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Wintermute
09-12-2014, 19:20
Every time we receive news regarding Games Workshops financial status, be it a year end report, a profits warning or any other news relating to the financial position and/or business strategy of the company we get new threads to discuss the 'news'.

A few months ago a long term and respected member of WarSeer suggested we create one on-going thread to discuss these matters and keep all relevant debate in one thread in the same manner we keep all discussion of GW pricing policy together here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?209297-Games-Workshop-Pricing-Feedback-Thread).

So this thread is for WarSeer members to discuss any and all financial reports relating to GW, profits warnings, their share price, changes in management or in business strategy etc

It would be preferred if any criticism is constructive and not just comments stating how outraged you are by any changes etc. In addition I expect, and hope, this thread will be read and monitored by GW. Therefore, as with any thread on this forum, personal attacks aimed at members of Games Workshop eg Tom Kirby and other members of the management team, will not be tolerated.

Any, and, all off-topic posts and spam will be deleted without notice.

Wintermute

frozenwastes
09-12-2014, 21:04
Well for starters, financial news about a publicly traded company is more legitimately news than any product release or new edition of a game coming out. GW gets mentioned in the financial press as well as occasionally by major news sources like the BBC. You'll see stories in the actual press on GW's financials far more often than you will ever see one about a product release. So you should probably edit out having news in quotations like it's not a legitimate thing.

From the other thread to carry on the discussion where it ended off:

Given that GW is willing to pay all of their earnings (and more) as dividends and the 2nd half of 2014 saw the dividend reduced from 20p to 16p (totally 36p for 2014) we can assume that their earnings per share will be dropping by a similar amount. If they had the money rolling in during Q3 of 2014 they would have announced a larger dividend in October.

The [dividend] machine isn't working. It's not growing because they are no longer investing in growth and on top of that they actually want to sell less product to fewer people at a higher price because it gives them a better margins and if they ship half the product at twice the price, they can lay off production, shipping and sales staff and save even more money. Switching their stores from fully staffed into single employee locations costs them sales but it also costs them recruitment. Which over time means their player base is shrinking. And those losses in volume compound over time and demand higher and higher prices to make up for it.

Full post including a dividend history going back to 1998:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?403156-GW-Shares-Drop-As-Operating-Profit-Falls-Vs-LY&p=7332200&viewfull=1#post7332200

The larger point I was making before the thread transition is that GW is paying out as much or more than they earn in Dividends ever since their transition to an "efficient cash generating machine" in 2011. So you can predict their earnings by looking at their dividend activity. They're going to pay it all out, so if they pay out less it's because they are earning less.


Thanks to williamsond for posting this link to a Yahoo Finance/Motley Fool article by Zach Coffel:
https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/warren-buffett-small-cap-may-123204137.html


But what's the catch?

There is one Warren Buffet principle that leaves the investment thesis in Games Workshop crumbling... Buffett once said: "I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will"

Games Workshop's great product offering meant success was its to lose, and unfortunately management seem to be doing their best to destroy these fantastic qualities from the inside.

Prices have been sky-rocketing, with customers claiming box sets sell for 50-100% more than a few years ago. Worryingly, revenue fell 8% last year, so the number of boxes sold must have dropped off rapidly. The company doesn't mention volumes in its annual report, which could be telling.

The company has also taken the decision to turnthe majority of their stores into one-man operations. This will save millions, but who is going to recruit the next generation of gamers if there is not enough staff to play demo games?

While I love the business and its strengths, it is losing customers that have been fiercely loyal for years. I'm not expecting a change of strategy from new CEO Kevin Rountree because he has been part of these changes as COO for years.

Removing restructuring costs, the shares trade on a PE of 12, which seems slightly overpriced given falling sales. So for me, Games Workshop remains one to watch until management change direction on their attitude towards customers.

That's a very interesting thing to read from the actual financial press and it sounds an awful lot like what people have been saying here for quite some time.

I agree that the problem is indeed the management. Hopefully saying that doesn't somehow now count as a personal attack :(

Katastrophe
09-12-2014, 21:26
I doubt attacking GWs management decisions will be viewed as a personal attack.

What I am interested in and have asked many times, what could/can GW do to turn around the downward trend. Most of the white knights keep hanging on to "it is all ok and GW sales are not actually down because you can't prove the numbers". While there is truth in that (can't prove part), there is also simple math which supports a finding that revenue is down, prices are up, thus volume of sales units must be down. The real question is what can they do to sell more items.

There last report showed they had made significant cuts and they claims a pretty high amount of non-recurring expenses. So even with those no longer effecting their bottom line they still had a profit reduction of 1M pounds.

I've always said their share price was a false indicator of their business success as they prop it up with dividend payments. Otherwise their share values would be much less. I can't really see them making massive structural changes (maybe out of some sense of pride) and I truly believe they believe that it will all just work itself out if they can raise the prices just a little more and they customer base will realize that the love of buying GW products is the hobby.

Mike3791
09-12-2014, 21:34
I would ask if any of their competitors are feeling a similair impact, and is GW's pricing competitive with their competitors? I ask because it's no secret that the world economy is in very bad shape, which could easily contribute to less sales.

frozenwastes
09-12-2014, 21:50
We're not seeing the celebration of record sales from GW's competitors like we did last year, but they appear to be doing alright. Privateer has just started a product release that uses GW style grey styrene plastic rather than their vinyl crap, so that might be an indicator of PP reaching a size where the production run necessary to justify tooling of injection moulded plastic is now within their reach. Infinity seems to be doing well with it's new starter and new edition. Malifaux, Spartan and others keep chugging along. Historicals keep having more plastic releases. Magic: The Gathering continues to succeed. In North America, most independent game shops couldn't keep their doors open if it wasn't for Magic sales. X-Wing is on a tear and Fantasy Flight just got bought out by Asmodee. The industry looks like it's healthy and growing for the most part.

As to what GW could do to return to growth? I think step one would be to re-enter the actual industry rather than trying to control and segment their customer base. They should make a starter type set that represents a new way into the 40k universe and take it to all the trade shows and get it into all the distribution channels they can. Instead of paying out all the extra money in dividends, put a million or two into starting up a new division that is responsible for creating growth opportunities within the larger industry.

For the last decade many people have discovered miniatures through GW, found out about other options in the larger industry and left for greener pastures. They should be reversing this trend.

They should be able to offer something that the larger market wants and use their size and economies of scale to easily compete on value. Then they can transition these new (or returning) customers into the segmented market place model by letting them know about the GW online store, GW Hobby Centres, etc., just like they do with 40k and WFB customers introduced by their independent trade partners through direct only models.

Imagine a 40k death of the emperor/fall of the imperium end times type board game box with simple 40k plastic miniatures in it, good rules and simple expandability like X-Wing (instead of one ship, an expansion box might have a tyranid warrior, two gaunts, a genestealer and a harpy and rules cards for everything). And it's available everywhere that sells Magic: The Gathering or board games and maybe even in toy stores and department stores.

Mike3791
09-12-2014, 23:23
We're not seeing the celebration of record sales from GW's competitors like we did last year, but they appear to be doing alright. Privateer has just started a product release that uses GW style grey styrene plastic rather than their vinyl crap, so that might be an indicator of PP reaching a size where the production run necessary to justify tooling of injection moulded plastic is now within their reach. Infinity seems to be doing well with it's new starter and new edition. Malifaux, Spartan and others keep chugging along. Historicals keep having more plastic releases. Magic: The Gathering continues to succeed. In North America, most independent game shops couldn't keep their doors open if it wasn't for Magic sales. X-Wing is on a tear and Fantasy Flight just got bought out by Asmodee. The industry looks like it's healthy and growing for the most part.

As to what GW could do to return to growth? I think step one would be to re-enter the actual industry rather than trying to control and segment their customer base. They should make a starter type set that represents a new way into the 40k universe and take it to all the trade shows and get it into all the distribution channels they can. Instead of paying out all the extra money in dividends, put a million or two into starting up a new division that is responsible for creating growth opportunities within the larger industry.

For the last decade many people have discovered miniatures through GW, found out about other options in the larger industry and left for greener pastures. They should be reversing this trend.

They should be able to offer something that the larger market wants and use their size and economies of scale to easily compete on value. Then they can transition these new (or returning) customers into the segmented market place model by letting them know about the GW online store, GW Hobby Centres, etc., just like they do with 40k and WFB customers introduced by their independent trade partners through direct only models.

Imagine a 40k death of the emperor/fall of the imperium end times type board game box with simple 40k plastic miniatures in it, good rules and simple expandability like X-Wing (instead of one ship, an expansion box might have a tyranid warrior, two gaunts, a genestealer and a harpy and rules cards for everything). And it's available everywhere that sells Magic: The Gathering or board games and maybe even in toy stores and department stores.

