne finally falls some one takes the IP and relaunches it.

Lothlanathorian
28-02-2014, 00:47
Dark Eldar Warrior kit of '94 (was that really the year?),

Fall/Christmas of '98. They were in the 3rd Ed starter with Marines and didn't exist before then.

Horus38
28-02-2014, 01:20
I think the OP was thrusting more towards quality of rules than quality of models.

I would argue the quality of plastics, in particular, has never been higher, but the quality of rules has slipped dramatically.

I gathered as much, which is why I found it an interesting read and only took exception to the one bullet point I quoted. I buy models I like the look of and get excited about, if the rules aren't to my liking I can write it off and still enjoy my models. This is the key point for me in comparison to stuff like MTG or D&D which becomes a huge waste (IMHO) if the quality of rules/balance aren't present.

skammadix
28-02-2014, 05:18
Heck... WHAT?

I actually fell for it! And they even made it look like it's still 4 ranks worth of models in the picture! That's false advertising! That does it, GW just incurred my immortal wrath!
Wait, am I missing something? There are four ranks worth of models in the Saurus box. 4x4=16.

Incurring your immortal wrath doesn't sound very difficult ;)

Shadey
28-02-2014, 06:34
That's kind of the thing. The figures are superbly detailed and that's the justification for the high prices, but insane detail isn't needed for a wargame beyond characters. Comparing a GW Dwarf with a Mantic Dwarf, the GW dwarf has a ton more detail, most of which is lost when you're looking at a regiment of 20 or so. The Mantic Dwarf has enough detail to clearly be a dwarf infantryman, but the overall detail is less because you're painting him and 19 friends, and the visual look of the unit as a whole is greater than the individual unit; by comparison though some of the Mantic heroes have just enough detail to stand out without being pretentious.

I can't say I agree. In that respect I do appreciate the extra detail of GW minis, but when Avatars of War, the newer Mantic stuff (among others) can do detail every bit as good for a fraction of the cost, I can't see how someone could fail to conclude that someone in power at GW is simply being a typically greedy human.

At the same time however, if my focus was the game I would probably agree entirely with you. It harkens back to a thread I made asking what people's emphasis was whether it be socialising or modelling or gaming or immersion in the background and what not. People have different priorities and mine are the miniatures and the painting and converting of.


I just had a look at this Warpath stuff and to say it's "targeted" at GW is quite an understatement. It looks like a complete ripoff of 40K and Fantasy. I mean, Orx (groan)... c'mon, they're not even trying here. I'm surprised GW could do nothing to stop them. Why would anyone want to play a bootleg version of the real game? They must be really confident in the quality of their rules to even try and pull this off.

The only redeeming feature I can see is Skaven in Space. That is really awesome.

That is because GW don't have half the protection they would like you to think they have. Orcs (in or out of space), regardless of spelling, is such a fundamental trope that if GW tried to crack down on it the greater public would rightfully be in an uproar about it. *cough.. spots....*

AlexHolker
28-02-2014, 06:58
They're pretty damned close.

What is more like GW:
TSR or EA?

You don't even have to think about the answers until that last one (and I'd pick TSR by a mile). No, GW is not identical to TSR, but it's pretty closely comparable on a relative basis.
Actually, I've seen articles about EA that could have been written about GW. This one by Shamus Young (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=22308), for example: the problem with GW is not that they want money, it's that they want money but aren't willing to do the hard work to get it the right way. EA goes right for the jugular with Dungeon Keeper to the point where players don't even have time to like the game before they are being shaken down for micropayments; GW goes right for the jugular with rank&file prices, so players don't even have time to become fans of WHFB before they're scared off by the $150-200 per unit price tag.

Luigi
28-02-2014, 07:19
has anyone read the Little Black Book? I am assuming most ex-staffers on here have. I have a current copy, written by The Emporer himself... customers don't matter, they know nothing. We know best.
I'M actually interested in this, is it an actual thing, or it's just another case of me not getting a joke?

Poseidal
28-02-2014, 09:21
The retreating to a few product lines (and marking of 'premium') is classic 'moving upmarket' which happens to declining / disrupted companies.

The key to survival is making small, less profitable (but still profitable) product lines for your 'crappy customers'. They are so far refusing to co-opt the smaller (skirmish, or possible other type of game like those hybrid board games) and they will retreat further and further upmarket until other companies take all their customers.

Now this is mostly for tech companies, but the parallels and similarities might be there (it applied to vertical steel mills and mini-mills) for the case of 'what customers' they want.

Athelassan
28-02-2014, 09:26
Wait, am I missing something? There are four ranks worth of models in the Saurus box. 4x4=16.

Incurring your immortal wrath doesn't sound very difficult ;)
Given that the effective minimum rank width is five, one tends to assume that four ranks = twenty models. Of course, the picture does show a front rank of four, but many people will have to look twice to spot that since you don't expect them to shave a file off and will automatically look at the unit depth to work out numbers. It is a bit of a cheap trick on GW's part, especially since they deliberately hiked the rank size up a couple of editions back to get everyone to buy a few more figures. A 4x4 unit of Saurus wouldn't have been at all out of place a few years ago; nowadays... I'm sure there are reasons to arrange them like that occasionally, but I can't for the life of me think what they are.



I'M actually interested in this, is it an actual thing, or it's just another case of me not getting a joke?
I believe it's the staff manual, of which there have been a couple of iterations over the years, written by Tom Kirby and issued to employees, and contains a lot of guff about the company's ethos and philosophy. From what I've heard of it it sounds pretty cringeworthy, at least in places.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 09:36
Actually, I've seen articles about EA that could have been written about GW. This one by Shamus Young (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=22308), for example: the problem with GW is not that they want money, it's that they want money but aren't willing to do the hard work to get it the right way. EA goes right for the jugular with Dungeon Keeper to the point where players don't even have time to like the game before they are being shaken down for micropayments; GW goes right for the jugular with rank&file prices, so players don't even have time to become fans of WHFB before they're scared off by the $150-200 per unit price tag.

And EA won worst company two years running and these methods finally came to bite them in the butt with every single product missing revenue targets one year because customers had had enough of being ripped off (remember the outcry about Day One DLC on Mass Effect 3). In the end, this cost John Riccitello (the EA CEO) his job. I don't see this happening with GW (winning worst company) because it is a niche market, but I do see it costing Kirby his job is the numbers keep slipping.

Herzlos
28-02-2014, 09:37
Given that stuff I've heard about Bolt Action makes it sound like Warhammer 1.94K, and Rick Priestly's into his second desperate attempt to zap some kind of life and interest into his new sci-fi game via WG, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the ideal outcome; WG's other games nonwithstanding.

I've heard people refer to Bolt Action as being what 40K should have been, but never as a 40K in WWII.
Having played it briefly and owning the rules, I'd say it's a much cleaner game with some pretty good mechanics, and it seems to be growing hugely in popularity. It's maybe not a realistic simulation but it's a pretty good game. I don't think I've heard any real complaints about WG games from people who've played them. GoA not withstanding since I'm not sure it's going to be as intended. I've no problem with BA in space though, as it's got some good mechanics (The activation dice makes for a much more engaging game than IGoUGo)

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 09:43
I can't say I agree. In that respect I do appreciate the extra detail of GW minis, but when Avatars of War, the newer Mantic stuff (among others) can do detail every bit as good for a fraction of the cost, I can't see how someone could fail to conclude that someone in power at GW is simply being a typically greedy human.

I don't know if I would call it greed in this case. I think, GWs issue, is one of how much cost the organization has to bear above manufacturing and development and that cost gets peanut buttered into all the products. TBH, Kirby's salary is extremely high for a company that size. Most CEOs over $100M-$200M companies get a salary around $300k-$350k with about a like amount in stock (so $600k-$700k total compensation). Kirby's salary alone was £750k (or $1.25M US), almost 5 times that of a CEO of a company this size. Additionally, I would bet that many of the senior management salaries are higher than the norm. Then add a retail chain that accounts for a massive amount of cost on the company and we have miniature prices in the stratosphere just to cover these massive money sinks.

Daniel36
28-02-2014, 09:52
*Sigh*

If you like a model, buy it.
If you dislike the price, don't buy it.
If you like the game, play it.
If you don't like the game, play something else.
If you have serious ill feelings towards the company, speak with your wallet.

Seriously, we should stop caring about how GW is as a company, and either buy their stuff or not.
GW staff and the way they handle customers is really the LAST thing on my mind when I go in one of their stores. The only thing I care for is whether or not they have the product I want and go back home to enjoy it.

And boy do I enjoy their new technical paint Blood for the Blood God. I have to refrain myself from turning every single model into a bloody mess... Though splattering the front rank sounds so appetizing.

Not saying I LIKE their current view on the customer and the way they handle pretty much everything. I'd rather they support games like Mordheim and Warhammer Quest and whatnot so that they actually sell a FUN game, but that's beside the point. I can actually still use the models I buy for Mordheim so active support or not, their models are usable for it. And guess what, GW isn't the only company out there. If you really care for a company's attitude then let them know how you feel by supporting a company that actually cares about you and their own product.

Oh and the stock exchange says nothing if you have no idea what it really is, which I suspect is true for about 99% of us.

Just my 2 cents.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 10:05
*Sigh*

If you like a model, buy it.
If you dislike the price, don't buy it.
If you like the game, play it.
If you don't like the game, play something else.
If you have serious ill feelings towards the company, speak with your wallet.

Seriously, we should stop caring about how GW is as a company, and either buy their stuff or not.
GW staff and the way they handle customers is really the LAST thing on my mind when I go in one of their stores. The only thing I care for is whether or not they have the product I want and go back home to enjoy it.

And boy do I enjoy their new technical paint Blood for the Blood God. I have to refrain myself from turning every single model into a bloody mess... Though splattering the front rank sounds so appetizing.

Not saying I LIKE their current view on the customer and the way they handle pretty much everything. I'd rather they support games like Mordheim and Warhammer Quest and whatnot so that they actually sell a FUN game, but that's beside the point. I can actually still use the models I buy for Mordheim so active support or not, their models are usable for it. And guess what, GW isn't the only company out there. If you really care for a company's attitude then let them know how you feel by supporting a company that actually cares about you and their own product.

Oh and the stock exchange says nothing if you have no idea what it really is, which I suspect is true for about 99% of us.

Just my 2 cents.

These were my thoughts in the last days of TSR. Unfortunately, when the company keeps making decisions to cause enough customers to do this:

If you dislike the price, don't buy it.
If you don't like the game, play something else.
If you have serious ill feelings towards the company, speak with your wallet.

Then those of us who still wish to buy their stuff can't because the company goes out of existence. This also tends to have an increasing effect on some people who want to buy their stuff (who wants to invest cash in building an army from a company that might be gone in a year or two) that these trends cause a company to outright collapse (like the final year of TSR). That was the point of the OP, that GW is causing enough people to act like the above and why they are. It has nothing to do at all with stock price. It has to do with a double-digit decline in sales when almost all their competitors have grown (so you can't blame it on the global recession).

Verm1s
28-02-2014, 13:05
Herzlos: these seem like good complaints to me. ;)

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=63745.0
http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=57122.msg762648#msg762648

'Course you can play Bolt Action if you like, and people in that first topic admit it's good for what it is, but...
It'll make me sound like a grumpy old grognard (which wouldn't be entirely inaccurate) but it's a source of mild frustration that people seem to make a show about giving up 40K and FB by latching onto Bolt Action, Flames, Malifaux, Warmahordes, KoW, etc., when these games are just the most easily seen once the exodus starts, aren't much more than a stone's throw from the former two and some of their deficiencies, and just scratching the surface of the gaming sphere, regardless of the enjoyment to be had with them. (Could ungenerously argue that the deficiencies are built in to entice GW gamers, 'cos that's the hit they really want...) Shiny hype, listbuilding, netlisting, killer kombos, min-maxing, overpowered characters, stacks and stacks of special rules to pore over, and so on.

(Being a bit unfair to KoW, because the rules are interesting and fairly different to WHFB; but Mantic was founded to cash in on GW's popularity and tropes, and is trapped by it in some small ways. Conforming to the individual base sizes and 5x4/10x4 unit sizes of FB, for example, particularly for orcs on 25% bigger bases and unit footprints.)

Brother Asmodeus
28-02-2014, 13:45
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures. Are there parallels? Sure. But GW has a lot more room to maneuver, both internally and externally, and try new things than TSR did. They have cash-on-hand and that's extremely valuable.

But they are ran by the same guy, Tom Kirby... Food for thought.

shelfunit.
28-02-2014, 13:52
But they are ran by the same guy, Tom Kirby... Food for thought.

As far as I was aware he just ran the distribution for TSR UK, with little to no "decision making" power, or was he higher up than that? Either way, lessons not learnt.

Inquisitor Engel
28-02-2014, 15:00
But they are ran by the same guy, Tom Kirby... Food for thought.

TSR was run by Lorraine Williams from 1985 until it was sold to WotC in 1997. Kirby had nothing to do with how TSR was run or the decisions it made, he was IIRC an independent distributor, as TSR had no solid business relationships in the UK during the '80s.

IJW
28-02-2014, 15:08
Kirby ran TSR UK in the Eighties who were mostly importers for the main company but did produce a few of their own supplements, until TSR closed the UK office. Certainly nothing to do with TSR's actual management.

Ultimate Life Form
28-02-2014, 16:55
TSR was run by Lorraine Williams from 1985 until it was sold to WotC in 1997.

So it took her 12 years to run it into the ground. Not too shabby. I've seen people do considerably worse.

mrtn
28-02-2014, 16:56
Herzlos: these seem like good complaints to me. ;)

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=63745.0
http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=57122.msg762648#msg762648


I don't. The first rant is about the LRDG, who were a bunch of scouts in the desert. Of course they'll not slot faultlessly into a game system. That said people have run them, and it seems quite successfully too, considering they're something of a one trick pony. And as many in that thread say, just make up your own rules and scenarios if you want to.
As to Grant's post, you should realise he has something of a history with Warlord, and didn't part on the best of terms.

I've played both games and don't see why Bolt Action would be like 40K except for the most basic similarities (ie you use a few squads and a couple of vehicles).


Unfortunately I don't know enough about TSR to comment, I played Swedish RPGs in the 80s. But it's an interesting discussion. :)

TheFang
28-02-2014, 17:02
TSR UK did a lot of their own material (http://randomwizard.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-rise-and-fall-of-tsr-uk.html)-Fiend Folio from the White Dwarf articles, Imagine magazine and Don Turnbull and others did loads of UK supplements and UK Player Association publications.


Kirby ran TSR UK and like most of the staff left when TSR UK was eliminated when Williams took over. See the Phil Gallagher interview (http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/d-wfrp-and-birth-of-fictional-god-short.html).


PG: The sequence of events - over a period of a few months - was:
1. TSR Inc closed down Imagine magazine and a half-dozen people lose their jobs. Graeme, Jim, and I were shocked when we heard the news. We had no idea it was even being considered. It was very unsettling, and left a big hole in the place.

2. Paul tried free-lancing for a bit and then landed a job at GW, just as Bryan Ansell was in the process of moving the publishing from London to Nottingham.

3. Tom Kirby left TSR UK to go work for GW. Jim and I, in particular, felt very exposed by his departure - he was one of the good guys on the management side, and it seemed that the writing was on the wall for TSR UK as a whole.

4. I called Paul in Nottingham to see if there were any jobs going. Graeme, Mike, Jim, and I were all interviewed by Bryan - pretty much en masse - and he offered us all jobs. It felt like there was a future at GW, a much flatter hierarchy, less politics, and the opportunity to be in "on the ground floor" as WFRP was created, so it was a pretty easy decision. Only Graeme decided he wanted to stay in Cambridge, but there were no more UK D&D modules.

TSR on the whole was a very different company to GW. No manufacturing, module and boardgame production all done by a variety of contract printers, miniatures licenced out. They did just writing, editing and distribution. More like Black Library than main GW.

Gee, the OP really didn't like Spelljammer. ;)

Hengest
28-02-2014, 17:18
This seems to be a common internet myth.
The managing director of TSR UK was Don Turnbull who passed away some years ago not Tom Kirby. Tom Kirby was in the TSR UK design studio and they produced a whole raft of D&D material here in the UK.
In fact there were a number of early GW people who all worked for TSR at the time - not just Tom Kirby. He was however one of the first to move to GW and it happened before TSR UK shut down. He presumably saw the writing on the wall. Once he jumped ship though the likes of Phil Gallagher etc took the hint and followed him.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 17:24
TSR UK did a lot of their own material (http://randomwizard.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-rise-and-fall-of-tsr-uk.html)-Fiend Folio from the White Dwarf articles, Imagine magazine and Don Turnbull and others did loads of UK supplements and UK Player Association publications.


Kirby ran TSR UK and like most of the staff left when TSR UK was eliminated when Williams took over. See the Phil Gallagher interview (http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/d-wfrp-and-birth-of-fictional-god-short.html).



TSR on the whole was a very different company to GW. No manufacturing, module and boardgame production all done by a variety of contract printers, miniatures licenced out. They did just writing, editing and distribution. More like Black Library than main GW.

Gee, the OP really didn't like Spelljammer. ;)

The structures of the companies were different, yes, but the business and markets (leisure hobby entertainment) are very similar. The business decisions that lead to TSRs downfall are the same ones being made by GW now.

As for the Spelljammer references, one should study the history of Lorraine Williams family on the rights to Buck Rogers. She wanted this worked into D&D (which makes no sense) and thus Spelljammer came to light.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 17:27
This seems to be a common internet myth.
The managing director of TSR UK was Don Turnbull who passed away some years ago not Tom Kirby. Tom Kirby was in the TSR UK design studio and they produced a whole raft of D&D material here in the UK.
In fact there were a number of early GW people who all worked for TSR at the time - not just Tom Kirby. He was however one of the first to move to GW and it happened before TSR UK shut down. He presumably saw the writing on the wall. Once he jumped ship though the likes of Phil Gallagher etc took the hint and followed him.

