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rwphillipsstl
26-05-2014, 15:31
Following up on an excellent thread started by Reinholt re GW stock price and management problems, along with many random threads and postings referencing GW's "probable, inevitable" demise, it got me to wondering, what would a hypothetical GW "death spiral" look like? I am NOT predicting such an event, even if many think it likely, I am just curious what form it would most likely take (so that if these events start to happen, we can all watch, munch popcorn, and say to ourselves "oh, I know what is coming in the next scene").

My one assumption for this thread is that GW's problems are chiefly caused by bad management, per Reinholt's opinion on his thread, rather than speculating on what would happen to GW due to a general stock market crash, a war in Ukraine, or global warming halting plastics production in China. Also please limit the "finecrap" posts. :)

To toss out the first pitch, it seems to be a commonly-held belief that 40k sales are much, much larger than WFB, and this seems to cause many to believe that GW might at some point dump WFB to focus solely on the 40k universe of products. (A wrinkle here is that GW supposedly renewed the license for LOTR for a long period, so it would be odd for them to drop WFB and be left with 40k and LOTR/Hobbit only.) BUT, i for one would interpret the chief sign of the apocalypse as being GW dropping fantasy--40k may make more money, but i do not see how a company could possibly maintain its market dominance, keep a fleet of brick-and-mrtar stores, and continue to grow focusing solely on 40k. So, for me, dropping fantasy would be the signal for turning out the lights and begin diversifying my gaming collection.

shelfunit.
26-05-2014, 16:53
What would come first depends on what contracts end or are not able to be fulfilled. So it might be shops closing without notice, WD suddenly disappearing, or shops no longer getting any new stock, or of course, if the staff suddenly stop getting paid, all at once.

A.T.
26-05-2014, 17:08
Focus on the most profitable products with the others being pretty much abandoned, an effort to push out a lot of low-content material that is cheap to produce such as crappy third party games and watered down magazines, scrapping of anything that requires extra staff like facebook pages, increased product churn, lots of high price limited availablity stuff, general price hikes, cutbacks in stores, splitting books out into core and expansion materials (i.e. terrain books), individual unit expansion packs, and a general increase in the buy-to-win area of the hobby.

Or something like that. Hard to distinguish a death spiral from naked greed until the company dives flaming into the ground... and sometimes even then.

Kijamon
26-05-2014, 18:13
I don't think there would be a death spiral. No companies give hints any more because it then IS the death. They fight to the bitter end. There is certainly no way that the stores would catch wind of it.

Look at a travel agents, if they suddenly start randomly cancelling flights or acting differently, people will just book elsewhere and then they are finished.

GW would continue what they are doing and one day you would go to your local store and see a sign saying "We have entered administration" and details about how it's going down.


There is no way we would get even a sniff.

AGC
26-05-2014, 19:20
I suspect the first "big thing" would be the selling off of the Black Library. It's about the only large non-miniature part of the business left that hasn't already been licensed out.

shelfunit.
26-05-2014, 19:39
Focus on the most profitable products with the others being pretty much abandoned, an effort to push out a lot of low-content material that is cheap to produce such as crappy third party games and watered down magazines, scrapping of anything that requires extra staff like facebook pages, increased product churn, lots of high price limited availablity stuff, general price hikes, cutbacks in stores, splitting books out into core and expansion materials (i.e. terrain books), individual unit expansion packs, and a general increase in the buy-to-win area of the hobby.

Or something like that. Hard to distinguish a death spiral from naked greed until the company dives flaming into the ground... and sometimes even then.

So essentially what is happening now then...

Wayshuba
26-05-2014, 21:53
Just watch what is happening now. You currently have a front row seat. Enjoy your popcorn.

rwphillipsstl
26-05-2014, 22:02
As I wrote the original post, I thought to myself that much of what might constitute "warning signs" was happening as we write. Picking up on a comment above, however, maybe a better question would have been--what do you think the next event will be, assuming we are watching a death spiral? I think selling off a range/line is a big red flag, though again, arguably the complete demise of Specialist Games was such an event.

Ultimate Life Form
26-05-2014, 22:19
As I wrote the original post, I thought to myself that much of what might constitute "warning signs" was happening as we write. Picking up on a comment above, however, maybe a better question would have been--what do you think the next event will be, assuming we are watching a death spiral? I think selling off a range/line is a big red flag, though again, arguably the complete demise of Specialist Games was such an event.

Well, Specialist Games had been dormant for a very long time now and I don't think it shifted many units, so discontinuing them seems neither surprising nor unreasonable. I think the most interesting thing at the moment is what will happen to the Tolkien line. Apparently, nothing. I just visited the LotR Forum on a whim a few days ago and was literally shocked that place is dead. Deader than dead. Even the lowly Mordheim section has more traffic than this place. What on earth? Considering Tolkien was supposed to be their third big game, and that it's allegedly still alive and kicking, I don't know what to say. I haven't heard any news of them renewing the license, but if they did, then I don't understand to which end. Apparently they aren't planning to do anything with it, and once the buzz around the movies dies off, it will be dead weight. I wonder how much they paid for it...

Samsonov
26-05-2014, 22:23
The first major sign I guess would either be the stock price falling or lots of brick and mortar stores closing down.

As it happens, I severely doubt GW will self destruct fully. Imagine if they closed every single brick and mortar store, declared the current version of 40K and Fantasy to be the final one so they can close down rules development, similarly close down design studio, basically freeze everything permanently. They are left with hundreds of plastic moulds that can produce models for virtually the entire range, so dirt cheap production cost and they would have cut out so many overheads. I'd be deeply surprised if they cannot make a profit in this form. But as I understand it (which I probably do not) they would need share holder's to approve such a radical restructuring. The alternative is someone else will buy it out. Could be some huge toy company or computer game company, for better or for worse. Or it could be Warlord Games: Paul Sawyer, Rick Priestly. Those two names alone would bring back so many fans providing it was accompanied by a price drop.

rwphillipsstl
26-05-2014, 22:55
Given the focus of some of the ex-GW developers on historical games, my guess is that at least Priestly may have had a non-compete agreement re fantasy and sci-FI games, BUT even if they did such agreements are of limited duration.

I tend end to agree that the shaving off of a core part of IP, like killing LOTR or Fantasy or the books line. You know, TSR in its later days made tons of money, tons of money, off of fiction books until the segment crashed.

ebbwar
26-05-2014, 23:08
Given the focus of some of the ex-GW developers on historical games, my guess is that at least Priestly may have had a non-compete agreement re fantasy and sci-FI games, BUT even if they did such agreements are of limited duration.

I tend end to agree that the shaving off of a core part of IP, like killing LOTR or Fantasy or the books line. You know, TSR in its later days made tons of money, tons of money, off of fiction books until the segment crashed.

Rick Priestly is currently working his Beyond the Gates of Antares sci-fi game. Its more of can't get something from scratch to product overnight.

Bloodknight
26-05-2014, 23:29
A wrinkle here is that GW supposedly renewed the license for LOTR for a long period,

It's possible that they did that so nobody else would take it. They're not really doing anything with that license.

Wayshuba
27-05-2014, 01:14
The first major sign I guess would either be the stock price falling or lots of brick and mortar stores closing down.

As it happens, I severely doubt GW will self destruct fully. Imagine if they closed every single brick and mortar store, declared the current version of 40K and Fantasy to be the final one so they can close down rules development, similarly close down design studio, basically freeze everything permanently. They are left with hundreds of plastic moulds that can produce models for virtually the entire range, so dirt cheap production cost and they would have cut out so many overheads. I'd be deeply surprised if they cannot make a profit in this form. But as I understand it (which I probably do not) they would need share holder's to approve such a radical restructuring. The alternative is someone else will buy it out. Could be some huge toy company or computer game company, for better or for worse. Or it could be Warlord Games: Paul Sawyer, Rick Priestly. Those two names alone would bring back so many fans providing it was accompanied by a price drop.

If it so happens to have a massive exodus of customers in a short period of time, they will self destruct as they will not be able to cut costs and obligations to keep pace. This is what a collapse looks like. And that is how 100 year old companies (Lehman Brothers) go bye-bye literally overnight.

The big indicator, I think, will be this. If the next period financials show a decline of 20% or more in sales with the obvious massive expenditure in cash to rapidly accelerate product releases, I would bet they will be gone by end of 2015, early 2016 at latest.

The next period financials are going to be very telling. Even more so than the last periods.

rwphillipsstl
27-05-2014, 01:15
Rick Priestly is currently working his Beyond the Gates of Antares sci-fi game. Its more of can't get something from scratch to product overnight.

You are right, I completely forgot about that. I also have been amazed just how quick the Perry bros et al. put out the Hail Caesar stuff in conjunction with the rest of Warlord Games' Black Powder line of rules. Warlord, btw, is turning into a historical gaming version of what GW used to be more like. It would not shock me if in a couple of years Warlord began moving into fantasy miniatures.

mrtn
27-05-2014, 03:29
You are right, I completely forgot about that. I also have been amazed just how quick the Perry bros et al. put out the Hail Caesar stuff in conjunction with the rest of Warlord Games' Black Powder line of rules. Warlord, btw, is turning into a historical gaming version of what GW used to be more like. It would not shock me if in a couple of years Warlord began moving into fantasy miniatures.

They already sell fantasy figures (http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/other-games), though admittedly those are more "quirky" and/or one-offs, than armies. Plus, Mantic Games have quite a bit invested in fantasy already.

Col. Tartleton
27-05-2014, 03:38
I think they're already circling the drain. How many more employees can they cut? How much higher can their prices go?

There doesn't seem to be a path to recovery under the existing management.

If no one is interested in GW proper it would be good if Warlords could grab up the IP and molds. Just to ensure when they're revisited its by people who know the games.

To quote Warcraft III "What is this? What are you doing, my son?" "Succeeding you, father..." *stab*

ForgottenLore
27-05-2014, 04:46
maybe a better question would have been--what do you think the next event will be, assuming we are watching a death spiral?

I have for a while suspected that one of the things they might do is introduce a new army to 40K. Try to make a big, splashy event with lots of noise for a brand new range that, they hope, absolutely everyone will want to buy a whole new army for. If a new army comes out and it seems like it is rushed, with a haphazard and cobbled together codex full of even more holes, inconsistencies and loopholes than normal, that is going to be a bad sign, a sign that they are about out of other tricks.

Wolf Lord Balrog
27-05-2014, 06:20
I agree with Wayshuba and Tartleton, the death spiral is already underway. Nothing short of a total change in management, or a minor miracle, can stop it now.

Herzlos
27-05-2014, 09:08
As I wrote the original post, I thought to myself that much of what might constitute "warning signs" was happening as we write. Picking up on a comment above, however, maybe a better question would have been--what do you think the next event will be, assuming we are watching a death spiral? I think selling off a range/line is a big red flag, though again, arguably the complete demise of Specialist Games was such an event.

They refused to sell off the rights to any of the specialist games of the historical arm, so I can't see them selling off Black Library. They'll probably try and go down the exclusive titles route though and try to churn out as many books as they can even if the quality suffers.

I think the next things they'll do will be:

1) Start closing the smaller 1-man stores, and possibly leave some countries entirely.
2) Move more stuff to direct only.
3) Try to shut out independents further.
4) Bring out limited run re-issues of Specialist games with truly baffling price tags.
5) More pay to win supplements.

I don't think they'll drop WHF entirely, as they'll want to try and keep milking it as long as possible.

ashc
27-05-2014, 09:55
It would look like what we are seeing now.

Darkz
27-05-2014, 11:32
It would look like when they charge 200 for Cardboard Box Limited Edition Rulebook with probable lifespan of 2 years.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 12:12
Sales of '40k 7th Edition' Beating '6th'
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/28707.html

Korinov
27-05-2014, 12:22
Sales of '40k 7th Edition' Beating '6th'
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/28707.html

Dunno about it, but he offers no actual data and his claim about "long term products" - when discussing a new edition released two years after the previous one - is one of the worst jokes I've ever read.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 12:41
We'll see when the financial reports come out. I don't think they'll be that dire. I think they'll be flat revenue or a small decline with the raised prices making up for the falling unit sales. Just like every year since 2009.

Also, if he goes by gross revenue for sales of 7th edition, it can actually sell less copies and still be outselling in terms of revenue. 6th was $75 a copy and 7th is $85. So for every 1000 copies of 6th edition, you only need to sell 881 copies of 7th to be "outselling" in terms of revenue. This is the whole flat revenue, reduced actual units sold, higher prices thing in action.

GW's interim statement was that revenue was meeting expectations and now this statement about 7th edition sales. I think GW has more of the same slow decline in front of them rather than a death spiral.

Herzlos
27-05-2014, 12:43
Dunno about it, but he offers no actual data and his claim about "long term products" - when discussing a new edition released two years after the previous one - is one of the worst jokes I've ever read.

The source is also from GW?

I doubt 7th Ed has outsold 6th Ed already. Maybe it had a better launch weekend if you factor in pre-orders and store orders (who may have ordered in more than previously due to stock concerns? My local place ordered over 100 copies, but they weren't about for the last edition, so I don't have any source of reference). Maybe some of our FLGS friends can chime in?

MiyamatoMusashi
27-05-2014, 13:09
I doubt 7th Ed has outsold 6th Ed already. Maybe it had a better launch weekend if you factor in pre-orders and store orders

The exact nature of the claim being made is rather non-specific. He certainly isn't saying they sold more 7th Ed in a weekend than 6th Ed in two years. He could be saying they sold more 7th Ed this week than 6th Ed last week, in which case, duh - but I don't think he is saying that either. By implication, most likely is that he's saying they've sold more 7th Ed this week, than the equivalent week when 6th Ed was launched; but even then, sell-in (sold to shops) or sell-through (sold to customers)? Based on units or revenue? What time of year was 6th Ed launched: was there anything else competing for people's money then? It's the same reason that both Sony and Microsoft regularly claim victory in the console wars - they just use different measurements, whichever are most favourable to them.

In general I thought it was an extraordinary piece, though. Saying things like "our customers will vote with their wallets" is what you say when comparing your product to a competitor's, not your own obsolete product. "Our previous game was so bad that people will definitely buy the new one to see if it's better" isn't much of a claim, right? Indeed, "it's selling better because it's a better product" is also extraordinary. On what basis can customers decide 7th Ed is better until after they've bought it (or after waiting a few weeks to see what people say about it)? They might buy it on launch weekend in the hope it will be a better product, but they can't possibly know it yet. Even his calling it 7th Edition is something that GW elsewhere seem reluctant to do. So, yes... very strange series of quotes.

f2k
27-05-2014, 13:10
As others have already said, we're seeing it happening right before our eyes.


Truth to be told, I think it's among the players you will need to look for the signs. The player base has been slowly shrinking for years and now we're beginning to see the complete collapse of groups here and there. As the price goes up, the collapse will accelerate, forcing prices up further, leading to more groups collapsing and so on...


Games Workshop itself, I think, will not show any signs until the day they suddenly close operations and send people home. Had they wanted to delay the inevitable they would have made preparations to shot down the stores much earlier. I actually thought that moving more and more stuff to online-only was a step in that direction, but now it seems that it was targeted at the indy-stores and that Games Workshop's own stores were simply collateral damage.


As a more technical issue, can someone tell me what would happen if the stock tanked? Supposed that the next report is as bad as the previous and suppose that one of the major stockholders decided to get out, leading to a general dump of stocks. What would happen to the company then? Provided that they can stem the loss of players (unlikely, but let's go with that thought), could they survive if, for example, the stock went below 200?

Herzlos
27-05-2014, 13:20
The stock price doesn't affect the day to day running of the company, it will affect the investors pensions though and Kirby has a lot at stake.

What is a risk, though, is that if the market cap of the company is worth less than the assets (physical and IP), it opens up the possibility of a hostile takeover to liquidate it for it's components. Say the total stock comes to $100m, but you've got $200m worth of assets, someone might think it's worth buying the company to make $100m selling off the assets. I don't know how likely it is to happen with someone like GW, but I get the impression hostile takeovers to get patents and rights are fairly common in the tech world.

Reinholt
27-05-2014, 14:09
My notes...

1 - On the topic of being taken over purely for the assets: the most valuable asset GW has is their IP, followed by their molds. They own very little property (their stores are leased), the value of their rules and game systems is zero because they cannot be protected, and they don't have much beyond that. Thus, GW is ultimately going to be purchased for whatever someone thinks the IP is worth, and then they are going to have to re-construct the entire business from the ground up.

2 - On the topic of ICv2, that's clearly someone pushing the (borderline strange) company talking points. I've had several GW staffers tell me "sales have never been better" only to be directly contradicted by the company's own financials. The short tenure of most people at GW these days also robs them of any sense of context. From what I can see, 7th has not been selling all that well (though not terrible, either), but what I am most worried about is that I've seen multiple people straight up bailing out on the game with the edition change. The bigger issue will be GW sales one year out, as I suspect they will find that they shed more people than they expected.

3 - The old increase price / lower turnover trick has hit the bleeding edge where it is hurting GW now. I do think they will try to raise prices. I do think it will lose them more revenue than it gains now, with people bailing out. I think they are stuck with the only logical option being to significantly lower prices. They will not do that.

4 - Falling sales and profits will cause the stock price to fall. The next two years of financial reports, if the trend of falling sales / falling revenue continues, is going to be brutal for the stock price.

5 - This brings me to this: GW is likely to be grabbed out of a catastrophic decline via a takeover (hostile or otherwise), that will almost certainly wipe out the current management and many of the employees. This is the tragedy of these things: in addition to blowing up a product everyone enjoyed, GW's management is also going to eliminate the jobs of the majority of their staff through their incompetence. If you work for GW, and this happens, I want to be clear about something: you should blame your management now, not whomever takes you over in the future. When you do that kind of takeover (and I have been involved in them before), you have to clean house because things are so bad you don't have time to figure out who is good or bad; the boat is sinking and you just throw everything overboard because that's the only way to save it. The real answer is not to sink the boat in the first place, but people seem very resistant to figuring that out at times.

6 - The exact shape of a decline is hard to know without knowing the terms of GW's retail leases. If they are locked in, they could be dead very soon if they can't pay the costs. If they have ways out, they could retreat to a much smaller company, with a UK-only footprint and world sales of 1/2 to 1/3rd of what they are now. The problem for them in this case is that it will crater their stock price, and someone who thinks they can run the company better will buy it out from under the current management and fire them all.

MadmanMSU
27-05-2014, 15:02
6 - The exact shape of a decline is hard to know without knowing the terms of GW's retail leases. If they are locked in, they could be dead very soon if they can't pay the costs. If they have ways out, they could retreat to a much smaller company, with a UK-only footprint and world sales of 1/2 to 1/3rd of what they are now. The problem for them in this case is that it will crater their stock price, and someone who thinks they can run the company better will buy it out from under the current management and fire them all.

In my completely uneducated opinion, this seems the most likely to me. I don't think GW will be a huge burnout, but will slowly lose steam over time. I would even expect to see a slight bump in their financials in the next annual report due to the recent release of 7th edition plus the usual creative ways they have of moving money around. We won't start seeing true signs for another 6 or 12 months, at least.

I really wish we could collect anecdotal evidence of what people are experiencing at the ground level, in their own cities and FLGS, by someone who could make a sincere attempt at being unbiased. For example, in Cincinnati, they're closing the (only) GW store this summer. There's also a lot of vocal people, like me, actively trying to get population in other games (like Malifaux; Xwing is huge right now from what I've seen). Even still, despite the fact that most of the people I know don't play much anymore, there is still a 40k scene here. It's much weaker, in my opinion, than it used to be, but it definitely still exists.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure that kind of information is reliable or useful enough to make it worth the time to collect.

Coldhatred
27-05-2014, 15:33
6 - The exact shape of a decline is hard to know without knowing the terms of GW's retail leases. If they are locked in, they could be dead very soon if they can't pay the costs. If they have ways out, they could retreat to a much smaller company, with a UK-only footprint and world sales of 1/2 to 1/3rd of what they are now. The problem for them in this case is that it will crater their stock price, and someone who thinks they can run the company better will buy it out from under the current management and fire them all.