Thanks for this post, not a lot of people would bother to do a cross industry comparison. Context is important :)

frozenwastes
10-12-2014, 07:42
Thanks for this post, not a lot of people would bother to do a cross industry comparison. Context is important :)

It's important to remember that context will vary by location. I imagine there are places where the only miniature games played or sold in any visible fashion are GW games and other places where they are functionally irrelevant. While there have been some industry surveys and estimates, even those are very specific to a certain location and type of retail. For example, the ICv2 stuff concerns itself only with North America and even then, only with brick and mortar retailers. Products sold in other channels or from other places just won't be counted.

The general conclusion though, when you look at what other companies are doing, the surveys ICv2 does, the things companies say and GW's published financials, it looks like GW is basically stagnating while the industry grows around them. I suspect that this is because they intentionally segment their customer base away from the larger market and only participate in the larger industry through independent trade partners, who have made a smaller and smaller contribution to their sales over the last year. I believe GW stated in their last annual report that they will no longer be breaking things down by sales channel (though I could be misremembering), so we probably will get no more data about just how rapidly GW is shrinking in the larger industry and becoming more and more dependent on their direct sales.

Mike3791
10-12-2014, 10:50
I suspect that this is because they intentionally segment their customer base away from the larger market and only participate in the larger industry through independent trade partners, who have made a smaller and smaller contribution to their sales over the last year.

This isn't true, GW is the only tabletop gaming company to have a high street presence, if that mattered then by that logic they would be outselling their competitors. Also by letting independent trade partners do more of the groundwork, they save millions.

On the plus side, they have the best models, as well as the best lore. Horus Heresy series repeatedly landing on the New York Times Best Seller list is a huge deal, which is a feat that won't be reached by their competitors remotely anytime soon. It seems like the game cost is the biggest problem, with kit prices skyrocketing in recent years.

IJW
10-12-2014, 11:03
This isn't true, GW is the only tabletop gaming company to have a high street presence,

In the UK. Outside the UK the GW stores are massively outnumbered by independant stores.

tu33y
10-12-2014, 11:09
well that's killed all discussion on this subject by cramming it into one catch all thread. ho hum.


weirdly, the top analysts seem to agree with many consumers, which makes me wonder do they get their opinions from the forums, or have they come to the same conclusions as us?

many people I know are LOVING this end times stuff though- like it has really re-energised the fantasy game. we might be seeing a change of fortunes?

Herzlos
10-12-2014, 11:15
On the plus side, they have the best models, as well as the best lore. Horus Heresy series repeatedly landing on the New York Times Best Seller list is a huge deal, which is a feat that won't be reached by their competitors remotely anytime soon. It seems like the game cost is the biggest problem, with kit prices skyrocketing in recent years.

It's very easy to get on the NYT best seller list, if you have a largeish group of fans waiting on a release date. That initial sales spike will probably be enough to get you on there for the week. I've no idea what the total sales numbers are but I bet it's a long way short of the big sci-fi franchises.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_Best_Seller_list#Criticisms

shelfunit.
10-12-2014, 11:46
many people I know are LOVING this end times stuff though- like it has really re-energised the fantasy game. we might be seeing a change of fortunes?

With GW posting a warning that 6 monthly profits are down 14.9% from this time last year it looks like the fantasy game has actually been doing even worse than currently assumed. The alternative - that 40k is experiencing a decline - would be the absolute worst case scenario for GW.

BFalcon
10-12-2014, 12:59
We're not seeing the celebration of record sales from GW's competitors like we did last year, but they appear to be doing alright. Privateer has just started a product release that uses GW style grey styrene plastic rather than their vinyl crap, so that might be an indicator of PP reaching a size where the production run necessary to justify tooling of injection moulded plastic is now within their reach. Infinity seems to be doing well with it's new starter and new edition. Malifaux, Spartan and others keep chugging along. Historicals keep having more plastic releases. Magic: The Gathering continues to succeed. In North America, most independent game shops couldn't keep their doors open if it wasn't for Magic sales. X-Wing is on a tear and Fantasy Flight just got bought out by Asmodee. The industry looks like it's healthy and growing for the most part.

As to what GW could do to return to growth? I think step one would be to re-enter the actual industry rather than trying to control and segment their customer base. They should make a starter type set that represents a new way into the 40k universe and take it to all the trade shows and get it into all the distribution channels they can. Instead of paying out all the extra money in dividends, put a million or two into starting up a new division that is responsible for creating growth opportunities within the larger industry.

For the last decade many people have discovered miniatures through GW, found out about other options in the larger industry and left for greener pastures. They should be reversing this trend.

They should be able to offer something that the larger market wants and use their size and economies of scale to easily compete on value. Then they can transition these new (or returning) customers into the segmented market place model by letting them know about the GW online store, GW Hobby Centres, etc., just like they do with 40k and WFB customers introduced by their independent trade partners through direct only models.

Imagine a 40k death of the emperor/fall of the imperium end times type board game box with simple 40k plastic miniatures in it, good rules and simple expandability like X-Wing (instead of one ship, an expansion box might have a tyranid warrior, two gaunts, a genestealer and a harpy and rules cards for everything). And it's available everywhere that sells Magic: The Gathering or board games and maybe even in toy stores and department stores.

I fully agree - GW left the door WIDE open for Urban Mammoth to convert their VOID 1.1 game into Urban Wars when they stopped supporting Necromunda... and yet, they could have actually expanded their stranglehold on that kind of game all too easily.

GW really failed to embrace the new styles of games out there and, instead, did a "hedgehog" and curled up into a ball and tried to wait it out, or so it seems.

In comparison, their competitors are branching out heavily - the X-Wing mechanics are used in the Flight of Dragons game and FFG have brought out two new Star Wars licenses - one fleet-based (recognising that people want a more large-scale battle, while still only having small tables most of the time - something, again, GW slipped up with by dropping Epic) and a ground-attack game. GW really should have refined the approach they started with Blood Bowl - a basic "team" and "booster packs" where you got some miniatures you don't want in order to get enough of those you do. I disagree that so many miniatures should be in each "booster" though - but it's far better than to try to sell whole unit boxes to players - they'll just go out and split the boxes and sell the surplus on ebay, with there not being anything you can really do about it.

Embracing the Horus Heresy would have been a very logical and intelligent thing to do - the setting was fleshed out for Epic, but they could have made their own "Space Crusade" style game in the same setting and really expanded Space Hulk's excellent start to (formally) put Loyalist vs Traitor directly in competition with each other - not just in hulks, but also in bases and other restricted areas (and so allow a much wider range of miniatures. They started doing this in White Dwarf and with their various boxed sets (Tyrannid Attack for example) but never capitalised on it... and I think that, ultimately, is starting to bite them hard. They had all that foundation work done, yet failed to build on it... and now it's sinking into the mud thrown up by their competitors so that it's going to take much more work to get to the same point, let alone ahead. Even doing so belatedly, after Black Library started to release the Horus Heresy books would have been a good move, but (again) they missed their chance and any momentum they could have garnered has slipped away.

GW really needs to do something fresh and do it soon, or they'll see their profit margins drop repeatedly and they can't keep blaming the exchange rate forever... the pound, in the last 6 months, WASN'T that strong... it started out that way in June/July, but then it tanked hard and any investors will know this (whether they act is another matter - they might be happy to ride things out). GW really needs to engage, especially, with its core support and try to get them to bring in the old gamers and new blood it needs to raise its turnover - the new CEO, even if he IS a yes-man for Kirby, is an excellent opportunity to do this and to attempt to convince veterans who have walked away that GW has changed. A legal amnesty would be another good way too.

BFalcon
10-12-2014, 13:06
With GW posting a warning that 6 monthly profits are down 14.9% from this time last year it looks like the fantasy game has actually been doing even worse than currently assumed. The alternative - that 40k is experiencing a decline - would be the absolute worst case scenario for GW.

Agreed on both counts - although they're blaming it on the exchange rate aren't they? It would certainly be bad news if sales were genuinely down for either product.

Of course, Fantasy sales might be down for another reason: All the changes with the End Times, I know I'd be cautious buying new minis for my army if I thought that the whole race was going to be dropped or if I thought that units might disappear from their lists... I mean, for example: Why spend out on Dwarf Hammerers when the Dwarfs have not yet (AFAIK) been mentioned or buy new Wood Elf units (pre Khaine) when you're not even sure if you're going to have a legal army in a few months... (spoiler-related)? The End Times might have generated new sales. They might also have just diverted money from sales that would have happened anyhow (for the most part), given how limited budgets are right now, but also may be damping sales purely BECAUSE of the uncertainty surrounding these events... time will tell on this, I guess.