A bit off topic - The UK adventures were some of the best ever produced. My absolute best and longest lasting memories come from DMing my long time campaign players through UK1 thru UK3. In fact, events that happened on those adventures caused Saltmarsh to become their homebase for the entire 5 years of the campaign.

TheFang
28-02-2014, 17:39
As for the Spelljammer references, one should study the history of Lorraine Williams family on the rights to Buck Rogers. She wanted this worked into D&D (which makes no sense) and thus Spelljammer came to light.
Doesn't seem to be the way the TSR wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSR,_Inc.)has it. As far as I can remember and wikipedia backs this up Spelljammer and Buck Rogers are very different settings. She worked Buck Rogers into the TSR empire with an RPG and a boardgame as simply Buck Rogers which would get her family royalties. Spelljammer bears almost no resemblance to Buck Rogers and wouldn't earn royalties unless she came up with it.

Under Williams' direction, TSR solidified its expansion into other fields, such as magazines, paperback fiction, and comic books. Through her family, she personally held the rights to the Buck Rogers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Rogers) license and encouraged TSR to produce Buck Rogers games and novels. TSR would end up publishing a board game and a role-playing game, the latter based on the AD&D 2nd Edition rules

WLBjork
28-02-2014, 19:12
There's a lot of possibilities for the future.

Also, 10% is a cause for concern. It's not a disaster - Lego made a much more spectacular comeback. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/27/lego-builds-record-profit

Have to say, I was surprised to read that Lego starts at $75/kg. Not checked the price/weight ratio of GW products, but given they are more complex and detailed I would expect GW products to be relatively more expensive.

rwphillipsstl
28-02-2014, 19:36
I agree with many of these parallels. On the current path, GW's fate is likely to be similar to TSR (picked up by someone else who will take better care of it than GW will).

The timeline is... flexible. I want to see how GW's cash position looks over the next few quarters. The big issue they will ultimately face is the lease obligations for stores. When people say GW has no debt, that isn't quite true. GW has no corporate level debt; they have lease obligations that they are required to fulfill, and if they cannot, they will end up getting into trouble.

The most likely chain of events for GW receivership is falling sales > negative cash flow > inability to pay all lease obligations > subsequent legal proceedings > receivership.

This assumes nobody purchases them in the interim.



I see this stated over and over, but I don't think it's actually true. I think the bigger issue is that GW doesn't even understand how to make long-term, durable profit! Incompetence is not a strategy, it's just incompetence.

I worked on several large retail chain bankruptcy cases, and the above point is very, very valid. However, a key component is how the retail chain is organized--are the leases in the name of the parent company, are the lease obligations guaranteed by the parent company, etc. Certainly there is the possibility that these store leases take them down in the long-term, but one would hope that there corporate lawyers have organized matters in a way to avoid that.

f2k
28-02-2014, 20:07
There's a lot of possibilities for the future.

Also, 10% is a cause for concern. It's not a disaster - Lego made a much more spectacular comeback. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/27/lego-builds-record-profit

Have to say, I was surprised to read that Lego starts at $75/kg. Not checked the price/weight ratio of GW products, but given they are more complex and detailed I would expect GW products to be relatively more expensive.

Difference is that The LEGO Group did some pretty drastic things - including changes in the management - in order to recover. Games Workshop seems entirely unwilling to change.

Reinholt
28-02-2014, 20:10
Certainly there is the possibility that these store leases take them down in the long-term, but one would hope that there corporate lawyers have organized matters in a way to avoid that.

Ha!

In respect to GW's lawyers. The comment is well said.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 20:56
Doesn't seem to be the way the TSR wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSR,_Inc.)has it. As far as I can remember and wikipedia backs this up Spelljammer and Buck Rogers are very different settings. She worked Buck Rogers into the TSR empire with an RPG and a boardgame as simply Buck Rogers which would get her family royalties. Spelljammer bears almost no resemblance to Buck Rogers and wouldn't earn royalties unless she came up with it.

There was a lot of feedback from ex-employees on Spelljammer being Buck Roger worked into D&D. They even discussed how no one in TSR wanted to work on it because they thought it was such a stupid idea. But it was done anyway.

Wayshuba
28-02-2014, 20:59
Difference is that The LEGO Group did some pretty drastic things - including changes in the management - in order to recover. Games Workshop seems entirely unwilling to change.

It should be noted that LEGO made these changes voluntarily. It is a family business, and a third generation family member was running it when he realized he was not the most effective at the job and recruited an outside CEO to then run LEGO. He was more concerned with the long term health of the business rather than the ego of being CEO. The rest is business success history.

Kirby, on the other hand, is a couple of years from retirement and right now, it appears, he could care less about the long term health of the company and only about shoring up the revenue numbers over the next couple of years for his benefit.

ForgottenLore
28-02-2014, 21:11
Completely off topic here, but I actually really liked spelljammer. I don't think they should have tried to tie it into their existing worlds/cosmology, but I thought it was a pretty cool implementation of "fantasy sci fi".

f2k
01-03-2014, 09:02
It should be noted that LEGO made these changes voluntarily. It is a family business, and a third generation family member was running it when he realized he was not the most effective at the job and recruited an outside CEO to then run LEGO. He was more concerned with the long term health of the business rather than the ego of being CEO. The rest is business success history.

Kirby, on the other hand, is a couple of years from retirement and right now, it appears, he could care less about the long term health of the company and only about shoring up the revenue numbers over the next couple of years for his benefit.

Indeed. The LEGO Group, and the family behind, were willing to make the needed changes to bring the company back on track. And given the financial statement they just released, I must say that they did the right thing.


Kirby, on the other hand, seems interested in only one thing - and that is to draw every last penny he can out of the company before retirement. And who cares what happens to Games Workshop after that?

The only other explanation I can see is that he is completely and utterly inept at what he's doing. But given his history, I find that somewhat hard to believe.

Miredorf
01-03-2014, 11:41
I have a question. Have the D&D products go down in price to match up with their competitors after the company was bought? Thanks.


I would argue the quality of plastics, in particular, has never been higher, but the quality of rules has slipped dramatically.

Quality of plastics tends to be very high in 40k. But for those of us who follow WH fantasy since its beginnings i have to say that they distile massive costs cuttings on every piece. Kits are monopose, lazy and have many surfaces devoid of details. This problem is getting accentuated with every release, being worse in the latest like dark elf black guard/executioners and dwarf hammerers & ironbreakers kits.

Lord Solar Plexus
01-03-2014, 12:51
Kits are monopose, lazy and have many surfaces devoid of details.

How I wish State Troops were like that!

MarkNorfolk
01-03-2014, 13:56
Completely off topic here, but I actually really liked spelljammer. I don't think they should have tried to tie it into their existing worlds/cosmology, but I thought it was a pretty cool implementation of "fantasy sci fi".

Me too! While I gree that GW seems to be in a bad place right now, the opening post does seem to have a 'I hate Spelljammer' subtext. I've run/played in some fun SJ campaigns and the fact that Paizo published a solar system guide for their campaign setting shows they think the SJ demographic is worth pandering to. If Lorraine's intent for SJ was to be Buck Rogers meet AD&D it didn't survive in the final product.

Cheers
Mark

Shadey
02-03-2014, 03:39
I don't know if I would call it greed in this case. I think, GWs issue, is one of how much cost the organization has to bear above manufacturing and development and that cost gets peanut buttered into all the products. TBH, Kirby's salary is extremely high for a company that size. Most CEOs over $100M-$200M companies get a salary around $300k-$350k with about a like amount in stock (so $600k-$700k total compensation). Kirby's salary alone was £750k (or $1.25M US), almost 5 times that of a CEO of a company this size. Additionally, I would bet that many of the senior management salaries are higher than the norm. Then add a retail chain that accounts for a massive amount of cost on the company and we have miniature prices in the stratosphere just to cover these massive money sinks.

Isn't that greed then on the part of Kirby and possibly those other senior managers? Not trying to be facetious, am I missing something?



*Sigh*

If you like a model, buy it.
If you dislike the price, don't buy it.
If you like the game, play it.
If you don't like the game, play something else.
If you have serious ill feelings towards the company, speak with your wallet.

Seriously, we should stop caring about how GW is as a company, and either buy their stuff or not.
GW staff and the way they handle customers is really the LAST thing on my mind when I go in one of their stores. The only thing I care for is whether or not they have the product I want and go back home to enjoy it.

And boy do I enjoy their new technical paint Blood for the Blood God. I have to refrain myself from turning every single model into a bloody mess... Though splattering the front rank sounds so appetizing.

Not saying I LIKE their current view on the customer and the way they handle pretty much everything. I'd rather they support games like Mordheim and Warhammer Quest and whatnot so that they actually sell a FUN game, but that's beside the point. I can actually still use the models I buy for Mordheim so active support or not, their models are usable for it. And guess what, GW isn't the only company out there. If you really care for a company's attitude then let them know how you feel by supporting a company that actually cares about you and their own product.

Oh and the stock exchange says nothing if you have no idea what it really is, which I suspect is true for about 99% of us.

Just my 2 cents.

*Sigh*

What if I like the model, but dislike the price, but I really do like the model, but I really do dislike the price?

What if after years of money and time, I am invested financially and emotionally in the game so even though I have serious ill feelings towards the company, I am still interested in the game and the company which supplies it, a company which I did happily support at one time?

For that matter, who says we don't speak with our wallets? I brought 8 things from GW last year, 6 of which were those technical paints. I declined on everything else I wanted.

So I would appreciate if you don't sigh at us because you refuse to think in anything other than absolutes.

Yowzo
05-03-2014, 12:25
What if after years of money and time, I am invested financially and emotionally in the game so even though I have serious ill feelings towards the company, I am still interested in the game and the company which supplies it, a company which I did happily support at one time?

Then keep in mind that this is hobby. As long as it starts getting too emotional or too expensive I would quickly go find something else.

Stress of that kind is something I reserve exclusively for activities I get paid for.

Idle Scholar
05-03-2014, 18:28
Does anyone have the story of the decline of Battletech? I remember when I was just getting into 40K 2nd all the older people at the local shop were playing Battletech. A few years later and nothing. Also there was a significant and popular library of books and all the video games.

hellharlequin
05-03-2014, 20:04
Does anyone have the story of the decline of Battletech? I remember when I was just getting into 40K 2nd all the older people at the local shop were playing Battletech. A few years later and nothing. Also there was a significant and popular library of books and all the video games.

a good staring point http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FASA

bittick
05-03-2014, 22:13
Does anyone have the story of the decline of Battletech? I remember when I was just getting into 40K 2nd all the older people at the local shop were playing Battletech. A few years later and nothing. Also there was a significant and popular library of books and all the video games.

Some of the guys who ran the company were ready to retire. I think Jordan Weismann's (one of the creators) dad actually did a lot of their accounting and business work, and he had a career before doing 15+ years of heavy work for FASA. They looked at the profitability of the company and the amount of work that was required and decided to hang it up.

FASA had been through some lengthy litigation a few years before over their "unseen" mechs. Many of the classic designs used in the game had been leased from model company TSI. Turns out TSI's rights to those images weren't as strong as they had originally believed and they didn't have the authority to lease out those images. So FASA agreed to stop using the original Robotech images. That probably continued to a bit of fatigue on the part of the FASA guys.

Bloodknight
05-03-2014, 22:40
A few years later and nothing.

Sadly, actually.

The rulebooks are better than ever and thanks to an evolutionary game system instead of throwing everything on a heap and hoping that it will sort out itself, as is done with 40K every edition, you can still play with other people although the last book you bought was from 1990.
Most of the new stuff is entirely optional, the basic game works like it always did, with a couple easily remembered changes. Catalyst Games is also putting out lots of supplements etc; all that BT would really need is a new line of miniatures, some of the sculpts are just too old *glances at the mech on his table that says Copyright 1986*, and there has been terrible size creep since then.

The rule system is sound, easily taught and hard to master, and its points formula Battle Value 2 is actually quite nicely balanced compared to what I see in some other systems (I play BT a lot and apparently pretty well, so I guess I can say that...).

The fluff rocks, too, up to a certain point where you can see that they rushed it too much. It's IMO an example for why stagnant fluff can be good for a setting. BT has too much development in too short a timeframe from the MadMaxian 3025 setting to post-Jyhad 3130.

The novels are mostly good as well, if a bit one-sided in their love for the Federated Suns (There were 63 in the original run, I believe. They're currently back in print in Germany, but there have been new ones and not all of the old ones have been rereleased yet. Thank Blake I could buy a new copy of the Warrior Trilogy, though, mine wasn't looking too good after all those years. Michael Stackpole just writes great fiction).


But yes, in most gaming groups it had been supplanted by 40K at some point, the releases trickled and 2nd edition 40K offered a similar depth of gameplay and flashier miniatures; then it fell out of favor and people didn't teach new players anymore. Then they got used to playing mostly 40K although that game got pretty shallow over the years in comparison to its skirmish game roots when it was fun, wacky and a better tactical game on top of that if you limited the use of uberpsykers.
Today you get stuff like this:
http://www.3plusplus.net/2014/03/escalation-tournament-report-this-is-why-we-cant-have-nice-things/

which pretty much shows that there can't be a lot of playtesting going on at GW nowadays.

ehlijen
05-03-2014, 23:37
Sadly, actually.

The rulebooks are better than ever and thanks to an evolutionary game system instead of throwing everything on a heap and hoping that it will sort out itself, as is done with 40K every edition, you can still play with other people although the last book you bought was from 1990.

Although the refusal to fix balance mistakes from the past means you'll keep what few problems the game has indefinitely. They're not game breaking, but they are there (AC5, CLPL...).


Most of the new stuff is entirely optional, the basic game works like it always did, with a couple easily remembered changes. Catalyst Games is also putting out lots of supplements etc; all that BT would really need is a new line of miniatures, some of the sculpts are just too old *glances at the mech on his table that says Copyright 1986*, and there has been terrible size creep since then.


IronWind Metals is making new miniatures all the time, including occasionally resculpts of old ones for new variants. But thankfully it is not a scale driven game, so the size creep, while wierd, is not hindering (except for a few exceptions where the new mini doesn't fit into hexes anymore...).

But yeah, some classics still look great today, while others (including other new ones) need a redesign badly.

The rule system is sound, easily taught and hard to master, and its points formula Battle Value 2 is actually quite nicely balanced compared to what I see in some other systems (I play BT a lot and apparently pretty well, so I guess I can say that...).

BV2 is actually terrible. It only works if you add additional restrictions such as number and types of units. 100 infantry vs 1 mech at equal BV does not work. The Force Size Multiplier meant to adjust forces of different unit numbers doesn't work. C3 BV costing doesn't work. Adjusting pilot skill too far from the baseline makes units that rely on speed for defence broken.

Supposedly Catalust Games Labs is working on a completely new balancing system as we speak.


The fluff rocks, too, up to a certain point where you can see that they rushed it too much. It's IMO an example for why stagnant fluff can be good for a setting. BT has too much development in too short a timeframe from the MadMaxian 3025 setting to post-Jyhad 3130.

The novels are mostly good as well, if a bit one-sided in their love for the Federated Suns (There were 63 in the original run, I believe. They're currently back in print in Germany, but there have been new ones and not all of the old ones have been rereleased yet. Thank Blake I could buy a new copy of the Warrior Trilogy, though, mine wasn't looking too good after all those years. Michael Stackpole just writes great fiction).

Until the CapCon writers started force feeding everyone else stupid pills, yeah the fedsuns were overly emphasised. But then everyone got those pills in the jihad, so it evened out lol

The problem was that CGL inherited the clickytech universe and timeline from a different company and had to include it somehow to preserve canon. So they took the Jihad story plans from the end of FASA, the dictated end result from Mechwarrior: The Dark Age, the available timespan and the lack of writers or funding for novels...and came up with about as good a mess as they probably could. Still a mess though.

And while some of Stackpole's writing is good (BoK), some is meh (Warrior) and some is yuck (Assumption of risk). Reading too much of him shows of his limited reportoire of characters, badly. For example, Phelan and Kai were meant to be quite different personalities. Yet I could barely tell from his writing style of them.

In short: Battletech is great fun despite its problems, give it a try, people!
Out of all games since the 80s, it's probably aged the best.

Miredorf
06-03-2014, 00:52
How I wish State Troops were like that!

6th starter state troops meet your requirements. They are also very cheap on ebay.

The problem with the current is not any of those listed (theclack of) its just that the sculpts are horrible.

theshoveller
06-03-2014, 01:14
There's a lot of possibilities for the future.

Also, 10% is a cause for concern. It's not a disaster - Lego made a much more spectacular comeback. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/27/lego-builds-record-profit

Have to say, I was surprised to read that Lego starts at $75/kg. Not checked the price/weight ratio of GW products, but given they are more complex and detailed I would expect GW products to be relatively more expensive.
Lego is pretty damn expensive these days. It wouldn't surprise me if Lego and GW have similar business models.

New Cult King
06-03-2014, 03:24
Lego is a very successful company that's growing.

GW aren't using the same business model at all.

Shadey
06-03-2014, 03:47
Then keep in mind that this is hobby. As long as it starts getting too emotional or too expensive I would quickly go find something else.

Stress of that kind is something I reserve exclusively for activities I get paid for.

The point I was trying to make is it isn't an all or nothing thing. I still paint, I still read, i still get enjoyment out of the hobby. Why does that have to mean I accept without complaint everything the company does?

ehlijen
06-03-2014, 04:57
Lego is pretty damn expensive these days. It wouldn't surprise me if Lego and GW have similar business models.