At least, in my store's case, I can say that the lease was locked in. They wanted very badly to move the store I was managing, then when they couldn't do that they just fired me instead and brought someone else in to give it a go.

Kalidane
27-05-2014, 15:49
In Australasia, the mall locations they had 'lacked flexibility'. Yes, they could get out of leases early but at staggering cost. So stores continued to trade until the leases expired and then new one-man stores were established in low-rent locals.

There is roughly one counter-party to their leases down here and it isn't a friendly outfit.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 15:58
1 - On the topic of being taken over purely for the assets: the most valuable asset GW has is their IP, followed by their molds. They own very little property (their stores are leased), the value of their rules and game systems is zero because they cannot be protected, and they don't have much beyond that. Thus, GW is ultimately going to be purchased for whatever someone thinks the IP is worth, and then they are going to have to re-construct the entire business from the ground up.

I disagree a bit here. I think the valuation of GW's business, like most business, is based on revenue, not assets. if someone were to buy a controlling interest in GW's shares, they wouldn't be primarily buying the IP, but buying their declining manufacturing and sales business. Similarly reforming GW will involve manufacturing and selling a good product that's a good value for their customers. The IP's failure to develop real licensing income greater than a few percent of their revenue shows their IP is not the innately valuable thing some people credit it as.


2 - On the topic of ICv2, that's clearly someone pushing the (borderline strange) company talking points. I've had several GW staffers tell me "sales have never been better" only to be directly contradicted by the company's own financials. The short tenure of most people at GW these days also robs them of any sense of context. From what I can see, 7th has not been selling all that well (though not terrible, either), but what I am most worried about is that I've seen multiple people straight up bailing out on the game with the edition change. The bigger issue will be GW sales one year out, as I suspect they will find that they shed more people than they expected.

It's a GW department head (specifically trade sales) making a comparison between opening weekend sales and an unknown measure of 6th edition. If it really is comparing the sales of the opening weekend of 6th with the opening weekend of 7th, then the sales levels are good for GW. If, on the other hand, it's comparing the opening weekend of 7th with the average sales of 6th, then it's not so great.

Baragash
27-05-2014, 16:16
I disagree a bit here. I think the valuation of GW's business, like most business, is based on revenue

Cash flows, not revenue.


if someone were to buy a controlling interest in GW's shares, they wouldn't be primarily buying the IP, but buying their declining manufacturing and sales business. Similarly reforming GW will involve manufacturing and selling a good product that's a good value for their customers. The IP's failure to develop real licensing income greater than a few percent of their revenue shows their IP is not the innately valuable thing some people credit it as.


Not really on two fronts:
a) because that makes the assumption that current management have tried and failed to leverage the IP
b) I think it's a fair argument that the value of the manufacturing and sales business is substantially influenced by the IP, without the IP it would never have reached the levels from which it's declined.


I would even expect to see a slight bump in their financials in the next annual report due to the recent release of 7th edition plus the usual creative ways they have of moving money around.


We'll see when the financial reports come out. I don't think they'll be that dire. I think they'll be flat revenue or a small decline with the raised prices making up for the falling unit sales. Just like every year since 2009.

(To both quotes) Don't forget, they're already 10% down for the first half of the year, so for the next financials to show that sort of position they'd have to outperform last year by approx 8% (IIRC they have a slight weighting in phasing towards H2, if I recall incorrectly then it need +12% YoY to make it up). Not saying that can't or won't happen, just that when making these statements people need to bear in mind there's a lot of ground to be made up.

Kalidane
27-05-2014, 16:20
I disagree a bit here. I think the valuation of GW's business, like most business, is based on revenue, not assets. if someone were to buy a controlling interest in GW's shares, they wouldn't be primarily buying the IP, but buying their declining manufacturing and sales business. Similarly reforming GW will involve manufacturing and selling a good product that's a good value for their customers. The IP's failure to develop real licensing income greater than a few percent of their revenue shows their IP is not the innately valuable thing some people credit it as.
...


IP licensing as a % of gross revenues is indeed not a biggie.

As a % of net earnings it's significant. The incremental costs of generating the licensing revenues are a bunch of meetings and some legal costs. Peanuts.

The IP and molds really are the important assets any outside party would be interested in. We can all internet-fight for 18 months but that won't change it. Look at the recent numbers and wait for the flows from the upcoming 40K MMOFPS (is that a real acronym?). This should assist one and all in understanding this.

Reinholt
27-05-2014, 16:20
I disagree a bit here. I think the valuation of GW's business, like most business, is based on revenue, not assets. if someone were to buy a controlling interest in GW's shares, they wouldn't be primarily buying the IP, but buying their declining manufacturing and sales business. Similarly reforming GW will involve manufacturing and selling a good product that's a good value for their customers. The IP's failure to develop real licensing income greater than a few percent of their revenue shows their IP is not the innately valuable thing some people credit it as.

Disagree strongly here. The value of their manufacturing and sales business is basically zero at the current stock price, and probably break even at half the current stock price, if that. You could replicate it more cheaply than you could buy GW for currently, so purchasing the company for that would be like offering $50k for a $25k car.

On the topic of the IP: the fact that GW has been super weird about it and managed it in classic GW fashion (poorly) makes it hard to say it has no value. They haven't really allowed anyone else to do anything with it, other than this brief period for BL and FW (both of whom are making good money) as captives for GW, and then the limited licensing they have done in the past.

The most valuable usage for the IP will be making miniatures games in the short-term, as well as fixing some of the BL stuff that they are now screwing up (don't go exclusive when you were hitting the NYT bestseller list - the free marketing is worth a lot more than the small additional incremental sales, GW).

I agree most companies are bought for revenue, but GW has falling long-term revenue projections; that's not something you pay much for. The issue is that GW is going to be bought either for the parts, or as a fixer-upper. Nobody is paying for their revenue - the current path leads to bankruptcy, and you should pay very little for that.

I suppose what I am saying, in a roundabout way, is that I think the stock is overpriced compared to the fundamental worth of the company given their management (which is why I expect a buyer would wait until it gets worse, then buy cheap and gut management and restructure the business), but time will tell if I am right about that.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 16:39
Oh, I agree that there's a gross overvaluation going on. Definitely. I just don't think an established and functioning manufacturing and sales process that is currently profitable is worth zero. Even if their revenue is in decline because of a cavalcade of stupid decision, it's still their core business. It's what you are buying if you buy GW's shares.

Do I think the current management is capable of reforming their business? Asbolutely not. But I don't think their current path is going to lead them to immediate disaster. I think there's still more slow decline left. The last thing GW's said to their investors is an interim statement that they are meeting expectations. Not a profit warning. Not a forcasting of losses. Just a report of status quo.

I think over the next five years GW is going to continue to shrink to half its current size in revenue and a quarter of it's current customer base as they'll likely increase prices to reduce overall sales volume. Their business will basically involve trying to find the right combination of store locations and employees to actually manage to sell people the world over plastic figures at forgeworld prices.

Kalidane
27-05-2014, 16:51
Yours at 5 years. I'd bet 2.5 years +/-6 months for a change in controlling interest.

If I were to buy a minority stake in GW today, I would be buying a dividend stream and compounding growth (producing greater dividends and growth further out into the future).

They cut divvies to nil and the compounding growth rate is negative. I don't know the exact price I'd pay for a share but it would be so small that it's not meaningful.

Alternately I'd price it as a fixer-upper, as mentioned above. I'd look at what the acquisition price would be, what further investment would be required, and what net earnings I'd expect over the next ten years.

f2k
27-05-2014, 17:46
Oh, I agree that there's a gross overvaluation going on. Definitely. I just don't think an established and functioning manufacturing and sales process that is currently profitable is worth zero. Even if their revenue is in decline because of a cavalcade of stupid decision, it's still their core business. It's what you are buying if you buy GW's shares.

Do I think the current management is capable of reforming their business? Asbolutely not. But I don't think their current path is going to lead them to immediate disaster. I think there's still more slow decline left. The last thing GW's said to their investors is an interim statement that they are meeting expectations. Not a profit warning. Not a forcasting of losses. Just a report of status quo.

I think over the next five years GW is going to continue to shrink to half its current size in revenue and a quarter of it's current customer base as they'll likely increase prices to reduce overall sales volume. Their business will basically involve trying to find the right combination of store locations and employees to actually manage to sell people the world over plastic figures at forgeworld prices.

You're talking about the production of Finecast, one of the biggest blunders in modern tabletop gaming. So big, in fact, that they have now chosen to disassociate themselves entirely from that name. And plastic casting is very well understood by many companies and not really worth much on its own. At best, I would suggest that it's worth the cost of the machines themselves - provided that they can all be retolled easily for non-Finecast work.

As for the sales department, it hasn't really been doing a good job lately, has it? Okay, perhaps I'm being too harsh here - they do have a very hard job selling stuff at the required price... So that, as well as all of the stores, need to go the way of the Dodo. No value there at all.

Thing is, no matter how good a salesman you are, there are limits to how much you can fool your customers. They're able to add two and two and get four. And with the internet readily available in most areas, that sale is only going to get harder. There is a limit to just how much your customers are willing to pay, and Games Workshop is well beyond that by now.


The interim statement is just corporate bull... Without knowing what their expectations are, it's literally meaningless.


I'm in the "within a few years" camp myself. The community - you know, those who actually buy the stuff - has been shrinking for years now and it seems to be accelerating. It is, of course, only anecdotal evidence based on the annual reports and what I hear on forums, but it seems clear that Games Workshop has lost a lot of customers lately and have been unable to recruit new ones.

And this being a social hobby, once the community in any given place reaches a critical threshold it will, almost literally, disintegrate overnight as the few remaining players give up and dump their stuff on Ebay. And once that has happened in enough places (and, again anecdotally, this seems to be the case in several areas in the US right now) you'll see a rapid collapse of the entire marked as players will flock to other games.
For a very long time, the strength of Games Workshop has been, apart form the IP, the ability to get a game almost anywhere. But that ability is now eroded to a point where I think we're on the very edge of just that threashold. A lot, I think, rides on the new 40K. If that tanks, Games Workshop is done...

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 18:13
You're talking about the production of Finecast, one of the biggest blunders in modern tabletop gaming.

No, I'm literally talking about GW's plastic kits hitting higher prices than forge world. Space Marine Tactical squads for 35-40. (or $55-60 USD) Finecast was an interim misstep in their plastic transition and not at all what I am talking about.


As for the sales department, it hasn't really been doing a good job lately, has it? Okay, perhaps I'm being too harsh here - they do have a very hard job selling stuff at the required price... So that, as well as all of the stores, need to go the way of the Dodo. No value there at all.

This is where the majority of the value is. You have a sales force that is managing to sell, at a profit, current GW kits at retail prices! I've seen the single employee operation work in a few Canadian cities. Single employee shops hitting their sales goals at full Canadian MSRP.


Thing is, no matter how good a salesman you are, there are limits to how much you can fool your customers. They're able to add two and two and get four. And with the internet readily available in most areas, that sale is only going to get harder. There is a limit to just how much your customers are willing to pay, and Games Workshop is well beyond that by now.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict they will not show a loss in their next financial report. We may think that they've gone past the point customers are willing to pay, or that sales people can sell at, but I think when it comes time to publicly report their numbers, they'll have a decline in both revenue and profit, but not a loss.



The interim statement is just corporate bull... Without knowing what their expectations are, it's literally meaningless.

If you know their history of how they've used interim statements in the past, you can actually get some meaning out of it. In the past GW has used those interim statements to announcing things like a profit warning and a move into making a loss. And the expections are clearly laid out in the previous financial reports. And what's expected is the status quo in sales and continued savings from their restructuring.


but it seems clear that Games Workshop has lost a lot of customers lately and have been unable to recruit new ones.

I agree. I just don't think the rate of both customer loss and recruitment decline is as high as you do.


For a very long time, the strength of Games Workshop has been, apart form the IP, the ability to get a game almost anywhere. But that ability is now eroded to a point where I think we're on the very edge of just that threashold. A lot, I think, rides on the new 40K. If that tanks, Games Workshop is done...

I think actually playing the game is of little importance. I think the game is primarily an idea used to sell models and that their typical customer is happy building and painting their starters or battleforces or bundle packages and playing the occasional 500, 750 or 1000 point game that their local shop might put on. I think this idea of getting a full sized game regularly and reliably is something forum subscribers value, but not GW typical (often adolescent) customers.

Yes, GW's current practices are not sustainable. It will eventually stop working. To get back on topic, what do I think will be the first sign of it truly falling apart:

The mass closing of non-profit making single employee shops. Not the closing of multi-employee shops to transition into their current plan, but the actual demonstrable failure of that plan. They've doubled down on these single employee shops with sales target goals and mercenary sales and HR practices and that needs to fail before the end can truly begin.

Their restructuring plan needs to actually fail before I'll say the end is approaching. The first sign of the end, is the failure of the single employee stores. We just haven't had enough time pass yet to know whether or not it will happen.

By the way, I hope I'm wrong and GW implodes tomorrow. The hobby as a whole is better off without GW as it currently is. I just don't think we're there yet.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 18:24
They cut divvies to nil and the compounding growth rate is negative. I don't know the exact price I'd pay for a share but it would be so small that it's not meaningful.

I agree. They need to stabilize their sales. It'll either happen as a result of the single employee direct sales model working, or they'll fail. I wouldn't touch GW shares with a ten foot pole as the risk of catastrophic failure is just way, way too high.

I may think GW has another five years with their current approach, but I certainly wouldn't put money on it. And if they can't return to paying a dividend and can't return to meaningful growth, they're a terrible investment without some major change like a take over or change of management. Perhaps the retirement of Kirby? Though I imagine he'll just become a board member retiree who advises his successor.

f2k
27-05-2014, 18:51
No, I'm literally talking about GW's plastic kits hitting higher prices than forge world. Space Marine Tactical squads for 35-40. (or $55-60 USD) Finecast was an interim misstep in their plastic transition and not at all what I am talking about.

I realize that, I'm just coming at it from a different angle. Plastic casting is very common and comparatively "dead easy".

However, if I was an invester looking for value in figure casting, I would look at a department that does "dead easy" work okay and fails spectacularly when it comes to using Finecast. We're not just talking a little teething trouble, we're talking a product that's so incredibly unsuited to its purpose that it should never ever have been implemented.

That it was implemented regardless does not give me confidence that the department can do anything other than "dead easy" - which I can get anywhere - and thus there's no real value there for me except for the machines. The workers, and especially the managers, offer me no value at all.


This is where the majority of the value is. You have a sales force that is managing to sell, at a profit, current GW kits at retail prices! I've seen the single employee operation work in a few Canadian cities. Single employee shops hitting their sales goals at full Canadian MSRP.

I can see where you're coming from, but I would point out that even though they still manages to sell some products, they do not sell nearly enough. And worse, they sell less every year...



I'm going to go out on a limb and predict they will not show a loss in their next financial report. We may think that they've gone past the point customers are willing to pay, or that sales people can sell at, but I think when it comes time to publicly report their numbers, they'll have a decline in both revenue and profit, but not a loss.

Agreed, not a loss. Not yet, anyway...

What I would expect is a decline in revenue and strong indications that unit-sales are, yet again, down. In other words: business as usual.


If you know their history of how they've used interim statements in the past, you can actually get some meaning out of it. In the past GW has used those interim statements to announcing things like a profit warning and a move into making a loss. And the expections are clearly laid out in the previous financial reports. And what's expected is the status quo in sales and continued savings from their restructuring.

True.

I see two scenarios - feel free to correct me if I've missed something.

1) Last report was a singular event and the company has now stabilized. They'll still take a hit this year, but the second half-term will be roughly in line with the one last year.
2) Things are really really really bad and they don't want to spook their shareholders, withholding the news as long as they legally can.


Personally, I'm in doubt as to the first one. If they did manage to turn around and make up for the initial loss, why not mentioned it? And, in general, there's the question of what they've actually done to effect such a turnaround? I think 7. edition is being pushed now in a last ditch attempt at shoring up an annus horribilis. But I could be wrong and, in any case, we won't know until we see the final report.

As for savings, how much more can they save? They've all but gutted their retail chain, to the point where it can now no longer serve the function it was designed to do - recruit new players.

As far as I can see, all that's left it to start gutting Nottingham HQ, pruning the middle-management layers.



I agree. I just don't think the rate of both customer loss and recruitment decline is as high as you do.


You might be right. In the end, we have no way of knowing. All anecdotes points to a fairly rapid decline (worse in some areas than others) but... Well... It's anecdotes, not hard data.



I think actually playing the game is of little importance. I think the game is primarily an idea used to sell models and that their typical customer is happy building and painting their starters or battleforces or bundle packages and playing the occasional 500, 750 or 1000 point game that their local shop might put on. I think this idea of getting a full sized game regularly and reliably is something forum subscribers value, but not GW typical (often adolescent) customers.

As above, it's just anecdotes so hard to tell either way.

Certainly, the few players remaining in my area are still aiming for "full games" but there is a move towards smaller games.

And the non-gaming collectors are a wildcard.


Yes, GW's current practices are not sustainable. It will eventually stop working.

I would suggest that it stopped working several years ago.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 18:57
I would suggest that it stopped working several years ago.

I'd say it happened during the LOTR boom. The sales from that masked the peak of 40k and WFB as well and GW has been in a slow decline for over a decade as product line after product line has diminished to the point that they pretty much just have the remnants of 40k's former glory.

I think I agree with pretty much everything you've been saying. I just think that their single employee store model's complete failure will be the first sign. If it fails. I happen to believe that traditional hard sell sales techniques actually work and that there are enough sufficiently affluent neighbourhoods that GW can find the right locations and the right sales people to make it happen for them and stem the decline. The odds though? Coin toss.

The bearded one
27-05-2014, 19:39
From what the internet told me, that's what the past 10 years or so were.

Verm1s
27-05-2014, 19:47
5 - This brings me to this: GW is likely to be grabbed out of a catastrophic decline via a takeover (hostile or otherwise), that will almost certainly wipe out the current management and many of the employees. This is the tragedy of these things: in addition to blowing up a product everyone enjoyed, GW's management is also going to eliminate the jobs of the majority of their staff through their incompetence. If you work for GW, and this happens, I want to be clear about something: you should blame your management now, not whomever takes you over in the future.

I imagine Jervis bowing out with a weak smile, like the Purifier from Chronicles of Riddick. "The Games Workshop in me warns you against facing Tom Kirby. But the gamer in me hopes you won't listen."

The bearded one
27-05-2014, 20:35
While i can easily imagine most of the management getting the axe, would the party doing the hostile takeover get rid of members of the design studio?

ashc
27-05-2014, 20:58
I'll be fair, I'm holding out for a death spiral in to a management overhaul, allowing the company to then be ran competently.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

f2k
27-05-2014, 21:32
I'll be fair, I'm holding out for a death spiral in to a management overhaul, allowing the company to then be ran competently.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

But the question is: is it too late? I must admit that I have some doubt. Even if they put in a competent management now, too many bridges have been burned to easily turn things around.

Reinholt
27-05-2014, 21:42
But the question is: is it too late? I must admit that I have some doubt. Even if they put in a competent management now, too many bridges have been burned to easily turn things around.

Disagree strongly. The bridges burned were with GW the company, not the IP or the history of past games (other than a few bitter squats fan who just can't let the war be over, but that happens with everything).

There is plenty to save. The issue will be how people go about saving it.

This is also why, to answer a previous question, I suspect an informed party buying GW will do a massive amount of housecleaning. Anyone who is from the previous regime will be "tainted" in terms of studio employees. I would expect the entire design team to be axed (perhaps not at once, but over a year or two), the entirety of current management to be obliterated, and even a decent number of the line employees let go. This is also because there are better ways to structure the firm, and because most of these people had a hand in creating this mess, so if you are buying the company after it go into severe trouble, it's often easier to blow out the problems and just start over than it is to try to figure out if you have anything valuable left amongst the deadwood (especially given GW's already bizarre hiring practices).

Consider this thought experiment if you are still a customer, or are a former GW customer:

- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.
- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.
- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.
- A key point, emphasized from top to bottom, becomes customer satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment.