ObiWayneKenobi
10-12-2014, 13:07
well that's killed all discussion on this subject by cramming it into one catch all thread. ho hum.


weirdly, the top analysts seem to agree with many consumers, which makes me wonder do they get their opinions from the forums, or have they come to the same conclusions as us?

many people I know are LOVING this end times stuff though- like it has really re-energised the fantasy game. we might be seeing a change of fortunes?

The problem is that no matter what they do, they aren't addressing the real issues: Cost of entry, value for money (e.g. selling some boxes of 5 models for the same cost as some boxes of 10 models, because reasons) poor rules/poor balance, pretending that impulse buys are the way to go (not revealing anything until the week it's out), thinking that the GW store is the center of the universe, hostility towards others, etc.

Until they fix those problems it doesn't matter what they put out, it won't fix their issues because it's not addressing them. They are discussing how to replace the carpeting in a house that has no roof.

BFalcon
10-12-2014, 13:54
The problem is that no matter what they do, they aren't addressing the real issues: Cost of entry, value for money (e.g. selling some boxes of 5 models for the same cost as some boxes of 10 models, because reasons) poor rules/poor balance, pretending that impulse buys are the way to go (not revealing anything until the week it's out), thinking that the GW store is the center of the universe, hostility towards others, etc.

Until they fix those problems it doesn't matter what they put out, it won't fix their issues because it's not addressing them. They are discussing how to replace the carpeting in a house that has no roof.

Sadly so... they really should be looking at income in the poorer areas of the UK and the US and trying to cater to "impulse buys" that are appropriately priced for them - after all, more affluent areas can always buy more than one of them, right? And 2 boxes are actually just as easy to ship as one that's twice the size, so they could easily produce smaller sprues and charge (roughly) half the price... so lowering the prices to the point where MORE people could actually walk in and walk out with one having been separated from their cash, than is currently the case. Couple that with skirmish games and you should hit the point where Timmy will think "you know what, if I get another box of those and a couple of boxes of those, I can challenge Sam to a game of 40k next week, instead of our usual skirmish game" and, hey presto, they're either committed and now playing your core game, now gone back to playing their skirmish game (maybe with a new race) or maybe having seen a new game come out, suddenly hit with "Oooh shiny!!" syndrome and investing in that game instead.

You're right though - they REALLY need to get a grip on prices and trusting their regional directors to appropriately price their products and to stop this "bring X out and then bring Y out but charge more because oil prices were higher when Y was produced" and start thinking more laterally - it should be "the price for producing X WOULD be higher now, so we'll raise those prices so that any reduction in profits because Y isn't priced so high, should be absorbed a bit" and keep pricing more consistent. Army lists or points values should only come into it when deciding how many to put into a box - cheap units with lots of individuals (eg goblins) should be ok, as should larger units with fewer in the box... but any box of a set size should be 1) appropriate to the sprue size and 2) priced exactly the same as any other box the same size in that shop. The only exception should be any units that aren't selling which are put on sale (and yes, they should do this for units, particularly right before christmas, to encourage non-sellers to be bought up as gifts by unknowledgable relatives... but only in their own stores, not online). This last one would encourage those near a GW store INTO those stores, where they can be (visually) bombarded with all their other products.

They need to be: 1) encouraging more people into their stores (easing up on the sales pitches might help there - let people ask for help or offer, but get their staff to stop being pushy. 2) Diversify!!! If people don't want to fork out for 40k, hit them with a cheaper, all-in-one game that uses the same miniatures, but doesn't require more than a couple of (small) boxes or blisters to get the best out of them, but with options to build up later if they want! The current 40k boxes aren't working as well as a skirmish game would! 3) Standardise their pricing - let some make less profit than others, but keep prices consistent across the board, 4) use the new CEO as a "Reset" for all the previous hostility and legal bludgeoning and try to mend those bridges with ex customers - a customer who's invested in your products needs very little advertising... and they'll act FOR you in attracting new customers... and, lastly, 5) Bring back the sense of humour a bit... bring out some Christmas minis again (and other holidays)... bring out some one-off minis "just because" if you think they'll sell.

That last point is particularly applicable for those of us who remember Thrud and (especially) some of the more colourful minis (like the Orc Animosity or the Drunken Dwarfs) where they can be incorporated into an army, but could just as easily be put on the shelf. Orc Animosity always struck me as a mini-diorama which I'd want in an Orc or Goblin army and paint the border of it a distinct colour, so I could use it as a counter without it being mistaken as a unit... more of those would help to bring a smile to a few players' faces.

Oh and perhaps admit that "Finecast" was a massive mistake and offer to replace any sub-par miniatures with metal-cast versions (or plastic sprues) regardless of their current state (part-repaired, even painted). True it would cost them money, but the reputation hit they took over the Finecast issue has hurt them badly - I still have some here that I started to try to "repair" (read: "partially re-sculpt" in one case) but didn't want to send back because I feared that the replacement would come back worse than these are. If I knew a plastic replacement was on the cards, I think I'd sooner take that than another of the same. The reputation repairs and mending bridges would probably pay off long-term, as opposed to the arrogant way they raised prices and then acted like they were doing us all a favour in the process... which drove many away.

frozenwastes
10-12-2014, 16:52
This isn't true, GW is the only tabletop gaming company to have a high street presence, if that mattered then by that logic they would be outselling their competitors. Also by letting independent trade partners do more of the groundwork, they save millions.

GW's "high street" presence is part of their market segmentation. It's part of their non-participation in the larger hobby gaming industry. It's direct sales to customers who have no knowledge of the larger industry. When I talk about maintaining a segmented or ignorant customer base, I'm talking about how GW attempts to be the first and only miniature related company a given person ever deals with.

Contrast this with pretty much any other manufacturer of product to be sold at retail. They will sell through any sales channel that they can get access to with the majority of their products being sold through distribution. GW took control of their own distribution and has become a non-participant in the larger hobby retail industry. This worked really well when everyone wanted their product and stores that were carrying their product had no choice but to now buy it through GW rather than their distributor. But it's hardly a path to growth when demand for your product is shrinking. Taking control of distribution allows GW to control pricing and capture more margin, but now they have a situation where falling sales volume is hurting them and sales channels they turned their noses up at in the past are now far less available to them.

And I agree that working with independent trade partners is a smart move. I'm advocating for more of it including working with existing game and toy distribution. GW seems to be going in the opposite direction with a greater and greater portion of their product line being direct only and even more restrictive terms for those who still choose to sell their product.


On the plus side, they have the best models, as well as the best lore.

So why are profits continuing to decline? They just spent millions making themselves more efficient so they could operate with lower costs and thus more profits and yet the profits decline again. There's something wrong here. Even if we grant that they do have the best models or best lore, GW is continuing to stagnate.


It seems like the game cost is the biggest problem, with kit prices skyrocketing in recent years.

Is this a factor? Absolutely. I just don't think it's the only one. I think they can find a sufficiently large number of people who will pay the higher prices, even if it ends up resulting in a shrinking of their customer base.

GW's latest announcement is largely in line with my earlier prediction of a slow decline into a smaller company where things eventually stabilize when they get the right combination of store locations and staff. They can then put the product into the hands of their segmented market directly, even if their trade sales diminish as independent stores move away from their products like they have been for the last couple of years.

Graeme
10-12-2014, 16:57
Horus Heresy series repeatedly landing on the New York Times Best Seller list is a huge deal

The heresy series WAS repeatedly landing on the NYT best seller list until about 2 years ago, which is coincidentally about the same time that BL decided to start spinning and fracturing the series off into audiobooks, e-shorts, limited edition novellas and (probably) interpretive dance.

Mike3791
10-12-2014, 18:18
In the UK. Outside the UK the GW stores are massively outnumbered by independant stores.

I wasn't comparing them to the independent stores, I was compariung them to their direct competitors. Does Privateer Press even have their own game stores? Again, independent stores are more efficient because their is no direct overhead cost to GW themselves.


It's very easy to get on the NYT best seller list, if you have a largeish group of fans waiting on a release date. That initial sales spike will probably be enough to get you on there for the week. I've no idea what the total sales numbers are but I bet it's a long way short of the big sci-fi franchises.

A Thousand Sons was the first novel to put Black Library on the NYT map, followed by several others. Again I'm not comparing this series to blockbuster sci-fi franchises(Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, etc), I'm comparing them to other tabletop gaming companies' novels. This is still really good for fluff based around a niche market. Don't assume that everyone who buys the novels also play the game, because that is definately not true.