LEGO got more expensive when it started acquiring movie licence rights all over the place, for obvious reasons. Unlike GW and The Hobbit, they're actually doing something with those licences, though, and it appears to be working out for them.

(Depending on location) they are however cheaper than GW by far still. I can go to the supermarket and get a tiny ~10 piece lego vehicle with 2 minifigs for ~10 bucks while the cheapest GW miniature comes in at at least twice that ($AUD). And one GW mini doesn't actually let me play any games, either.

Lower entry price point, more effective use of licences and in my opinion simply being a better toys (not that I dislike GW minis, but as toys, LEGO beats them in every way) all mean LEGO will keep beating GW, I'd think.

Bloodknight
06-03-2014, 07:33
BV2 is actually terrible. It only works if you add additional restrictions such as number and types of units. 100 infantry vs 1 mech at equal BV does not work. The Force Size Multiplier meant to adjust forces of different unit numbers doesn't work. C3 BV costing doesn't work. Adjusting pilot skill too far from the baseline makes units that rely on speed for defence broken.

Yeah, I should have said that I mostly play 3025. 100 infantry vs 1 mech does indeed not work because assuming you take the cheapest infantry without support weapons you're somewhere in the 7000-10000 BV region and a mech of that size would either murder the infantry on a big map or get murdered in city terrain (infantry is supposed to be good in cities, though).

Pilot skills are overpriced, I agree with that. 20% for a gunnery level is quite excessive because it's only worth about 16%. Those 4% add up quickly.

In several thousand games on our server (we play about 300 games a week, lance to company size on 4x3 mapsheets, 3025 with some Star League stuff sprinkled in) we found that base level pilots usually outtonnage elite pilots to a degree that the elite pilots also need a pretty good player to balance out the amount of armor and guns of the basic units, and a big map.

AC5s just weigh too much (can't really be fixed without making a great many designs illegal, so it would need to be better ruleswise); they're not too shabby with Precision ammo (that's a major thing, try a Jägermech or a Dragon with prex, they're actually decent then) and the optional rule for rapid fire with standard autocannon, though.
CLPL is broken indeed. It would need a major range reduction.

But yeah, I should probably rephrase: BV works pretty well if you don't mix timelines too much and, most importantly, let Clanners fight Clanners and IS IS, particularly 3025 IS vs 3050 Clan doesn't mix well (the clanners eat the sphere guys unless the clan player plays them like an idiot with Zellbrigen rules and doesn't just retreat all the time), and late IS vs Clan doesn't work well either (because the tech advantage switches sides at some point, notably the C3 network and some guns).

It's a much better balancer than tonnage, though.


The Force Size Multiplier meant to adjust forces of different unit numbers doesn't work.
Indeed. It got removed from the game in the last errata for that reason. The extra init step wasn't worth the horde tax, there is no inherent bonus in numbers vs quality.


In short: Battletech is great fun despite its problems, give it a try, people!
Out of all games since the 80s, it's probably aged the best.

Yeah, signed. The depth of gameplay is great.



Lower entry price point, more effective use of licences and in my opinion simply being a better toys (not that I dislike GW minis, but as toys, LEGO beats them in every way) all mean LEGO will keep beating GW, I'd think.

Well, Lego will always beat GW because it appeals to basically everybody (although I will admit that I never liked it as a kid, I was more into first Playmobil and then action figures).









Sorry for the OT, I'll stop now.

theshoveller
06-03-2014, 09:22
LEGO got more expensive when it started acquiring movie licence rights all over the place, for obvious reasons. Unlike GW and The Hobbit, they're actually doing something with those licences, though, and it appears to be working out for them.
In my local lego shop, anything from their Hobbit/LotR license that isn't a new release is shunted to the back of the shop and discounted (and doesn't appear to be clearing even then). I reckon the license is doing poorly everywhere. Judging by shelf space, I would hazard a guess that Lego sell roughly twice as much Star Wars licensed material and similar numbers of Marvel and DC licensed sets. The Hobbit looks like a poor seller.


(Depending on location) they are however cheaper than GW by far still. I can go to the supermarket and get a tiny ~10 piece lego vehicle with 2 minifigs for ~10 bucks while the cheapest GW miniature comes in at at least twice that ($AUD). And one GW mini doesn't actually let me play any games, either.

Lower entry price point, more effective use of licences and in my opinion simply being a better toys (not that I dislike GW minis, but as toys, LEGO beats them in every way) all mean LEGO will keep beating GW, I'd think.
Australia is a bit of special case, price-wise, isn't it? I'm not sure price on point of entry is particularly useful as a measure, either - "entry" is a nebulous concept. I might buy GW miniatures either to play or to paint, my initial investment is vastly different. Similarly, what do I buy Lego for? If I want to build things, a random minifig (costs about £2) is useless. People do, however, collect random minifigs. A set of monopose Space Marines is £6 for 3 - equally useless to anything other than a collector.

No, what I'm getting at is this: both companies are operating in an environment where they know long-term customers have all the basics they need. Their response is to produce premium 'showpiece' kits for existing customers (have you seen the Lego famous buildings series? £100-250) and churn-and-burn new customers spending other people's (parent's) money. My local Lego shop is much like a GW one - sales assistants leaping in to tell you about new products, a display cabinet that shows you what the staff have built, details of the local Lego club and so on.

Herzlos
06-03-2014, 09:36
(have you seen the Lego famous buildings series? £100-250)

Yeah it's brilliant. A tad pricey but it's got my fathers (currently 59) birthday presents sorted for the next decade or so :D

I guess my point is that these showcase pieces to fill a demand when the value is met. And I find that the Imperial hotel, for instance, is better value than a Knight, even if it's on the upper bounds of the value range.

New Cult King
06-03-2014, 09:58
Back on topic guys :)

Warseer Mod Squad

theshoveller
06-03-2014, 11:15
Yeah it's brilliant. A tad pricey but it's got my fathers (currently 59) birthday presents sorted for the next decade or so :D

I guess my point is that these showcase pieces to fill a demand when the value is met. And I find that the Imperial hotel, for instance, is better value than a Knight, even if it's on the upper bounds of the value range.
I'm glad you're happy with it, but you've raised two separate issues: meeting demand for quality products is one thing, creating demand (by offering something new) is another. Both Lego and GW have a long history of quality products, but it's the second goal that matters to them here. The Lego movie has done it for this year, but it remains to be seen whether that's sustainable. The Imperial Knight fits the same kind of criteria, but I don't know how it's selling.

The "value" is essentially a subjective judgment in either case. I don't think the Lego Sydney Opera House (to take a case in point) is worth £250. I would, however, consider dropping £85 on a Knight if I had it.

Is this really "off-topic"? We're comparing the strategies of toy/games companies.

f2k
06-03-2014, 11:32
I'm glad you're happy with it, but you've raised two separate issues: meeting demand for quality products is one thing, creating demand (by offering something new) is another. Both Lego and GW have a long history of quality products, but it's the second goal that matters to them here. The Lego movie has done it for this year, but it remains to be seen whether that's sustainable. The Imperial Knight fits the same kind of criteria, but I don't know how it's selling.

The "value" is essentially a subjective judgment in either case. I don't think the Lego Sydney Opera House (to take a case in point) is worth £250. I would, however, consider dropping £85 on a Knight if I had it.

Is this really "off-topic"? We're comparing the strategies of toy/games companies.

I agree that it's not really that off topic. Comparing the two companies - in particular why The LEGO Group got turned around while Games Workshop seems to be heading over the cliff is, at the very least, enlightening.


In my humble opinion, of course...


In regards to the point of quality, I will point out that Games Workshop has been failing spectacularly on that point for a while now. And I'm not only talking about FineCast here. The rules, indeed the very feeling of the game, is also "quality" of a sort.


As for creating demand, I think there's a very big difference between the two companies - buy-in cost. You can get a fair bit of fun out of even a small box of bricks - and every new box add fun on its own or in combination with previous boxes - whereas Games Workshop requires you to drop a lot of money of stuff that you absolutely need as there's no enjoyment of the individual components on their own.*

Also, in a sense I think there's a lot longer time frame for involvement when speaking Games Workshop. You can buy a box of bricks as and when you feel like it. But if you want to play 40K you need to stick around for a while, collect an army, learn the rules, get involved with a club, and so on. So in that sense, playing 40K is a much more involved and long term investment that building with bricks.

Of course, there's also the issue of one company being huge and mainstream and one being rather small and lurking in a niche.


* Speaking strictly as a game here. The fluff might be enjoyable on its own, some will undoubtedly buy a model simply to paint, and so on... But if you want to play you need the whole lot.

Poseidal
06-03-2014, 11:37
The £85 for the knight is directly comparable to other companies existing giant mecha kits, which I would say generally have far superior poseability, finer details (including internals), as many (or more) weapon options that are easily exchangeable and even pre-coloured plastic along with usual decals. The costs are usually around half GW asking price and this is for manufacturers both much larger and smaller than Citadel.

RevEv
06-03-2014, 12:01
I agree that there are some superb, highly detailed kits available but many, if not most, are not destined for the battlefield but rather the display case. Therefore, when looking at the usability of these giant mecha kits ask yourself how long they would survive on a tabletop without damage!

Comrade Crash
06-03-2014, 12:24
The £85 for the knight is directly comparable to other companies existing giant mecha kits, which I would say generally have far superior poseability, finer details (including internals), as many (or more) weapon options that are easily exchangeable and even pre-coloured plastic along with usual decals. The costs are usually around half GW asking price and this is for manufacturers both much larger and smaller than Citadel.

I'm actually putting my Knight together at the minute, and although I think it is a lovely kit, the only slight disappointment I have is the monopose legs & feet. With the the way they are constructed it will take a lot of work to make them poseable. For a premium priced product, it's a (little) bit of a let down and IMO a wasted opportunity. I think a knight army, would have looked way cooler with more dynamic posing.

Although still loving it!

WokeUpDead
06-03-2014, 12:45
I agree that there are some superb, highly detailed kits available but many, if not most, are not destined for the battlefield but rather the display case. Therefore, when looking at the usability of these giant mecha kits ask yourself how long they would survive on a tabletop without damage!


sorry, but I think that wasn't really the point he was trying to make; we get better detailed kits in a comparable size for -less- money.
thinking your point (usability, sturdiness) through it sounds like your saying: "less details = higher survivability on the table, and that in consequence justifies GW prices"
if so, a single red Lego/duplo (anyone remember these? ;)) cube with 10cm³ is the epitome of sturdiness and thus should cost 150€/$ .. which won't sound right to you either, I guess.

me personally, I'm firmly in the camp that says "GW prices are too high". not just because there is competition both bigger and smaller that CAN and DOES sell a very good (better?) product at a much smaller point.
there are so many other things I can sink my money in. a few gorgeous minis for 10-20€? they're bought without thinking twice. a (albeit very cool) kit at 110€? not so much. and 5-6 of these? that's some holidays far away. that's a new amp or a new guitar (like minis, you never have enough of these..*sigh*). that's a really cool pinball machine I can have fun with for decades. for others that's a rent or a used car. I (you too of course) could go on.
the point is: they simply charge too much for not thinking twice (at least) to buy the stuff - at which point something in the back of my head says what I have mentioned above.


ha! post number 666 :D

theshoveller
06-03-2014, 13:33
I agree that it's not really that off topic. Comparing the two companies - in particular why The LEGO Group got turned around while Games Workshop seems to be heading over the cliff is, at the very least, enlightening.


In my humble opinion, of course...


In regards to the point of quality, I will point out that Games Workshop has been failing spectacularly on that point for a while now. And I'm not only talking about FineCast here. The rules, indeed the very feeling of the game, is also "quality" of a sort.


As for creating demand, I think there's a very big difference between the two companies - buy-in cost. You can get a fair bit of fun out of even a small box of bricks - and every new box add fun on its own or in combination with previous boxes - whereas Games Workshop requires you to drop a lot of money of stuff that you absolutely need as there's no enjoyment of the individual components on their own.*

Also, in a sense I think there's a lot longer time frame for involvement when speaking Games Workshop. You can buy a box of bricks as and when you feel like it. But if you want to play 40K you need to stick around for a while, collect an army, learn the rules, get involved with a club, and so on. So in that sense, playing 40K is a much more involved and long term investment that building with bricks.

Of course, there's also the issue of one company being huge and mainstream and one being rather small and lurking in a niche.


* Speaking strictly as a game here. The fluff might be enjoyable on its own, some will undoubtedly buy a model simply to paint, and so on... But if you want to play you need the whole lot.
I think, ultimately, your experience is very different to mine. I'm rarely disappointed by new GW releases (though I'm indifferent to many 40k releases, I'm usually impressed with WFB ones). I think WFB is in an excellent place with regards to rules. I've played precisely one game of 40k 6e, so don't feel qualified to comment on it.

I've never felt the 'long wait' you describe with regards to playing - from the minute I bought a GW game (Man O War, later 40k 2e) I was playing games with whatever I had. While I would agree that the game benefits from a great investment of time and effort, I think it's common for people to adapt to their circumstances. If I only have a small box of lego, I only build small things until I can afford more (to continue the example).

Lego is a huge company, yes, but I'd say the profound difference between it and GW is that GW dominates its niche, while Lego is a big player in a vast industry. I think the former has a distorting effect, both on GW's strategies and on the market's reaction to them. I see many similarities between the two companies, including some of the clangers dropped in marketing. Lego is, however, better at managing public relations (it has to be, because of the market it's in) and so doesn't receive the same opprobrium for its mistakes.

Reinholt
06-03-2014, 13:53
I would argue the biggest difference between GW and Lego is the size and quality of their competition. Lego is in the toy space. There are many competent players there, and incompetent players get crushed.

This has not been the case in the niche tabletop wargaming market historically. All of GW's current competitors have a flaw at least as large as that of GW, whether it be rules, models, background, business strategy, or just overall lack of vision. If there were a single competitor hitting on all cylinders, they would dominate the market (as GW did, before they started to stumble and make mistakes).

I also agree that lack of quality is becoming an issue. While no opinion is uniform (in fact, there are exceptions in this thread), fantasy is all but dead in the current edition where I play, and 40k is increasingly suffering from WTF rules (witness the Legion of the Damned codex where the LatD army automatically loses the game at the end of turn one...).

Yowzo
06-03-2014, 14:01
The point I was trying to make is it isn't an all or nothing thing. I still paint, I still read, i still get enjoyment out of the hobby. Why does that have to mean I accept without complaint everything the company does?

Because the company won't hear some random complaint on a warhammer forum. Vote with your wallet and find alternatives.

It's your hobby (yours and your buddies') make of it what you will. Your current minis won't melt with the release of a new giant kit, and your old rulebooks won't crumble to dust with the latest dataslate. Find a compromise you're comfortable with and that's it.

f2k
06-03-2014, 14:16
I think, ultimately, your experience is very different to mine. I'm rarely disappointed by new GW releases (though I'm indifferent to many 40k releases, I'm usually impressed with WFB ones). I think WFB is in an excellent place with regards to rules. I've played precisely one game of 40k 6e, so don't feel qualified to comment on it.

I've never felt the 'long wait' you describe with regards to playing - from the minute I bought a GW game (Man O War, later 40k 2e) I was playing games with whatever I had. While I would agree that the game benefits from a great investment of time and effort, I think it's common for people to adapt to their circumstances. If I only have a small box of lego, I only build small things until I can afford more (to continue the example).

Lego is a huge company, yes, but I'd say the profound difference between it and GW is that GW dominates its niche, while Lego is a big player in a vast industry. I think the former has a distorting effect, both on GW's strategies and on the market's reaction to them. I see many similarities between the two companies, including some of the clangers dropped in marketing. Lego is, however, better at managing public relations (it has to be, because of the market it's in) and so doesn't receive the same opprobrium for its mistakes.

Man'o'War is a bad example. Or perhaps it's actually a good one... :shifty:

Back then, many of the games were self-contained. Blood Bowl, Man'oWar, Necromunda, GorkaMorka... All of those could be played out of the box. Even the starter-boxes gave you a sizable army.

Today, even though Dark Vengence has a fair amount of models, it's still a fairly far cry from a proper army. And, of course, the box is pretty much useless if you play anything other than Chaos or Dark Angels.

Point is, starting from scratch today is a serious investment. Rules, codex, and a 1000 point army will make quite a big dent in your savings. Yes, I know you can play with less, but personally I feel that the game is not really balanced at 1000- points (though Killteam can still be fun) and many established players will be looking at closer to 2000 point armies.


Compare, for example, a box of LEGO, which is entirely self-contained, with Dark Vengence where the included models constitutes a small part of an army.

theshoveller
06-03-2014, 14:36
Man'o'War is a bad example. Or perhaps it's actually a good one... :shifty:

Back then, many of the games were self-contained. Blood Bowl, Man'oWar, Necromunda, GorkaMorka... All of those could be played out of the box. Even the starter-boxes gave you a sizable army.

Today, even though Dark Vengence has a fair amount of models, it's still a fairly far cry from a proper army. And, of course, the box is pretty much useless if you play anything other than Chaos or Dark Angels.

Point is, starting from scratch today is a serious investment. Rules, codex, and a 1000 point army will make quite a big dent in your savings. Yes, I know you can play with less, but personally I feel that the game is not really balanced at 1000- points (though Killteam can still be fun) and many established players will be looking at closer to 2000 point armies.


Compare, for example, a box of LEGO, which is entirely self-contained, with Dark Vengence where the included models constitutes a small part of an army.
I get a much better game out of Island of Blood than I did from the Man O War box (two identical fleets of bog-standard ships, a total of 12 models). A Lego kit is as self-contained as you want it to be. Some are very specific in what they build (and I consider this a creeping problem in Lego kits over the past few decades - more moulded pieces that don't have a generic use). In either case, people adapt to get what they want from the product - Lego is potentially an ideal example of that, but GW games are not a bad example of it either (there are many more ways for me to enter into the hobby than I would if I wanted to play console games, for instance).

gundark
06-03-2014, 17:49
I have a question. Have the D&D products go down in price to match up with their competitors after the company was bought? Thanks.