If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Darnok
27-05-2014, 21:53
Consider this thought experiment if you are still a customer, or are a former GW customer:

- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.
- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.
- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.
- A key point, emphasized from top to bottom, becomes customer satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment.

If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Hell yeah! Make it so!

f2k
27-05-2014, 22:03
Disagree strongly. The bridges burned were with GW the company, not the IP or the history of past games (other than a few bitter squats fan who just can't let the war be over, but that happens with everything).

There is plenty to save. The issue will be how people go about saving it.

This is also why, to answer a previous question, I suspect an informed party buying GW will do a massive amount of housecleaning. Anyone who is from the previous regime will be "tainted" in terms of studio employees. I would expect the entire design team to be axed (perhaps not at once, but over a year or two), the entirety of current management to be obliterated, and even a decent number of the line employees let go. This is also because there are better ways to structure the firm, and because most of these people had a hand in creating this mess, so if you are buying the company after it go into severe trouble, it's often easier to blow out the problems and just start over than it is to try to figure out if you have anything valuable left amongst the deadwood (especially given GW's already bizarre hiring practices).

Consider this thought experiment if you are still a customer, or are a former GW customer:

- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.
- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.
- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.
- A key point, emphasized from top to bottom, becomes customer satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment.

If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Paying attention? Yes. Playing? Well...

I do still play a little bit of 40K, mainly with second-hand models. But Infinity, WarMachine, and Flames of War have all showed up on my shelves. Having now invested in them, why should I bother returning to Games Workshop?

The only reason I can see to do that would be if th elocal groups made a sudden, and rather radical, shift back to 40K. Then I might pick it up again, but I doubt that would happen so...

Samsonov
27-05-2014, 22:04
If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?Largely yes. For me, other companies are currently vastly ahead of GW as things stand but do this and GW would be put back on their level. That said, doing this five years ago might have left them slightly ahead of the competition in my mind.

Marked_by_chaos
27-05-2014, 22:27
I think you could be onto something.

I just hope they keep the forgeworld team (especially Alan Bligh), Jes Goodwin and john blanche.

And bring back rick priestly.

Incidentally look up the Robin Dews MBA essay on the business (a few years before he left). Pretty much charts one of the main reasons for the demise (inadvertently). Transition to primacy of manufacturing/sales within the business.

Once Jes and john move on there will be scant little left of the artistic integrity behind the main range. Not knocking the others. It's just that they are the original talents/pioneers and the rest of the product is either informed by them or a little banal. Forge world are also making a heroic effort at quality. However, I can't help feeling a bit like d-day has been reached with the new 7th edition. Just pillaging the ip for a quick buck. This is what we were worried about with a takeover and it's come from within.

frozenwastes
27-05-2014, 23:48
- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.

At this point I would take a "wait and see" approach.


- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.

I didn't think 40k was really worth playing even during 4th edition, which is probably what this would amount a return to in terms of game play and price.


- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.

This is the point at which I would start paying attention in terms of evaluating whether or not I'd make a future purchase. When the first reviews of figures and game play of this new approach come from the wild is the earliest time I would consider being GW's customer again.

Wolf Lord Balrog
28-05-2014, 00:28
Hell yeah! Make it so!

^^What that man said! :)

Ultimate Life Form
28-05-2014, 00:36
Well, as I said in other threads, I put my purchases on a hold for the very simple reason that I can no longer justify paying their prices. It's a value for money thing. If they cut the price of the entire Dark Elf range by 50% I'll instantly buy everything. It's only half of the money they'd have gotten before but right now they're not seing a single cent from me. And this will continue to be so until they change their ways and, accordingly, the pricing.

NotMyIfurita
28-05-2014, 01:14
Sales of '40k 7th Edition' Beating '6th'
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/28707.html

This seems WAAAAY off to me. My FLGS had a midnight release party and tournament for 6th ed. Preorders were massive, and Dark Vengeance boxes stacked to the ceiling.

Our store had 9 preorders for 7th edition. Nine. When I told the guys that the books were up for sale at 2pm most of them responded along the lines of "I'm sure I'll go to the store sometime this week."

Maybe the rest of the gaming community likes buying rule books more often than we do.

Col. Tartleton
28-05-2014, 03:13
I'm with ULF. They should either double the contents of their kits but keep the existing price (it would be slightly more costs in terms of plastic used, molding, shipping, etc.) which wouldn't require any changes to existing molds. Or lower their prices to that ballpark.

If I was looking to start Wood Elves today, Gladeguard are 35 dollars for 16 miniatures. Why not give me 32 miniatures for 35 dollars? Its not the money, its the value of the money. I'm not going to pay 70 dollars for 32 gladeguard. I'd definitely pay 70 dollars for 64 glade guard. Who the hell is going to pay 6.00 per model for plastic witch elves? Stormvermin are 2.50 per model and they don't strike me as an amazing deal except by GW standards. They're actually cheaper than they were as metals, which is the whole point of the plastics. I remember some years ago looking at a bundle of 25 metal SV with full command for 75 dollars and going "Looks like I'm buying more clan rats." So how do they justify that variation? Stormvermin are the same size as Witches. Is it because of their different point costs in games because that's silly.

A big company in a given field with lots of consumers relative to its competition should be pricing below its competitors because it can. In this day and age they aren't just competing with other miniature games, they're competing with video games. Do I want to spend 50 dollars on unassembled unpainted plastic lumps (however nice they look they're just lumps of plastic) which will require hours of work before I can do anything with them in terms of gaming? Not to mention that 50 dollars will not in any way be enough to actually have the gaming experience. Or do I buy a digital strategy game? Even if they're milking me for DLC or a monthly subscription you're hurting your competitiveness. Warhammer might be a great game, but so is Wargame: Red Dragon and its a lot cheaper and faster to start playing. I like miniature war gaming, but I don't want to feel like I'm making a bad choice if I buy something.

Or in the same line of thinking lets look at another great tabletop game. Why not spend those hundreds of dollars on Magic:The Gathering? The cards hold their value, they take up less space, the game is enjoyable, and its over quickly so you can play more people or play the same people more often. Plus if you're good there are enough cash prize tournaments can provide enough revenue to play professionally (long shot that it is) and the game was apparently growing steadily in players and quality during my 8 year hiatus from the game.

SuperHappyTime
28-05-2014, 06:00
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.


I've read enough online fan-fiction to know that the person who runs around and says this is usually the most unqualified person to "fix that".

Other than that, I probably would pay better attention and buy a lot more often.


Or in the same line of thinking lets look at another great tabletop game. Why not spend those hundreds of dollars on Magic:The Gathering? The cards hold their value, they take up less space, the game is enjoyable, and its over quickly so you can play more people or play the same people more often. Plus if you're good there are enough cash prize tournaments can provide enough revenue to play professionally (long shot that it is) and the game was apparently growing steadily in players and quality during my 8 year hiatus from the game.

There's a comparison alright. Wizards of the Coast (owner of Magic & D&D) and GW are two polar opposites. To list a few differences:
-One opens new stores to sell product and host events, the other asks existing stores to host events to sell product
-One has a thriving re-sell market, the other would hack into eBay servers to destroy the re-sell market if they could
-Website: One posts articles from the creative team that if you followed it like a devout catholic, you could make your own game company. The other is a webstore.
-One company reprints an old army with a few changes, the other has almost completely new material every quarter, and reprints older stuff to allow new players a chance to get it.

Really, the biggest similarity seems to be they are game brands releasing a new edition of one of their staple games this summer.

Kalidane
28-05-2014, 06:06
Hmmm I am assuming that after the current regime get the boot, we see 40K and Fantasy get complete re-boots rather than just patches. I guess patching the current systems makes sense as an intermediate step towards a complete overhaul.

Basically I'm thinking that incremental changes are not sufficient. I can continue playing 2nd and 3rd Editions of 40K if that's all that happens on the gaming side.

Hurry up and wait...

shelfunit.
28-05-2014, 07:37
If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

To be honest I see a group of the most "hardcore" fans dropping it as it would no longer be "official" GW in their eyes... I'd certainly take a look, but the price reductions would have to be huge and brought into line with historicals, and the ridiculous "TM"ing, skulllzzzz everywhere and "fluff" abominations would have to be heavily ret-conned.

Schmapdi
28-05-2014, 10:37
Consider this thought experiment if you are still a customer, or are a former GW customer:

- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.
- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.
- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.
- A key point, emphasized from top to bottom, becomes customer satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment.

If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Would I start paying attention again? Yeah sure. Would I start buying again? Ehhh - much shakier ground now. Over the last few years I've invested heavily in other games/companies. Plus getting everything you mentioned done would take years, could they survive the in the interim? Especially since such a scenario would be taking place in say 2017 - where they've bled away even more customers, their competitors have grown even stronger, 50+ new Kickstarter games have been released with another 50 in development, etc etc

I could see them surviving as a company then, but not as a dominant one.

Herzlos
28-05-2014, 10:46
To be honest I see a group of the most "hardcore" fans dropping it as it would no longer be "official" GW in their eyes... I'd certainly take a look, but the price reductions would have to be huge and brought into line with historicals, and the ridiculous "TM"ing, skulllzzzz everywhere and "fluff" abominations would have to be heavily ret-conned.

Maybe, but then for many "hardcore" fans the current GW isn't the same one that they joined with; almost all of the big names have moved on already, certainly those responsible for the WH/40K we started gaming with.

shelfunit.
28-05-2014, 12:21
Maybe, but then for many "hardcore" fans the current GW isn't the same one that they joined with; almost all of the big names have moved on already, certainly those responsible for the WH/40K we started gaming with.

By "hardcore" I generally mean those who look down on people who play/buy anything other than GW, and that every other wargaming company is leeching off GWs "IP". The wargaming equivalent of a Manchester United supporter from Brighton.

Vazalaar
28-05-2014, 13:24
Jup, it are again the same people posting about the dead of GW. Always the same group of people. Don't you get tired of it?
GW as a company will probably end someday, like most companies.
Just enjoy the Warhammer or Warhammer 40K game and if you don't enjoy it anymore. No problem, but surely their are better things to do than always complaining about a company from which you don't buy it's products anymore.
If GW goes bankrupt, so be it. C'est la vie....

For me personally they are doing fine. Recently they released a nice Wood Elves book, with some very nice looking figures and if the rumours are true we will see Bretonnia in a couple of months. Finally;)


By "hardcore" I generally mean those who look down on people who play/buy anything other than GW, and that every other wargaming company is leeching off GWs "IP". The wargaming equivalent of a Manchester United supporter from Brighton.

In the same way some people look down on people who only buy GW miniatures.




Consider this thought experiment if you are still a customer, or are a former GW customer:

- GW is bought out.
- The entirety of management and most of the design studio is fired.
- The new CEO puts out a personal statement saying that the company was treating neither the community, nor the background, nor the games with appropriate respect and intends to fix that.
- Prices for core troops, entry level boxes, rules, and codices are all cut (along with reducing laughable outlier prices like tools).
- Immediate attention is paid to clarifying, balancing, and rationalizing the game with a series of FAQs and a forum opened up to provide official responses to rules questions.
- A long-term goal is stated of having 40k and Fantasy both revamped to provide a more expansive gaming universe, better rules balance, and with both skirmish and full battle rules for each main system, as well as add-on games (Gothic 2.0 and Mordheim 2.0, anyone?) to build the universe out.
- A key point, emphasized from top to bottom, becomes customer satisfaction and retention, as well as recruitment.

If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Utopia, no company is like that.
And if something like the above should happen, it would mean the dead for other fantasy miniature companies like Mantic. As they profit from the strange GW decisions and GW insane prices.

Sotek
28-05-2014, 13:33
They refused to sell off the rights to any of the specialist games of the historical arm, so I can't see them selling off Black Library. They'll probably try and go down the exclusive titles route though and try to churn out as many books as they can even if the quality suffers.

I think the next things they'll do will be:

1) Start closing the smaller 1-man stores, and possibly leave some countries entirely.
2) Move more stuff to direct only.
3) Try to shut out independents further.
4) Bring out limited run re-issues of Specialist games with truly baffling price tags.
5) More pay to win supplements.

I don't think they'll drop WHF entirely, as they'll want to try and keep milking it as long as possible.

Aren't they doing 1-3 and 5 already?

Also re-releasing a 2 year old ruleset.

Ghal Maraz
28-05-2014, 13:36
Jup, it are again the same people posting about the dead of GW. Always the same group of people. Don't you get tired of it?
GW as a company will probably end someday, like most companies.
Just enjoy the Warhammer or Warhammer 40K game and if you don't enjoy it anymore. No problem, but surely their are better things to do than always complaining about a company from which you don't buy it's products anymore.
If GW goes bankrupt, so be it. C'est la vie....

For me personally they are doing fine. Recently they released a nice Wood Elves book, with some very nice looking figures and if the rumours are true we will see Bretonnia in a couple of months. Finally;)



In the same way some people look down on people who only buy GW miniatures.



Utopia, no company is like that.
And if something like the above should happen, it would mean the dead for other fantasy miniature companies like Mantic. As they profit from the strange GW decisions and GW insane prices.

Jup, here is again the same person posting about others doing whatever they want with their spare time. You're not obliged to read their comments, you don't have to write posts. Don't you get tired of doing that now and again?

You certainly have better things to do than always complaining about someone else's posts, haven't you?

Sotek
28-05-2014, 13:40
I would actually resume playing. While prices are absurd and prevents impulse buying. A nice army with good fluff and that gives a good game is still value for money. As it stands though the game is horse-gak and I don't enjoy it so I don't play it so it's not worth the money, let alone the time investment to paint them up.

mrtn
28-05-2014, 13:41
I realize that, I'm just coming at it from a different angle. Plastic casting is very common and comparatively "dead easy".

From what I understand plastic is not at all "dead easy", it's actually very hard. Or rather, making the moulds is very expensive.
Metal casting is easy, and the same is true for resin/finecast/bones/restic whatever you want to call it. The costs here are mainly materials and time/personnel.

Creating the steel mould needed for hard plastics is costly, and this is the reason you see a million companies producing metals or resins in a basement somewhere, but the companies producing plastics are only a handful, and most of those are paying Renedra a lot for the actual mould making (and maybe production as well, I'm not sure on that).

I don't think there are more than two or three plastic producers in the UK, and GW is one of them. Getting your hands on their manufacturing capability should be one of the main reasons to take over the company. You're not after "space marine mould #74", but rather the ability to create new moulds, whatever they are, regardless of if it's Panzer IVs or space marine #75.

shelfunit.
28-05-2014, 13:54
In the same way some people look down on people who only buy GW miniatures.

Not at all - infact I've never seen or heard of such a thing, the opposite many, many times just on this forum.

Verm1s
28-05-2014, 15:36
If those changes happened, would you start paying attention and buying again?

Pay attention? I almost wet myself just reading that.


I've read enough online fan-fiction to know that the person who runs around and says this is usually the most unqualified person to "fix that".


Man. The fanfiction you read must be really dull.


From what I understand plastic is not at all "dead easy", it's actually very hard. Or rather, making the moulds is very expensive.

Creating the steel mould needed for hard plastics is costly, and this is the reason you see a million companies producing metals or resins in a basement somewhere, but the companies producing plastics are only a handful, and most of those are paying Renedra a lot for the actual mould making (and maybe production as well, I'm not sure on that).

I don't think there are more than two or three plastic producers in the UK, and GW is one of them.

Not mention sculpting and cutting to utterly avoid any undercuts in the master and mould, and that Renedra has around an 18 month waiting period, IIRC, 'cos they're so in demand.


Not at all - infact I've never seen or heard of such a thing, the opposite many, many times just on this forum.

Well then, sorry to disappoint, but...


To be honest I see a group of the most "hardcore" fans dropping it as it would no longer be "official" GW in their eyes...

I won't lose much sleep. Whether I'm right, wrong, or paranoid, or whether that would put the final nail in the IP's coffin, I think something other than 'little Timmy turnover' had to be spurring GW on with 'proof' that their goofy prices and rules were on the right path. Someone round here used to have a quote about 'GWombies' in their sig. ;)

I'm with Sotek. I've moved on to other games and ranges too, but the Warhammer IP still has something of a hold on me and they have quite a back catalogue of pretty good models usable for a lot of other fantasy games. (Not 'the best toy soldiers in the world', but not bad. Not all of 'em.) It's pretty much just those same goofy prices and rules that make me shake my head, and of all the folk who've given up in the last couple of editions, I'd bet I'm not the only one who'd flock back to buy something, if those two things were improved.

Coldhatred
28-05-2014, 15:53
Utopia, no company is like that.

Actually, that's pretty much what WotC has done to revive the D&D brand. So, no there are companies that aren't run in a moronic way. There are CEO's that specialize in getting companies out of deep trouble by doing things like what Reinholt was suggesting.

As for buying again, I would be hesitant to do so and I think I would wait and see what happens. One, because I'm still unemployed. Two, because I really enjoy the Warhammer Fantasy IP but wouldn't want that excitement to blind me to any possible shenanigans.

Vazalaar
28-05-2014, 16:22
Actually, that's pretty much what WotC has done to revive the D&D brand. So, no there are companies that aren't run in a moronic way. There are CEO's that specialize in getting companies out of deep trouble by doing things like what Reinholt was suggesting.

As for buying again, I would be hesitant to do so and I think I would wait and see what happens. One, because I'm still unemployed. Two, because I really enjoy the Warhammer Fantasy IP but wouldn't want that excitement to blind me to any possible shenanigans.

Aha, let us hope that GW will do the same.

The only thing that really bothers me are the prices. When I look at Victrix or the Perry plastics I can't find a sensible excuse anymore for the prices that GW ask for their 5-10 unit boxes.

shelfunit.
28-05-2014, 16:53
Well then, sorry to disappoint, but...

Equally sorry to disappoint, but that's not looking down on people who only buy GW, just an unfortunate, likely outcome of the company changing hands - something anecdotal, based purely on observation from this forum, but without any condescension attached. That these people happen to only buy GW is coincidental - it's the type of model snob that could equally be applied to a fan of any miniature line.

ihavetoomuchminis
28-05-2014, 17:43
Just watch what is happening now. You currently have a front row seat. Enjoy your popcorn.

Pretty much this. It IS happening.


Pay attention? I almost wet myself just reading that.

Same here. That Reinholt list is what i would do if i was in charge....but sure Reinholt would do it way better. Reinholt for GW president. NOW.

Ultimate Life Form
28-05-2014, 17:59
Until about 1 year ago I would have considered the mere idea of playing a non-GW game blasphemous. The very fact that I play almost exclusively Malifaux these days is testament that there's a big problem in, as someone else puts it, GW-Land.

The stigma always sits with the minority, and as things stand, it may soon be the GW players that are looked down upon.

Dai-Mongar
28-05-2014, 19:19
From what I understand plastic is not at all "dead easy", it's actually very hard. Or rather, making the moulds is very expensive.
Metal casting is easy, and the same is true for resin/finecast/bones/restic whatever you want to call it. The costs here are mainly materials and time/personnel.


Just wanted to clarify: Bones figures are one of the expensive ones to make moulds for; the cost of injection moulding was the reason behind the Kickstarters.
Which reminds me that Reaper now has it's own injection moulding machine to start in-house plastic production; I think it will be interesting to see how they capitalise on having their own in-house plastic production as opposed to GW - especially seeing as how if they can make one type of soft plastic figure, they could start getting into hard plastic figures for wargaming. I get the feeling that if Reaper gets into that market with a decent IP, they could be a big threat to GW, especially in the US.

Verm1s
28-05-2014, 19:30
I wouldn't mind seeing some of their bigger models in hard styrene, although they'd have to be reworked to remove undercuts. I don't know if they'd bother with that. And in general, I assume that with their new tech, the type of plastic used is dependent on the moulds - i.e. bendy vinyl pulling out of undercut moulds rather more easily than stiff styrene. Or is there more to it?

frozenwastes
28-05-2014, 19:33
It's more than just being bendy. They actually intentionally demold the vinyl while it's still slightly warm and even easier to remove. It's how you get the bent swords and stuff you need to repair with the hot water trick.