Of course, Fantasy sales might be down for another reason: All the changes with the End Times, I know I'd be cautious buying new minis for my army if I thought that the whole race was going to be dropped or if I thought that units might disappear from their lists... I mean, for example: Why spend out on Dwarf Hammerers when the Dwarfs have not yet (AFAIK) been mentioned or buy new Wood Elf units (pre Khaine) when you're not even sure if you're going to have a legal army in a few months... (spoiler-related)? The End Times might have generated new sales. They might also have just diverted money from sales that would have happened anyhow (for the most part), given how limited budgets are right now, but also may be damping sales purely BECAUSE of the uncertainty surrounding these events... time will tell on this, I guess.

This is a very good point, most people who follow rumors are most likely waiting for 9th ed to drop before making any big purchases.

I think most people feel GW is a great company, just with really bad management. It seems the problems they are faced with could be easily solved, they just lack the motivation to make the neccessary changes. I heard GW also has massive reserve revenues, which might explain their lack of urgency to make changes even with they take losses. I imagine if their reserves get too low, then even GW would be forced to make drastic changes to avoid any type of financial ruin, but they don't seem to be anywhere near that point.

Sephillion
10-12-2014, 19:46
On the plus side, they have the best models, as well as the best lore.

This is entirely subjective though. The first few books of the Horus Heresy I found excellent. After that, it begins to be more hit and miss. Some stories are a bit goofy, some aren’t really well written. But so far, from what I read, the highs surpass the lows, and it’s indeed quite popular.

Models-wise, I find Malifaux superior. The lone box I have included all different models, many with dynamic poses, each very detailed, and great quality plastic. I don’t know if this applies to the whole range though. PP’s metals are great if you like the slightly more cartoonish look (Una and Bradigus are amazing sculpts), though their plastic tends to be hit and miss. When it’s a hit, it’s probably on par. Again, if you care for the more cartoonish (for lack of a better word) look.

Katastrophe
10-12-2014, 20:47
One of the issues they face and have not been capable of fixing is a schizophrenic market/retail/sales strategy. Ultimately, they want to sell all they can through direct sales (preferably the webstore but secondarily the GW store fronts). These preserve their margins to the highest levels. Selling through LGSs is like a necessary evil to them and they do not treat it like a partnership. This is where their strategy completely fails. LGSs have no incentive to sell GW vs or to the exclusion of the other game products they have. In fact, it is the LGSs incentive to sell whatever allows them the greatest volume and unit margin. GWs trade policies are not favorable so LGSs will also push the other products rather than GW products. GW sees LGSs as competition and hasn't done a good job of reconciling that relationship. In the UK (I'm assuming) they have the presence to operate this way and focus purely on sales through their direct channels. In the US for instance, they NEED LGSs to sell their products and help build the community which would advertise their products, but once again, their trade policies are counter to this goal.

That is why I remain curious as to the actual sales figures for outside the UK (particularly the US). Though they blame currency for the lost revenue, it could be the continued decline in sales in the US. This isn't just a pricing issue, its a competition issue. GW stores are likely barely profitable in the US and they serve so few areas that they may as well not exist. In Louisiana, there is 1 store and I have only been there once. The largest GW sellers are in 3 cities separated for hundreds of miles (actually 2 are about 100 miles apart with the 3rd another 240 miles). If GW does not find a way to fix this problem, they will continue to shrink in US sales and that cannot help their bottom line and profitability.

Chilled out Charlie
10-12-2014, 21:12
GW really needs to do something fresh and do it soon

I think GW needs to do more of the old stuff they use to do but just do it better. Space hulk (or crusade) and warhammer quest (hero quest) should be re-released as standalone but not limited edition games and sold through new (or old as I'm sure they use to) channels such as toys r us, Argos, amazon blah blah blah. They need to get themselves into other channels rather than independent stores and their own shops (and internet) only. Included in each box should be leaflets of what GW is and the other games made by the company. I know that my brother picked up hero quest, then visited games workshop and that is how I got involved.

I think decent supported small skirmish sized game rules would really help in introduction of new players. Whilst I absolutely love necromunda I don't think that's quite the way to go in terms of setting and models. The models required would be max 2 squads of tactical marines or something so they are the basis for increasing in to full blown 40k but cheap and easy for a newbie to get started. The rules would be the basics of 40k but only infantry And the squad would operate like a gang in necromunda, no unit coherency, one squad leader with improved stats, some juves, specialists. There should also be some rpg elements like the source book of necromunda so you don't get bored with your small selection of models and you get lost in the 40k setting leading you to want more. The choices each faction could take would be within the rulebook itself and would mirror the 40k full rules. So like necromunda but with 40k models and setting and a good launching point to go into 40k. They should do something similar with mordheim.

Bloodbowl should be brought back.

Epic should be brought back. Apocalypse should be dropped.

They should actually focus on making money on miniatures by not spending their entire time as a publisher. I am getting sick of all these bloody supplements (so don't buy them). Cities of death rules, planet strike rules, stronghold assault rules etc etc and all the warhammer supplements, should be released in one book for each game. You don't need the background or whatever and there really isn't that many rules, they could easily fit in one book. None of the supplements should be limited runs. Datacards and spell cards should not be limited runs.

White dwarf should be fixed so it is no longer a catalogue. They should do stuff like how to make your own scenery even though they make their own range of scenery home made scenery is supplemental to bought scenery and not everyone wants to have imperial inspired buildings. They should reduce the font size and have more text so they can actually properly discuss some things.

Prices for a lot of boxes should be reduced by at least 25% and some up to 50% whilst older boxes are probably ok (dark elf corsair box ain't bad). No single character clam pack should be more than £10 a model and even that is quite high. If this is uneconomical they should include options in other boxes to make characters or release a five man sprue which makes all the character options you may want. Space marines for example could have captain, librarian, chaplain, apothecary and techmarine all in one box for a price that isn't insane but reflects the fact these are potentially more detailed models.

There should be some kind of loyalty programme and I'd go as far as to say they should have some sort of club card type system. This would also give them a wealth of marketing data... So I also think they should employ a marketing department. The loyalty programme should give discounts, targeted offers and points that can be used as cash in the shops. Nothing too insane but something that would give a customer a reasonable chance of getting a free box or model in a year.

Rules need to be fixed so that they are better, more balanced and cause less clashes. This would probably mean getting rid of flyers etc.... Ok maybe they should keep apocalypse and all the super heavies and flyers etc can only be used here.

Just a few thoughts. Apologies it is very 40k heavy, I'm only just getting into warhammer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

BFalcon
10-12-2014, 21:16
One of the issues they face and have not been capable of fixing is a schizophrenic market/retail/sales strategy. Ultimately, they want to sell all they can through direct sales (preferably the webstore but secondarily the GW store fronts). These preserve their margins to the highest levels. Selling through LGSs is like a necessary evil to them and they do not treat it like a partnership. This is where their strategy completely fails. LGSs have no incentive to sell GW vs or to the exclusion of the other game products they have. In fact, it is the LGSs incentive to sell whatever allows them the greatest volume and unit margin. GWs trade policies are not favorable so LGSs will also push the other products rather than GW products. GW sees LGSs as competition and hasn't done a good job of reconciling that relationship. In the UK (I'm assuming) they have the presence to operate this way and focus purely on sales through their direct channels. In the US for instance, they NEED LGSs to sell their products and help build the community which would advertise their products, but once again, their trade policies are counter to this goal.

That is why I remain curious as to the actual sales figures for outside the UK (particularly the US). Though they blame currency for the lost revenue, it could be the continued decline in sales in the US. This isn't just a pricing issue, its a competition issue. GW stores are likely barely profitable in the US and they serve so few areas that they may as well not exist. In Louisiana, there is 1 store and I have only been there once. The largest GW sellers are in 3 cities separated for hundreds of miles (actually 2 are about 100 miles apart with the 3rd another 240 miles). If GW does not find a way to fix this problem, they will continue to shrink in US sales and that cannot help their bottom line and profitability.

Here in the UK, they have a reputation for having, historically, driven out successful FLGS and putting their own stores in their place. I've heard many stories, over the years, of delayed orders, items being reported as "out of stock" when the local GW store (that just opened) has several and could get more in easily and so on, right after they've done so... slowly forcing the FLGS out of business by denying them the GW products that their customers are demanding. Of course, GW players who can't get what they want at the FLGS will usually go to the GW store, with predictable results. This, historically, left a LOT of GW players feeling pretty annoyed at GW since GW only sells GW products... which tends to leave RPGers especially, high and dry when that FLGS disappears, having lost a good chunk of its income.