Short answer is Yes. Wizards of the Coast started working on 3rd edition shortly after purchasing D&D. When the 3 core books were released they were sold at a much lower price, the company didn't make much of a profit but wanted to encourage fans to play the new game. It worked well for them and 3rd was a large success.

There were other factors at play here, the Open Game License was a big factor as well.

Back to what the OP was saying TSR stopped listening to what their fan base wanted, they were throwing crap everywhere and hoped that some of it stuck. Wizards of the Coast changed that with 3rd and made relationships with the fan base and retailers. Then they themselves made the same mistake with 4th edition which explains why it had such a short lifespan.

RevEv
06-03-2014, 19:42
sorry, but I think that wasn't really the point he was trying to make; we get better detailed kits in a comparable size for -less- money.
thinking your point (usability, sturdiness) through it sounds like your saying: "less details = higher survivability on the table, and that in consequence justifies GW prices"
if so, a single red Lego/duplo (anyone remember these? ;)) cube with 10cm³ is the epitome of sturdiness and thus should cost 150€/$ .. which won't sound right to you either, :D

Ok let's clarify my point but not be so rude about it in the process.

When it comes to models it's horses for courses. I could get a superbly detailed model for the same money that I pay for a GW one! but it would be of no use on the battlefield as it is not made for that role. I could pay a lot less for a lesser model but, as I have found through doing so, the quality of the plastic and the experience of putting it together is nowhere near the more expensive model and fulfils neither the utility of being usable in the tabletop or being of display quality. Many of my GW models fulfil both roles, with display cabinets being an important part of my household furniture.

GW is an expensive hobby, as are many hobbies, especially when buying the premium models in the range. I have longed for ages for the lego Star Wars Deathstar, but at £270 plus it is beyond what I am prepared to pay for a toy, even though my GW spending of late has been close to this mark. The difference? GW is my hobby, one I have enjoyed for many years, Lego is a luxury and one I indulge in to a limited extent but not enough to justify the larger models unlike GW.

ehlijen
07-03-2014, 00:50
In my local lego shop, anything from their Hobbit/LotR license that isn't a new release is shunted to the back of the shop and discounted (and doesn't appear to be clearing even then). I reckon the license is doing poorly everywhere. Judging by shelf space, I would hazard a guess that Lego sell roughly twice as much Star Wars licensed material and similar numbers of Marvel and DC licensed sets. The Hobbit looks like a poor seller.

But LEGO is dealing in licences as part of their core strategy now. GW is basically throwing away any and all potential the Hobbit licence (their only licence) might have through immense entrey barriers. Meanwhile LEGO obtains licences left right and centre and allows compatibility with all their products and the lack of rules or starter box means even the smallest kit is a full toy. LEGO doesn't need every licence to work out, because they don't rely on any one of them. GW has three games with no interchangebale models and has recently put all their hopes into 40k alone. If 40k fails, so will GW.


Australia is a bit of special case, price-wise, isn't it? I'm not sure price on point of entry is particularly useful as a measure, either - "entry" is a nebulous concept. I might buy GW miniatures either to play or to paint, my initial investment is vastly different. Similarly, what do I buy Lego for? If I want to build things, a random minifig (costs about £2) is useless. People do, however, collect random minifigs. A set of monopose Space Marines is £6 for 3 - equally useless to anything other than a collector.

I think entry price is a fairly important factor. Not the most or only important factor, but a factor. Any LEGO kit functions as a complete toy, but only the most expensive GW boxes work as complete games.


No, what I'm getting at is this: both companies are operating in an environment where they know long-term customers have all the basics they need. Their response is to produce premium 'showpiece' kits for existing customers (have you seen the Lego famous buildings series? £100-250) and churn-and-burn new customers spending other people's (parent's) money. My local Lego shop is much like a GW one - sales assistants leaping in to tell you about new products, a display cabinet that shows you what the staff have built, details of the local Lego club and so on.

Hm, I have not encountered that (then again, all my LEGO is from generic toy stores or inherited from older family membbers). But I think there is a difference in how LEGO caters to many different price ranges and doesn't rely on any single IP to carry their company.

Now, I don't think GW could diversify as easily and as widely as LEGO has; they don't have the capital or clout. And I'm sure they didn't chose to basically lose fantasy as a reliable money maker.
But I can't help but feel that their plan for the Hobbit licence didn't even anticipate much success.

They lost LotR and they lost fantasy, for all intents and purposes. And they need to salvage them. Just 40k isn't enough security.

Kirth
07-03-2014, 01:30
GW started the slow decline as soon as a man was put in charge (T.K.) who has no passion for the hobby. Since GW became publicly traded it has been about $$$ rather than passion. I see this as the reason why the fringe companies continue to gain ground. They have a passion for what they are doing. The holy crusade of miniature making so to speak.

Look at how many former GW employees are now involved in their own miniature companies? If it was me and I was working as a sculptor/painter for GW, I'd think I died and went to heaven. Then the dark times start and the "investor CEO" comes in and lays out his action plan to make $$$ for stockholders. Creative freedom is lost so the passion dies. These folks left to spark that passion again and they are doing a damn good job of it.

I don't care if GW fails but if it does there will be another company with the money and talent to pick up the IP and soldier on with it. Hopefully they avoid public trading and stay in house with their ownership. A cooperative shop that owned the IP would be the single greatest thing to ever happen to the miniatures hobby ever, in my opinion.

ObiWayneKenobi
07-03-2014, 14:14
What I think is pretty telling is that if you look through the old WDs and the new, most of the "old guard" are working for other companies that are competing with GW including longtime people like Rick Priestly, who IIRC was one of the original founders/creators of the game? I think Jervis is the only one of the old guard still around in GW (which to be honest is surprising as JJ always seemed to be more oldschool like Rick Priestly and I never thought he'd buy into the current rubbish).

That's pretty damning evidence when basically all the people from what is considered the "golden age" aren't with the company anymore, and the golden age wasn't really that long ago.

Brother Asmodeus
07-03-2014, 15:11
GW has been aware of the 'changing of the guard' since the early 2000's. They knew that the people that built the company was about to change which is normal for any company as those people age, retire or go to other things.

However, much as they were aware of it, the top of the tree is still there (TK) and not doing very well at all. In a year where they have redone 40K, Space Marines, release large money making Imperial kits and the Imperial guard are upcoming too they are still on the uppers and trading poorly. They are a long way from dead but the death throes are quite humourous. Just not for their committed and passionate hobbyists. Shame.

The_Real_Chris
07-03-2014, 16:34
I just had a look at this Warpath stuff and to say it's "targeted" at GW is quite an understatement. It looks like a complete ripoff of 40K and Fantasy. I mean, Orx (groan)... c'mon, they're not even trying here. I'm surprised GW could do nothing to stop them. Why would anyone want to play a bootleg version of the real game? They must be really confident in the quality of their rules to even try and pull this off.

The only redeeming feature I can see is Skaven in Space. That is really awesome.

More accurate to say it is a rip of the horde of 80's sci fantasy games of which 40k was the winner...

Keeping an eye on their current kickstarter, they are launching a fair number of alien races. Currently just got sharks in spaaacce...

The_Real_Chris
07-03-2014, 16:55
Stretching my lego knowledge, don't they make a loss from their bits service (custom order individual bricks?) but it is done to generate hype and good pr from fantastical creations that inspire others and give a degree of adult obsessive respectability?

Again I think it was a big mistake of GW to axe the bits and OOP models. Should have had a spin off company operating at cost (as those costs would be high) to satisfy that market for the overall benefit of the line. Hey what d I know though, I'm crazy enough to think you continue with less profitable specialist lines just to stop competitors gaining ground, so know nothing...

Crimson Reaver
07-03-2014, 17:48
Whilst the criticisms being levelled at GW in this thread are perfectly valid, I'm personally not going to get too carried away by one bad set of results. If this starts a trend that goes for 12-18 months then I'll be a lot more concerned.

However what probably poses the bigger risk to GW is the potential for 3D printing to become a way for their competitors to out-innovate them, and also for people to start casting their own models to play GW games, whether these are copies or just reasonable proxies modelled to work with GW games. That coupled with several years of decline as we may be starting to see could lead to an unravelling of their finances in pretty short order.

By comparison to TSR, GW seems to be operated in a far more professional manner, and I don't think having a more creator-focused business would necessarily be an automatic success. Looking at Image Comics for example, you had very little corporate governance and it was a real mess. Niche products have to adapt to modern technology and a changing marketplace, and you could argue that GW is doing a reasonable job in getting stuff online and to upgrade the experience of playing Warhammer/40K to the digital era. Not perfect, but they reacted much better than WotC, who pulled all their PDFs in a fit of pique a few years back, and only recently started to bring them back.

A lot of industries are having to recalibrate, RPGs especially now operate in a massively fragmented marketplace where even White Wolf aren't so much a company as a few dedicated people with the Licences to the tabletop properties and a fanbase willing to Kickstarter stuff. WotC are in a very tricky position with D&D currently, and despite their success with 3rd Edition, the Open Game Licence essentially created their biggest rival as Paizo can now just carry on making a version of D&D that a lot of people enjoy and will buy in preference to anything WotC do with the D&D brand. Next is shaping up to be an absolute make or break for them.

In respect of TSR's release strategy, they didn't update their core rules for over 10 years. The gap between 2nd and 3rd Edition was enormous, and the revised editions weren't what they needed. The core products are the things you sell to everyone, anything after that year or so boost in sales is going to suffer from decreasing returns. GW at least cycles on a 4 year basis for their two main games. Not a guarantee of success granted, but a better strategy to keep interest up. Someone who hates a version of the game but is still a potential customer is only going to be away for a few years before they will at least be trying to give it another go, provided they are still in the hobby in some fashion and haven't sold absolutely everything they possess.

Not trying to be a GW apologist here, they have a lot of things they really need to sort out, but putting them alongside TSR at this stage is probably stretching things a bit too far, but I'm happy to be told I got that wrong if things continue to slide into 2015.

PS: I loved Spelljammer and Alternity, have almost every book/box in those two lines, I even have the Amazing Engine books and supplements, still use that system even today on occasion :)

leopard
14-03-2014, 20:56
Oh god... I'm really surprised there isn't some kind of alliance between the ex-GW companies. Mantic, Warlord, I'm pretty sure at least one other.

Would be surprised if they are was not a tacit understanding not to tread on each others toes while they circle the wounded lion, if GW fails, and its a big if, there are systems ready to quickly sweep in and take over using the IP and models - GW does have a number of huge advantages they just don't seem to have a handle on using.

e.g. bring out a faction for the two games, one for each, make it below the par in terms of how good they are, but make the models cheap use the muscle they have to put out good and cheap models, a limited range of stuff and just a single faction - but an easy way into the games and if not a warning shot at a few of the rivals then a short term experiment. GW have the in house ability to wipe the floor with the competition as is all wooden dollars for actually making stuff and they can be a lot more responsive.

They just don't.

What is it they say about doing the same thing over and expecting different results?

Glyn
15-03-2014, 03:03
well i've read the enitre thread through and i'm going to add some comments....firstly @leopard the saying is "those who dont learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes" or "never make the same mistake twice" one or the other to choose from...

overall i can see similarities between the fall of TSR and what's going on in GW and frankly if GW havent learnt from the fall in sales to the point where they have to shut their stores 2 days a weeks and not run "in house" club night then their stupid, also a fall of 20%+ on their stock values in a 3 month period due to loss of sales to competitors who have grown by a similar ratio should really really make them pay attention to the fact that there needs to be changes made.

GW has serious competition now from Privateer Press with warmachine/hordes and mantic games and bolt action, there is a serious 40k competitor coming up with Infinity as well which is very 40k-esque personally i cant get my head around the game though....the stupid thing is that if GW pulled it's head out of the sand it got push its competitors back a long way but to do this it needs to lower it's prices by about 10% or so which oddly is what non-gw stores sell gw products for, go figure that one out, and to restructure things so that people return to the hobby, i've got 20 years near enough invested into GW all the way from 2nd ed 40k but even im starting to look elsewhere....much as i dislike the fact as i hate change.

there is another sign i see though that GW are in more trouble than we can see and that is their events calender in 2012 just 2 years ago you could look pretty much a year ahead now you can just about get 4 months ahead...and if theyve dropped their planning that far it maybe a sign they dont expect to be there in 6 months time.

I agree that about the biggest thing GW did wrong was to become a PLC why why why they did that i'll never ever know, my best guess is that they were in trouble and thought that by getting shareholders they'd save themselves instead of sign their inevitable death warrant.

comparing GW and lego though sorry i think its unfair as their in totally different markets and worlds one is in the toy world and compete with so many different franchises its crazy where as GW is in a small world of about 6 or so companies and right now its more or less a 2 horse race between GW and PP as far as i know, although i admit i could be wrong....but if GW do go under my bet would be on PP to buy up the IP and turn 40k back into the amazing game it was when i started in the hobby....but i also hope if it does get sold-out whoever buys it keeps it OFF the stockmarket

simonr1978
15-03-2014, 05:06
well i've read the enitre thread through and i'm going to add some comments....firstly @leopard the saying is "those who dont learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes" or "never make the same mistake twice" one or the other to choose from...

I believe Leopard was referring to the phrase, often attributed to Einstein, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ;)

Verm1s
15-03-2014, 07:08
where as GW is in a small world of about 6 or so companies

Someone's in a small world alright...


and right now its more or less a 2 horse race between GW and PP as far as i know

It's a 2 horse race? What's 'it'?

IJW
15-03-2014, 10:25
there is a serious 40k competitor coming up with Infinity as well which is very 40k-esque

You did mean Warpath there, didn't you? The biggest similarities between Infinity and 40k are that they're 28mm games with lots of guns, set in the future. After that it breaks down a bit drastically, they're arguably not even the same genre (science fiction v. science fantasy).

Wayshuba
15-03-2014, 10:26
Here, this will add more fuel to the fire: http://www.icv2.com/articles/markets/28125.html

The Hobby Game market up 20% in 2013 (GW down 10%). Warhammer has lost it's place in the top 5. X-Wing has climbed to No. 2 spot very quickly. Warmachine and Hordes each have a spot in the Top 5 which, if combined like the market sees them (Warmahordes), would have a shot at taking Warhammer 40k from the No. 1 spot.

Things are in fact looking grim for GW these days. This is further proof GW is doing all the wrong things and is in SERIOUS trouble.

theshoveller
15-03-2014, 11:29
Here, this will add more fuel to the fire: http://www.icv2.com/articles/markets/28125.html

The Hobby Game market up 20% in 2013 (GW down 10%). Warhammer has lost it's place in the top 5. X-Wing has climbed to No. 2 spot very quickly. Warmachine and Hordes each have a spot in the Top 5 which, if combined like the market sees them (Warmahordes), would have a shot at taking Warhammer 40k from the No. 1 spot.

Things are in fact looking grim for GW these days. This is further proof GW is doing all the wrong things and is in SERIOUS trouble.
That depends entirely on the gap between 1st and 2nd place, doesn't it? Given that Warmahordes has essentially lost its position to X-Wing in a relatively short time (we could account for it initially by X-Wing's 'release surge' but it seems to be consolidating nicely), we should probably be wary of reading too much into it. ICv2 doesn't give that information and, crucially, doesn't do much to collect information on direct sales. GW does massive business through its own retail outlets and its website, how it's doing in independent retailers is useful but a long way from an accurate reflection of its market position.

EDIT - essentially, if you've ever seen a D&D versus Pathfinder edition war (which is curiously relevant ITT), you become quite jaded about conclusions drawn from ICv2. To take a case in point, D&D recently dropped into 3rd or 4th place on ICv2's list of bestselling rpgs... but WotC haven't released any new content for D&D in nearly a year. Now, does that mean that the game is such a market giant that it can sustain a top-5 position with reprints and while running down its 4e stock? Or is it the death of WotC as a roleplaying publisher? Or is it just that a five-point table with no context, based on reporters asking around about what's doing well, without metrics and reliant on what info companies want released to the public... isn't much of an indicator?

Reinholt
15-03-2014, 16:10
That depends entirely on the gap between 1st and 2nd place, doesn't it? Given that Warmahordes has essentially lost its position to X-Wing in a relatively short time (we could account for it initially by X-Wing's 'release surge' but it seems to be consolidating nicely), we should probably be wary of reading too much into it. ICv2 doesn't give that information and, crucially, doesn't do much to collect information on direct sales. GW does massive business through its own retail outlets and its website, how it's doing in independent retailers is useful but a long way from an accurate reflection of its market position.

EDIT - essentially, if you've ever seen a D&D versus Pathfinder edition war (which is curiously relevant ITT), you become quite jaded about conclusions drawn from ICv2. To take a case in point, D&D recently dropped into 3rd or 4th place on ICv2's list of bestselling rpgs... but WotC haven't released any new content for D&D in nearly a year. Now, does that mean that the game is such a market giant that it can sustain a top-5 position with reprints and while running down its 4e stock? Or is it the death of WotC as a roleplaying publisher? Or is it just that a five-point table with no context, based on reporters asking around about what's doing well, without metrics and reliant on what info companies want released to the public... isn't much of an indicator?

ICv2 is imperfect at best, as GW does business through indies.

With that said, I think it's at least somewhat informative for the US (where GW does less retail sales) than it would be were it in the UK (where GW does a huge amount of their sales through their retail arm). The bigger issue for me, overall, is what this says about Fantasy (dead as a doornail). I also agree that Warmachine and Hordes should be combined into a line-item so we really know where it stands. This would be like separating space marines and all other 40k. It's still the same game.