Dai-Mongar
28-05-2014, 20:32
I wouldn't mind seeing some of their bigger models in hard styrene, although they'd have to be reworked to remove undercuts. I don't know if they'd bother with that. And in general, I assume that with their new tech, the type of plastic used is dependent on the moulds - i.e. bendy vinyl pulling out of undercut moulds rather more easily than stiff styrene. Or is there more to it?

You're right, many of the Bones sculpts would need a complete overhaul to work in hard plastic. What I was considering was if they wanted to say, relaunch their Warlord game to be a serious competitor in the fantasy wargame market they could now think about making multi-part hard plastic kits in-house. If they start making cheaply priced plastic fantasy kits of Werner Klocke, Bobby Jackson or Patrick Keith sculpts then I can't help but think that GW would be in trouble.

Jobu
28-05-2014, 20:52
Well, Specialist Games had been dormant for a very long time now and I don't think it shifted many units, so discontinuing them seems neither surprising nor unreasonable. I think the most interesting thing at the moment is what will happen to the Tolkien line. Apparently, nothing. I just visited the LotR Forum on a whim a few days ago and was literally shocked that place is dead. Deader than dead. Even the lowly Mordheim section has more traffic than this place. What on earth? Considering Tolkien was supposed to be their third big game, and that it's allegedly still alive and kicking, I don't know what to say. I haven't heard any news of them renewing the license, but if they did, then I don't understand to which end. Apparently they aren't planning to do anything with it, and once the buzz around the movies dies off, it will be dead weight. I wonder how much they paid for it...

I think the lack of LoTR forum activity has to do with several factors. There are other, arguably better forums, where no one laments about LoTR taking away from their GW IP toys. There have also been no new releases in quite a while, let alone a new edition. GW is actively cutting products (metals and finecast, war of the ring and all it's associated books/plastics are gone) so there is not much to talk about that is not talked about on those other forums. I post when I have news, I try and answer questions when posed in the forum.

Ahh well, it is still alive and kicking, just not so much here. We see so little support from GW; GW more than doubled the price and dropped the number of units per box from 12 to 10 for Hobbit models, they are better models though. LoTR/Hobbit is only in WD once in a while and there is no battle games in middle earth or starter sets in big box stores to drum up players. My FLGS even stopped carrying it because the distributor stopped carrying it. They did not want a GW account because GW kept telling them what they could/could not do, such as ordering and stock and such.

Who still stocks GW, whether it is paint, models, scenery or books will be an indicator of GW health. Also I think we will see a change in trade terms once again as GW try to pinpoint, with the numbers they have, where they can squeeze more profit out of their business model. Maybe they will say something along the lines of "if you want 3 rhino's you must also order one SM squad" to get their number of units up. They did have some LoTR bundles for a while ( no savings) but they contained discontinued models, and were not very appealing.

Bloodknight
28-05-2014, 21:13
Considering Tolkien was supposed to be their third big game, and that it's allegedly still alive and kicking, I don't know what to say.

Did people really expect that to really last beyond the 3rd movie? That said, it's a shame how they're handling it, the LOTR ruleset is arguably the best one they have written in a long time. They should start modelling 40K on that one, really.


Apparently they aren't planning to do anything with it, and once the buzz around the movies dies off, it will be dead weight. I haven't heard any news of them renewing the license, but if they did, then I don't understand to which end.

There's been a buzz around the Hobbit? :). I mean, LoTR was a must-watch, but the Hobbit seems to leave people very indifferent. That said, I could picture that they renewed the licence so nobody else could.

Verm1s
28-05-2014, 23:22
Did people really expect that to really last beyond the 3rd movie?

You're right, but it's a pity and also boggles the mind that the buzz around a fantasy wargame based on one of the granddaddies of fantasy war had to rely on temporary movie hype. Of course non-GW (and non-Newline or Tolkien Estate) LotR gaming goes on, but way too little to show up on radar, I think. I guess it's both an illustration of GW's practises (must keep rehashing and expanding to sell more, which is difficult with a licensed, completed story) and the 'official' OCD of too many gamers.

Maybe that's why the game was apparently so good? They knew it wasn't going to last so they made it good, rather than leaving in several clunks and dangling the carrot of future editions and their 'improvements'...?

EmperorNorton
29-05-2014, 00:00
There's been a buzz around the Hobbit? :). I mean, LoTR was a must-watch, but the Hobbit seems to leave people very indifferent.
Indifferent? I hate it passionately.
Flames... flames, on the side of my face...


You're right, but it's a pity and also boggles the mind that the buzz around a fantasy wargame based on one of the granddaddies of fantasy war had to rely on temporary movie hype. Of course non-GW (and non-Newline or Tolkien Estate) LotR gaming goes on, but way too little to show up on radar, I think. I guess it's both an illustration of GW's practises (must keep rehashing and expanding to sell more, which is difficult with a licensed, completed story) and the 'official' OCD of too many gamers.
The problem I see is that it is very much a closed world. We know what battles took place, and we know how they ended. Sure you can play the scenarios and they can end differently, but then it isn't really LotR anymore.

Ultimate Life Form
29-05-2014, 00:19
The problem I see is that it is very much a closed world. We know what battles took place, and we know how they ended. Sure you can play the scenarios and they can end differently, but then it isn't really LotR anymore.

This has always been my greatest problem and why I found the idea of making the movie into a game preposterous, no matter how good the rules are. Personally I'm not a big fan of Tolkien, and even less so of the movies which are not exactly faithful to their source, but for some reason it seems to have led to some kind of mass hysteria phenomenon, which GW intended to capitalize on. That the Hobbit flopped was an entirely different matter, but it was pretty clear from the beginning that the whole idea had no chance of being expanded and the future prospects were rather dim. Except if GW go ahead and break the whole thing up, making their own additions to the background and continue the story with an open ending. Which I'm sure neither the Tolkien company nor the fans would appreciate very much.

Dai-Mongar
29-05-2014, 00:32
The problem I see is that it is very much a closed world. We know what battles took place, and we know how they ended. Sure you can play the scenarios and they can end differently, but then it isn't really LotR anymore.

It's no different from historicals though, is it? Maybe LotR exists in a twilight zone between historical and fantasy wargaming.

Verm1s
29-05-2014, 00:53
The problem I see is that it is very much a closed world. We know what battles took place, and we know how they ended. Sure you can play the scenarios and they can end differently, but then it isn't really LotR anymore.

Well yeah, but historical gamers don't seem to mind. ;) Not to mention a handful of 'historical' scenarios GW once offered up. From my earliest days of WD readership I seem to remember a revamped Battle for La Maisontaal and a two-part War of the Beard campaign for WHFB 6th ed, to name but two. (And I once had dreams of recreating the Middle Earth War of the Dwarves and Orcs with masses of 10mm BoFA minis, but anyway...)

So... er... what was the thread topic?

cornonthecob
29-05-2014, 07:10
The thing about historicals though is that it's more about recrereaction of the pre-exisitng units/scenarios. The booming alternate history genre aids in giving us diversions in story telling. After all there's a million 'what if germany won ww2' books out there for material. Also we Historical gamers tend to focus sometimes less on the game and more on the models and how it relates : Ie : you want this tank because it fits the army your using perfectly from a historically speaking standpoint (perhaps a little grognardy but eh).

shelfunit.
29-05-2014, 08:21
So... er... what was the thread topic?

This actually probably sums up the topic for me - people will buy/play GW games, and then, slowly fewer and fewer will, and then suddenly everyone will be playing/talking about something else... :p

f2k
29-05-2014, 08:25
From what I understand plastic is not at all "dead easy", it's actually very hard. Or rather, making the moulds is very expensive.
Metal casting is easy, and the same is true for resin/finecast/bones/restic whatever you want to call it. The costs here are mainly materials and time/personnel.

Creating the steel mould needed for hard plastics is costly, and this is the reason you see a million companies producing metals or resins in a basement somewhere, but the companies producing plastics are only a handful, and most of those are paying Renedra a lot for the actual mould making (and maybe production as well, I'm not sure on that).

I don't think there are more than two or three plastic producers in the UK, and GW is one of them. Getting your hands on their manufacturing capability should be one of the main reasons to take over the company. You're not after "space marine mould #74", but rather the ability to create new moulds, whatever they are, regardless of if it's Panzer IVs or space marine #75.

It's expensive yes, but not rely that hard to do.

Plastic casting is quite forgiving as the process itself is simple and easily automated. Resin (or restic) casting, on the other hand, is not as easy as you have to pay close attention to mould-life, the mixture, and when to de-mould. As I understand it, it's possible to automated it to a fair extend, though with different setup than for plastic-casting. But I'm not really an expert on industrial-scale casting of resin.

Games Workshop's problem, to a large extend, was twofold. 1) They did not set their production up for the quantities needed, thus having to let quality slip, and 2) having such disdain for their customers that they thought we would let them get away with it.


Not mention sculpting and cutting to utterly avoid any undercuts in the master and mould, and that Renedra has around an 18 month waiting period, IIRC, 'cos they're so in demand.


You need to do that regardless of what medium you're casting in.

The only difference is that, when doing hand-casting with very flexible moulds you can get away with a bit of undercuts. But for automated castings in large quantities you cannot. At least, not unless you have some seriously expensive equipment.

Renadra, I would expect, is in demand because 1) they're good at what they're doing and 2) many up'n'coming companies (often fresh from Kickstarter) has neither the money, nor the inclination, to start in-house production.

IJW
29-05-2014, 09:24
You need to do that regardless of what medium you're casting in.

The only difference is that, when doing hand-casting with very flexible moulds you can get away with a bit of undercuts. But for automated castings in large quantities you cannot. At least, not unless you have some seriously expensive equipment.

That's a slightly misleading way of putting it. With injection moulded plastic you can have zero undercuts unless you use sliding moulds and even then there are hard limits.

With spincasting metal or resin casting in silicone moulds (which isn't as automated as you seem to think) you can have undercuts that simply wouldn't work in plastic while not reducing the ease of use of the mould at all. All the kind of stuff that people have trained themselves to not miss on plastics, like chainmail that has detail round the side of a figure as well as on the front and back.

Anyway, I agree on the overall post - plastics production itself is not expensive, it's just the mould creation. These days the injection moulding machinery doesn't cost that much more than a few spincasting machines.

Korinov
29-05-2014, 09:56
If anyone's interested, there are rumors about GW having decided against releasing WHFB 9th edition. It seems the game as a whole is no longer profitable enough for them, so they'll apparently release the new Bretonnian armybook in the last third of the year, then "kill" the game in December. As it happened with White Dwarf, it will be "reborn" as something new, probably a skirmish game with round bases.

Of course it's just a rumor, but were it to be proven true... well if that's not a clear sign of death spiral, I don't know what would be.

cornonthecob
29-05-2014, 10:16
If anyone's interested, there are rumors about GW having decided against releasing WHFB 9th edition. It seems the game as a whole is no longer profitable enough for them, so they'll apparently release the new Bretonnian armybook in the last third of the year, then "kill" the game in December. As it happened with White Dwarf, it will be "reborn" as something new, probably a skirmish game with round bases.

Of course it's just a rumor, but were it to be proven true... well if that's not a clear sign of death spiral, I don't know what would be.

If that happens I will wash my hands of them, as Is they have 5% of my attention.

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 11:01
I cant see them killing WFB, it would be a massive loss, as they would have warehouse of unsellable stock which would displease shareholders immensely. I feel they will hold off 9th edition maybe till next year (if they are renewing it at all) and see where we go from there. They would bring out brand new wood elves and Bretonians then kill the game.

ashc
29-05-2014, 11:06
I don't see it being killed but finish the book cycles and leave it be for a while? - perhaps. From what fantasy players are saying, many would actually be happy with no meddling at that point.

Sent from my GT-I8190N using Tapatalk

shelfunit.
29-05-2014, 11:14
I cant see them killing WFB, it would be a massive loss, as they would have warehouse of unsellable stock which would displease shareholders immensely.

How do you figure that one? They will stop production of anything they're not planning on trying to sell well in advance of switching game type, running down any excess stock as much as posible. The only people who would be displeased immensely would be those poor saps who bought the previous edition a couple of months prior to the new one.

Herzlos
29-05-2014, 11:17
If anyone's interested, there are rumors about GW having decided against releasing WHFB 9th edition. It seems the game as a whole is no longer profitable enough for them, so they'll apparently release the new Bretonnian armybook in the last third of the year, then "kill" the game in December. As it happened with White Dwarf, it will be "reborn" as something new, probably a skirmish game with round bases.

Of course it's just a rumor, but were it to be proven true... well if that's not a clear sign of death spiral, I don't know what would be.

They'd bring out a skirmish Fantasy game and then scale it well out of the range of skirmish to sell more giant models, like they did with 40K?

Which is a shame, I'd probably be all over a 40-50 mini per side fantasy 'warband' skirmish game, but nothing bigger than that in 28mm, and I've already got games for the 10 mini's a side size.

Kahadras
29-05-2014, 11:26
Of course it's just a rumor, but were it to be proven true... well if that's not a clear sign of death spiral, I don't know what would be.

It would certainly be the point that I would pack GW in. They've removed specialist games and I pretty much quit 40K when 6th edition landed (7th has done absolutly nothing to tempt me back) so there's only Warhammer left so if that goes, I go. Even if GW go on to produce a Warhammer skirmish game I won't be back as I've already got plenty of those.

Verm1s
29-05-2014, 11:38
Fair enough Corn. :) Though I know the club I visit has a thing about re-enactments.


This actually probably sums up the topic for me - people will buy/play GW games, and then, slowly fewer and fewer will, and then suddenly everyone will be playing/talking about something else... :p

So I was on topic - huzzah!


That's a slightly misleading way of putting it. With injection moulded plastic you can have zero undercuts unless you use sliding moulds and even then there are hard limits.

With spincasting metal or resin casting in silicone moulds (which isn't as automated as you seem to think) you can have undercuts that simply wouldn't work in plastic while not reducing the ease of use of the mould at all. All the kind of stuff that people have trained themselves to not miss on plastics, like chainmail that has detail round the side of a figure as well as on the front and back.

What he said.


If anyone's interested, there are rumors about GW having decided against releasing WHFB 9th edition.

Any links?


They'd bring out a skirmish Fantasy game and then scale it well out of the range of skirmish to sell more giant models, like they did with 40K?

Or they'll bring out a fantasy skirmish game and then bloat the model count waaay beyond the original, over successive gratuitous editions, without fundamentally changing the skirmish mechani... oh waitaminnit.

Korinov
29-05-2014, 12:10
Any links?


I read it on Cargad, a spanish blog.

http://www.cargad.com/index.php/2014/05/29/warhammer-este-ano-se-acaba-warhammer/



Warhammer is finished this year.

Greetings, Warlords.

Some time ago I said something was gonna happen to Warhammer in december. I've just been 'greenlighted' to make it public. Before anything else, I'd like to make this clear: IT'S A RUMOR, but it comes from a pretty trustworthy source.

Games Workshop's intent is to finish Warhammer as a game this december. Not only that, it seems they already have written the fluff to "describe" the end (they've already written it... will it be out in a White Dwarf? In a last supplement?). As I've been told, the "champion" is Nagash. So there won't be any Ninth Edition, and Bretonnia's armybook will probably be the last Warhammer book.

So yeah, it's the end for Warhammer.

It seems Warhammer doesn't make as much money as Warhammer 40.000 so they've decided to "go out with a bang". But (there's always a "but"), do you remember when we said White Dwarf was closing down? What happened in the end? White Dwarf was closed down and they got something similar out of their sleeve. It'll be the same with Warhammer, it seems there will be a new game out in January. Said game will take place in Warhammer's world but it won't be Warhammer, it'll be a skirmish game with round bases. Some factions will likely "die" and I guess some new ones will appear. Skirmishes on round bases? It seems Privateer and their Warmachine / Hordes have really overtaken Warhammer in the USA.

I know what you're thinking. This cannot be. My reaction was the same when I was told, and the source is trustworthy. I was told not to divulge it because this info was given in the farewell meeting of the branch offices, but it seems (Tyrion Lannister truestyle) each "country" was given different info. In example, it seems in Germany they were told Chaos was to win (I find Nagash more amusing) so I didn't spill the beans. The exact sentence I was told was "if things don't change a lot, there won't be a ninth Warhammer Fantasy edition, the game is over". And for the time being (while completely non-Alpha armies as Woodies or Bretonnia are being renewed) it seems it's gonna be that way. All this, of course, has to be taken with a grain of salt, as it's maybe just a "rumor" created to check people's response, maybe it's a big lie spread by Games Workshop just to see the overall reaction. We'll have to wait.

What will happen after Warhammer? I mean, there're some people who like to play battles, not skirmishes. Will it be Mantic's Kings of War the winner? Will Avatars manage to boost Warthrone as a real alternative? Will Gamezone release a "Hammer of War"? Or will people keep playing Warhammer, be it Eight or Sixth?

I know some people will furiously say I'm a hater and this won't happen and we're putting nails in a coffin without a dead body inside. Well, I've just passed on this rumor that was told to me. I'm making this clear: I DON'T WANT Warhammer to end, I would have loved to see a Ninth correcting the Eight's issues I dislike and I have too many stuff and miniatures I don't want to become part of a discontinued game. But nobody lives forever.

I insist: the rumors are these: Warhammer dies, Nagash wins. And, like a phoenix, we'll have a new fantasy game from Games Workshop next year. Time will tell.

mrtn
29-05-2014, 12:20
Link doesn't work Korinov.

Korinov
29-05-2014, 12:23
It works for me :S

Here's the main blog page anyway (http://www.cargad.com/).

Yowzo
29-05-2014, 12:25
It works well here.

Bloodknight
29-05-2014, 12:25
Worked for me as well, just took a while to load.
That said, I don't believe it. They also couldn't afford to do this: "Some factions will likely "die" ", that would cost them all goodwill that's left. As someone who got his army struck from the roster already as a Dogs of War player (before somebody says that that wasn't a real army: it was for 3 editions), I haven't bought GW product since 8th edition hit the shelves because I was so pissed. And I think the same would be true for lots of other people.

Herzlos
29-05-2014, 12:33
I'm surprised they'd kill it off like that. I thought more likely is that they've leave Fantasy to languish like the specialist games, and bring out a new game set in the Fantasy world which gets all of the attention. But unless either the model count is huge, the models are huge (54mm+) or the models are hugely expensive, I can't see a skirmish core game being something GW would do as it doesn't fit the pattern of selling more models.

Kahadras
29-05-2014, 12:45
I'm surprised they'd kill it off like that. I thought more likely is that they've leave Fantasy to languish like the specialist games

It really depends how much Fantasy is making for them. 40K is suposedly much more popular and if the GW management feel that Warhammer isn't making money they'll drop it like a hot potato. Given what happened to specialist games I think GW would just drop Warhammer altogether rather than continuing trying to support it.

nosebiter
29-05-2014, 12:51
I doubt that they would kill off warhammer. All those years spent building the world, and all the invested in moulds.

I think we will either see a drasticly new approach to the game, or the same old-same old grind.

nosebiter
29-05-2014, 12:54
As I wrote the original post, I thought to myself that much of what might constitute "warning signs" was happening as we write. Picking up on a comment above, however, maybe a better question would have been--what do you think the next event will be, assuming we are watching a death spiral? I think selling off a range/line is a big red flag, though again, arguably the complete demise of Specialist Games was such an event.


Was it?

For all we know specialist games made such a small amount of for them, that it wasnt worth having in stock.

Avian
29-05-2014, 12:58
I'm surprised they'd kill it off like that. I thought more likely is that they've leave Fantasy to languish like the specialist games, and bring out a new game set in the Fantasy world which gets all of the attention. But unless either the model count is huge, the models are huge (54mm+) or the models are hugely expensive, I can't see a skirmish core game being something GW would do as it doesn't fit the pattern of selling more models.

I agree with the above. If there is one thing GW can be trusted not to do, it's to invalidate models they've recently put out. If they're bringing out Bretonnia in the autumn, they're not going to cancel the line in the winter. There's no profit in not selling models, after all.

Also, there is the undeniable fact that we don't know much about upcoming things. 7th edition 40K just came out and the common story going around everywhere leading up to that was that it was just going to be the two latest supplements added in, plus some cleaned up wording. That turned out to be wrong on all accounts. If someone's talking about what GW's doing six months from now, most likely he's making it all up.