Also, GW are only in cities over here in the UK too... my nearest is 50 miles away and might as well be on the moon for my chances of getting to it. When I was in Cornwall, the nearest was over 100 miles away from me, so definitely not an option. There seems an especially dense loyalty band around Nottingham, where GW grew up, but then they do still have more shops around that area and more facilities, so that's only to be expected.

Mike3791
10-12-2014, 21:20
This is entirely subjective though. The first few books of the Horus Heresy I found excellent. After that, it begins to be more hit and miss. Some stories are a bit goofy, some aren’t really well written. But so far, from what I read, the highs surpass the lows, and it’s indeed quite popular.

It's not subjective, Fear To Tread entered The New York Times Best Sellers List at number 13, at the time the highest entry on that chart for a series novel; the book also remained on the List the week after.


Models-wise, I find Malifaux superior. The lone box I have included all different models, many with dynamic poses, each very detailed, and great quality plastic. I don’t know if this applies to the whole range though. PP’s metals are great if you like the slightly more cartoonish look (Una and Bradigus are amazing sculpts), though their plastic tends to be hit and miss. When it’s a hit, it’s probably on par. Again, if you care for the more cartoonish (for lack of a better word) look.

GW has made significant investment in design and printing, all their new kits are highly detailed and amazing. If someone likes cartoons, then yea PP will have the edge.. but GW's new kits are extremely well done.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-12-2014, 01:33
It's not subjective, Fear To Tread entered The New York Times Best Sellers List at number 13, at the time the highest entry on that chart for a series novel; the book also remained on the List the week after.

Eh, presence on the NYT bestseller list might be an indicator that something is good. But it could be on the bestseller list for other reasons. For example, it could be there because GW has lots of zealous fans that will indiscriminately buy garbage. (I'm not passing judgment on the book, I've never read it.)

In terms of GW having the "best" fiction, I could point out that Privateer Press has Larry Correia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Correia) writing for them. He's a New York Times bestselling novelist (twice) and a one-time nominee for a Hugo Award. But again, Larry Correia's bestselling status doesn't speak to the quality of his work, and his credentials don't necessarily mean that he did a good job with Privateer Press's fiction (IMO he did a very good job, and The Warlock Sagas: Instruments of War was nothing short of amazing). And The Butcher of Khardov was also nominated for a Hugo. (http://privateerpress.com/the-butcher-of-khardov-nominated-for-hugo-award)

After spending about ten minutes searching, I cannot confirm that any Black Library fiction has been nominated for a Hugo. Maybe someone else can figure that out.


GW has made significant investment in design and printing, all their new kits are highly detailed and amazing. If someone likes cartoons, then yea PP will have the edge.. but GW's new kits are extremely well done.

... ? Oh-kay. Guess that's your (and Sephillion's) opinion. IMO GW sculpts more cartoony stuff than PP. GW's humans have bigger hands, bigger heads, and sometimes bigger weapons. Here's what a simple google search for "space marine anatomy" turned up (http://www.coldnorth.com/owen/game/startrek/challenger/risingsun/gmnotes/SpaceMarineAnatomyPhilipGibbering.jpg). I don't really agree with that image about the thickness of a space marine's armor (I think the armor is thicker than that), but that only makes it worse. In my head, they're super-broad chested, have enormously wide hips, and normal human-sized arms and legs, only the legs are spaced about two feet apart to make up for how big the pelvis is. They're about 1" tall, and in wide stance, their feet are nearly 1" apart. Think about how uncomfortable that would be. If they were shaped like a human and their feet were that far apart, they'd be doing the splits. I haven't been able to look at a space marine without thinking about his skeletal structure for about two years now. Every time I see one, I think it looks like a happy meal toy or something.

Cadians are even weirder. If someone took a good hard look at Cadian imperial guard compared to an anatomically correct sculpture of a 28mm human, they'd realize just how dwarflike their proportions are. They're pumpkin-heads with stumpy legs, only a little bit better than Charlie Brown.

Of course, that doesn't mean PP's proportions are generally good. They're just more "action comic" with unrealistic breast sizes and muscles, and less "Saturday morning cartoon".

williamsond
11-12-2014, 10:07
I know I for one am looking forward to the finacials in january, I suspect we are satrting to see the crest of the wave as far as GW goes. I cant see where they can make more cuts and they have definatley passed the price tipping point. They have also now pretty much released every 40k codex so for the first time in ages they have codexs current for the version of the rules, i dont see where they go next, more campaign boxes like shield of baal? start codex cycle again? bring back squats? 8th edition? focus on DLC formations and data slates? who knows? not me for sure.

Inquisitor Kallus
11-12-2014, 11:11
I know I for one am looking forward to the finacials in january, I suspect we are satrting to see the crest of the wave as far as GW goes. I cant see where they can make more cuts and they have definatley passed the price tipping point. They have also now pretty much released every 40k codex so for the first time in ages they have codexs current for the version of the rules, i dont see where they go next, more campaign boxes like shield of baal? start codex cycle again? bring back squats? 8th edition? focus on DLC formations and data slates? who knows? not me for sure.

They'll make more miniatures, because that is what they do. They also sell rules and other assorted hobby ting

shelfunit.
11-12-2014, 11:27
They'll make more miniatures, because that is what they do. They also sell rules and other assorted hobby ting

The problem is not "will they make them?", but increasingly "will they sell them?"

williamsond
11-12-2014, 11:40
If the last year is anything to go by, probably not Mr shelfunit, probably not...

Warlord Nazgred
11-12-2014, 13:15
stuff

There should be some kind of loyalty programme and I'd go as far as to say they should have some sort of club card type system. This would also give them a wealth of marketing data... So I also think they should employ a marketing department. The loyalty programme should give discounts, targeted offers and points that can be used as cash in the shops. Nothing too insane but something that would give a customer a reasonable chance of getting a free box or model in a year.

more stuff


Lots of good and interesting ideas, I think a smaller skirmish version of 40k and I assume WFB even though I know little about it is definitely needed because the cost of buying a small 1000pts army with rules, codex, paints and hobby bits is easily upwards of £500. This is a huge commitment for people that might find they dont even enjoy the hobby. I also think the idea of some sort of loyalty scheme would be a good move on GW's part, it would be easyish to implement and I'd probably buy more direct from GW if I thought I might get a free kit at Christmas or access to better deals or unique miniatures.

Katastrophe
11-12-2014, 14:07
Lots of good and interesting ideas, I think a smaller skirmish version of 40k and I assume WFB even though I know little about it is definitely needed because the cost of buying a small 1000pts army with rules, codex, paints and hobby bits is easily upwards of £500. This is a huge commitment for people that might find they dont even enjoy the hobby. I also think the idea of some sort of loyalty scheme would be a good move on GW's part, it would be easyish to implement and I'd probably buy more direct from GW if I thought I might get a free kit at Christmas or access to better deals or unique miniatures.

I'm not sure skirmish 40K would be a significant seller unless they were to make some simple models and basically free rules. I think they have locked themselves in with the "premium" product model. An expensive skirmish game would be as unattractive for new players as the current game. They would never allow it to remain a game into itself. Thus "real" 40K would loom heavy over the skirmish game.

If they wanted 40K light they could just release a cheap (ie free) quick play rule set usable with the current models. It'd cost them nothing. But they won't do that as it doesn't immediately increase 40K sales. In their mind I'm sure they see space hulk as doing just this. Problem is that space hulk is insanely expensive for what's in the box.

They are trapped behind their "premium " product wall.

ObiWayneKenobi
11-12-2014, 14:29
The problem has always been the cost to actually get started. Even a 1,000 point army can run upwards of $300, that's ridiculous. Their boxed armies (not the "web bundles" but the actual boxes) help with this somewhat, but they also tend to give you lackluster choices in the interest of variety (which is compounded even more by the poor balance of the game).

This is what I don't get about their business strategy. They seem to want to get you to pay a high price at the start, and continue paying a high price. I once read that they assume that the average customer of theirs is only going to play for 1-2 years, so it looks like they are doing a "churn and burn" strategy" whereby they want to maximize profit before the customer leaves. That seems incredibly short-sighted as far as longterm growth and stability goes. The usual strategy is to take a loss at first to get people interested, and then make it up over time as they become more interested in your product. GW seems to be going in the opposite direction.

If I want to start a game, I don't want to be handed a laundry list of things I need to buy, at a high price no less, to get started. I should be able to get started at the entry level for a decent price, and right now GW's business strategy (and their strategy for the past few years) has been make you pay for as much as possible while giving as little as possible to get you to buy more.

I cannot for the life of me understand what they are thinking to be that arrogant that they consider their customers to be stupid plebs that will just buy anything that has the Citadel logo on it because it has the Citadel logo on it.