The bigger punch line will be the continuation of the falling sales trend in GW's next financial report (I haven't seen them doing anything that will turn it around).

Wayshuba
15-03-2014, 17:33
ICv2 is imperfect at best, as GW does business through indies.

With that said, I think it's at least somewhat informative for the US (where GW does less retail sales) than it would be were it in the UK (where GW does a huge amount of their sales through their retail arm). The bigger issue for me, overall, is what this says about Fantasy (dead as a doornail). I also agree that Warmachine and Hordes should be combined into a line-item so we really know where it stands. This would be like separating space marines and all other 40k. It's still the same game.

The bigger punch line will be the continuation of the falling sales trend in GW's next financial report (I haven't seen them doing anything that will turn it around).

While the report is imperfect, it does correlate with other reports on the industry. Good market research always uses multiple studies to draw conclusions and the conclusion leads to three things (though the numbers may vary slightly between reports):

1.) The market has been growing since 2008 at almost double-digits annually. So it is not "saturated" by any means.
2.) Many companies have been showing very healthy growth during this period (PP, Wyrd, Battlefront, Corvus Belli, et al).
3.) GW sales declined by double-digits at a time when the market is GROWING by double-digits. Making the sales decline much, much worse than their financials alone relate.

The last four months, with the onslaught of releases and rapid escalation to super-heavies and mini-titans seems more like a company in very serious trouble throwing anything out the door and hoping something sticks. Hope is not a strategy, and right now GWs only strategy is "SELL MORE MODELS", but they haven't got a clue why people buy them to begin with.

BrianC
15-03-2014, 18:19
I agree that about the biggest thing GW did wrong was to become a PLC why why why they did that i'll never ever know, my best guess is that they were in trouble and thought that by getting shareholders they'd save themselves instead of sign their inevitable death warrant.You become publicly listed for two reasons, to raise capital for debt/expansion and/or to generate cash for those who hold the private shares in the company (usually this is the end game of a venture capitalist). With Kirby being the panto villain it would be very easy to paint him as pushing to publicly list the company to line his own pocket but I do not know enough of the time GW became publicly listed so its possible GW did it to expand.

What I am interested in is the mismanagement of the Hobbit license compared to LotR. The latter was managed reasonably well at the start, but the former has been managed very poorly. What I would like to know is how culpable GW with the decisions around format, price and box content, i.e., how much was pushed and controlled by New Line and how much of it was GW. If Hobbit had turned into the next LotR or at least spiked interest then I think GW would be in a different place currently.

BrianC
15-03-2014, 18:20
I agree that about the biggest thing GW did wrong was to become a PLC why why why they did that i'll never ever know, my best guess is that they were in trouble and thought that by getting shareholders they'd save themselves instead of sign their inevitable death warrant.You become publicly listed for two reasons, to raise capital for debt/expansion and/or to generate cash for those who hold the private shares in the company (usually this is the end game of a venture capitalist). With Kirby being the panto villain it would be very easy to paint him as pushing to publicly list the company to line his own pocket but I do not know enough of the time GW became publicly listed so its possible GW did it to expand.

What I am interested in is the mismanagement of the Hobbit license compared to LotR. The latter was managed reasonably well at the start, but the former has been managed very poorly. What I would like to know is how culpable GW with the decisions around format, price and box content, i.e., how much was pushed and controlled by New Line and how much of it was GW. If Hobbit had turned into the next LotR or at least spiked interest then I think GW would be in a different place currently.

Bloodknight
15-03-2014, 18:25
I think the hobbit never really had a chance. The huge time for fantasy seems to be over for the moment, the interest in the movies seemed to be much lower than that for LotR (not really a wonder, dragging out less than 1/3 the book into the same number of movies had to end up boring). LotR was going to slump after the movies, too, I guess they should have expected that.

shelfunit.
15-03-2014, 18:36
I think the hobbit never really had a chance. The huge time for fantasy seems to be over for the moment, the interest in the movies seemed to be much lower than that for LotR (not really a wonder, dragging out less than 1/3 the book into the same number of movies had to end up boring). LotR was going to slump after the movies, too, I guess they should have expected that.

I'm not sure where the idea that the movies are doing less well than LotR is from (unless the terrible sales of the game are somehow being seen as evidence of the films being less popular..). The Hobbit generated more box office receipts than either of the first two LotR films, and only marginally less than RotK, with DoS following hard on it's heels. The prime reasons The Hobbit as a game is failing are 1) Zero advertising outside of GW stores and 2) Cost of entry.

Wintermute
15-03-2014, 18:53
The prime reasons The Hobbit as a game is failing are 1) Zero advertising outside of GW stores and 2) Cost of entry.

And 3) There is next to no interest in LoTR/The Hobbit as a gaming system regardless of reasons 1 and 2. I now believe GW have finally realised this hence the lack of releases for second Hobbit film.

cornonthecob
15-03-2014, 19:15
What I am interested in is the mismanagement of the Hobbit license compared to LotR. The latter was managed reasonably well at the start, but the former has been managed very poorly. What I would like to know is how culpable GW with the decisions around format, price and box content, i.e., how much was pushed and controlled by New Line and how much of it was GW. If Hobbit had turned into the next LotR or at least spiked interest then I think GW would be in a different place currently.

I think the mismanagement is both their faults, New Line for their awful communication skills/allowing peter jackson to make a 3rd movie. They didn't let GW know at an early enough date that they were making 3 films, thus GW sculpted an entire range and made a marketing strategy dependent on a two movie deal. Gw for not pushing it hard enough, over pricing the product and not painting it to the highest quality.

To be fair though the whole world seems to have given the hobbit a bit of the col shoulder though. Then again if both companies hadn't assumed it would be LOTR all over again and were a bit more modest in their planning it might have gone better. The Gw-LOTR bubble should of indicated that to GW at least.

Inquisitor Engel
15-03-2014, 19:40
And 3) There is next to no interest in LoTR/The Hobbit as a gaming system regardless of reasons 1 and 2. I now believe GW have finally realised this hence the lack of releases for second Hobbit film.

Goodness you're right. I didn't even notice!

Bloodknight
15-03-2014, 20:37
evidence of the films being less popular

Was an assumption (and I should have said so) because most people I know who watched the first Hobbit did not like the movie because it was boring and said they wouldn't watch the next installments because there is not enough story in the book for a LotR-sized movie release, also the visuals were criticised a lot (the weird dwarfs, for example).

TheFang
15-03-2014, 20:41
The Hobbit generated more box office receipts than either of the first two LotR films, and only marginally less than RotK, with DoS following hard on it's heels.
I think cinema ticket prices have risen in the last decade. Modern films will always gross more. It needs a bums on seats number to work out how many saw it.

And 3) There is next to no interest in LoTR/The Hobbit as a gaming system regardless of reasons 1 and 2. I now believe GW have finally realised this hence the lack of releases for second Hobbit film.
What about the awesome Dwarfs in Barrels? :D

bound for glory
15-03-2014, 21:43
has anyone read the Little Black Book? I am assuming most ex-staffers on here have. I have a current copy, written by The Emporer himself... customers don't matter, they know nothing. We know best.

what is the little black book?

Wintermute
15-03-2014, 22:27
What about the awesome Dwarfs in Barrels? :D

What about them? :shifty:

You know what I meant though which is there have been very view releases from GW for The Desolation of Smaug compared with the releases for An Unexpected Journey plus there isn't any reference to The Hobbit on the covers of WD Weekly.

Poncho160
15-03-2014, 22:45
GWs handling of the whole Hobbit franchise has been very weird in my opinion.

Every single one of their choices, from the very high priced Hobbit starter box set, not including the full rules in the box and the very high cost of the models seems very strange.

I am assuming they must have paid a fair bit for the licence, but it seems that they don't want to make any effort with it or make any money from it. They might as well not have the licence for all they do to promote it.

cornonthecob
15-03-2014, 23:33
True, but it's also market denial. By GW having it yet doing nothing with it it stops anyone else having it and taking 'there' money from them.

AlexHolker
15-03-2014, 23:58
True, but it's also market denial. By GW having it yet doing nothing with it it stops anyone else having it and taking 'there' money from them.
If I was GW, I'd be sorely tempted to do the opposite: leave the poison pill of the Hobbit license alone, and hope that someone else (Mantic, perhaps) is stupid enough to choke on it.

EmperorNorton
16-03-2014, 00:10
I don't think the Hobbit license is a poison pill in and of itself at all (no matter how much I personally hate the movies). Battle of Five Armies is one if not the most anticipated board game of the year, so gamers certainly have interest in the theme. It all depends on what you do with the license.

zoggin-eck
16-03-2014, 00:21
And 3) There is next to no interest in LoTR/The Hobbit as a gaming system regardless of reasons 1 and 2. I now believe GW have finally realised this hence the lack of releases for second Hobbit film.

Nice reminder, it's surprising how little they released after the second film (OK, perhaps not so surprising). Looks like they're just waiting it out.

I really agree with the lack of interest as a game system (and for me, setting). Nothing in either film so far stands out as something I'd like to play a tabletop version of. Endless chase scenes don't sound very fun. Even the Goblin Town scene feels an odd choice for a starter set. I certainly didn't sit there in the cinema wishing I could somehow go and act it out at home with miniatures!

Lotr not so much. There were at least some big battle scenes ever from the first film along with a few chase/skirmish scenarios. To me there's no comparison between the Balin's Tomb set and Hobbit starter. Lotr had an interesting cast of characters standing their ground in a small space, so it makes sense as a scene for a game and the terrain fits. The Hobbit has a bunch of gits running around like crazy, which the little amount of terrain barely represents, cool as it is.

Oh well the third might make sense as a game. Perhaps they could try making a big battle game. Perhaps even a smaller scale (10mm sounds rad?) and base it on an existing set of rules? Even advertise it this time? :angel:

Poncho160
16-03-2014, 00:50
True, but it's also market denial. By GW having it yet doing nothing with it it stops anyone else having it and taking 'there' money from them.

Whilst I feel that the licence might cost more than they might lose by letting another company have the it, you might be right.

But that would mean that GW considers any other of the companies as competition, something they do not seem to do. For example their dwarf release, they didn't release any new slayers. In my eyes that means they don't view any other companies plastic dwarfs as competition or taking any of their sales.

GW also don't seem to mind that a lot of other companies are making skirmish, sport, 6mm and fleet based games and making money from them, something that used to be the sole realm of GW.

I'm wondering if GW just don't have the resources to exploit the Hobbit game?

shelfunit.
16-03-2014, 07:58
True, but it's also market denial. By GW having it yet doing nothing with it it stops anyone else having it and taking 'there' money from them.

Whilst GW seem to have the license for the game there is at least two other companies selling licensed miniatures for the Hobbit.

New Cult King
16-03-2014, 08:14
Whilst I feel that the licence might cost more than they might lose by letting another company have the it, you might be right.

But that would mean that GW considers any other of the companies as competition, something they do not seem to do. For example their dwarf release, they didn't release any new slayers. In my eyes that means they don't view any other companies plastic dwarfs as competition or taking any of their sales.

GW also don't seem to mind that a lot of other companies are making skirmish, sport, 6mm and fleet based games and making money from them, something that used to be the sole realm of GW.

I'm wondering if GW just don't have the resources to exploit the Hobbit game?

Which is pretty surreal considering GW consider their OWN products competition. Hence the talk of SG cannibalising the main game lines... They are just such a bizarre company.

Wayshuba
16-03-2014, 08:42
comparing GW and lego though sorry i think its unfair as their in totally different markets...

Based on the subject of the thread, though, I do think they are a good comparison.

Putting aside their different markets and strictly looking at it from a business sense is a good example. GW is doing what TSR did, in spades, and it is obvious it is leading to the same results. Lego was in trouble during the tenure of the third generation family CEO. Why? They were still just producing brick kits and pretty much had saturated the market and therefore were not gaining growth. However, that same CEO recognized he was not the guy to guide the company forward any longer and recruited the first outside CEO to helm the company. This CEO came up with the idea of the licenses and product lines. The rest is history.

GW could learn a lot from Lego. First, Kirby has to go - you need a CEO passionate about the brand and Kirby isn't passionate about it (or for that matter much of anything). GW has great IP - but WHFB and WH40k are only games in that IP. Like Lego, they should expand on the IP of the worlds and universes created through more games and other avenues rather than leaving that IP restricted within two game systems.

Samsonov
16-03-2014, 12:21
Oh well the third might make sense as a game. Perhaps they could try making a big battle game. Perhaps even a smaller scale (10mm sounds rad?) and base it on an existing set of rules? Even advertise it this time? :angel:

Presumably they already have the plastic moulds from the 10mm Battle of Five Armies Boxset. And the metal moulds for that matter. So surely by far the most expensive part is already done. Yet I bet they do not rerelease the 10mm because any scale except 28mm is a competitor.

Jack Spratt
17-03-2014, 00:57
Just wanted to say that the OP was a really interesting read. I miss the good old days, when GW was a company that i ... liked.
I play Warmachine/Hordes and Infinity these days. Both games are better on every scale I can think of.

Yowzo
17-03-2014, 11:38
I think cinema ticket prices have risen in the last decade. Modern films will always gross more. It needs a bums on seats number to work out how many saw it.

And at the same time piracy and things like netflix have been cutting on theatre attendances so at best, films are competing in a stagnant market.

http://www.the-numbers.com/market/

Athelassan
17-03-2014, 18:28
I think cinema ticket prices have risen in the last decade. Modern films will always gross more. It needs a bums on seats number to work out how many saw it.

Box Office Mojo gives US viewing figures for the three Lord of the Rings films as 54.8m, 57.7m and 61.6m successively. An Unexpected Journey attracted 37.8m viewers, and Desolation of Smaug isn't listed at all, which means it either got fewer than 35.9m viewers or the figures haven't been collated yet (possibly both).

I think the figures even as they stand are quite telling. The first Hobbit film attracted less than 70% of the audience of the first LotR film despite being able to trade on its predecessors' reputation and the decade-long anticipation. If the second film indeed didn't clear 35.9m, that also means that figures declined between the two films, whereas they rose with each successive LotR installment (and indeed given that Desolation of Smaug has grossed less than An Unexpected Journey did, it seems likely it attracted fewer viewers).

battybattybats
22-03-2014, 05:05
Thing is though, Spelljammer was actually cool.
Sure it was weird, anachronistic, archaic in basic notions compared to the cliche... but then so is steampunk. Travelling through space in an age of swordfighting? Who'd ever have thought of something like that... other than Cyrano De Bergerac the poet/duelist/adventurer/lover and writer of early Science Fiction... or even further back to 79AD where Lucien wrote a story, considered the first piece of science fiction ever, of a sailing ship aided by a waterspout travelling to the moon.

Spelljammer was way ahead of it's time. If they'd released it 10-15 years later (and stuck superfluous cogs on everything) it'd have been a smash hit.

Havarel
25-03-2014, 19:49
I have it on good authority that the Hobbit has sold abysmally. They've barely sold any of the rulebooks and kits, hence the reduced support. Also the pricing was because New Line wanted more in the way of royalties, so GW hiked up the price accordingly. But I wouldn't bet money on the range lasting much beyond the final film.

Karak Norn Clansman
25-03-2014, 20:06
Good listing of parallels.

I'm aware that I'm not aware of the full picture for GW, but from my perspective I wish so much for Games Workshop to realize they'll make a better long-term profit if they had an eye to building goodwill with the hobbyist community.

Tau_player001
25-05-2014, 19:38
The mistake you're making is that TSR and GW are not in the same business. TSR was a games company. GW is a miniatures company that happens to sell games that give people a reason to buy the miniatures. Are there parallels? Sure. But GW has a lot more room to maneuver, both internally and externally, and try new things than TSR did. They have cash-on-hand and that's extremely valuable.

GW was always a games company. This "miniatures company" is just a thing from a few years ago (read since the last 'ard boyz a few years ago), and this is exactly the biggest problem they have when they are trying to develop their game (because they pretend it isn't!), the game is so scrammed with stuff that doesn't belong into the game (ie flyers) and prices so horribly high, that the barrier entry is massive. So you are either collecting, or you are spending a lot of money to even get started (if you ever had taught people to play with 200-500 points games, you would realize how boring the game is at those scales), and since your new customers should be younglings, and they are financially dependent to their parents, they would turn into something that rewards faster for their money spent.

In my zone what took over was infinity. 40$ and boom, you can play the game, and even then you can have fun games since you are not required to collect astronomical amounts of "bobby" soldiers (read generic) to be able to play, and they have special rules for you to get interested and thrilled while playing them. And that's another one of the problems, they don't have a low scale game to really introduce players, to get them hooked. As much as i detest 2th edition, it had something right, in a low point game (which a 1000 points of that era, would be 500 of now... or even less) you could have and use funky stuff and it costed you very little in that time.

And this is only a small part of the troubles with their "no game".

Somebody once said that GW is trying to please the "whales" with their moves (referring to the UK players who are very into Apocalypse). Others say they are too inept for the point their company is. It may be truth, i think, they don't have any truly gamer left in their developer team, and the ones left, are what survived in fear to differ with "the plan" (and no, i don't mean some kind of evil thing, just the obvious lack of playtesting, stop support to any kind of tournament scene on their behalf, screwing FLGS over, etc, etc).

And yes, Warhammer Fantasy is on better shape than 40k ruleswise and once the next edition hits, i am pretty sure **** will hit the fan (like happened with 6th and 7th edition). That doesn't mean it is on good shape tho.