I would guess that we'll see 9th editon FB around this time next year, but it might follow the 40K pattern and just be a new rulebook with more wackiness added in.




For all we know specialist games made such a small amount of for them, that it wasnt worth having in stock.
Considering how many other companies are apparently making money from fantasy football games, it should have been possible to make money from BB at least, and probably some of the others as well.

Herzlos
29-05-2014, 13:01
It really depends how much Fantasy is making for them. 40K is suposedly much more popular and if the GW management feel that Warhammer isn't making money they'll drop it like a hot potato. Given what happened to specialist games I think GW would just drop Warhammer altogether rather than continuing trying to support it.

They didn't kill off the specialst games though; they just stopped producing them, and there's nothing stopping them re-introducing them (except for ROI). The rumour mentions explicitly adding fluff that kills off the Warhammer world, leaving them no option to bring them back without some sort of "it was just a bad dream" fluff piece. That's too stupid even for GW. They could just drop WHF in favour of this new game, with nothing more said, which is more in line with how they operate.

I can only see it being 40K in Fantasy, so it'll have gone full circle to being a fantasy version of a sci fi version of a fantasy game. Guns, monsters, tanks and all.

nosebiter
29-05-2014, 13:02
From what the internet told me, that's what the past 10 years or so were.


So true. The All Wise Interweb has been decreeing GW imminent death for years.

nosebiter
29-05-2014, 13:04
I agree with the above. If there is one thing GW can be trusted not to do, it's to invalidate models they've recently put out. If they're bringing out Bretonnia in the autumn, they're not going to cancel the line in the winter. There's no profit in not selling models, after all.

Also, there is the undeniable fact that we don't know much about upcoming things. 7th edition 40K just came out and the common story going around everywhere leading up to that was that it was just going to be the two latest supplements added in, plus some cleaned up wording. That turned out to be wrong on all accounts. If someone's talking about what GW's doing six months from now, most likely he's making it all up.

I would guess that we'll see 9th editon FB around this time next year, but it might follow the 40K pattern and just be a new rulebook with more wackiness added in.




Considering how many other companies are apparently making money from fantasy football games, it should have been possible to make money from BB at least, and probably some of the others as well.

But what is good sales for a tiny 2 man company, is next to nothing for a giant like GW.

Avian
29-05-2014, 13:14
You're saying that as if making money was a bad thing.


If we imagined dividing GW up into a very large number of tiny 2 man companies and each of those imaginary companies made good sales, then that would add up to a very large number x good sales = very good sales, no?

Korinov
29-05-2014, 13:22
I agree with the above. If there is one thing GW can be trusted not to do, it's to invalidate models they've recently put out. If they're bringing out Bretonnia in the autumn, they're not going to cancel the line in the winter. There's no profit in not selling models, after all.

My guess is the new skirmish game would use Fantasy models, just with round bases. That way they could keep the moulds. And my bet is, if the new skirmish game needs less minis to be played than current WHFB, then the already existing minis will be repackaged in more expensive kits with even less minis.

Wouldn't be surprised if by June 2015 they're already selling 5 Witch Elves for 25 or 30 pounds.

rwphillipsstl
29-05-2014, 13:24
You know, what could make sense if this rumor were GENERALLY true is that rather than bring out a new WFB 9th edition mass battle ruleset, GW releases a series of "specialist" games in the Warhammer universe to try and prod the line back to life without massive investment. Along those lines, a skirmish set of rules with a few supplements would make sense, as would bringing back a Blood Bowl game and maybe another similar game that relies on Warhammer fluff and Warhammer minis.

I could definitely imagine that WFB is not making enough money to justify a rollout of a new edition with a series of new army books along with new mini releases to match, but it can't be making so little money as to justify shutting down altogether--if it were making that little money, they would have never released all these army books and new miniatures over the last year and through the end of this cycle. There is middle ground in there.

nosebiter
29-05-2014, 13:27
You're saying that as if making money was a bad thing.


If we imagined dividing GW up into a very large number of tiny 2 man companies and each of those imaginary companies made good sales, then that would add up to a very large number x good sales = very good sales, no?

Not really.

If the time and resources spent keeping the specialist games floating, could be spent designing stuff that sells more, then it is better buisness. If there was any worth while amount of money in keeping blood bowl in stock, you can be sure the current money grabbing bosses would have kept it.

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 13:47
Yeah after reading that warlord Spanish blurb, I still cannot see WFB dying, not after WE and Brets getting release so recently, that would be a huge cash sink for GW, it would be financial ruin.

Bringing out a smaller skirmish ruleset for fantasy might happen, i.e. the opposite of apocalypse in 40k, where smaller force armies can be used with existing models and square bases, that way 1500 games of fantasy may be more accessible, or a more restricted magic phase??

Fantasy wont die, yes stranger things have happened, but I cant see it being financialy wise for GW at this point.

Avian
29-05-2014, 13:47
If the time and resources spent keeping the specialist games floating, could be spent designing stuff that sells more, then it is better buisness. If there was any worth while amount of money in keeping blood bowl in stock, you can be sure the current money grabbing bosses would have kept it.
The argument "if it would be profitable GW would be doing it", doesn't carry a lot of weight these days. You need more than that to convince me.

Korinov
29-05-2014, 13:55
Yeah after reading that warlord Spanish blurb, I still cannot see WFB dying, not after WE and Brets getting release so recently, that would be a huge cash sink for GW, it would be financial ruin.

Rules and models can be made and kept unreleased for months or years until GW management is keen for a release. The fact that Wood Elves were released earlier this year doesn't mean the models were designed, sculpted and produced in late 2013, or the book written around that time as well. In fact it's entirely possible WHFB 9th Edition rulebook may have been written already, but if the management decide against releasing it, they can put it on a shelf indefinitely.

What I mean is, nothing tells us the new Wood Elves models couldn't have been right there on a shelf for years, and same for Bretonnia. In such a situation, better release them and try to sell as much as you can instead of selling none.

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 14:03
That's true to some degree, but no company is going to expend a lot of capital in making new molds and rules and then sit on that, public companies don't work like that as 1, its not good for shareholders as sitting stock costs money and 2. GW wants money, as e all know from the poor last quarter, so having stuff ready on a rolling basis to be produced and out as its made is better from a production point of view and cash flow.

I think they are just going to hold off WFB 9th edition till late December or early Jan, so they have 2 healthy years with new edition releases, 40k 7th this year, Fantasy 9th next.

How many 'new game' rumours have we seen this past year or so to find them all for nought, Inquisition skirmish big box release at GD last year being a notable point.

Reinholt
29-05-2014, 14:07
Based on what I know, I don't put a huge amount of stock into rumors of new games for GW right now.

What I can see is them putting fantasy on semi-ice, which is to say they keep producing the occasional supplement, but basically stop releasing army books and rules so that they can run down the majority of their current stock before making a decision on the future of the game.

The reality is they are in a tough spot with it: fantasy needs a lot of love and a genuine re-think to make it work. Unfortunately, 40k is finally starting to bear the brunt of GW's stupidity and is also starting to stall out, and that's the cash cow. If 40k goes downhill, we definitely won't see much in the way of fantasy. You don't worry about cutting your lawn when the house is on fire.

Herzlos
29-05-2014, 14:07
Yeah after reading that warlord Spanish blurb, I still cannot see WFB dying, not after WE and Brets getting release so recently, that would be a huge cash sink for GW, it would be financial ruin.

Bringing out a smaller skirmish ruleset for fantasy might happen, i.e. the opposite of apocalypse in 40k, where smaller force armies can be used with existing models and square bases, that way 1500 games of fantasy may be more accessible, or a more restricted magic phase??

Fantasy wont die, yes stranger things have happened, but I cant see it being financialy wise for GW at this point.

GW don't want you to re-use minis, they want you to re-buy minis. So I can see the round bases being used for any skirmish game

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 14:14
Its possible they may change the bases, after all there will be an interim period where both are fine and after that it will naturally phase out, Infinity have done this with making TAG's be on 55mm bases now but are happy if its an older model made before the change etc.

However I believe Reinholt has the right of it, they will produce the bretts and then maybe army books for the remaining armies to bring them all in line, again books and rules are cheaper than mini molds, then see where they are, wood elves being a popular seller where I am, so 9th may happen a bit later than the expected autumn of this year, if they sort fantasy a bit and make it less of a guess who game of knocking down rank and file almost as soon as they appear on the table and flatten magic a bit it could be fine.

The next thing GW may do if they start having real trouble is advertise, I know they say they never do it, but they have to get their name out there, with dwindling sales and less and less vets, people don't talk about it. I got into Infinity through word of mouth and they have a decent FB\online update process, GW needs to whore its name out there.

Yowzo
29-05-2014, 14:15
Rules and models can be made and kept unreleased for months or years until GW management is keen for a release. The fact that Wood Elves were released earlier this year doesn't mean the models were designed, sculpted and produced in late 2013, or the book written around that time as well.

Product cycle is one thing. Killing a product line after sinking so much cash in non-liquid assets like moulds, artwork, etc. would be silly unless GW is really short of warehouse space or the per unit production cost was too high (no on both accounts)

There is a skirmish product on the pipeline? Probably, there's a lot of noise coming from that direction.

Will it completely substitute WHFB 8th edition? Absolutely not.

Can GW cash in the Mordheim videogame adaptation due later on this year to get a skirmish ruleset or just bring back a newer, more modern Mordheim? Hell yeah.

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 14:25
Also, what about the Deathwing Game, I only recently found out about this and realised its a proper FPS in the vein of Space Marine, surely that will make GW some decent pennies when released, and the Regicide chess game, its all cash from licences which made them a pretty penny with DoW.

Its not all WFB or bust. 40K is a different story, but its agreat IP and good models, and the rules are perfectly fine for games with mates, tournament play is a different matter but GW doesn't live or die by tournament army sales. However they need to do something, and I think more along the lines of 'look how cool our stuff is' come in and play, now 'buy this...why....you need it.....okay how much?.....REALLY. If you make it cool and welcoming people are pretty price insensitive but I doi think having some loss leaders would be an idea, specifically in the rules and glues\hobby stuff, if you can get the rules and stuff to make your models cheap, the models themselves seem more appealing, i.e infinity, free rules and eratta, starter sets are good deals, so more willing to buy. But the proper rules and expansions are available as hardbacks if folk want too.

Vazalaar
29-05-2014, 14:58
The only rumours that turn out true are the ones that show up 1-2 weeks before the rumoured thing is released.

We will see what happens, but probably people wil still say in 2020 "This year GW will be finished.".

HelloKitty
29-05-2014, 15:01
Have the things been saying GW is going to die for a while now?

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 15:02
the things have been saying it since the days of the portent forum!

Reinholt
29-05-2014, 15:03
The only rumours that turn out true are the ones that show up 1-2 weeks before the rumoured thing is released.

We will see what happens, but probably people wil still say in 2020 "This year GW will be finished.".

I don't know anyone saying this is the year that GW will be finished right now. 2020 is perhaps plausible.

There is often a massive over-exaggeration of views, but the current position for GW of falling sales, falling customer base, and falling profits is clearly not sustainable forever. On the flip side, they don't have debt, aren't incredibly short on cash, and could re-trench into something much smaller.

Anyone claiming imminent doom for GW is either aware of terms in their supplier or lease agreements for material amounts of money that can cause a corporate default which I am not aware of, or they need to back up their case as to why the entirety of GW's customer base will stop buying overnight when, in reality, these things occur gradually through time.

So I'll throw this back: does anyone want to make an argument why GW will be finished this year? Or is this a strawman because nobody is arguing it?

Ghal Maraz
29-05-2014, 15:12
Have the things been saying GW is going to die for a while now?

Except for some people with a scarce grasp of reality, who have said, in the past, that GW was already on the verge of collapse, what those with some grasp of economics have said has always been something like this: "going down this route, GW is soon to be reaching a point where raising prices won't cover the decline in sales and all the good will lost will be hard to rebuild".

So, are we going to see GW collapse in 2014? Don't think so. We will see additional difficulties for GW, accumulating hard and fast, if the management doesn't take a U-turn soon (which is something no one is expecting, least a total change in the higher-ups)? Quite certainly.

What's yet to see is if WH40K 7th edition has somewhat halted the difficulties at least for six months or if the greatest assett GW could play wasn't really enough to recover from last financial report.

Rick_1138
29-05-2014, 15:22
I don't know anyone saying this is the year that GW will be finished right now. 2020 is perhaps plausible.

There is often a massive over-exaggeration of views, but the current position for GW of falling sales, falling customer base, and falling profits is clearly not sustainable forever. On the flip side, they don't have debt, aren't incredibly short on cash, and could re-trench into something much smaller.

Anyone claiming imminent doom for GW is either aware of terms in their supplier or lease agreements for material amounts of money that can cause a corporate default which I am not aware of, or they need to back up their case as to why the entirety of GW's customer base will stop buying overnight when, in reality, these things occur gradually through time.

So I'll throw this back: does anyone want to make an argument why GW will be finished this year? Or is this a strawman because nobody is arguing it?

Basically this, GW is fine at the moment in terms of trundling along, still in profit, no HUGE loans\borrowings, but they need to inject some attraction back in so folk take stuff of the shelf in greater numbers, they cant rely on the vets with cash who will buy stuff regardless if shiny ....me...:( ) or new starts who may be fickle and wont last.

Next year or two will be very interesting, I await the next financial report with interest.

Though I do hope they sort it as I love GW's stuff, its where I made many lifelong mates.

HelloKitty
29-05-2014, 15:43
the things have been saying it since the days of the portent forum!

It does not know what the filthy portent is but it bets if it googles it will find out the knowledge. Why do the creatures say that the gw will go down any day since this portent forum?

MiyamatoMusashi
29-05-2014, 15:56
The fact that that link says that different things were told to different people ("Nagash will end the world!" or "Chaos will end the world!", on the day the regional offices were closed???) tells you everything you need to know about how true it is.

shelfunit.
29-05-2014, 16:21
Or is this a strawman because nobody is arguing it?

This without a doubt, and often the same people bringing it up.

Korinov
29-05-2014, 16:28
I love when the "GW wouldn't do that, they're not stupid" argument makes its due dynamic entry. Because you know... their pricing strategy, their handling of the specialist games and quite a bunch of other things have been perfect examples of clever, insightful long-term management.

To be honest, I also doubt GW will actually shoot themselves in the foot by axing WHFB. It would be incredibly stupid, even by their standards. I also agree with what Reinholdt and others have said about WHFB being put on "semi-ice", it makes sense, specially if GW tries to shift some attention to a new skirmish game. In any case, I believe putting WHFB on "semi-ice" will lead it to its eventual death sooner or later, because it's clear there are currently way better alternative rulesets in the market and that 8th Edition is far, far from perfect and would profit heavily from some important adjustments.

Also Nagash being brought back... well it could be a nice excuse to make a new plastic mini and sell it for like 30€, but I don't see it happening either. They just went too far when they came up with his fluff, too ridiculously powerful to fit any kind of coherent narrative in Fantasy's current state of fluff.

Katastrophe
29-05-2014, 16:32
It does not know what the filthy portent is but it bets if it googles it will find out the knowledge. Why do the creatures say that the gw will go down any day since this portent forum?

Portent was Warseer's precursor. Many of us felt that GW was on a path of keep raising prices and people will leave the game. GW has been amazingly resilient and even doing what many of us stated at that time, found a way to cut costs (new methods of production based on investment in plastic manufacturing was a lifeline for them). However, they have continued to cut cost, failed to increase customers and continued to raise prices, which many of us continue to argue will lead to their demise. It's just taken far longer than many of us have expected. The main reason why has been their ability to reduce their costs faster than they are losing revenue. When they've no further ways to cut deeply, they will begin to take a loss position consistently and have no way to increase their capital to cover or float the loss periods. Then it will be over.

I do commend them on having found a way for these many years that I have felt they were done.

Many people ask about a death spiral. I don't think it will happen. I think they are in the slow death as we speak. There is no change they could make that would turn them around. They are currently and have been dependent on raising prices (began with just cutting the number of models in a box and leaving the price the same, now it is just blatant price increases) as a method of increasing revenue rather than creating additional demand (though Ogres, Dark Eldar and Tau as new model lines did create new revenue for a while). They are now to the point that they cannot cut any deeper as they are running with minimal staff and store fronts (though forcing FLGS to purchase and stock specific items and amounts has kept them some revenue even while hurting the FLGS). I think they are just going to keep up the slow death, until and unless a young gun company comes along that sweeps into the industry with great financing and a very popular product (PP may be heading that way as they are growing at an exponential rate).

MrKeef
29-05-2014, 16:45
My guess is the new skirmish game would use Fantasy models, just with round bases. That way they could keep the moulds. And my bet is, if the new skirmish game needs less minis to be played than current WHFB, then the already existing minis will be repackaged in more expensive kits with even less minis.

Wouldn't be surprised if by June 2015 they're already selling 5 Witch Elves for 25 or 30 pounds.

I can believe this. Round bases means less reliance on big square blocks of infantry and would be easier to use.

To be honest if this round base rumour was true then I would maybe get into it myself, and I've never collected WFB. The square regiments and seemingly complicated movement rules put me off.

I can see this being true, as a lot of new people would get into the game because of it as it makes the game more like 40k which sells better.

Ultimate Life Form
29-05-2014, 16:45
Actually I really hope they will put out all the army books and then not release 9th Edition. It would be the best thing they could do for the game. Unfortunately, it is for this reason that I believe it will never happen.

I wonder if they can keep up that frantic pace they're running right now...

Kalidane
29-05-2014, 17:30
Rules and models can be made and kept unreleased for months or years until GW management is keen for a release. The fact that Wood Elves were released earlier this year doesn't mean the models were designed, sculpted and produced in late 2013, or the book written around that time as well. In fact it's entirely possible WHFB 9th Edition rulebook may have been written already, but if the management decide against releasing it, they can put it on a shelf indefinitely.

What I mean is, nothing tells us the new Wood Elves models couldn't have been right there on a shelf for years, and same for Bretonnia. In such a situation, better release them and try to sell as much as you can instead of selling none.

Bingo

Words

Verm1s
29-05-2014, 18:08
I read it on Cargad, a spanish blog.

http://www.cargad.com/index.php/2014/05/29/warhammer-este-ano-se-acaba-warhammer/

Thanks Korinov. I don't know what to make of it - I'm no good at reading between the lines with things like this - but I'm a bit sceptical. I imagine WHFB to go out at the same time as GW... whenever that might be. :shifty: ;)


Also Nagash being brought back... well it could be a nice excuse to make a new plastic mini and sell it for like 30

GW wouldn't do that, they're not stupid.

40 at least. ;)


I can believe this. Round bases means less reliance on big square blocks of infantry and would be easier to use.

To be honest if this round base rumour was true then I would maybe get into it myself, and I've never collected WFB. The square regiments and seemingly complicated movement rules put me off.

I can see this being true, as a lot of new people would get into the game because of it as it makes the game more like 40k which sells better.


... and maybe another similar game that relies on Warhammer fluff and Warhammer minis.

Warmaster II? A proper mass battle game with proper wheeling and marching infantry blocks and everyfing, but with modifications or updates to use 28mm like it's descendants from Warhammer Historical and over at Warlord Games, so people can still use the same models if they prefer fretting over the handkerchief of the 5th guy in the 4th row blah blah for hours, or 'Warhammer Forty-Kay Fantasy'?

A pipe dream I keep having; I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for GW to do any of this. But if you don't got a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

Gonefishing
29-05-2014, 20:52
Focus on the most profitable products with the others being pretty much abandoned, an effort to push out a lot of low-content material that is cheap to produce such as crappy third party games and watered down magazines, scrapping of anything that requires extra staff like facebook pages, increased product churn, lots of high price limited availablity stuff, general price hikes, cutbacks in stores, splitting books out into core and expansion materials (i.e. terrain books), individual unit expansion packs, and a general increase in the buy-to-win area of the hobby.

Or something like that. Hard to distinguish a death spiral from naked greed until the company dives flaming into the ground... and sometimes even then.