Warlord Nazgred
11-12-2014, 15:06
I'm not sure skirmish 40K would be a significant seller unless they were to make some simple models and basically free rules. I think they have locked themselves in with the "premium" product model. An expensive skirmish game would be as unattractive for new players as the current game. They would never allow it to remain a game into itself. Thus "real" 40K would loom heavy over the skirmish game.

If they wanted 40K light they could just release a cheap (ie free) quick play rule set usable with the current models. It'd cost them nothing. But they won't do that as it doesn't immediately increase 40K sales. In their mind I'm sure they see space hulk as doing just this. Problem is that space hulk is insanely expensive for what's in the box.

They are trapped behind their "premium " product wall.

But space hulk has been marketed as being a limited edition product so how could they think it is attracting new players? I always thought the new space hulk's target market was people who used to play it back in the day, I do however agree that a couple of cheaper board games set in the universe could help attract new customers. That or cutting the prices of their miniatures by 50% which is probably about as likely as the return of squats....

Katastrophe
11-12-2014, 15:57
But space hulk has been marketed as being a limited edition product so how could they think it is attracting new players? I always thought the new space hulk's target market was people who used to play it back in the day, I do however agree that a couple of cheaper board games set in the universe could help attract new customers. That or cutting the prices of their miniatures by 50% which is probably about as likely as the return of squats....

I don't believe any product they put out this past year is aimed at getting new players. Which means I clearly don't understand their strategy. The End Times, expensive books) huge expensive kits, expensive board games, game boxes that have no rules sets. None of that would entice new players to get into the game and appear to only be aimed at vets or current players (which limited runs supports).

I think in their mind, they attract new players with the things like Space Hulk that are self contained and sit on the store shelf looking like it is all that a group of players needs. A vet or store manager can easily bring in players without their own models through introducing one of these board games. For them this should be an easy sell. Except that it is not, because it is ineffective for that purpose.

If they were truly aiming anything at new players, it would be relatively cheap (like the old Battle Masters boxes of yesteryear) and mass produced to get people into the game. They clearly have no interest in that at this time.

tristessa
11-12-2014, 16:19
The problem has always been the cost to actually get started. Even a 1,000 point army can run upwards of $300, that's ridiculous.

Why is $300 (£190) ridiculous? Can we drill down into why spending a few hundred is so terrible?

£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

Why should GW price themselves lower? Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?

To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.

ObiWayneKenobi
11-12-2014, 16:39
Why is $300 (£190) ridiculous? Can we drill down into why spending a few hundred is so terrible?

£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

Why should GW price themselves lower? Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?

To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.

Because we are arguing about wargames, not bikes or guitars or legos or driving lessons. $300 to get started is a lot of money for wargaming, because I can get more for less in other wargames. A 1,000 point Bolt Action army is $125, with like 50 infantry and a tank. Warmachine it depends as I don't really count a battle box as starting, but $300 can likely get you close to if not more than 35 points depending on faction, which is normal sized not entry level. $300 is a large Kings of War army, and lord knows how many historical figures from Perry or Victrix or whomever.

$300 for GW doesn't give you much in the way of the actual game. Deathstorm is a decent starting point, but how many points is it really? Enough for demo "Baby's First 40k Game" type of games, and not much else without paying a lot more.

Sephillion
11-12-2014, 17:05
Why is $300 (£190) ridiculous? Can we drill down into why spending a few hundred is so terrible?

£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

Why should GW price themselves lower? Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?

To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.

300$ is the price of a small army (depending on the particulars… it can be a VERY small army!). Actually, in Canadian currency, with GW’s horrible exchange rate, it’s more akin to 400$. Then you also need glue, tools, paints, the books which are ridiculously expensive. Book+Codex = 160$. The cost for the small army just increased to 560$... not counting the tools.

However, sets like Deathstorm and Dark Vengeance are a good place to start… IF the army you want is in one of the sets. Even then, I would not recommend, say, the DV set for a new CSM player, unless all he cared about were pretty models. It’s not a good place to start an army. The DA side, on the other hand is amazing.

EDIT: To add to what ObiWayne said, my WM armies cost around 300$ (CAD) for normal-sized games, books included. My Convergence 35 pts army cost me 270$ with the book included. That’s normal-sized game.

Herzlos
11-12-2014, 17:06
Why is $300 (£190) ridiculous? Can we drill down into why spending a few hundred is so terrible?

£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

And throwing ferrarris off cliffs costs even more. Compare the starting costs to any other tabletop wargame, they are huge.


Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?
Because it is too high.


To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.
Except; [A] you need to drop £60 on 2 codex's to use properly, [B] it's no use if you don't want Blood Angels or Tyranids and [C] it's a limited edition.
Sure, it in itself is a great deal, but it's not a cheap entry. And that's only a small force, you'll need to buy more for a normal size game.

The other games I play are generally cheaper:
You can get started playing Malifaux for £40; Rules (£10), Starter box (£30), which includes the stat cards you need at gets you to about 25-30pts. Standard games are between 25-50pts, but you can get 25pt pick-up games easily enough.
Bolt Action can be got into for £65: £25 for the rulebook and £40 for a 500pt starter army. Games seem to be 500/1000/1500pt, but it's easy to get 500pt games and events. £70-80 gets you a boxed starter game with a full rulebook and 2 starter armies.

Not that they can't be more expensive; I've spent about £150 on a Mechanized Rifle company for Flames of War (1350pts), and need maybe another £40 to get it up to tournament level (1750pts), but that's acknowledged as one of the most expensive armies in the game. That same £220 (if you add £30 for the FoW book) doesn't get me anything particularly tournament ready in 40K.

Scaryscarymushroom
11-12-2014, 17:20
Why is $300 (£190) ridiculous? Can we drill down into why spending a few hundred is so terrible?

£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

Why should GW price themselves lower? Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?

To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.

1. Nobody's complaining about the price of Deathstorm. Deathstorm looks like good value. So does Dark Vengeance.

2. I bought a Wii U a few months ago for $300, and it came with software. I'm sure I've had more fun with it by now than I would have had (playing games) with a new 1,000 point army. On the other hand, there's not much of a point to painting your Wii U and putting it on a nice scenic base.

I'm going to continue to insist that GW is only good value for money if you are not focused on the gaming aspect of their products. Their art is (or was, before they switched all of the codex entries to photographs of their minis :eyebrows:) great, their setting is fantastic. Their models are hit-and-miss. The rules for their game are quite bad. Even if it's functional at low point values, you'll be lucky if you end up with a balanced play experience.

tristessa
11-12-2014, 17:45
My point is that if the cost of playing gw games is so high that you can't play, then so what? If there are cheaper alternatives out there, go play those instead.

There is no innate right to be able to play gw. Just like there's no innate right to be able to throw sports cars off a cliff.

It's your choice based on your circumstances whether you spend money on gw products or throwing sports cars off a cliff. Some people will (and do) and some don't (and wont't).

shelfunit.
11-12-2014, 18:02
£190 gets you very little in any hobby - It'll get you a poor quality bike. I'll get you a starter guitar and a tiny amp. It'll get you one big lego set and a few smaller ones. It'll get you about seven hours of driving lessons. It'll buy you a couple of months worth of fuel. It won't get you a current generation console. It'll buy you five current video games.

I have to ask - when doing a price comparison (for essentially, that's what this is), why do the pro-GW posters always, always, without fail, compare the starting costs of a GW to "other hobbies", rather than other manufacturers/games in the same hobby?


Why should GW price themselves lower?

Because, at current rates they will be out of business in a couple of years if they don't.


Why is there a feeling that the initial investment is too high?

Because people can look at how far $300 gets you in a GW game - basically an army book, the rules, a battalion and a character, and compare it to something like Mantic, where it gets you the rules/forces (free), and two full armies.


To really quibble - £75 gets you the rules and two armies you can play games with if you buy Deathstorm. There's your entry level hobby set.

If you happen to like those two forces, and fancy bumping it up by £60 you might even be able to play more than a couple of scenarios with it.

ObiWayneKenobi
11-12-2014, 18:15
Besides, I actually was looking at Deathstorm until I saw what else I would need to buy to make a viable army. Even including Deathstorm, I'd be looking at a couple of hundred to get a normal army for regular games down at the store, and that's with me picking Blood Angels.

I'm not denying that Deathstorm isn't a good starting place, it is. But they have ridiculous business strategies like the aforementioned 5 guys for $33 when 10 almost identical looking guys are $43 that just make me shake my head wondering what they are trying to accomplish.