Wintermute
26-05-2014, 10:40
GW was always a games company. This "miniatures company" is just a thing from a few years ago (read since the last 'ard boyz a few years ago)

No they have been a miniatures company for many, many years. Warhammer was developed with the intention to increase the sales Citadel Miniatures and not to sell a game.

frozenwastes
26-05-2014, 12:17
I think Wintermute is right on the history side of things. GW started as an importer of D&D to the UK. Back in the day citadel's fantasy miniatures were largely used by RPG players and they really didn't need that many per customer. But a miniatures game... that can require way more figures. And Warhammer Fantasy Battle was born.

The way that Tau_player001 is that at the same time, GW was still releasing a variety of games as products. Even the new Warhammer game was designed to actually stand as its own game. Game play was so important that a single year later saw the release of 2nd edition. It was a revision that incorporated rules and updates from magazine articles and supplements like Forces of Fantasy. GW was growing rapidly at this point and a single year saw enough material that improved the game play released that a recompiled version was a very viable product. Also during this time, playing with a handful of figures and RPG play was still integrated into the rules. So while the game did allow you to do something with a larger collection, the game books still focused on viable game play with few figures.

It wasn't until the 90s when GW really got good at using rules as an idea to really sell miniatures. And it wasn't until the release of 3rd edition 40k and 6th edition WFB that GW callously doubled the model count of the games.

Tau_player001
26-05-2014, 14:49
Okey point taken. Thanks for the aclaration guys. Yes, i am from the era where warhammer was more of its own game, so i don't really remember those old times.

frozenwastes
26-05-2014, 15:16
Well, the biggest change was 2nd to 3rd for 40k and 5th to 6th for WFB where both games had very drastic model count increases. 40k pretty much doubled and WFB went up 50% and by 8th edition has doubled (at least) the same points for 4th/5th edition.

Ultimate Life Form
26-05-2014, 20:44
One could argue that they would probably sell more miniature if the game were better. That model worked 25 years ago but nowadays, where there's so many cheaper and clearly better alternatives around, it's no longer feasible to put out half-baked rules to maintain the semblance of being a game. This "oh, we are a model company, and it is really art, but you can also play a kiddy game with our toy soldiers" approach is silly. The only thing they have going for them and that is keeping them afloat at the moment is their strong IP. Also, their own pricing is pretty much a counterpoint. By ramping up the model count considerably, and doubling/tripling the prices, they've created an entry threshhold that is all but prohibitive for their own target group, teens. Again, they've been milking the system for short-term gains at the expense of the long-term viability. The only thing they can realistically do now is to "reset" everything by introducing Warhammer Skirmish, or Mordheim 2.0 or whatever. And the rules better be GOOD. If that doesn't work, it's Game Over.

GW have become lazy and complacent and that will be their downfall.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 18:52
One could argue that they would probably sell more miniature if the game were better.

Absolutely. There's actually nothing wrong with selling plastic infantry at £3.5/$5 a pop if you don't also combine it with a mediocre game that demands such an extreme number of miniatures that your collection ends up being devalued by the rules.


Also, their own pricing is pretty much a counterpoint. By ramping up the model count considerably, and doubling/tripling the prices, they've created an entry threshhold that is all but prohibitive for their own target group, teens. Again, they've been milking the system for short-term gains at the expense of the long-term viability. The only thing they can realistically do now is to "reset" everything by introducing Warhammer Skirmish, or Mordheim 2.0 or whatever. And the rules better be GOOD. If that doesn't work, it's Game Over.

Eventually yes.

This idea of using rules to sell miniatures doesn't have to mean that the game experience has to be bad or sub par. Here's an example from the 1960s:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Bodenburg

It was given away for free to spur the sales of 40mm medieval miniatures. And it was solid. It ended up being one of Gary Gygax's inspirations for the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.

There are current companies (like Corvus Belli with Infinity) that have also shown that if you make solid rules and sell them for really cheap or give them away, you create customers to then sell miniatures to.

It actually probably works better to have rules drive miniatures sales when the rules are actually good rather than overpriced lazy crap with bloated figure counts.

MusingWarboss
28-05-2014, 22:53
I think there's a big problem with the whole "sell more miniatures" policy and that's the physical limit. There will come a time when the amount of miniatures needed will become unfeasable at the scale they operate at. Plus couple the fact that the basic staples of each army are pretty much the same and you have n amount of models in existence at x price gradually increasing, most of which could be picked up second hand cheaper which ultimately means zero sales of new models.

So the answer? Cull some units, invent some more and change the design. Which is what GW does almost all the time.

They could sell more models with a solid set of rules but that goes against the problem above. A solid game would have little to no need for updates or revisions. Therefore a finite amount of models needed and no opportunity to invent more to sell.

What they could be doing instead is the opposite of what they are doing - expanding their ranges of games. Make more games, solid games which people want to play, each game can have its own model ranges which means more models sold per game. Even with no expansions. If people like your games, then they'll buy more games you make!!

This model works for almost every other games company out there, and some games have been in production with tweaks for decades. They still sell. Problem is with GW is that the emphasis on selling models has led them into a cul-de-sac of innovation. They're literally stuck there with their back facing the way out wondering what to do next.

Selling more models won't save them, they can't do it with what they currently have on offer. Collectors don't need whole swathes of models if they don't play; without the games they just produce some nice 28mm plastic statuettes with no purpose, not even decorative as they come unassembled and unfinished.

They need to go outside and look at the name on their building, its a clue for them, a clue how to fix things.

dooms33ker
31-05-2014, 05:20
Ironic that a star balloons into a red giant and burns brightly before running out of fuel and shrinking into a small white dwarf, a dimly lit din in a universe full of cold space.

Ultimate Life Form
31-05-2014, 05:34
white dwarf

It seems they anticipated it all along.

dooms33ker
31-05-2014, 08:44
It seems they anticipated it all along.

That wouldn't be very ironic now, would it?

LostAlone
02-06-2014, 22:35
I think there's a big problem with the whole "sell more miniatures" policy and that's the physical limit. There will come a time when the amount of miniatures needed will become unfeasable at the scale they operate at. Plus couple the fact that the basic staples of each army are pretty much the same and you have n amount of models in existence at x price gradually increasing, most of which could be picked up second hand cheaper which ultimately means zero sales of new models.

So the answer? Cull some units, invent some more and change the design. Which is what GW does almost all the time.

They could sell more models with a solid set of rules but that goes against the problem above. A solid game would have little to no need for updates or revisions. Therefore a finite amount of models needed and no opportunity to invent more to sell.

What they could be doing instead is the opposite of what they are doing - expanding their ranges of games. Make more games, solid games which people want to play, each game can have its own model ranges which means more models sold per game. Even with no expansions. If people like your games, then they'll buy more games you make!!

This model works for almost every other games company out there, and some games have been in production with tweaks for decades. They still sell. Problem is with GW is that the emphasis on selling models has led them into a cul-de-sac of innovation. They're literally stuck there with their back facing the way out wondering what to do next.

Selling more models won't save them, they can't do it with what they currently have on offer. Collectors don't need whole swathes of models if they don't play; without the games they just produce some nice 28mm plastic statuettes with no purpose, not even decorative as they come unassembled and unfinished.

They need to go outside and look at the name on their building, its a clue for them, a clue how to fix things.

I have to agree.

I haven't been a regular player of 40k for a very long time, but I've always kept up painting and modeling inside the 40k universe. It's been genuinely shocking to me to see that whenever I do meet up with some old buddies who play more often and sling some dice around that I genuinely don't recognize a lot of the things that they have on the table. Not because of old armies being given a new look, but because GW has just invented new and more busted stuff. Especially the arrival of fliers into the normal game is a clear example of this, and doubly so since they are so over powered. If you play regularly then obviously you want to win, or at least you need to be competitive because a one sided game is no fun. So you have to keep going back and buying more stuff. Over and over. More minis, more huge, stupid vehicles. Between editions they change up what the focus is going to be. At various times it's been CC, vehicle spam, massed shooting, fliers, and on and on. Every time a new edition drops you basically have to start again. Almost nothing that used to be good is now. Everything that is good now is new, or used to be so bad that no-one ever bought it.

They just don't seem to understand that even the longest, staunchest supporters of their games are going to stay with them forever if it stays like this.

Enjoying the hobby is what makes people want to buy stuff. Playing the game now has become perhaps the least fun part of it. You basically need to vet your playgroup before you show up to see if they agree with your philosophy on the game. You need to find a polite way to ask 'How much cheese do you guys roll with?'. Because if you aren't on the same level as the people you play with then someone isn't having fun. And that is why I just paint minis and write army histories and come up with names for every squad and sometimes every squad member. Because that is all fun. Playing the game? Eh.

If GW want to do well, they need to make a game that's fun again, and yes that does mean they need to balance it better. One sided isn't fun. Especially being 14, sinking your pocket money for a year into an army that just get stomped on by the latest grey knights is the kind of thing that drives people away from the hobby.

I'm secretly hoping that the company genuinely does go broke. Not because I hate them or anything. But because going broke would mean that the IP would get bought up by a different company with a better attitude towards the community around them.

Dwarf Supreme
11-06-2014, 06:42
I'm secretly hoping that the company genuinely does go broke. Not because I hate them or anything. But because going broke would mean that the IP would get bought up by a different company with a better attitude towards the community around them.
That's how I feel, too. I enjoy the 40k universe. I don't enjoy GW's handling of it.

Inquisitor Engel
13-06-2014, 19:43
No they have been a miniatures company for many, many years. Warhammer was developed with the intention to increase the sales Citadel Miniatures and not to sell a game.

Why don't people get this?

Bloodknight
13-06-2014, 19:47
Because they keep pretending that they're selling a strategy game. ^^

Baragash
13-06-2014, 20:11
Because if it was true the price of rules would be substantially smaller.

-DE-
13-06-2014, 21:00
Because if there were no Tolkienhammer and Dunehammer, GW would get 1/10 of the turnover it does now. If any, given the current prices.

Wintermute
14-06-2014, 07:35
Why don't people get this?

Because people can't see the wood for the trees which is even more surprising when you take it into account GW's 'mission statement' that they make 'the best toy soldiers in the world'. They don't make any claims about selling games do they?

Senbei
14-06-2014, 08:26
Why don't people get this?

Devil's Advocate:

Possibly because, at the time they created the rules, GW weren't quite as heavily Capitalist: one of the driving forces behind their rules was that they were a bunch of fantasy/sci-fi/historicals fans all wedged into a small set of offices. They did stuff they thought was cool. Sometimes the money was a secondary thing.

Also, miniatures weren't quite as important to them. I read somewhere that they used to keep them in a drawed unit, behind the till where you couldn't see them... before blister packs arrived.

Wintermute
14-06-2014, 08:59
GW didn't create the games, Citadel did in a deliberate move to increase the sales of Citadel Miniatures. The money was the primary reason.

zoggin-eck
14-06-2014, 10:20
GW didn't create the games, Citadel did in a deliberate move to increase the sales of Citadel Miniatures. The money was the primary reason.

Totally agree with you about wood, trees and not seeing them. Even the original creators have laid it out in interviews. Even in White Dwarf retrospectives they are happy to print the "people had all these models painted but only got to use a few at a time in RPGs" which reads clearly as "we want to make and sell more to these people". Nothing wrong with that, and I'm glad that they did.

Sorry Senbei, making guesses isn't the same as playing Devil's advocate, as much as I agree that they were a group of fans often making things they thought would be cool.

Saying that miniatures weren't quite as important to Citadel Miniatures at a time where they decided to make a newer fantasy game to use those models is madness! It even had order codes for models :)

Wayshuba
14-06-2014, 12:26
GW didn't create the games, Citadel did in a deliberate move to increase the sales of Citadel Miniatures. The money was the primary reason.

True. The big difference, however, was they actually tried to make good games that involved lots of miniatures. This is why Brian Ansell made it deliberate to keep the studio and sales separated.

Today, they are all sales driven, and the effect is being felt in the increasing decline in the general quality of the game and rules solely meant for selling more models (daemon summoning and unbound).

To summarize:
GW in early years of Warhammer: Make good games that have lots of miniatures in them.
GW today: Sell miniatures, scr** the game, just make the rules so they buy lots of them. Oh, and just do this for two games because the others cannibalized sales of the main two games.

MusingWarboss
14-06-2014, 17:31
I think its pretty obvious that Citadel Miniatures would have a vested interest in selling more models. The big irony is that rather than doing that under their own brand name it's done under the GW brand name which has led them to the position now that they're attempting to sell more models at higher prices which has had the effect that actually, manufacturing is slowing as they sell less than they could produce. They're selling *less* models for more!

If they wanted to sell *more* models then they would make them em masse and sell cheaper. They're now doing the reverse.

ehlijen
15-06-2014, 00:14
I think its pretty obvious that Citadel Miniatures would have a vested interest in selling more models. The big irony is that rather than doing that under their own brand name it's done under the GW brand name which has led them to the position now that they're attempting to sell more models at higher prices which has had the effect that actually, manufacturing is slowing as they sell less than they could produce. They're selling *less* models for more!

If they wanted to sell *more* models then they would make them em masse and sell cheaper. They're now doing the reverse.

It's a chicken and egg question. Are they charging more because sales are dropping and they need to keep profits up, or are their sales dropping because they increase the prices? The answer, of course, is a firm 'Yes!'.

Up until earlier this year their profits were rather stable for a while despite dropping sales. Up until that point, charging more netted the same profits as charging less. Why would charging less, while sales are falling, then result in more profit?

We like to assume that sales are only dropping because of the prices, but what if they'd be falling either way, even if less so? Charging less in that case would mean GW would accelerate their downfall. If they want to reduce prices, they'd need to be sure that sales will increase to make up for it, and I suspect they are not.

Yes, GW prices are outrageous and I've stopped buying. But I don't think just lowering prices is enough to stop their current problems. They need a solution, but it won't be a simple or easy one.

MusingWarboss
15-06-2014, 00:37
I think the best course of action would be to announce a complete change of management (and do it) and then for the company to go out and start building good relations with customers by attending and running events and actually advertising their products so that people know about them. The should also offer a price reduction even if it is through occasional sales and deals whilst also freezing prices at the level they're at. This would mean that retailers with existing stock wouldn't be left out of pocket on individual items.

Then they could start pricing more appropriately to their manufacturing base and game design as and when they release new models or refresh existing ones.

RandomThoughts
16-06-2014, 13:51
It's a chicken and egg question. Are they charging more because sales are dropping and they need to keep profits up, or are their sales dropping because they increase the prices? The answer, of course, is a firm 'Yes!'.

Up until earlier this year their profits were rather stable for a while despite dropping sales. Up until that point, charging more netted the same profits as charging less. Why would charging less, while sales are falling, then result in more profit?

We like to assume that sales are only dropping because of the prices, but what if they'd be falling either way, even if less so? Charging less in that case would mean GW would accelerate their downfall. If they want to reduce prices, they'd need to be sure that sales will increase to make up for it, and I suspect they are not.

Yes, GW prices are outrageous and I've stopped buying. But I don't think just lowering prices is enough to stop their current problems. They need a solution, but it won't be a simple or easy one.

I think as long as pricing is at least partially responsible for an eroding customer base, than pricing must be addressed. Sure, cutting prices now will hurt, but I think it's a situation where the total damage will be a lot more severe the longer you wait and do nothing.

Yowzo
17-06-2014, 11:35
I think as long as pricing is at least partially responsible for an eroding customer base, than pricing must be addressed. Sure, cutting prices now will hurt, but I think it's a situation where the total damage will be a lot more severe the longer you wait and do nothing.
specially on products with unit production costs so low as plastic casting.

it takes an important investment to bring a boxed set of plastic soldiers, try to sell as many of them as possible.

mantic in my area sells quite a lot, but no one plays their game. everything ends up in a Warhammer table.

dropping prices to a saner level (for infantry and cavalry, big kits are much more reasonable) and you'd get back a huge slice of that market.


Enviado desde mi Nexus 5 mediante Tapatalk

tristessa
17-06-2014, 16:05
True. The big difference, however, was they actually tried to make good games that involved lots of miniatures. This is why Brian Ansell made it deliberate to keep the studio and sales separated.

Today, they are all sales driven, and the effect is being felt in the increasing decline in the general quality of the game and rules solely meant for selling more models (daemon summoning and unbound).



If this was true you would have been able to summon Space Marines.

Daemonology is an optional extra and doesn't break the game in any way unless players choose to do so. If players want to break something, they'll find a way.

You could have played unbound games anyway. Hell, what do you think apocalypse was?

MiyamatoMusashi
17-06-2014, 16:51
If this was true you would have been able to summon Space Marines.

Heh... true.


Daemonology is an optional extra and doesn't break the game in any way unless players choose to do so. If players want to break something, they'll find a way.

Optional? In what sense? It's as much a rule as any other rule printed in the book. Sure, you can agree to play without it, but you can agree to play without a shooting phase as well... if you both agree.

As for breaking the game: I have no intention of doing that, but I'd like to have some protection against my opponent doing so, otherwise I'm likely to find I've just wasted an hour or two of my precious leisure time.


You could have played unbound games anyway. Hell, what do you think apocalypse was?

Yes, you could have played unbound anyway. Which makes me wonder why they needed to print it as a rule. Of course, again, you can choose not to play with that rule; I can always ask my opponent not to play unbound. But, again, you can choose to play without any rule - my opponent can always ask me to play without a shooting phase (which as a Tau player, I'm unlikely to accept; but if I won't accept that, how can I expect him to accept not bringing whatever's in his unbound list?).

Wouldn't it be easiest to have the rules printed in the book be sensible defaults? If people want to do crazy stuff, let them agree to do so (...which is exactly how Apocalypse worked: you agreed, in advance, that you would be playing outside the normal sane bounds of the game, and unusual stuff would be happening). Not have the crazy stuff as rules, then try to agree on how to make it sensible.

shelfunit.
17-06-2014, 16:52
IIf players want to break something, they'll find a way.

Incorrect - if the rules allow something to be broke it will be. If they don't then they can't.