Am I missing something, or is all of this not already happening?;)

Misfratz
30-05-2014, 08:21
I think that rushing out a new edition of your most popular product two years ahead of the "normal" schedule which includes a rule change lifting any thematic restrictions on army composition is one of the things you would expect to see in the middle stages of a GW death spiral.

The next thing you would expect to see are further desperate efforts to improve cash flow - perhaps some genuine discounts on bulk buying. You'd also see efforts to remove more cost which if they became desperate would involve not renewing leases on profitable stores, gaps in product availability due to running down inventory.

One of the issues with a death spiral scenario is that a company can continue trading for quite a while after its demise becomes inevitable - rather like the cartoon characters who run on in mid-air after they have gone over the edge of a cliff. The GW management do appear to be taking these sorts of death-spiral looking like steps ahead of the curve, keeping the company in profit as its business declines. I think they also have enough cash in hand to survive at least one year of outright losses. Thus you would expect that the company will keep running long enough to close most of its retail chain, as leases expire and turnover declines - however that might be a cost-cutting step too far for the current management, if they still see the retail chain as central to their strategy. So I'm not sure whether the next step would be large cuts in the size of their retail chain or actual losses in the financial reports.

Misfratz
30-05-2014, 08:29
... perhaps some genuine discounts on bulk buying....I just noticed that GW are offering a 45 saving and a free plastic terminator captain on the contents of the space marine strike force ultra.

A deal like that is basically borrowing sales from the future to improve cash flow now.

Rick_1138
30-05-2014, 09:23
Or maybe they are just offering a 27 discount which they save from not a having to box up the set individually as the captain would be 18 in a clamshell.

I bought the set as I aw it and fancied a terminator army for a slight saving, but its not borrowing sales from the future. People have moaned about GW not doing bundle deals with an actual saving for ages, now they offer bundle deals for a few armies now, with a decent enough saving, and moan that its only doing that because they are doomed. It could be they see the trend and are starting to offer incentives and decent deals on army sets which allow you to field a legal army in a box.

I saw 2 of these sets sold so far and the hammer of cadia was bought right in front of me yesterday with a 7th edition rule book. People like these sets in my neck of the woods.

Vazalaar
30-05-2014, 09:26
I just noticed that GW are offering a 45 saving and a free plastic terminator captain on the contents of the space marine strike force ultra.

A deal like that is basically borrowing sales from the future to improve cash flow now.

So GW offers finally a discount + a nice plastic terminator and than you still find something negative to say about it?

Bulk discount is normal for miniature companies, it was only GW that was doing the abnormal thing.
Victrix Miniatures, one my favourite miniature companies advertises discounts on a regular basis for bulk buying. Imo this is something GW should have done much earlier.
I would love them to do something like this. Spend 100 euro, get a free core box. Buy for 200 euro, get a free core and special box and etc...

ashc
30-05-2014, 09:51
Discount bundles should be viewed as a step in the right direction, for sure.

f2k
30-05-2014, 09:57
So GW offers finally a discount + a nice plastic terminator and than you still find something negative to say about it?

Bulk discount is normal for miniature companies, it was only GW that was doing the abnormal thing.
Victrix Miniatures, one my favourite miniature companies advertises discounts on a regular basis for bulk buying. Imo this is something GW should have done much earlier.
I would love them to do something like this. Spend 100 euro, get a free core box. Buy for 200 euro, get a free core and special box and etc...

I would not as much say it is "wrong" as it is "suspicious".

Games Workshop has for a very long time refused to do discounts in any form as they believed it devalued their brand.

Why this sudden turnaround? And why now? Perhaps they finally have begun wondering why they're in such big trouble? Who knows...?


Personally, I would like to see that particular deal with a further discount of at least 30% before I would begin considering it good value for my money. But that's simply an indication of how crazy Games Workshop's prices have become.


Don't get me wrong here... If this indicates that they've finally begun looking at their pricing structure then it's a good thing indeed (though way too late, I fear). But the price needs to go down (way down, in fact) across the whole range and not just on an already super-expensive bulk-buy box.

Rick_1138
30-05-2014, 10:07
The price is never going to go 'Way down'. It may go down a fiver (5) or so, or more likely stay at the current prices for a longer period than historical rises have allowed.

But at the end of the day, the big issue GW had was a set of rules that wasn't that popular (Both WFB and 40k) and high price point. If the game was really popular, then model price wouldn't be THAT much of a barrier to entry, its things like model count (especially an issue in WFB) where they are just wound counters, if they tightened the rules up a bit, mainly for fantasy to allow a smaller force be the mainstay, but still allow large forces if desired, this may help.

Price drops wont happen, no large model retail companies , unlike the big supermarkets, are going to sell loss leaders, they get feet through the door, but can lead to to other issues, GW may get away with troop\core stuff being lots cheaper, but characters and special stuff would remain expensive.

Give it 3 years and we will see more what this current trend is turning into.

Vazalaar
30-05-2014, 10:19
I would not as much say it is "wrong" as it is "suspicious".

Games Workshop has for a very long time refused to do discounts in any form as they believed it devalued their brand.

Why this sudden turnaround? And why now? Perhaps they finally have begun wondering why they're in such big trouble? Who knows...?


Personally, I would like to see that particular deal with a further discount of at least 30% before I would begin considering it good value for my money. But that's simply an indication of how crazy Games Workshop's prices have become.


Don't get me wrong here... If this indicates that they've finally begun looking at their pricing structure then it's a good thing indeed (though way too late, I fear). But the price needs to go down (way down, in fact) across the whole range and not just on an already super-expensive bulk-buy box.

In big trouble?

I agree that they need to do some drastic changes if they still want to exist after 2020.
They have almost no debt, have a good cash buffer. Imo their is no imminent danger. Their long term problem is that they are losing customers at a rapid rate. Hopefully GW can turn this around.

MiyamatoMusashi
30-05-2014, 10:32
the big issue GW had was a set of rules that wasn't that popular (Both WFB and 40k) and high price point.

If you define popularity as "well-liked", maybe you can build a case for that; but if you define popularity as "widely-played", then for decades WHFB and 40K were the most popular wargames in the world, and 40K probably still is.

f2k
30-05-2014, 11:01
The price is never going to go 'Way down'. It may go down a fiver (5) or so, or more likely stay at the current prices for a longer period than historical rises have allowed.

But at the end of the day, the big issue GW had was a set of rules that wasn't that popular (Both WFB and 40k) and high price point. If the game was really popular, then model price wouldn't be THAT much of a barrier to entry, its things like model count (especially an issue in WFB) where they are just wound counters, if they tightened the rules up a bit, mainly for fantasy to allow a smaller force be the mainstay, but still allow large forces if desired, this may help.

Price drops wont happen, no large model retail companies , unlike the big supermarkets, are going to sell loss leaders, they get feet through the door, but can lead to to other issues, GW may get away with troop\core stuff being lots cheaper, but characters and special stuff would remain expensive.

Give it 3 years and we will see more what this current trend is turning into.

Games Workshop used to be huge. Of course, back then there wasn't too many competitors which certainly helped...

But even when competitors started creeping in, Games Workshop still maintained a leading role. Until, that is, the price-hikes got out of control and players started leaving for real. In other words, the problem is the price above all. The rules certainly don't help, but only in the sense that that the bad rules makes the game even worse value for money.

I agree that they probably won't slash 1/3 of the price across the range. But if they want to turn things around they have to. The buy-in is simply way to high now and nothing short of radically slashing prices will change that.


In big trouble?

I agree that they need to do some drastic changes if they still want to exist after 2020.
They have almost no debt, have a good cash buffer. Imo their is no imminent danger. Their long term problem is that they are losing customers at a rapid rate. Hopefully GW can turn this around.

Losing customers is not just a problem - it's a huge problem! And it's what's going to kill them soon, I fear.

The hit they took in the last report would seem to indicate that they've gone over the proverbial cliff and is now heading towards the rocks at speed. In an environment where the hobby in general is growing, Games Workshop is actually contracting at a frightening rate.

The new 40K is going to decide Games Workshop's course over the next year, I think. They need to sell a lot of rule books to recover this years losses. Sure, they can take a bad year or two, but it's a symptom of something really bad going on and unless they turn things around quickly, things are going to get really ugly.

As for 2020...

The IP will probably still be around somewhere. But Games Workshop itself...? Probably not in a form that we would recognize as Games Workshop.

Herzlos
30-05-2014, 11:30
In big trouble?

I agree that they need to do some drastic changes if they still want to exist after 2020.
They have almost no debt, have a good cash buffer. Imo their is no imminent danger. Their long term problem is that they are losing customers at a rapid rate. Hopefully GW can turn this around.

How much of a buffer do they have and how long is that going to keep them going if the year goes as badly as the first half did?

If they do have a lot of cash they are sitting on, then I really think the best thing that they can do is to either (a) start buying smaller growing competitors or (b) set themselves up to handle production (like Renedra do) and distribution for other companies, since they have the capacity and expertise there and it's something smaller companies could benefit from.

Imagine what it'd be like if Wyrd or PP had GW's production and distribution capabilities?

Rick_1138
30-05-2014, 11:42
Regarding GW's losses, a lot of people point to the share price, but that is rather irrelevant, as share prices often fall after a shock but they have steadily climbed back up pretty much a few days after THAT crash.

The real thing to look at is revenue, sales and profit etc. Now I know sales are down, noticeably, but the company still made profit to the tune of some 7 million.

Come the next financial report, which is soon, if they have gone from say 7million profit down to maybe 2 million profit, then we have issues, show me 3 continuous periods of loss\reducing profit and we know there are big issues at hand.

However if GW, after the closing of stores, staff reductions, increased product roll out and new editions are still making a loss\reduced profits, we know GW needs to change, and soon. But if we again see another year of 7million profit say, we see that the company isn't growing, but not contracting either.

The company as it stands hasn't keeled over from a heart attack but it got a scare, and it will take a bit of time if they are making changes to the company structure and processes, they aren't going to have a huge price drop\sale etc as that looks bad, but bundle deals, new products and enticing projects like tournamants in store, paiunting days, what have you, make it more involving.

But we will see. Its the first noticeable dip in a while but tbf, its not a huge market toy soldiers, in the grand scheme. GW has always had huge market presence in this area, and LOTR made it even bigger, but if LOTR had never happened, I feel GW would be a much smaller company, still biggest of the bunch, but a lot more micro in its outlook, and I feel this may be the way the company may go, always with us, but not making mahoosive profit year on year, but as long as its making profit and paying dividends, does it matter if it contracts a bit?

f2k
30-05-2014, 12:38
Regarding GW's losses, a lot of people point to the share price, but that is rather irrelevant, as share prices often fall after a shock but they have steadily climbed back up pretty much a few days after THAT crash.

The real thing to look at is revenue, sales and profit etc. Now I know sales are down, noticeably, but the company still made profit to the tune of some 7 million.

Come the next financial report, which is soon, if they have gone from say 7million profit down to maybe 2 million profit, then we have issues, show me 3 continuous periods of loss\reducing profit and we know there are big issues at hand.

However if GW, after the closing of stores, staff reductions, increased product roll out and new editions are still making a loss\reduced profits, we know GW needs to change, and soon. But if we again see another year of 7million profit say, we see that the company isn't growing, but not contracting either.

The company as it stands hasn't keeled over from a heart attack but it got a scare, and it will take a bit of time if they are making changes to the company structure and processes, they aren't going to have a huge price drop\sale etc as that looks bad, but bundle deals, new products and enticing projects like tournamants in store, paiunting days, what have you, make it more involving.

But we will see. Its the first noticeable dip in a while but tbf, its not a huge market toy soldiers, in the grand scheme. GW has always had huge market presence in this area, and LOTR made it even bigger, but if LOTR had never happened, I feel GW would be a much smaller company, still biggest of the bunch, but a lot more micro in its outlook, and I feel this may be the way the company may go, always with us, but not making mahoosive profit year on year, but as long as its making profit and paying dividends, does it matter if it contracts a bit?

But that is exactly a contraction.

For several years, even though they're cutting cost and raising prices again and again, we're still seeing them at roughly the same level. The conclusion must be that unit-sales are down, thus representing a contraction of sales (and, by extension, of the entire company).

Worse, as this is a social hobby, there will be a time where groups of players will reach a critical level where there are too few players left to keep the local community going. That's why I thing the end will come rather rapidly. Once these groups start collapsing in large numbers, Games Workshop will go downwards fast as the entire community collapses - first locally, then regionally, and finally globally.

Wayshuba
30-05-2014, 12:47
Regarding GW's losses, a lot of people point to the share price, but that is rather irrelevant, as share prices often fall after a shock but they have steadily climbed back up pretty much a few days after THAT crash.

The real thing to look at is revenue, sales and profit etc. Now I know sales are down, noticeably, but the company still made profit to the tune of some 7 million.

Come the next financial report, which is soon, if they have gone from say 7million profit down to maybe 2 million profit, then we have issues, show me 3 continuous periods of loss\reducing profit and we know there are big issues at hand.

However if GW, after the closing of stores, staff reductions, increased product roll out and new editions are still making a loss\reduced profits, we know GW needs to change, and soon. But if we again see another year of 7million profit say, we see that the company isn't growing, but not contracting either.

The company as it stands hasn't keeled over from a heart attack but it got a scare, and it will take a bit of time if they are making changes to the company structure and processes, they aren't going to have a huge price drop\sale etc as that looks bad, but bundle deals, new products and enticing projects like tournamants in store, paiunting days, what have you, make it more involving.

But we will see. Its the first noticeable dip in a while but tbf, its not a huge market toy soldiers, in the grand scheme. GW has always had huge market presence in this area, and LOTR made it even bigger, but if LOTR had never happened, I feel GW would be a much smaller company, still biggest of the bunch, but a lot more micro in its outlook, and I feel this may be the way the company may go, always with us, but not making mahoosive profit year on year, but as long as its making profit and paying dividends, does it matter if it contracts a bit?

Good points, and I agree, but I would also add another metric to watch is cash on hand. This metric is important because where the last period financials showed a decline it revenue, it did so at the expense of more expenditure of more cash on hand to accelerate product releases. That shows a declining return on investment and also should only ever be a short term thing. Additionally, while contraction is okay, contracting by 15% or more in a period is usually a sign of a market turn (i.e., customers going elsewhere). While last period financials were a net 10% decline, the traditional businesses (WHFB/40k/LotR) declined by 13% (UK) as a best case and 19% (Asia and Oceania region) as the worst. That itself was a telling sign.

The next period financials will be the real indicator if GW is in serious trouble or the last period was a blip. While I do not expect to see them make up the previous 10% decline this period, it will be interesting to see where the total numbers land versus the amount of cash on hand expended to get them there. If the numbers are flat at the expense of a lot of cash considering the accelerated release schedule, then I expect this will really be felt in the following period (second half of 2014) and the current period is a temporary shore up. If the numbers decline, then we will be seeing a contracting trend, I believe. If the numbers on traditional businesses drop by around 15% or more in the next period, despite the accelerated release schedule, then we are most likely looking at more than a contraction and rather the beginning of a collapse.

As for contraction, I would debate that GW would have a very difficult time of it. You still have to attract new customers to survive. The problem GW has is that most of their new customers come from a very costly High Street business model. Other cost effective methods, such as internet marketing and community engagement, product moving through FLGS (more than 1,100 of their products are now webstore only), Outrider programs, global tournament sponsorship (the RTTs and GTs of the past), GW has retreated from, so they have little viable ability to attract new customers outside their current stores. So, for them to contract, they have to start cutting the hand that feeds them, so to speak, which will only cause further contraction, etc. In other words, they will be in a death spiral.

As for contraction versus out right collapse, as I mentioned above, a contraction requires a certain set of management skills to be able to manage effectively. Unfortunately, if a contraction happens at too fast a rate, rarely is current management equipped to deal with the change needed, in the time frame needed. Thus the reason it usually turns into an outright collapse. They start cutting costs just to try and stay ahead, but they do so without any thought of the organizational structure needed for where they will stop the bleeding, so frequently the cost cutting just leads to acceleration of the decline since the cost cuts are generally being made willy-nilly rather than strategically. As Reinholt said in another recent post, this wouldn't be so believable if not for the fact that it is so common. This is also a form of death spiral.

In the end, the next period financials will tell much more than the last period financials on the long-term prospects (or maybe not so long-term) of GW. I'd say they are already some signs it may not be so good just by looking at what has gone on this period (5,000 copies of LE 6th edition 40k sold out in hours whereas 2,000 copies of LE 7th edition 40k still has 168 copies remaining more than a week after launch). I keep coming back to one thing that I typically notice as a warning sign of severe company trouble starting - putting through a 70% price increase in one go. When I saw the 70% price increase on the Stormtroopers, coupled with the questionable way they were released (with the MT codex preceding the actual AM codex), coupled with the rushed release of Warhammer 40k 7th edition, I took it as an early sign things are not going to be so rosy with the next period financials. Truth will be known in July.

Rick_1138
30-05-2014, 12:55
True, GW need to sort themselves in some fashion, we have yet to see what that may be.

The bit I get a bit annoyed at, is many se it as either, biggest mini company in the world, or dead. Why cant they become smaller but still go on?

Corvus Belli are getting bigger and bigger but still struggle like a lot of the smaller gaming companies, finding people to play, I know a few friends who play infinity and DZ commander, but outside that grouop, I would be able to get a game.

With GW I can always guarantee a game at my local store against people that aren't in my friend group, and I would not like that to change to only getting the same game against the same 5 or 6 people for ever and a day.

GW will contract I think that's inevitable, but they have a lot of outs, they need to change their model a bit, either more open, more accessible, or only have a few flagship stores and the rest online etc as their high street presence is a very useful tool but expensive.

Tau_player001
30-05-2014, 13:11
@f2k The rules matter at player retention.

Bloodknight
30-05-2014, 13:24
then for decades WHFB and 40K were the most popular wargames in the world,

Pretty much, although it probably helped them when FASA needlessly closed up shop in 2001. At least in Germany at the time it was easier to find games of BattleTech than 40K (it had a huge organized playerbase), and then Wizkids alienated the player base with a terrible collectible clicky game and let the IP basically go to rot for several years.

f2k
30-05-2014, 13:32
@f2k The rules matter at player retention.

Of course they do.

But you could have the greatest rules ever and if you charged 100 per 28 mm. model you're not going to sell anything. Such a set of rules would allow you to charge a premium for your product but not to blatantly rip your customers off.

Games Workshop's problem, is this case, is that their rules are severely outdated, of mediocre quality (at best) and requires a very substantial buy-in.

Rick_1138
30-05-2014, 14:26
GW's rules are fine for games with mates, they work okay and as long as no one is being 'that guy@ there is no issue with them. The issue comes about when tournament play uses them then bickering starts and people moan, I have played inlots of tournaments when 4th ed was king and they had numerous houe rules and control builds for armies to prevent unit spamming or ridiculous builds. It worked fine.

The issue now is people saw a rapid price increase in a short space of time, not just the usual June price increase and it burned a lot of customer retention, now many nit pick over almost anything GW does, even if its a good thing. GW needs to sort out its customer image, priceing is high but not beyond the realms of many games, again the issue is the volume needed to get an army (more so in fantasy). IN 40k, you can have a full marine army, rules and codex for 220. Paint and dice etc can be bought anywhere so I am on about just GW exclusives, i.e. the rules and models. 220 isn't that bad, expecially as you wouldn't buy it all at once, I cant fathom the folk that assume 12 year olds will get it all at once, you start small and build your force, its what I did, and many others do.

If you try and buy a complete guard army in one go, anyone would balk. Its like Infinity, I got the rules and counters for some 60 (I like physical books) and have now spent the thick end of 200 on a Caledonian army and a Pan oceana force. that was only a book, counters and 20 models, the 220 marine force was a 2 books and 39 models. Granted you can just get the 10 man force for infinity but most players I know have at least 2 armies.

Avian
30-05-2014, 14:43
Lots of factors matter when it comes to how well a game sells: cost for a normal force, the quality of the minis, the rules, availability of the models, how easy it is to find opponents, heck even the background might matter to some people. ;)

I suspect that when you look at all these factors, the one that differentiates one game the most from the competition is the one that mostly governs how well it's going to sell. For example, if two games are roughly equal in rules and availability and so on, but one has a much lower cost for the average force the cost is the dominating factor. GW's rules certainly have their problems, but their are not that much worse than anyone else's that it's going to be the deciding factor. The deciding factors are most likely to be cost (not in their favour), availability of the models (they're screwing that one up as we speak) and the easy of finding opponents (that isn't going so well either).