For me at least, that puts a hold on starting 40k and has for a while now. I want to start it up again, but I'm not going to condone being ripped off because the company thinks I'm a sucker who won't notice.

winterdyne
11-12-2014, 18:32
Go price up what £190 gets you at Perry. It's a frightening amount of plastic crack.
Or £190 worth of x-wing. Or anything not GW.

ObiWayneKenobi
11-12-2014, 18:45
Go price up what £190 gets you at Perry. It's a frightening amount of plastic crack.
Or £190 worth of x-wing. Or anything not GW.

X-Wing is kind of weird because I find their things to be really high priced, but it's balanced by the fact that they are pre-assembled and painted so I literally just have to stick it onto a base and play, and because I only need a couple of them to make a force. Although I've only played two games of it (had a blast though).

But I agree on similar "model" companies. You get a ton of stuff for your money, while GW gives you not much. I would not have an issue if they did one of two things:

1) Keep prices the same, but take the game size back to 2nd or early 3rd edition so you need to buy less to have a good sized army. If you want to field tons of stuff, play a higher points game but that way it's easier for a new player to get to the "normal" game mark without going overboard on money spent. I'd honestly do this approach since it goes hand in hand with the notion of redeveloping the rules to fit various scales, from small to large, which is something else I think GW needs to do in order to ensure their longterm stability. One size fits all isn't working properly since a smaller scale game has different needs than a larger one, and while a company sized game is closer to a battalion sized game, they are not the same. 40k tries to do what is basically squad, company and battalion, and can't do it properly. There really needs to be three versions of the rules for the different scales but using the same figures. They can even have all the books in one thing. Something like.. Warhammer 40k: Kill Team (Very small, skirmish level with a few guys up to let's say a squad or two, 2nd edition 40k size, maybe no vehicles even but walkers could be okay), Warhammer 40k: Eternal War (regular game, few squads up to company level, rules basically like Bolt Action which IMHO is a better 40k than 40k), Warhammer 40k: Apocalypse (large, battalion sized conflicts with more abstracted rules for ease of play and so games don't take forever)

2) Offer more for what you get, e.g. no 5 guys in a box it should be at least 10 or even 20 for things like Guard, Nids and Orks who tend to field even more. You still pay a lot, but you stop "double dipping" where you need to buy two boxes to make up a single unit.

Avian
11-12-2014, 19:09
Great. Now we have TWO pricing feedback threads. What was wrong with a couple of thread per year when the financial reports came out? Who was the respected member of the community who came up with this 'brilliant' idea?

ObiWayneKenobi
11-12-2014, 19:12
Great. Now we have TWO pricing feedback threads. What was wrong with a couple of thread per year when the financial reports came out? Who was the respected member of the community who came up with this 'brilliant' idea?

The difference I think is this is more general talking about their business, not the prices in particular. So prices can be referenced as it relates to their business strategy (as I did above), but not just general "This is $30 and that's too much" talk which is for the other thread. It has to be in the context of pricing as a business strategy, not just prices being terrible.

Wayshuba
11-12-2014, 19:27
GW is using it as an excuse. Real currency fluctuation during the period between USD and GBP was around 8% and only accounts for about 40% of sales. GW is warning of a 13% decline in operating profit and trying to blame it on currency fluctuation. That being said, revenue would have to remain constant at 60.5m pounds for that to be the case. Based on past operating profit to gross revenues and backing out exceptional costs from the previous statement, it appears GW most likely will be declining another 10%-12% in revenue this period - yet again.

The double digit declines are heading non-stop at this point and only starting to accelerate. We all know where this is eventually going to head.

MiyamatoMusashi
11-12-2014, 19:31
To be honest, I'm not finding this thread helpful. New report out? There's a thread, we know about it. Then after a while it stops; six months later, another (different) report, another (different) thread, something else to discuss.

Now it's just one thread, and when it highlights as having new posts we don't know if it's just more of the usual, or actual news. And being both general in scope and pinned in nature - ie. not directly tied to any given event - it's just going to crossover with the other one.

I don't really see the benefit TBH.

Katastrophe
11-12-2014, 19:41
My point is that if the cost of playing gw games is so high that you can't play, then so what? If there are cheaper alternatives out there, go play those instead.

There is no innate right to be able to play gw. Just like there's no innate right to be able to throw sports cars off a cliff.

It's your choice based on your circumstances whether you spend money on gw products or throwing sports cars off a cliff. Some people will (and do) and some don't (and wont't).

This particular attitude, which is likely pervasive within GW management is exactly why other companies are taking their marketshare. If they believe they are a luxury good with inelastic pricing constraints then they will see hobbyist and gamers buy something other than GW products. New gamers will purchase all the other games listed by other posters in this thread rather than purchase GW models and game books. Vets will move to other games where there dollars and gaming experience get more mileage and still play GW games with their existing models rather than buy new ones.

No one says that playing GW games is a right but no one is also going to throw good money after bad when dealing with GW if they are not getting good value for the money spent. With alternative games (being significantly cheaper in terms of rules and armybooks) and models (getting better and in line with GW quality) become more available, GW will continue to lose marketshare, revenue and profit and find it more difficult to get players to come back.

Their current perceived strategy for years has been lose people, raise prices on the people they have. The problem now is that they have raised prices about as high as they can and the unintended consequence of those price increases have been to make the cost of entry for prospective new gamers exorbitant, the result of which is to make new gamers explore other games instead of GW games. If you cannot understand how that means that GWs prices are a problem in light of alternative other wargames I'm not sure that I can explain it any simpler.

BFalcon
11-12-2014, 19:43
GW is using it as an excuse. Real currency fluctuation during the period between USD and GBP was around 8% and only accounts for about 40% of sales. GW is warning of a 13% decline in operating profit and trying to blame it on currency fluctuation. That being said, revenue would have to remain constant at 60.5m pounds for that to be the case. Based on past operating profit to gross revenues and backing out exceptional costs from the previous statement, it appears GW most likely will be declining another 10%-12% in revenue this period - yet again.

The double digit declines are heading non-stop at this point and only starting to accelerate. We all know where this is eventually going to head.

Yep - they drastically need to re-engage with their customer base and fast or they'll be find it harder to recover. Dropping prices on some of their more headscratching pricing decisions might also help... they need to turn warehouse stock into sales ASAP... sales and price adjustments are the best way to do this.

Katastrophe
11-12-2014, 19:53
GW is using it as an excuse. Real currency fluctuation during the period between USD and GBP was around 8% and only accounts for about 40% of sales. GW is warning of a 13% decline in operating profit and trying to blame it on currency fluctuation. That being said, revenue would have to remain constant at 60.5m pounds for that to be the case. Based on past operating profit to gross revenues and backing out exceptional costs from the previous statement, it appears GW most likely will be declining another 10%-12% in revenue this period - yet again.

The double digit declines are heading non-stop at this point and only starting to accelerate. We all know where this is eventually going to head.

Well, honestly, I think that they will find themselves a reprieve once they no longer have to honor Hobbit/LoTR requirements. They may be able to regain some advantages associated with their cost cutting efforts while simultaneously diverting production facilities/overhead/distribution/etc back to the 2 main lines, and possibly even use some capital to produce new games/models which may be currently suffering due to constraint from required Hobbit/LoTR ongoing production.

It would be interesting to know what the revenue and costs associated purely with Hobbit/LoTR is relative to the whole of GW. I assume that this will be the last year (2015) they are required to make any games/models related to that license. I can't imagine they will produce anything but a final War of the 5 Armies game set and some models and then just let it die.


Yep - they drastically need to re-engage with their customer base and fast or they'll be find it harder to recover. Dropping prices on some of their more headscratching pricing decisions might also help... they need to turn warehouse stock into sales ASAP... sales and price adjustments are the best way to do this.

None of that will happen. That is counter to their whole identity. Lowering prices would be tantamount to admitting that the product is overpriced as is or worse that the competition has forced them to change their model. They do neither. So their only alternative would be to offer something at the same cost/value that exists now but that will have the new shiny feel. Tau and Ogre Kingdoms were their last attempts at this and it was moderately successful. Now I suspect they will massively redesign their current model ranges in WFB and keep offering more and more new big kits for 40K. From their view, they likely see those as good sellers (since they tend to sell out) but only in limited runs.

AlexHolker
11-12-2014, 20:42
My point is that if the cost of playing gw games is so high that you can't play, then so what? If there are cheaper alternatives out there, go play those instead.
Telling your customers to get lost is not a sane strategy. And these were GW customers, back when GW was actually growing.

frozenwastes
11-12-2014, 22:03
My point is that if the cost of playing gw games is so high that you can't play, then so what? If there are cheaper alternatives out there, go play those instead.

There is no innate right to be able to play gw. Just like there's no innate right to be able to throw sports cars off a cliff.