Depulsor
17-06-2014, 17:04
Incorrect - if the rules allow something to be broke it will be. If they don't then they can't.

I agree very much. If you allow people to break the rules, they will.

Its very stupid to think, that because you cant find every error, you shouldnt try to make good rules.

shelfunit.
17-06-2014, 17:23
Its very stupid to think, that because you cant find every error, you shouldnt try to make good rules.

Exactly - this is what play testing is for - a company that brings in £120+ million a year should be able to afford a team of play testers that can do this - if not then they should engage the community (or a "trusted" portion of it) to assist. After at least 7 editions of either game there should be very few errors left.

Reinholt
17-06-2014, 17:27
If this was true you would have been able to summon Space Marines.

Daemonology is an optional extra and doesn't break the game in any way unless players choose to do so. If players want to break something, they'll find a way.

You could have played unbound games anyway. Hell, what do you think apocalypse was?

Three quick points:

1 - You can summon space marines. They arrive via drop pod, of course.

2 - Throwing in things that break the game without clearly delineating them as such is a design mistake. You have to assume, unless you are designing a game intended to have an audience of only you and your close friends, that many personality types will play a game. Some of these personalities will be jackholes. Leaving open things to abuse (again, barring disclaimers that such things are not for use in standard games), in any situation where you are publishing a game to the public, will only harm people who play the game because it allows people to be total ********* within the context of the rules. The community should not have to self-police if they are also paying you for their rules. This is a basic game design issue - it would be like Monopoly having a rule where the player with the most money gets to punch whoever has the least money in the junk at the end of every turn.

3 - If your rules are "do anything you want" (unbound), it becomes increasingly hard to articulate why someone should pay you for them.

Korinov
17-06-2014, 19:05
Incorrect - if the rules allow something to be broke it will be. If they don't then they can't.

+1000 to this. I'm one of those people who believe players should actually never be blamed for taking certain rules to their full advantage. It's the game designers' fault for allowing it to happen in the first place. For a game in its 7th edition, you'd think they would have managed to convincingly fill in and clear all the holes at this point. Not only they haven't, they actually open new ones in each new edition.

And then some people blame the players, instead of the lazy and/or incompetent game designers.

AGC
17-06-2014, 19:54
3 - If your rules are "do anything you want" (unbound), it becomes increasingly hard to articulate why someone should pay you for them.

At last someone respectable said it!

Calvinball is much more fun than UEFA Champions league but no one's going to make money from it. As a business GW needs to make a product that customers can play with without them thinking "I could do better by myself".

ObiWayneKenobi
17-06-2014, 20:01
+1000 to this. I'm one of those people who believe players should actually never be blamed for taking certain rules to their full advantage. It's the game designers' fault for allowing it to happen in the first place. For a game in its 7th edition, you'd think they would have managed to convincingly fill in and clear all the holes at this point. Not only they haven't, they actually open new ones in each new edition.

And then some people blame the players, instead of the lazy and/or incompetent game designers.

It's worse when you consider that from 3rd onward, each new edition has just changed some things around and added a couple of new bits, it hasn't been a full new edition like 1st -> 2nd or 2nd -> 3rd. For over 10 years now the core of the game has stayed the same, yet there's more holes now than ever before. It's like trying to repair a roof and each time fixing one hole but causing several more.

nosebiter
17-06-2014, 20:05
It's worse when you consider that from 3rd onward, each new edition has just changed some things around and added a couple of new bits, it hasn't been a full new edition like 1st -> 2nd or 2nd -> 3rd. For over 10 years now the core of the game has stayed the same, yet there's more holes now than ever before. It's like trying to repair a roof and each time fixing one hole but causing several more.


It is sad that there isnt some one in GW with the stones to do a fully new version of the game.

It is doubly sad that it has been degenerated to a cash cow.

MusingWarboss
17-06-2014, 23:33
It's worse when you consider that from 3rd onward, each new edition has just changed some things around and added a couple of new bits, it hasn't been a full new edition like 1st -> 2nd or 2nd -> 3rd. For over 10 years now the core of the game has stayed the same, yet there's more holes now than ever before. It's like trying to repair a roof and each time fixing one hole but causing several more.

GW roof repair. "Ah, there's a hole here! Go get some tiles from the other side of the roof and we'll fix this..."

3rd-7th Are just evolutions of each other, it would be really good if they'd actually perfected the game but really, they just got lazy and add/remove things and release a new book for moar ca$h!!

Interestingly we've not had a complete rebrand either, the logo is still the drab green on from 3rd too. I actually prefer the logos from both 1st and 2nd Editions.

They really need to pull whatever it is out of the company's collective bottom and do a full reboot for 8th edition. New rules, new branding. Fresh start again.

Niffenator
18-06-2014, 00:35
I don't think there's much doubt that GW are rushing products - both miniatures and books - out. The rulebook has always been more expensive than Codices/army books, and everyone needs a copy to play, so they release new rulebooks before they've even updated most of the armies to the current edition. Combining that with huge price increases and reduction in the number of miniatures you get in a box (if I remember correctly you used to get 20 Cadians per box), people are going to turn to buying second hand to avoid going bankrupt. I honestly think they're the main two things GW need to address - people aren't abandoning the hobby, they're abandoning buying from GW, so they lose money even if people don't lose interest.

Ultimate Life Form
18-06-2014, 01:02
They really need to pull whatever it is out of the company's collective bottom and do a full reboot for 8th edition. New rules, new branding. Fresh start again.

You expect an 8th Edition? When would be convenient for you? Early 2015? And at what price? Fun Fact: The Colectors Edition has still not sold out.

MusingWarboss
18-06-2014, 01:29
You expect an 8th Edition? When would be convenient for you? Early 2015? And at what price? Fun Fact: The Colectors Edition has still not sold out.

If GW is still alive by 2015 I wouldn't be surprised. The cost will be £60. Minimum.

Perhaps they'll stop releasing so many desperate cash grabs limited editions then!! Fun fact: limited editions are only good if they offer significant advantages over the basic product. Not just because pretty-packaging, only making 1000. Buy!!

:rolleyes:

ihavetoomuchminis
18-06-2014, 08:59
And LE that dont offer anything but a fancy cover make no sense in a product thats gonna be obsolete and useable as toilet paper in 2-4 years.

MiyamatoMusashi
18-06-2014, 09:38
And LE that dont offer anything but a fancy cover make no sense in a product thats gonna be obsolete and useable as toilet paper in 2-4 years.

In fairness, looks like the new LE Ork Codex won't be just a fancy cover. It will also be half a dozen cheapo tokens as objective markers, a fluff book and print-outs of eight classic Ork pictures that have previously been printed in various GW publications over the years. (It'll also be £100. £100! Astonishing).

So, yeah, still not worth paying extra for, but technically not just a fancy cover.

williamsond
18-06-2014, 09:46
I have this image in my head that every one at GW is quitely thinking things are going to hell and a hand cart but don't want to be the first person to point it out, I can just see them at the pricing meeting avoiding eye contact and looking at the celing alot trying not to point out the elephant in the room...

Herzlos
18-06-2014, 12:39
If this was true you would have been able to summon Space Marines.

Space Marines sell anyway, why add a special rule allowing people to buy more of them?

Dai-Mongar
18-06-2014, 23:04
+1000 to this. I'm one of those people who believe players should actually never be blamed for taking certain rules to their full advantage. It's the game designers' fault for allowing it to happen in the first place. For a game in its 7th edition, you'd think they would have managed to convincingly fill in and clear all the holes at this point. Not only they haven't, they actually open new ones in each new edition.

And then some people blame the players, instead of the lazy and/or incompetent game designers.

For a game that's designed for pick-up games, absolutely the designers should expect that some players will try and break the game. It is far more forgivable for a more sandbox-style game that's intended for use by a regular play group to have some weak spots, with players being responsible for regulating each other for the greater enjoyment of the play group.
GW seems to want to make games that aren't quite either, though, and it just leads to a mess.

Trasvi
19-06-2014, 08:36
And LE that dont offer anything but a fancy cover make no sense in a product thats gonna be obsolete and useable as toilet paper in 2-4 years.

I don't understand the hate against the limited editions?

1. They are limited. Not everyone is going to get one.
2. They are different. They have different cover art.

This is sufficient to be classified as limited collector's editions for a vast number of other products/hobbies.

The point about limited editions is that there are people out there who consider 'limited edition' to be a valuable part of the product - anyone assessing LE based on the amount of stuff in is missing that point entirely. GW's LE books target those people - the ones who probably also have still-in-box action figures lining their walls. It doesn't matter if you don't think the LE codex is good value - they only need to find 1000 people who do.
From a business sense, it's part of hoovering up consumer surplus. There are people out there who will pay $200 or $300 for the rulebook - and this gives GW a product to market at that price range for very little effort.

As to not selling out... this might seem odd, but for limited edition products you don't want to sell out. Its better to have 1 left over than sell all of them. Why? Because if you sell out, that means you could possibly have sold more at a higher price. If you produce 1000 and sell them all at $100 each, you don't know how many more you could have sold at that price - it could have been an extra 1000 again. But if you produce 1000 and sell 999 at $200 each, you know that you maxxed out the market.
* Of course you could potentially make more money by selling 3000 at $75 each, but we're approaching this from the point of view where supply is strictly limited, because value is directly related to the limitedness of supply.


Whatever problems GW has, the limited edition codexes are a good move.

A bigger thing they should be pursuing however are cheaper codexes in the other direction. It seems like they might be toying with that given the new Codex box set, but that doesn't exactly address the cost issue even though the individual books are cheaper.
They should look at releasing "Gamer's editions" or soft-cover codexes to target the people who aren't willing to pay current codex prices. A gamer's edition - A5, lacking the fluff+hobby sections, for 66% the price of the main codex. A soft-cover, full size but for 80%. Privateer Press manages to sell both hard and soft covers, although they are in a slightly different situation where army books aren't actually required by players.

nosebiter
19-06-2014, 13:21
I don't understand the hate against the limited editions?

1. They are limited. Not everyone is going to get one.
2. They are different. They have different cover art.

This is sufficient to be classified as limited collector's editions for a vast number of other products/hobbies.

The point about limited editions is that there are people out there who consider 'limited edition' to be a valuable part of the product - anyone assessing LE based on the amount of stuff in is missing that point entirely. GW's LE books target those people - the ones who probably also have still-in-box action figures lining their walls. It doesn't matter if you don't think the LE codex is good value - they only need to find 1000 people who do.
From a business sense, it's part of hoovering up consumer surplus. There are people out there who will pay $200 or $300 for the rulebook - and this gives GW a product to market at that price range for very little effort.

As to not selling out... this might seem odd, but for limited edition products you don't want to sell out. Its better to have 1 left over than sell all of them. Why? Because if you sell out, that means you could possibly have sold more at a higher price. If you produce 1000 and sell them all at $100 each, you don't know how many more you could have sold at that price - it could have been an extra 1000 again. But if you produce 1000 and sell 999 at $200 each, you know that you maxxed out the market.
* Of course you could potentially make more money by selling 3000 at $75 each, but we're approaching this from the point of view where supply is strictly limited, because value is directly related to the limitedness of supply.


Whatever problems GW has, the limited edition codexes are a good move.

A bigger thing they should be pursuing however are cheaper codexes in the other direction. It seems like they might be toying with that given the new Codex box set, but that doesn't exactly address the cost issue even though the individual books are cheaper.
They should look at releasing "Gamer's editions" or soft-cover codexes to target the people who aren't willing to pay current codex prices. A gamer's edition - A5, lacking the fluff+hobby sections, for 66% the price of the main codex. A soft-cover, full size but for 80%. Privateer Press manages to sell both hard and soft covers, although they are in a slightly different situation where army books aren't actually required by players.


I don't think people hate against limited editions. But when everything is limited, and not all that amazing (alternate cover), then it looses the wow factor.

GW needs to look at computer games, where you get shed loads of stuff.

Compare the limited edition eldar codex, double price for a dust jacket, to what you get in the Witcher 3 box. Now there is a limited edition.

Muad'Dib
19-06-2014, 13:26
I don't think people hate against limited editions. But when everything is limited, and not all that amazing (alternate cover), then it looses the wow factor.

GW needs to look at computer games, where you get shed loads of stuff.

Compare the limited edition eldar codex, double price for a dust jacket, to what you get in the Witcher 3 box. Now there is a limited edition.
Yeah...Basically the hate for the absolutely, utterly minimalist (relatively to price) treatment GW gives/gave to limited editions is just another facet of general GW hate - which, in a nutshell, is due them not caring about giving customer value or enjoyment; they only care about milking as much money out of their games/franchises, and their philosophy is that delivering quality doesn't really matter, because true GW fans/customers "(...) like spending money on our product.". (and as absurd/grotesque as it sounds, sometimes I think that this is more true than we'd like to admit...)

There are companies that give you interesting & unique additional material for (much) less than the GW's limited editions; while in GW's case, the privilege it seems is GW letting you spend more money on a book. Though on the other hand, considering how phoned in/recycled the books are, what could they have included, really? Design notes of how they managed to again include a bunch of overpowered and underpowered stuff?

ObiWayneKenobi
19-06-2014, 15:09
I actually think the 7th edition LE is a good example of a LE (although not at the price point): IIRC you got the books, psychic cards, objective cards and objective markers, and I think something else (map?). That's what a LE should be, but the fact it was over $300 is kind of crap. If the rulebook was priced reasonably it'd be like $35, and then the LE would be let's say $105 - three times the price of the rules, but you get a lot of stuff. That's comparable to most other LEs out there I think.

Muad'Dib
19-06-2014, 15:44
I was a bit shocked to see that maybe they improved their attitude...but then read it costs $300 and my world view snapped back to normal :).
I don't think even the $105 price you listed is in any way comparable to the special treatment other companies give - though I only have PC games on hand to compare. http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/BioShock_Limited_Collector%E2%80%99s_Edition http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_Collector%27s_Edition . Also, you used to get stuff like cards in the basic boxes...so including them in a vastly overpriced limited edition is just pathetic. There was already thread in 40k general about how much of annoying bookkeeping you need in a game of 40k - including stuff like cards, checklists or counters or smth with the - already expensive - basic rulebook would be nice...

It seems GW considers their products to be luxury goods that people buy for it's own sake, to increase their own social status etc.

The_Real_Chris
13-07-2014, 10:14
The retreating to a few product lines (and marking of 'premium') is classic 'moving upmarket' which happens to declining / disrupted companies.

The key to survival is making small, less profitable (but still profitable) product lines for your 'crappy customers'. They are so far refusing to co-opt the smaller (skirmish, or possible other type of game like those hybrid board games) and they will retreat further and further upmarket until other companies take all their customers.

Now this is mostly for tech companies, but the parallels and similarities might be there (it applied to vertical steel mills and mini-mills) for the case of 'what customers' they want.

Yes, an awful lot of people providing an 'ecosystem' for new players in terms of advice, help, etc enjoyed those games. I fell out with the mass battle 28mm games because of rules and the look being too crowded, but still happily played Epic, BFG, MoW and Blood Bowl and kept up with the 40k background, got the odd model, got people involved. All axing the lines did was give competitors room to grow.

HelloKitty
15-07-2014, 18:15
$35 rulebook would be more than reasonable - it would be a bargain.

D&D Players Handbook - MSRP $50
D&D DMs Guide - MSRP $50
D&D Monster Manual - MSRP $50

That's $150 to play D&D. Granted only one person needs to own all of the material. Regardless... each player should have a PHB and a PHB runs $50.

Iron Kingdoms Core Rules - $45

Warmachine Mark II - $30 softcover, $45 hardcover - this is where I think the direct comparison is coming in. That GW needs to price match Privateer. However considering that the books are now hard-cover only - $35 is cheaper than many games out now.

The main difference is that games like D&D split their books out. The total cost of the core books is $150 - more than the price of GWs ruleset, but its that emotional illusion that you can buy them all separately for cheaper perhaps... though visiting the D&D forums there are people in arms about the price as well so that could just be people being people.

Voss
15-07-2014, 18:27
Well, the difference with D&D is that only about 1 in 5 people need 2 of the three basic books. Arguably less, if people share. Though of course the whole thing still feels bad for a lot of people since the full rules (the SRD) for 3.5 (and pathfinder) are online, which amounts to a cost of $0.

But the problem of books that customers don't need was a large part of TSR's problem. They were spamming a lot of adventures, settings and sourcebooks that were completely optional, and if a group wanted them at all, they needed a single copy for ~5 people. So they took up warehouse space instead.

MarshalFaust
15-07-2014, 19:12
I think the problem is less about the individual cost of the items and rather the total cost for a new gamer. seems like for $150 a player can start DMing and playing D&D with a group of friends. not a bad deal overall. its been a while since I've priced out a warmachine army but what maybe in the $300-$400 range to get a new player a good amount of options and a playable list? thats easily saved up for if you are wanting to start a new game system. 40k - $1200-$1500 for a playable 2000pt army whaaat?? if GW kept their current prices but if I was able to play a fully balanced game with 1 5man terminator squad, 1 10 tactical squad, an HQ character and maybe a vehicle or two plus the rulebook and army book that would be about $300-$400 which I think is totally reasonable. and you would probably see many more new players. so i guess I'm saying is that the base scale of the game is way out of hand and its killing them.

bittick
15-07-2014, 20:17
I started playing D&D years and years ago. My price? Zero dollars. I used other people's books until I learned the game. Actually I guess I spent about 4 or 5 dollars because I bought some dice. And while I don't think I've ever actually purchased an actual D&D product, it got me into roleplaying and I've bought all sorts of game books over the years. If all I needed to play GW stuff was the books, their price wouldn't be as bad. But you need the books and the minis, so the cost is way higher than it is to play anything else.