Rules are certainly not helping, but that shouldn't be their main concern.

Wayshuba
30-05-2014, 14:48
The issue now is people saw a rapid price increase in a short space of time, not just the usual June price increase and it burned a lot of customer retention, now many nit pick over almost anything GW does, even if its a good thing. GW needs to sort out its customer image, priceing is high but not beyond the realms of many games, again the issue is the volume needed to get an army (more so in fantasy). IN 40k, you can have a full marine army, rules and codex for 220. Paint and dice etc can be bought anywhere so I am on about just GW exclusives, i.e. the rules and models. 220 isn't that bad, expecially as you wouldn't buy it all at once, I cant fathom the folk that assume 12 year olds will get it all at once, you start small and build your force, its what I did, and many others do.

The thing is, every year, GW is looking more and more out of context in the whole market. Let's start with rules. Almost every serious competitive manufacturer on the market offers full-color 200+ pg. hard cover rulebooks for approximately $40. Softcover ones run $25-$30 average. This is less than GW sells a slim 104 pg. supplement (codex).

Now, GW releases 7th edition. As a new player, you are looking at $85 - just for the rules, while the entire rest of the market is less than half that. As a veteran player, you saw an almost 15% price increase from the previous edition with more than 60% of the material being a cut-and-paste from the previous edition or a glorified miniatures catalog.

In 2009, for example, the PP Warmachine MkII hardback rulebook was $44.99. Today, in 2014, the rulebook is now, guess what, $44.99. For comparison, take an old codex, still available today. In 2009 they were $22.95. Today they are $33 for the same exact codex. A 50% price increase on the same book product!!! What I am getting at, is GWs market practices go against all their competition in the market, which is having an effect on them.

In short, any company can only buck the trend of market forces for so long, no matter the company. Even Apple has found itself, since the passing of Steve Jobs, having to adjust for market forces. GW seems to think one of two things: 1.) They are immune to market forces (which will be their downfall) or 2.) They're are no market forces as GW is the only wargames manufacturer in the world (which will be their downfall).

MiyamatoMusashi
30-05-2014, 14:49
IN 40k, you can have a full marine army, rules and codex for 220.

I'm not saying you're wrong, because I daresay you can, but if so it's atypical. The last few 1500-2000 point armies I've worked out on paper (sorry, but 500-1000 is not a "full" army by any stretch) all came in north of 400 just for the models, which put me off without spending so much as a penny.

I suppose if you use the starter set to get you going it's probably cheaper, but it also dramatically limits your options.

Anyway. To avoid the risk of turning this into a pricing thread, I'll answer the OP, from my point of view (others are far more knowledgeable about business matters than I, so I'll leave that side of things to them). From my point of view, a GW death spiral will be visible when it becomes hard to get a game. This is a social hobby - many people will happily spend 200, 400 or even more (Chaos Dwarfs from Forge World anyone?) on an army if they know they'll get lots of games with it. But if there's a risk they could spend 200-400 and find other people are playing Warmahordes instead, nobody will take that chance, and that's the End Times right there.

As an anecdotal side note: I don't know anyone in our gaming group who's played a game of Warhammer in well over a year now; Warmahordes has completely replaced it. You can still get a game of 40K, but people are starting to look seriously at Dropzone Commander and Malifaux (which don't much appeal to me, I have to say). Even if I'd wanted, say, Wood Elves, I wouldn't have gone near them because I know I could end up spending 400 and never playing a game with them. If I looked at, say, Tyranids, there's better odds, I'd consider it (though I consider 400 too much, but let's pretend I was OK with it)... but... I'd then be gambling: will 40K still be played this much by the time I've got my new army painted? There is room for doubt. (By comparison, consider that, as I mentioned earlier, for the last couple of decades at least, 40K and WHFB were the most widely played wargames by far).

tl;dr: IMO, GW are in trouble when it becomes hard to find an opponent in their main games, because people won't spend money on a game they will never play. IME it's already impossible to find an opponent for Warhammer, and starting to show signs of difficulty for 40K. Ergo, I think they are in trouble. QED.

Kalidane
30-05-2014, 14:56
...

With GW I can always guarantee a game at my local store against people that aren't in my friend group, and I would not like that to change to only getting the same game against the same 5 or 6 people for ever and a day.
...

"Always" is a very big word. There is at least one thread on this forum bemoaning GW changing store policy to pretty much no in-store gaming for 'veterans' of the hobby. It's all about intro games on 4x4 tables. If your local store manager flouts that policy, then that's handy for you. I wouldn't assume it will be perpetual however.


One reason is it difficult for GW to exist for long as a smaller entity is the large relatively fixed costs of HQ and the UK retail chain. That and low volume plastics manufacturing is ahh not a well established business model.

Reinholt
30-05-2014, 14:59
The bit I get a bit annoyed at, is many se it as either, biggest mini company in the world, or dead. Why cant they become smaller but still go on?

Because they are publicly owned. If they get smaller due to poor management and ignoring profitable markets they could be in, they are going to have their stock price tank. When their stock price tanks, someone aggressive or a competitor will notice they are cheap. If they have the knowledge of how to fix the company, those people will buy it. Cheap. Because the price tanked.

Then they will fix it.

Being public means you are constantly under threat of being taken over by someone who can run the business better, in the case where you are a poor manager. GW will suffer this fate. If they think they can go back to being a small UK-centric company with a third of their current sales, they are going to have a violent realization when someone buys the company out from under them and fires the management.

ashc
30-05-2014, 15:25
Because they are publicly owned. If they get smaller due to poor management and ignoring profitable markets they could be in, they are going to have their stock price tank. When their stock price tanks, someone aggressive or a competitor will notice they are cheap. If they have the knowledge of how to fix the company, those people will buy it. Cheap. Because the price tanked.

Then they will fix it.

Being public means you are constantly under threat of being taken over by someone who can run the business better, in the case where you are a poor manager. GW will suffer this fate. If they think they can go back to being a small UK-centric company with a third of their current sales, they are going to have a violent realization when someone buys the company out from under them and fires the management.

Well then, fingers crossed :angel:

rwphillipsstl
30-05-2014, 18:18
GW fans need to find another celebrity/sports figure like the ex-MLB pitcher Curt Schilling (who swooped in to buy and save Squad Leader from Avalon Hill wargames company) who has a TON of excess cash to buy the company if/when the stock price tanks. It's current market cap is about $300 million US, 5 years ago it was only about a third of that. If it death-spirals, someone might be able to buy a controlling 51% stake for $20-30 million US.

Misfratz
30-05-2014, 23:07
So GW offers finally a discount + a nice plastic terminator and than you still find something negative to say about it?I guess the feeling I have is that GW have not done this out of the kindness of their cold, black hearts. They stopped doing deals like this quite some time ago, and it was because they felt that they didn't need to, that they were special.

If that was working for them then they wouldn't be changing tack now.

It's possible that it's a sign that they have recognised the mistakes they have made in the past, and are starting on the long road to rectifying them, but, well, I have my doubts about that.

And thanks to hysteresis it could be too late for GW even if they did realise the mistakes they had made. They've lost so much in terms of unit sales already that it's mightily impressive that they're still making a profit.

Sotek
30-05-2014, 23:40
Because they are publicly owned. If they get smaller due to poor management and ignoring profitable markets they could be in, they are going to have their stock price tank. When their stock price tanks, someone aggressive or a competitor will notice they are cheap. If they have the knowledge of how to fix the company, those people will buy it. Cheap. Because the price tanked.

Then they will fix it.

Being public means you are constantly under threat of being taken over by someone who can run the business better, in the case where you are a poor manager. GW will suffer this fate. If they think they can go back to being a small UK-centric company with a third of their current sales, they are going to have a violent realization when someone buys the company out from under them and fires the management.

Or that they will just fail and go into liquidation.

Reinholt
31-05-2014, 00:05
Or that they will just fail and go into liquidation.

The IP doesn't have zero value. Arguably the best way to buy them would be to let them fail and then buy them out of bankruptcy, but someone will buy them (and by "them", I mean the IP and the production capacity - many buyers would let the retail chain die). It's just a question of "how much" and "what will they do with it afterwards".

rwphillipsstl
31-05-2014, 03:03
If GW went into liquidation, look for Warlord to acquire fantasy or else license the miniature-production rights from whoever does acquire the IP.

Herzlos
31-05-2014, 08:23
If GW went into liquidation, look for Warlord to acquire fantasy or else license the miniature-production rights from whoever does acquire the IP.

I don't see Warlord touching Fantasy; it's pretty generic already. I can see them expressing an interest in 40K to mere into GoA, and the production capacity (since they don't do plastics in-house IIRC).

Of course, they might want to bring out a Hail Caesar: Fantasy, but I don't think they'd need to buy WHF for that. Mantic might want it though

What I do now though, is that if they bought moulds there would probably be a 50% price reduction overnight.

ashc
31-05-2014, 09:09
Anyone else thinking it more likely the likes of WOTC/Hasbro buying it up rather than these little gaming companies?

Avian
31-05-2014, 10:16
Little game companies surely don't have the money.

ashc
31-05-2014, 10:23
Little game companies surely don't have the money.

That was my thinking behind it, that IP has a lot of potential and I can't see it becoming a bargain-basement type of price even in bankruptcy (if it went that far).

Dai-Mongar
31-05-2014, 10:23
Little game companies surely don't have the money.

Maybe Mantic can run a Kickstarter for it. :p

Bloodknight
31-05-2014, 10:43
That was my thinking behind it, that IP has a lot of potential and I can't see it becoming a bargain-basement type of price even in bankruptcy

Most of these gaming IPs are basically worth peanuts, particularly if the seller has to sell and buyers aren't fighting over it.

Avian
31-05-2014, 11:26
Still, companies like Mantic probably couldn't afford to buy the GW HQ *building*, let alone the rest.

stonehorse
31-05-2014, 11:49
All this talk of buy outs makes me dream of Fantasy Flight Games buying out GW. Given that they already produce a lot of products based upon GW's IP and their treatment to the IP is spot on. They'd do a far superior job than GW are doing at the moment. But, one can dream.

GW sadly won't adapt to the changes that they face aside from doing what they have done historically, release new editions, increase prices.

Earlier there was talk of 9th edition WHFB, I can see this coming out later on in the year, it won't be a massive change, but rather a tidy up like 7th edition was, and will have it's own version of Unbound. Which is poorly disguised way of getting people to buy more models.

Psychopomp
31-05-2014, 13:43
GW's rules are fine for games with mates, they work okay and as long as no one is being 'that guy@ there is no issue with them. The issue comes about when tournament play uses them then bickering starts and people moan, I have played inlots of tournaments when 4th ed was king and they had numerous houe rules and control builds for armies to prevent unit spamming or ridiculous builds. It worked fine.

I think one of GW's problems right now it that you are right: the rules are 'fine' for games with friends and were 'fine' for tournaments. But GW is refusing to acknowlege that these days they have competition with rules that are good for tournaments and great for playing with friends. When a friend asked if I was getting 7e 40K the other day, I answered honestly with, "I didn't even get 6e. Between Warmachine/Hordes, Malifaux, X-Wing, and Too Fat Lardies; I can't be bothered to pretend that 40K is a good game anymore."

Cost of entry, pricing, popularity in local groups/stores...in just about every category of 'GW's big problem these days' there's a smaller but rising competitor that's doing it right - sometimes multiple competitors. This has been the missing factor from the last ten years of doomsaying: we are now in a golden age for small gaming start-up companies to get their products made and put out there for players to enjoy at reasonable cost. There's tons of competition now, and GW's locked in a stubborn management position of doing it (wrong) like they always have for years and years now. Those smaller competitors are all exploring the various ways to do aspects of producing games, minis, AND rules right, and GW is getting nibbled to death slowly.

I think a GW death spiral looks exactly like the last decade or so, and the next five to ten years. It just doesn't look like a spiral because it's so slow we can only see one huge arc at a time.

shrewbay
02-06-2014, 12:32
Because they are publicly owned. If they get smaller due to poor management and ignoring profitable markets they could be in, they are going to have their stock price tank. When their stock price tanks, someone aggressive or a competitor will notice they are cheap. If they have the knowledge of how to fix the company, those people will buy it. Cheap. Because the price tanked.

GW are NOT publically owned - they're a publically listed company - that's an entirely different thing! GW cannot claim public ownership as an excuse for poor business practices....

Reinholt
02-06-2014, 13:52
GW are NOT publically owned - they're a publically listed company - that's an entirely different thing! GW cannot claim public ownership as an excuse for poor business practices....

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. I mean that a publicly owned company is one that trades on an exchange and the shares are available for purchase by individuals / institutions.

If you read that to mean government owned, then no, that's not what I'm saying (and it's pretty clear from my posts that is not what I meant).

Wayshuba
03-06-2014, 08:48
GW are NOT publically owned - they're a publically listed company - that's an entirely different thing! GW cannot claim public ownership as an excuse for poor business practices....

GW is publicly owned. When you publicly list your company, you have no control over who or when shares are bought once they are released to market. As a private company, even when raising outside capital, you have full control over who and when shares in the company are bought. To be publicly listed means to become publicly owned. Simple as that.

frozenwastes
03-06-2014, 09:23
Yes, GW is publicly owned, but in the private sector. I think that's where the confusion came from-- conflating sector with ownership.

Wayshuba
03-06-2014, 10:16
Yes, GW is publicly owned, but in the private sector. I think that's where the confusion came from-- conflating sector with ownership.

As of 10 March 2014, 56.4% of the company is held by major shareholders with 43.6% of the company held by minor or retail shareholders. Of the 56.4% from major shareholders, 49.7% of it is held by funds with 6.7% held by an insider (Tom Kirby). So a total of 93.3% of the company is held by outsiders. I see no way this is even close to privately held.

As better way to look at it is this:

If I wanted to buy shares in GW tomorrow, there is nothing GW could do to stop me. If a shareholder wants to sell, I can buy. Thus public.

If someone wanted to buy shares in my company (which is privately held), it is up to me whether to sell them shares or not. Thus private.

There is a reason why GW has to post their financials for all the world to see while someone like Privateer Press does not.

williamsond
03-06-2014, 11:03
when are the next set of financials out?

Rick_1138
03-06-2014, 11:20
Looking at google share app, GW is sitting at about 550 just now.

Looking at the trend over the last 10 years, GW had the HUGE price of some 800 in 2002, but from about 2004 until about early 2012 the average share price was circling around 400, then it ramped up to its high of last year of about 770, then the big dip early this year to about 440, but its steadily climbed back up. It will be interesting to see if it steadies after the financial report or falls sharply again.

Its interesting as the trend for the last decade has been a much lower share price than recent trends (last year or 2). Funnily looking at "similar organisations" tab, the closest to GW's financial clout was R.S. McColl, a local newsagent chain with capital of about 150m.

Interesting to see it all change in the last decade. I don't think this financial report will show doom, but they MUST steady the decline in profits\ turnover otherwise they are in for a scary couple of years to basically be ruthless in changing their model and maybe even bring in loss leaders on rules and troops etc.

Herzlos
03-06-2014, 11:21
Early July I think.

shelfunit.
03-06-2014, 11:52
when are the next set of financials out?

The last two annual reports came out 30th (12/13) & 31st (11/12) of July, so end of July.

williamsond
03-06-2014, 12:21
cool thanks i look forward to it with interest...

frozenwastes
03-06-2014, 20:50
I see no way this is even close to privately held.


That's a conflation of ownership and sector. I'm really starting to think we're hitting regional language issues here or maybe skimming posts and missing key words or something. The end result is misunderstanding what people are saying.

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

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

Talks about who owns the shares and how they are traded.

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

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

Talks about whether or not the organization in question is governmental.

The original objection to the idea of GW being a public company was the result of someone conflating what sector GW is in with how it is owned. You seem to be doing the reverse and thinking that because I said that GW was in the private sector that it was privately held.

GW is a publicly held company that is part of the private sector.

drnick
04-06-2014, 08:49
Really interesting thread (and I'll use some of it to teach to my business students!). I've just got back into the wargaming thing after many, many years away (I started back in 1983 as an 8 year old). The thing that most shocked me was walking into my local (Cambridge) GW shop one Sunday recently, and being utterly bewildered at the complete lack of things to buy! The last time I went into a GW shop was probably in the early nineties, when you'd go in and see loads and loads of blister packs with metal models in, which I would scoop up and buy with my limited funds.

These days I'm a hell of a lot richer, but seriously, there WAS NOTHING I WANTED TO BUY. And I'm coming back to this new, so I could easily spend a fortune. There were no blister packs! WHFB was limited to one scabby corner of the shop, behind the gaming table which was surrounded by some incredibly stinky menfolk (seriously lads, hot water and soap?!). I felt utterly out of place, utterly unimpressed, and so I retreated to the internet and bought some stuff from another company (and some Ebay stuff - I still like metal better!).

It's a real shame. I remember being completely immersed in GW stuff back in the day, and would have gladly sold my soul for their stuff. Now, when I have way more money - nah.

frozenwastes
04-06-2014, 08:59
Oh great, another competitor for old metal citadel stuff on eBay :D

One thing GW has really lost is the impulse buy factor they used to have. And the ability to build Warhammer Fantasy regiments by adding a blister here, a blister there.

Now it's all about getting as much money from each customer as soon as possible until they quit.

Korinov
04-06-2014, 09:27
Oh great, another competitor for old metal citadel stuff on eBay :D

Yeah :D

Seriously drnick, forget about metal, it's outdated, heavy and can even be bad for your health. Go for the 'finecast' models instead, made of top quality resin. That's the top notch nowadays! ;)

frozenwastes
04-06-2014, 10:21
I could only imagine the shock of someone who was a GW customer in the 90s or early 00s walking into a GW store and seeing finecast for the first time. It'd be hilarious. And watching them see the prices.

That should be a reality show or something.

drnick
04-06-2014, 12:55
Yeah :D

Seriously drnick, forget about metal, it's outdated, heavy and can even be bad for your health. Go for the 'finecast' models instead, made of top quality resin. That's the top notch nowadays! ;)


Ooooo, finecast you say? That sounds wonderful! I bet it's really high quality and everything!

pahahaaaaa
:p

tristessa
04-06-2014, 13:28
The death spiral culminated in the closure of Warhammer Records, surely?

Evil_D185
04-06-2014, 13:33
It is not finecast anymore!!! ;):D

Rogue
08-06-2014, 18:51
It looks like this for the most part. I would expect that they will sell off movie rights for a Space Marine movie as a last ditch effort.

shelfunit.
08-06-2014, 20:18
It looks like this for the most part. I would expect that they will sell off movie rights for a Space Marine movie as a last ditch effort.

Ouch - I doubt that would fund a round at Bugman's.

MiyamatoMusashi
08-06-2014, 21:04
It looks like this for the most part. I would expect that they will sell off movie rights for a Space Marine movie as a last ditch effort.

Judging by the Space Marine movie a couple of years ago... please god, no more.

ebbwar
08-06-2014, 23:25
Judging by the Space Marine movie a couple of years ago... please god, no more.

Well if a decent enough company buys the rights, then all is good. If a company of the quality that made the movie gets it...

Voss
09-06-2014, 01:14
Well if a decent enough company buys the rights, then all is good. If a company of the quality that made the movie gets it...

Thing is, those are the only kinds of people that would touch it. Space Marine: The Movie hits every single box for a Hollywood (or even indie) studio to never touch it at all. No women. Monstrous protagonists that are not relatable in any fashion. No adorable sidekicks. No (real) normals. Any story would be a worse version of Aliens vs. Predator, but with less context for the general audience, and a background setting that would either get hit with the retcon stick to be completely unidentifiable to the GW customer base, or actively offend the average audience member, or be distant, poorly explained and incomprehensible to them.

Imperial Guard: the Movie would be slightly more functional, but you'd have to come up with some really jazzy stuff to move it beyond WWII in Space; and fighting either Xenomorphs or Sauron's minions.