Wolf Lord Balrog
16-07-2014, 03:48
I was a bit shocked to see that maybe they improved their attitude...but then read it costs $300 and my world view snapped back to normal :).
I don't think even the $105 price you listed is in any way comparable to the special treatment other companies give - though I only have PC games on hand to compare. http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/BioShock_Limited_Collector%E2%80%99s_Edition http://www.wowwiki.com/World_of_Warcraft_Collector%27s_Edition . Also, you used to get stuff like cards in the basic boxes...so including them in a vastly overpriced limited edition is just pathetic. There was already thread in 40k general about how much of annoying bookkeeping you need in a game of 40k - including stuff like cards, checklists or counters or smth with the - already expensive - basic rulebook would be nice...

It seems GW considers their products to be luxury goods that people buy for it's own sake, to increase their own social status etc.

I recently had an opportunity to have a lengthy discussion with a member of GW's lower management about the company's strategy and its vision of itself. There are two key assumptions that GW operates under that I don't think most people understand. First, they believe that their product is so good, that people will pay whatever price tag they put on it. Second, they see themselves as totally without serious competition in wargames, that their only competition is from other hobby activities.

They totally and completely believe these things, they are articles of faith for every member of management (or if they feel differently they don't dare say so where another employee might hear). You think about it, and this alone explains much.

nosebiter
16-07-2014, 05:29
I recently had an opportunity to have a lengthy discussion with a member of GW's lower management about the company's strategy and its vision of itself. There are two key assumptions that GW operates under that I don't think most people understand. First, they believe that their product is so good, that people will pay whatever price tag they put on it. Second, they see themselves as totally without serious competition in wargames, that their only competition is from other hobby activities.

They totally and completely believe these things, they are articles of faith for every member of management (or if they feel differently they don't dare say so where another employee might hear). You think about it, and this alone explains much.

Talk about being blind to the real world...

ihavetoomuchminis
16-07-2014, 06:18
As an ex-gw staff i can say what lord balrog says is true. We once did a training sessions and these things were told to us. It felt like sectarism at its best. I found it pathetic and left the job only 2 months after that despite having been in the company for 2 and a half years atm. It killed my love for GW and therefore for my job then.

Herzlos
16-07-2014, 09:05
That does explain a lot though. So that presumably means they are convinced that the downturn is with the economy or the nature of teenagers these days or some other global factor that they can't control (unlike, say, quality)?

ObiWayneKenobi
16-07-2014, 11:45
As an ex-gw staff i can say what lord balrog says is true. We once did a training sessions and these things were told to us. It felt like sectarism at its best. I found it pathetic and left the job only 2 months after that despite having been in the company for 2 and a half years atm. It killed my love for GW and therefore for my job then.

So senior management is legit insane...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Ultimate Life Form
16-07-2014, 12:20
So senior management is legit insane...

Ever since I saw the 7th Edition Daemons of Chaos Army Book I have been convinced that GW are in league with Chaos. Pretty much everything points to that fact. Matt Ward's constant escapades, jumping from unusably bad (Orcs) to completely overpowered (DoC) over the course of a few months, their erratic release schedule, their incomprehensible pricing policy, and, last but not least, their ... unhealthy passion for Chaos stuff. I mean, what kind of twisted brain comes up with all this background? Something tells me they must've witnessed it firsthand.

Shadey
16-07-2014, 13:49
It seems GW considers their products to be luxury goods that people buy for it's own sake, to increase their own social status etc.

Heehee.

Sup baby, you know I have a 4000 point Space Marine army...

Works with the ladies every time.....

Maybe in bizarro world.

Verm1s
16-07-2014, 16:52
Ladies =/= social status. At least not the social status in a GW store. :p

Wolf Lord Balrog
17-07-2014, 04:10
Some more bits I remembered from that conversation: If you have any qualms about prices, you are not GW's target market. They believe that there are sufficient 'collectors', for whom GW's 'super-ultimate-quality' will always trump price, that they don't need anybody for whom money is an issue. Similarly, if you aren't starting a new army, they don't care about you. New armies mean sales of their 'core' products, which is what they care most about. It is also true that GW doesn't care about the rules' 'balance' or tournament playability, not even a little bit. The rules are there to add value to the models, and so they can sell rulebooks as well as models, no other reason.

Take note, this isn't your standard internet 'whinging', or loose inferences from quotes in White Dwarf or a blog interview from somebody who used to work there years ago. These are the apparently deeply-held, current views of the company management, as described to me by a current member of management.

ehlijen
17-07-2014, 05:09
Some more bits I remembered from that conversation: If you have any qualms about prices, you are not GW's target market. They believe that there are sufficient 'collectors', for whom GW's 'super-ultimate-quality' will always trump price, that they don't need anybody for whom money is an issue. Similarly, if you aren't starting a new army, they don't care about you. New armies mean sales of their 'core' products, which is what they care most about. It is also true that GW doesn't care about the rules' 'balance' or tournament playability, not even a little bit. The rules are there to add value to the models, and so they can sell rulebooks as well as models, no other reason.

Take note, this isn't your standard internet 'whinging', or loose inferences from quotes in White Dwarf or a blog interview from somebody who used to work there years ago. These are the apparently deeply-held, current views of the company management, as described to me by a current member of management.

And for all we know they may even be right, GW might have an unalienable core of customers that will see them through anything. But how big will they stay as a company with just those guys?

frozenwastes
17-07-2014, 08:04
I believe GW is likely correct about their collector customers. That they really do have a core group of true believer customers who will stick around and keep buying. And that word of mouth from them to like minded people will continue to function alongside their retailing to potential new collectors.

Herzlos
17-07-2014, 09:01
There will definitely be collector customers who'll buy most of everything to come out. But I can't believe they make up the bulk of GW's sales except in some rare circumstances (I've heard a GW store manager claiming that 1 customer makes up a significant portion of his sales), or that they are genuinely price-insensitive. Eventually they are going to get to a stage where they complain about the price but keep buying (to satisfy the completionist) and then they'll eventually give up completely. All I know is that a lot of people have stopped buying.

Though maybe it is possible; it's apparently a phenomenon in these pay-to-play games too, where a small core of customers make up significant sales.

frozenwastes
17-07-2014, 10:31
I don't think a collector in this context has to be a completionist. It just has to be someone for whom the acquiring of the kits constitutes a large part of their hobby enjoyment. GW is looking for people who enjoy the process of buying their miniatures at current prices, and hopefully at higher prices in the future.

It doesn't strike me as a sustainable plan, to keep asking their most dedicated customers to buy at higher and higher prices, but I think it can work for them for quite some time.

shelfunit.
17-07-2014, 12:20
The problem with that is that it is illegal. Completely OOP stuff I am somewhat ambivalent about - there is no loss of income in that case, but current stuff being recast is really a no no.

Unexo
17-07-2014, 12:31
It is illegal, but it has reached the point where it's socially acceptable. I haven't met anyone who really cared whether something is recast or not. You also see these forums filled with recast in work in progress-sections, be it bought or made for personal use. I personally think the quality is too poor compared to forgeworld, and as I play HH legion only, I would never buy it. But if i were to straight up choose between GW plastic and recast resin of GW's plastic product, I'd actually prefer the recast resin. The quality is far better than the plastic.

winterdyne
17-07-2014, 12:36
It's seriously worrying that pressure-cast resin recasts of mass-produced plastic sprues sell (I assume profitably for the recasters) cheaper than those sprues.

f2k
17-07-2014, 13:32
It is illegal, but it has reached the point where it's socially acceptable. I haven't met anyone who really cared whether something is recast or not. You also see these forums filled with recast in work in progress-sections, be it bought or made for personal use. I personally think the quality is too poor compared to forgeworld, and as I play HH legion only, I would never buy it. But if i were to straight up choose between GW plastic and recast resin of GW's plastic product, I'd actually prefer the recast resin. The quality is far better than the plastic.

I think it's down to the price now being way beyond crazy.

When I started gaming, some two decades ago, you might have seen a photocopy of the main rules in a club - just in case someone needed to look something up. But that was about it. Recasting wasn't really a big thing and it was generally frowned upon. These days, however, rules are openly downloaded and links to chines recasters freely shared. The price has made it morally acceptable to many people, it seems.

Personally, I'm not entirely happy about it but...

Well...

I've seen a fair bit of Chinese and Russian Forge World recasts by now and considering that they're half price of what Forge World asks and typically of better quality... I have to admit that I'm tempted...


It's either that, or finally admit to myself that I'm officially priced completely out of the game. Because I'm not going to buy anything at the price Games Workshop asks.

IJW
17-07-2014, 13:33
It is illegal, but it has reached the point where it's socially acceptable. I haven't met anyone who really cared whether something is recast or not.

Speak for yourself. I don't find it socially acceptable.

The_Real_Chris
17-07-2014, 13:50
I don't agree with buying recasts. However as my main GW game is Epic I have zero problems with buying models people have made of 40k stuff in 6mm, as these have never existed (for example some of the fliers, or Russ variants) and are normally 3d prints. If the russkies started making them I would also have no problems buying copies of models that will never be made again like the FW Tau, as otherwise the models are impossible to get. I do not think it is the right use of copyright to prevent things being made you have no intention of doing yourself. Hell all GW would have to do is give a re-launch date in a couple of years for the Epic range. Or licence the models for less than silly money.

HelloKitty
18-07-2014, 13:59
I think it's down to the price now being way beyond crazy.

Recasting has been a thing with this game since the late 90s at least. I first heard about recasting when the land raider model was released in 2000 or so. A guy in our area bought the model and then made moulds of it and was creating resin recasts of it for $20 and people were buying it up. Of course back then people were saying that the price was beyond crazy too.

Noble Korhedron
18-07-2014, 14:42
The problem with that is that it is illegal. Completely OOP stuff I am somewhat ambivalent about - there is no loss of income in that case, but current stuff being recast is really a no no.Yeah, I agree. It's illegal, generally poor-quality and is outright copyright theft. Not to mention the illegal part being the fact that they actually sell this junk to people desperate to afford a G.W fix of some kind.....

Probably a v. silly Q., but what did 'TSR' stand for?

shelfunit.
18-07-2014, 14:47
generally poor-quality

You'd be surprised, the majority I have seen (the OOP Epic stuff) has been really impressive


Probably a v. silly Q., but what did 'TSR' stand for?

Tactical Studies Rules.

Noble Korhedron
18-07-2014, 14:50
You'd be surprised, the majority I have seen (the OOP Epic stuff) has been really impressive



Tactical Studies Rules.Q. RE your signature; what's the "new WV"?

shelfunit.
18-07-2014, 14:57
Q. RE your signature; what's the "new WV"?

The magazine equivalent of the Razzies (http://www.razzies.com/) worst publication award winner 2014 - Warhammer Visions.

Muad'Dib
18-07-2014, 16:59
Ever since I saw the 7th Edition Daemons of Chaos Army Book I have been convinced that GW are in league with Chaos. Pretty much everything points to that fact. Matt Ward's constant escapades, jumping from unusably bad (Orcs) to completely overpowered (DoC) over the course of a few months, their erratic release schedule, their incomprehensible pricing policy, and, last but not least, their ... unhealthy passion for Chaos stuff. I mean, what kind of twisted brain comes up with all this background? Something tells me they must've witnessed it firsthand.
I recently had a dream that was as sick and twisted as the worst of the Chaos stuff...and I can assure you I'm a most good and well-adjusted person ;) . You can channel & think up insane stuff if you got the kind of attitude and imagination, without being in league with Chaos. See World of Darkness (like the Wyrm in Werewolf the Apocalypse or clans Malkavian and Tzimisce from Vampire the Masquarade or anything about the Shadow from Wraith the Oblivion) for a good example of normal persons writing extremely insane/sick background for a game.
And besides, the writers who came up with Chaos Gods are in no shape or form the same people who are responsible for the pathetic state of GW's rules & (some of) background.

ForgottenLore
19-07-2014, 06:31
See World of Darkness .

now I'm stuck thinking about "SeaWorld of Darkness". Vampiric dolphins. Mutated, demonic Shamu. The little fish they get thrown as a treat each having tiny human faces.

Thanks a lot. :(

itcamefromthedeep
19-07-2014, 18:07
I recently had an opportunity to have a lengthy discussion with a member of GW's lower management about the company's strategy and its vision of itself. There are two key assumptions that GW operates under that I don't think most people understand. First, they believe that their product is so good, that people will pay whatever price tag they put on it. Second, they see themselves as totally without serious competition in wargames, that their only competition is from other hobby activities.

They totally and completely believe these things, they are articles of faith for every member of management (or if they feel differently they don't dare say so where another employee might hear). You think about it, and this alone explains much.


Some more bits I remembered from that conversation: If you have any qualms about prices, you are not GW's target market. They believe that there are sufficient 'collectors', for whom GW's 'super-ultimate-quality' will always trump price, that they don't need anybody for whom money is an issue. Similarly, if you aren't starting a new army, they don't care about you. New armies mean sales of their 'core' products, which is what they care most about. It is also true that GW doesn't care about the rules' 'balance' or tournament playability, not even a little bit. The rules are there to add value to the models, and so they can sell rulebooks as well as models, no other reason.

Take note, this isn't your standard internet 'whinging', or loose inferences from quotes in White Dwarf or a blog interview from somebody who used to work there years ago. These are the apparently deeply-held, current views of the company management, as described to me by a current member of management.

Yeah, that explains some stuff.

---


I recently had a dream that was as sick and twisted as the worst of the Chaos stuff...and I can assure you I'm a most good and well-adjusted person ;) . You can channel & think up insane stuff if you got the kind of attitude and imagination, without being in league with Chaos.Your profile picture is a Slaanesh icon. Clearly you're just as much in league with Chaos as Games Workshop.

HelloKitty
19-07-2014, 18:31
I have heard the same things as well from managers.

Wayshuba
19-07-2014, 20:08
I recently had an opportunity to have a lengthy discussion with a member of GW's lower management about the company's strategy and its vision of itself. There are two key assumptions that GW operates under that I don't think most people understand. First, they believe that their product is so good, that people will pay whatever price tag they put on it. Second, they see themselves as totally without serious competition in wargames, that their only competition is from other hobby activities.

They totally and completely believe these things, they are articles of faith for every member of management (or if they feel differently they don't dare say so where another employee might hear). You think about it, and this alone explains much.

Oh how I wish I was in on that conversation.

When he brought up the first point, I would have looked him right in the eye and said, "Well a double digit decline in sales proves you wrong there! I probably also would have told him that I make a substantial salary each year where you prices wouldn't really bother me, but your crap is not worth the price you're putting on it, so I don't buy any of it."

Then when he brought up the second, I would have said, "So how does it feel that every other wargame company in the market is growing by double-digits while your company is declining by double digits? I guess someone must have forgot to tell your target market that those other companies aren't supposed to be competition, because they sure seem to be spending money on them like they are."

I don't know this person's age, but I would have also said to him, "Ever hear of TSR? No. They were a company much like yours once. Arrogant and so full of themselves that they went out of business. You probably are going to be joining them shortly."

On another note, if they truly believe that second point from the top on down, you can very much bet their days are numbered.

Darnok
19-07-2014, 20:17
Oh how I wish I was in on that conversation.

When he brought up the first point, I would have looked him right in the eye and said, "Well a double digit decline in sales proves you wrong there! I probably also would have told him that I make a substantial salary each year where you prices wouldn't really bother me, but your crap is not worth the price you're putting on it, so I don't buy any of it."

Then when he brought up the second, I would have said, "So how does it feel that every other wargame company in the market is growing by double-digits while your company is declining by double digits? I guess someone must have forgot to tell your target market that those other companies aren't supposed to be competition, because they sure seem to be spending money on them like they are."

I don't know this person's age, but I would have also said to him, "Ever hear of TSR? No. They were a company much like yours once. Arrogant and so full of themselves that they went out of business. You probably are going to be joining them shortly."

On another note, if they truly believe that second point from the top on down, you can very much bet their days are numbered.

I really wish I could "like" posts on this forum. You'd get one for this. :yes:

Melkanador
19-07-2014, 20:23
I can confirm this way of thinking within GW´s management circle, as I had a few talks with some people from there.

The most "interesting" quote for me was "Everything GW does, is perfect. GW cannot make a mistake". This beeing the quote on me asking about the translation quality when GW translated points and other stuff wrong. I was marked a hater and left GW shortly after this after a two talks about my sales technic (wich worked but wasn´t in line with GW thinking).

Wayshuba
19-07-2014, 20:33
"Everything GW does, is perfect. GW cannot make a mistake".

Really? Then I would ask them to name me one other company who had their webstore offline for over 24 hours.... Because only completely incompetent companies have that happen.

Melkanador
19-07-2014, 21:15
Really? Then I would ask them to name me one other company who had their webstore offline for over 24 hours.... Because only completely incompetent companies have that happen.

There are so many bad business decision GW made, but as GW doensn´t make any mistakes, it must be someone else´s fault like a hard- or softwareproblem one couldn´t predict. ;)

Talking to someone within the more inner cirlce of managment of GW is like talking to some fanatical religious person: no matter what you say to them, nothing will invalidate their set of beliefs.

Poncho160
19-07-2014, 21:23
Probably like most people on here, I can easily afford to buy everything GW puts out. But I'm not an idiot and I don't throw my money away on things that are not value for money. I'm Guessing most people feel the same.

Saying that I did just buy a new set of irons this week... Lol

Noble Korhedron
19-07-2014, 23:09
Speaking of irons, my last set lasted me several years, and they were free secondhand from a relative. My current set has lasted two years so far, and only cost 199.00 Euro in an Elverys sale. My entire set-up(driver, No. 4 hybrid, 3-wood, 5-wood, 3-9 irons, PW, SW, putter, bag and trolley cost me under 700 Euro total, possibly even under 600 Euro. It's been that long since I bought it I don't remember.