Ultimate Life Form
09-06-2014, 01:39
Monstrous protagonists that are not relatable in any fashion. No adorable sidekicks. No (real) normals.

Maybe Disney would be interested; they've basically been doing this for 60+ years. Also they're legally bound to pull at least 2 sidekicks out of thin air for every production, regardless of context, who provide comic relief in the most inappropriate situations.

*Tyranid monster opens ist maw and roars*

Johnny Jokaero: "Oh man, that's a real bad case of halitosis!"


Or maybe George Lucas would do it?

"Senators, this is outrageous! The exterminatus has to be put on hold immediately!"
"Sez hoo, 'umie?"
"You have to understand the consequences! The image of the republic would suffer irreperable damage! You can't just kill the population of an entire planet only because a few isolated Genestealer Cults have been confirmed!"
"Well, whatever. We Eldar don't really care about such pettifogging details either way."

Jar Jar Jokaero: "Oh dearse, this isa going to turnse out reaaal ugly."

frozenwastes
09-06-2014, 01:42
Also, neither big power armour guys fighting aliens nor regular joes fighting aliens requires the 40k universe, logo or warhammer name. And 40k just isn't strong enough of a brand that people will go see the movie in any appreciable numbers because of the name or fictional universe it is in.

Basically as a movie property, GW's stuff is worthless. It's largely either incompatible with the elements that make movies successful (like Voss pointed out, no women, no relatable characters) or can be done without paying GW a cent. How many movies have been made with human soldiers fighting some horrible creature? Or dealing with an alien species? Too many to count. And not a penny paid to GW.

ebbwar
09-06-2014, 02:05
Or you could base a movie around an Inquisitor and their henchies? And then have a Deathwatch or Grey Knight marine attached to the inquisitor for the statutory power armour.

frozenwastes
09-06-2014, 03:55
Still, cut GW out of the equation and that's one less expense the movie producer has. Nothing about 40k that's useful to the script is actually protect-able. It's all stuff that's appeared in movies and stories before. Or from history.

Wolf Lord Balrog
09-06-2014, 07:00
Or you could base a movie around an Inquisitor and their henchies? And then have a Deathwatch or Grey Knight marine attached to the inquisitor for the statutory power armour.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition In Space!



Sorry, I had to. :)

ebbwar
09-06-2014, 22:46
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition In Space!



Sorry, I had to. :)

Well played sir. Well played.

:D

cornonthecob
10-06-2014, 10:19
Thing is, those are the only kinds of people that would touch it. Space Marine: The Movie hits every single box for a Hollywood (or even indie) studio to never touch it at all. No women. Monstrous protagonists that are not relatable in any fashion. No adorable sidekicks. No (real) normals. Any story would be a worse version of Aliens vs. Predator, but with less context for the general audience, and a background setting that would either get hit with the retcon stick to be completely unidentifiable to the GW customer base, or actively offend the average audience member, or be distant, poorly explained and incomprehensible to them.

Imperial Guard: the Movie would be slightly more functional, but you'd have to come up with some really jazzy stuff to move it beyond WWII in Space; and fighting either Xenomorphs or Sauron's minions.

They already made a Imperial Guard/Space Marine movie. It's called Edge of Tomorrow and stars Tom Cruise. Other then the groundhog day elements and the lack of gene-mods/grimdarkitude it's pretty much a game of Nids versus Marines.

Lucifer216
10-06-2014, 10:35
While straight forward SM/IG might not be to Hollywood's taste - what about the Black Library back-catalogue? I think novels such as Double Eagle and the Eisenhorn trilogy could make great films and certainly don't suffer from a lack of good female roles.

MiyamatoMusashi
10-06-2014, 10:48
Yeah, the "lack of female roles" is not, for me, an inherent problem (add the Night Lords trilogy for another example). 40K is a setting, not a story, and any given story within the setting can have strong female roles, there's no reason why not. And the lack of female roles didn't stop Lord of the Rings becoming a blockbuster megafranchise (I realise they brought Arwen more to the fore to try to address this, but she still wasn't a particularly big part).

It's just... y'know... everything else that would make a 40K movie terrible. And this is from someone who loves many of the books.

RandomThoughts
10-06-2014, 12:31
Imperial Guard: the Movie would be slightly more functional, but you'd have to come up with some really jazzy stuff to move it beyond WWII in Space; and fighting either Xenomorphs or Sauron's minions.

Starship Troopers?

Samsonov
10-06-2014, 21:40
The Horus Heresy could make an excellent film. If they focused on horus and the emperor, and put in some genuine characterisation. Would have to skip over almost all the details, but I think there is potential for the characters to have depth (only read the first black library novel, did not think much of it, would need more than that).

Actually, to make it fit in all one film, the Badab War could work well.

Avian
10-06-2014, 23:11
Which sci-fi movies that are NOT from a very well known brand are over performing at the box office these days?

Hint: None!

Dark Primus
10-06-2014, 23:50
The First contact with the Tyranids based on the 4th Edition would be an excellent movie.

Tay051173096
11-06-2014, 00:18
The cain novels might work, strong women, aliens, marines, orks, tau, necrons.

Problem is the background imagery might not translate well... (mangled latin comes to mind)

Commissar Vaughn
11-06-2014, 00:26
The First contact with the Tyranids based on the 4th Edition would be an excellent movie.

Yeah...it was. Some of the sequels got a bit silly though...

MeanBone
11-06-2014, 08:35
"The Edge of Tomorrow"? Though you could argue that Tom Cruise is a brand, I suppose. It's getting strong reviews, at least.

Remember, "Star Wars" in the late '70s basically came out of nowhere and launched a mammoth franchise. Without a big-name cast (at that time). Because it was a wild, entertaining ride -- and it told a familiar, "coming of age" story.

Warhammer 40,000, by itself, does not equal success at the box office. You would need a strong script, an appealing cast, and a story that draws in a wider (non-gaming) audience. The Horus Heresy -- ultimately a story of betrayal, the familiar story of Lucifer "the fallen angel" -- could work, if done right...


Which sci-fi movies that are NOT from a very well known brand are over performing at the box office these days?

Hint: None!

Avian
11-06-2014, 10:23
Edge of Tomorrow is not doing particularly well at the box office, despite great reviews, a famous star and all that.

And that's exactly the problem.

Star Wars episode 4 did well 35 years ago, when the concept was new and fresh. That's not the case any longer.

MiyamatoMusashi
11-06-2014, 11:24
Timely mildly amusing satirical article on the uniqueness of fantasy and sci-fi settings: here (http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/gamers-thrilled-by-space-marine-dwarf-2014061187448).

I love the Warhammer and 40K fluff. I guess many of us here do. But there's a lot of fluffy settings out there that a lot of people love, and I guess Warhammer and 40K just aren't as special as some of us like to think they are.

Or to approach it from another direction: Avatar (whatever you may think of the movie... I'd summarise as "great 3D, rubbish story") managed to make literally* seventeen trillion pounds at the box office without any IP tie-in at all. So if you're a big-name Hollywood director about to make your next big-budget sci-fi movie, do you license out Games Workshop Space Marines (TM) or just make a movie with space marines? Why give money to somebody else, and have to argue with them about the direction of the movie, when you could just make up your own setting and still be a success?

* - figuratively.

Ultimate Life Form
11-06-2014, 11:51
I love the Warhammer and 40K fluff. I guess many of us here do. But there's a lot of fluffy settings out there that a lot of people love, and I guess Warhammer and 40K just aren't as special as some of us like to think they are.

Of course not, especially considering the lack of originality since they have "helped themselves" to most of their background from other people's works. WFB is the poor man's Tolkien, and 40k... well, I have no word for it. Anyone fancy a movie titled "Poor man's Tolkien meets Alien vs Predator"? Of course in Anime style, because Tau.

winterdyne
11-06-2014, 12:28
Of course not, especially considering the lack of originality since they have "helped themselves" to most of their background from other people's works. WFB is the poor man's Tolkien, and 40k... well, I have no word for it. Anyone fancy a movie titled "Poor man's Tolkien meets Alien vs Predator"? Of course in Anime style, because Tau.

This isn't really fair. The Warhammer (and 40k) design process had so many influences that it became it's own beast - both were very deliberately intended to be 'anything goes' settings in order to be able sell as many miniatures as possible. The character of the original designers shone through in some of the very tongue-in-cheek parodies and homages to various sci-fi, fantasy and pop culture tropes. The sterilisation of anything that could remotely be identified as an outside influence (in order to trademark and 'own' it) is what's led, in my opinion directly to the situation we have today. You won't see Mickey Mouse ears, big VW badge pendants, or Inquisitors named Sherlock Obi-wan Clousseau in 40k these days, nor will you see gloriously over-the-top racial stereotypes (NINJAS! SAMURAI! PYGMIES FOR GOD'S SAKE - PYGMIES!!!) in Warhammer.

We've gone from a very tasty delicatessen cheese fest to a block of homogenized supermarket white cheese that takes itself far too seriously. Sad.

Herzlos
11-06-2014, 12:32
And if you read some of the older books, the ripoffs are completely blatant and almost embarassing to read. One of the Blood Bowl books rips off Budweiser (with Bloodweiser), Miller GD (Killer Genuine Draft), Rupert Murdoch (Ruprrech something), Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem pub, and more that I probably haven't noticed.

Back in 40K land it's even more derivative (Guardsman Marbo, Necrons ("We'll be back"), Tau, Tyranids, Chaos, Eldar), and so on.

Really the only unique thing GW has is the Space Marine idea; the genetically enhanced super soldiers in powered armour, but even then I'm sure someone's done that first. There's really nothing in it worth making a movie from when they could re-write it from scratch or use a franchise with more pulling power (like Halo)

Herzlos
11-06-2014, 12:35
Edge of Tomorrow is not doing particularly well at the box office, despite great reviews, a famous star and all that.

And that's exactly the problem.

Would it have done any better if it was set in the 40K universe?

shelfunit.
11-06-2014, 12:35
Exactly - it's gone from the "tongue in cheek" homages - which were mostly clearly sign posted as such - to the deadly serious "we own all the words", impersonal, confrontational attitude the company publicly presents itself as today.

Ultimate Life Form
11-06-2014, 12:40
The character of the original designers shone through in some of the very tongue-in-cheek parodies and homages to various sci-fi, fantasy and pop culture tropes.

Some call it tongue-in-cheek, some call it plain dumb. I'm still torn if I should love or hate the "Tragedy of McDeath". It's a blatant Shakespeare parody and on top of it so incredibly dull and terribly executed that it causes a strange, morbid fascination - like a two-headed calf or a horrible traffic accident might.

theshoveller
11-06-2014, 12:48
We've gone from a very tasty delicatessen cheese fest to a block of homogenized supermarket white cheese that takes itself far too seriously. Sad.
I would amend that to, "...white cheese that people take too seriously."

I don't think a company that changes its logo to 'Games Ork-shop' for a month should be criticised for po-facedness.

Avian
11-06-2014, 13:23
Would it have done any better if it was set in the 40K universe?

I don't think it would have done noticeably better and the producers would have to argue things out with GW's crew. So probably not worth it. Much better to make your own mix of sci-fi tropes.

Look at how well the significantly better known D&D are doing movie-wise.

Bloodknight
11-06-2014, 13:25
ook at how well the significantly better known D&D are doing movie-wise.

THose movies were *****, though.

Avian
11-06-2014, 13:28
THose movies were *****, though.

Your point being? :p

Reinholt
11-06-2014, 14:27
On the topic of IP:

I agree that removing a lot of the overt references to other sci-fi was the right decision. If you are too comedic, it becomes hard to build a narrative; comedy is great, but doesn't have the literary staying power in a wargame setting that some other things have.

However, there is also the danger of being too cold and too impersonal. The occasional reference is fine, treating materials that you genuinely enjoyed lightly is fine, but you can't either sterilize everything, go totally PC, or go adversarial with your fans.

To that end, you have to find the middle road; it's neither Inquisitor Sherlock Obi-Wan Clouseau, nor is it ULTRAMARINES ONLY. Some of the BL authors have done a good job with this, and I'd say that from a long-term strength perspective, the treatment of the universe we see from BL's stronger authors and Forge World is the kind of path GW needs to go down (possibly with tweaks over time to follow certain customer preference trends).

Poseidal
11-06-2014, 15:34
And if you read some of the older books, the ripoffs are completely blatant and almost embarassing to read. One of the Blood Bowl books rips off Budweiser (with Bloodweiser), Miller GD (Killer Genuine Draft), Rupert Murdoch (Ruprrech something), Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem pub, and more that I probably haven't noticed.

Back in 40K land it's even more derivative (Guardsman Marbo, Necrons ("We'll be back"), Tau, Tyranids, Chaos, Eldar), and so on.

Really the only unique thing GW has is the Space Marine idea; the genetically enhanced super soldiers in powered armour, but even then I'm sure someone's done that first. There's really nothing in it worth making a movie from when they could re-write it from scratch or use a franchise with more pulling power (like Halo)

Space Marines are based on the Sardaukar from Dune.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-06-2014, 15:48
And if you read some of the older books, the ripoffs are completely blatant and almost embarassing to read. One of the Blood Bowl books rips off Budweiser (with Bloodweiser), Miller GD (Killer Genuine Draft), Rupert Murdoch (Ruprrech something), Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem pub, and more that I probably haven't noticed.

Back in 40K land it's even more derivative (Guardsman Marbo, Necrons ("We'll be back"), Tau, Tyranids, Chaos, Eldar), and so on.

Really the only unique thing GW has is the Space Marine idea; the genetically enhanced super soldiers in powered armour, but even then I'm sure someone's done that first. There's really nothing in it worth making a movie from when they could re-write it from scratch or use a franchise with more pulling power (like Halo)

These are am improvement over GW's truly unique ideas.

Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of some highly original GW art, but if look at recent promotional videos for games, or new artwork and short stories, the way they present space marines and terminators is embarrassing. They have been pissing on their IP for years now.

Fantasy flight games seems to know what to do with GW's IP though.

Poseidal
11-06-2014, 16:12
I wouldn't go that far. They have made some silly statements in the RPGs.

They really need someone who knows history to write it. I don't think anything has matched what we got from Priestly writing along with others from late RT/early 2nd edition. It was since then I feel it has been downhill, but it was still good until about half a decade to a decade ago.

dalezzz
11-06-2014, 21:39
I don't think it would have done noticeably better and the producers would have to argue things out with GW's crew. So probably not worth it. Much better to make your own mix of sci-fi tropes.

Look at how well the significantly better known D&D are doing movie-wise.

ive watched 3 of them and they are terrible :p did they actually use one of the dnd settings? ( I'm hardly an expert on dnd settings)not one I'm aware of . I always wondered why they didn't go with forgotten realms or something

Rick_1138
12-06-2014, 08:41
The otiginal D&D film is awful but had money, the second one was better but had no money, haven't seen the third one.

I have the second one on DVD, it gets wheeled out when the good lady is out and i'm on my tod painting :)

Verm1s
13-06-2014, 02:02
I watched the second one, expecting crap, but was pleasantly surprised. Not to say it wasn't ropey, but a decent kind of ropey. I had a least one giggle when the furious Damodar orders his dragon (no, not that dragon (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheDragon)) to 'kill them'.

ForgottenLore
13-06-2014, 06:30
Are you guys serious? I can't even sit through the second D&D movie it was so bad. Have tried twice and have to turn it off around 15 minutes in because absolutely everything was beyond terrible. Its only the second movie I have ever found that I can't stand to watch even once (the other was the film adaptation of Clan of the Cave Bear).

Not that this has ANYTHING to do with a GW death spiral.

dalezzz
13-06-2014, 08:05
Are you guys serious? I can't even sit through the second D&D movie it was so bad. Have tried twice and have to turn it off around 15 minutes in because absolutely everything was beyond terrible. Its only the second movie I have ever found that I can't stand to watch even once (the other was the film adaptation of Clan of the Cave Bear).

Not that this has ANYTHING to do with a GW death spiral.

i disagree , GW making 3 terrible DnD films would be a sure sign of their impending death :P

The 3rd one is probably the best , the plague monk guy even acts reasonably well :)

tu33y
13-06-2014, 08:21
Space Marines are based on the Sardaukar from Dune.

well, partly- MUCH more Mobile Infantry from Starship Troopers (NOT the film doofus-es, broaden your horizons) in that they "resemble a giant metal gorilla". the MI even have jump-packs and hand flamers.

but the Dune universe was indeed plundered when it comes to many bits of the 40k fluff... navigators in particular.

but I think GW is strongest when it goes for "types" - its much more creative than "complete rip off" like some of their stuff is. Krieg for example, in fact much of the IG. 'Nam In Space (Catachan) Lawrence Of Arabia IN SPACE (tallarn)... but these armies borrow bits from there, then from EVERYWHERE else. like the ratskins from Necromunda. bits of First Nation, but bits of rat-man, biker gang and god knows what else.

Verm1s
13-06-2014, 14:24
well, partly- MUCH more Mobile Infantry from Starship Troopers (NOT the film doofus-es, broaden your horizons) in that they "resemble a giant metal gorilla". the MI even have jump-packs and hand flamers.

Aye, but as mentioned (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?395776-A-question-for-old-hammers), giant metal gorillas containing fanatic imperial troops recruited from those hardened by life on what amounts to a deathworld. :) I haven't read any Nemesis the Warlock from 2000AD, but from what little I've seen and heard, human terminators from that series seem like an obvious influence too. (Particularly for black templars?)

(Not to belittle Starships Troopers' big metal gorillas, though. It might not have originated powered armour, but I can certainly see why ST might have popularised it. Oh for a movie adaptation not reliant on a satirist with a simplistic kneejerk view of... but that maybe goes beyond the purview of this thread and forum rules)

Rogue
14-06-2014, 03:51
Ouch - I doubt that would fund a round at Bugman's.

By that time Bugman's will probably be boarded up.

Rogue
14-06-2014, 04:06
i disagree , GW making 3 terrible DnD films would be a sure sign of their impending death :P

The 3rd one is probably the best , the plague monk guy even acts reasonably well :)

Exactly my point.

nosebiter
14-06-2014, 05:54
GW deart spiral?

It starts with a Flash Gitz kit, basically a glorified nobz box, for twice the cost it should have been.

Senbei
14-06-2014, 08:35
GW deart spiral?

It starts with a Flash Gitz kit, basically a glorified nobz box, for twice the cost it should have been.

I'd have said it started with Empire Greatswords. A slow, snowballing effect.

I will add that 40k has seen a slight resurgence at the club I go to though. The schoolkids always played it, but even some of the TCG-ers have dusted off their armies now. Sadly the price of a new army is too prohibitive for me to get involved, a new army would mean that I couldn't afford to eat for a few months and using my old ones.... well... shoveling lead miniatures off the table by the bucketload is just disheartening and detrimental to their paintjobs.

MrKeef
15-06-2014, 13:43
GW deart spiral?

It starts with a Flash Gitz kit, basically a glorified nobz box, for twice the cost it should have been.

The flash gitz are a much better kit than the nobz in my opinion. Much more detailed parts and more options for custom models. And the kit contains ~150 parts compared to the ~100 that that nobz set has.

People demand better kits with more options but don't want to pay any extra. Is the gitz kit overpriced? Yes. I think it should be around 25% less, but still more than the nobz to make up for the extra spues.

frozenwastes
15-06-2014, 16:26
At GW's height, they sold kits with a reasonable amount of options, but they didn't waste sprue space on piles and piles of bitz that you will never use like they do with many of their current kits (especially the dual unit kits). And orks need to go back to being roughly human sized:
http://www.coolminiornot.com/pics/img3c63f6a7be524.jpg

Those are from Gorkamorka, BTW. They represent a transitional form between their 2nd ed orks and the 3rd ed ones. Though I don't think it was until 5th edition that they started making orks on bigger bases as a unit wide thing. I recall 3rd and 4th edition nobz still being on small bases.

MiyamatoMusashi
15-06-2014, 16:57
And orks need to go back to being roughly human sized:
http://www.coolminiornot.com/pics/img3c63f6a7be524.jpg

Those are from Gorkamorka, BTW.

Good god no.