This thread isn't about the rights of gamers, but about the business strategy and health of Games Workshop. As to your question of "so what?" the answer is quite simply that people have indeed been going elsewhere and GW still has declining revenue and profit. Even after they did a massive amount of restructuring to lower their costs of operating, their operating income still went down. Just think about that. All the job cuts and closing of entire national divisions and the end result is that that they still made less after operating expenses. Those types of restructuring are supposed to protect margins and make the company more profitable, not less.

Something is wrong.



Because, at current rates they will be out of business in a couple of years if they don't.

I don't believe this is the case at all. I think they'll continue to decline, continue to close stores and eventually barely be profitable. All while giving up more and more market share to their competition. I don't think they'll go under. They have existing credit relationships and can borrow money to cover operating expenses for at least a few years. It would take a truly catastrophic revenue shock to put them under. I don't think they've alienated enough of their true believers for that point to have arrived.


GW is using it as an excuse. Real currency fluctuation during the period between USD and GBP was around 8% and only accounts for about 40% of sales. GW is warning of a 13% decline in operating profit and trying to blame it on currency fluctuation. That being said, revenue would have to remain constant at 60.5m pounds for that to be the case. Based on past operating profit to gross revenues and backing out exceptional costs from the previous statement, it appears GW most likely will be declining another 10%-12% in revenue this period - yet again.

I'm sure Kirby will write an entertaining pre-amble about how the bad numbers are actually a good thing. I look forward to it.


The double digit declines are heading non-stop at this point and only starting to accelerate. We all know where this is eventually going to head.

The real interesting question will be when they have their profits completely vanish, will they prop up their dividend by borrowing money or will they be smart and stop overpaying dividends and actually have the capital to change direction? It would be hilarious if they go into a loss making year and then borrow money to cover their dividend and then go into another loss making year saddled with debt used to cover an unnecessary and unsustainable dividend ratio.

Reinholt
11-12-2014, 22:13
A few quick thoughts:

1 - For the mods, this thread is going to get cluttered and/or disjointed quickly as not every financial report release is going to touch on the same topics (unlike pricing). Could we have one general thread for GW business strategy, and one specific thread for whatever the most recent financial report is (kind of like white dwarf, where you can just blast the old one and create a new one each time)? I suspect that would stay a bit more organized and not devolve into six different discussions on different points talking past each other because there is only one place to have them.

2 - On the subject of GW's current state: this is basically what I have been predicting for years upon years now. Smaller sales volumes lead to genuine decay of customer base at some point, and that creates a self-sustaining cycle towards even smaller sales volumes. Nobody who is sane and familiar with GW's reports and industry data believes GW is growing their market share at this point. The problem is that I've seen no indication from GW they understand what the core problems are. Nothing they are doing right now is meaningful enough to change this trend. It's like watching a train heading off a cliff in very, very slow motion. So to be clear, I'm not predicting the imminent death of GW. I am predicting their eventual death or takeover if they don't change, but eventual can easily be 5+ years or longer in corporation time.

AlexHolker
11-12-2014, 22:39
The real interesting question will be when they have their profits completely vanish, will they prop up their dividend by borrowing money or will they be smart and stop overpaying dividends and actually have the capital to change direction? It would be hilarious if they go into a loss making year and then borrow money to cover their dividend and then go into another loss making year saddled with debt used to cover an unnecessary and unsustainable dividend ratio.
You left out option #3: they kill the company before it gets to that point. At the moment, the management of GW is deliberately cannibalising the company to feed the dividend - a company can do nothing but shrink if more value is being extracted from the company than is being accrued as profit. Once profits completely vanish, allowing the company to continue operating no longer brings money into the system, which means it is not increasing the total amount of money available to Kirby & Co.

To use an imperfect analogy, Kirby has a cow, and her name is Games Workshop. He is currently milking the cow so much that it is actively deleterious to the cow's health, but so far he's still getting milk out of the cow faster than the cow is losing condition from being overmilked. When that is no longer the case he isn't going to stop and see if the cow stops dying, he's going to send her to the butchers, and convert what's left of the value of the cow into a lump sum payment.

Scaryscarymushroom
12-12-2014, 01:35
I don't believe this is the case at all. I think they'll continue to decline, continue to close stores and eventually barely be profitable. All while giving up more and more market share to their competition. I don't think they'll go under. They have existing credit relationships and can borrow money to cover operating expenses for at least a few years. It would take a truly catastrophic revenue shock to put them under. I don't think they've alienated enough of their true believers for that point to have arrived.

GW's not going to die until they become insolvent and their creditors come knocking. Even if it happened, it is a long. long. way. off. As of the last financial report, they've got 55 million Pounds Sterling left to squander before their assets and liabilities balance out. I agree with you that they won't go under unless something very serious and unexpected happens to their revenue. But despite their existing credit relationships, I doubt they'd take out loans just to keep the lights on.

More likely, they will continue cost-cutting to maintain a positive cashflow, until they've substantially shrunk in size. If their revenue continues to shrink, it means they've got less demand, so less to manufacture, which means less jobs to do. HQ can be relocated to a smaller building, Bugman's Bar can close, GW's stores can close, unprofitable armies can be eliminated from stock (and from the games), tooling machinery can be sold, people can be let go...

And then GW might become a small operation that is really good at catering to a small group of enthusiasts: people who enjoy collecting, gaming, and model painting exactly the way that GW does it. They can stay profitable, but their assets and liabilities will both shrink, which means their share price will drop. But they'll still be around, claiming to make the "best fantasy miniatures in the world (http://investor.games-workshop.com/our-business-model/)." (although IMO that title currently belongs to a number of individual sculptors, and not to any one company.)

See, I'm wondering if another company would really want them. Fantasy Flight/Asmodee might. I imagine that if it got to the point where GW was just another garage company, the size of Wyrd Games (or smaller), then the only assets of any value would be the goodwill and the IP. A third party could purchase those without buying the company outright. Though, if it did, that's when GW would die.


You left out option #3: they kill the company before it gets to that point. At the moment, the management of GW is deliberately cannibalising the company to feed the dividend - a company can do nothing but shrink if more value is being extracted from the company than is being accrued as profit. Once profits completely vanish, allowing the company to continue operating no longer brings money into the system, which means it is not increasing the total amount of money available to Kirby & Co.

No need to wait for profits to vanish. Once owner's equity (assets + liabilities) starts to slide backwards, then it's time to kill the cow. But there are problems with this, and hoops to jump through. If they really wanted to declare a voluntary dissolution, then the shareholders would take all the equity.

They'd need to hold a general shareholder's meeting. 75% of those in attendance would need to vote for dissolution(source) (http://www.shareholderrights.co.uk/RightsOfAShareHolder/75.html). So, all those trust funds that own 5-10% of the company would need to be in general agreement that the company is worth less than the sum of its parts. And if equity started shrinking fast enough, and if the shareholders were paying attention, they might agree to dissolve. But, a voluntary dissolution also needs to be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors (source) (https://www.gov.uk/liquidate-your-company/members-voluntary-liquidation).

There are currently 5 members on the board. 3 of them would need to vote in favor of dissolution. This most likely wouldn't happen, because it would put all five of them out of a job. The only director who would have an incentive to do this would be Tom Kirby (he would get something like 1% of the equity, because he's a 1% shareholder). Roundtree has something like a 0.05% interest in the company, so if they did it tomorrow, he'd get about 1 month's salary. Kirby himself would only get a little more than 1 year's salary. Even Tom Kirby doesn't have enough shares to form a retirement cushion. Not really much of a motive to kill the company, when he could just keep giving himself £400,000 every year.

Herzlos
12-12-2014, 08:50
They can only shrink so far with such an expensive upper management. I don't imagine Kirby or not-Kirby would be happy running a 5-man business park operation.


My point is that if the cost of playing gw games is so high that you can't play, then so what? If there are cheaper alternatives out there, go play those instead.

Lots of people do, and that's why GW is suffering. If GW was still growing at LOTR boom rates, I'd agree with you, but since by all accounts it's shrinking pretty rapidly, there's something very wrong happening and that attitude is part of it.

Can they do anything to keep the customers that are leaving for their competition? Definitely. Will they? Probably not, because as far as I can tell, they aren't interested in finding out what to do.

Ghal Maraz
12-12-2014, 09:46
Well, honestly, I think that they will find themselves a reprieve once they no longer have to honor Hobbit/LoTR requirements. They may be able to regain some advantages associated with their cost cutting efforts while simultaneously diverting production facilities/overhead/distribution/etc back to the 2 main lines, and possibly even use some capital to produce new games/models which may be currently suffering due to constraint from required Hobbit/LoTR ongoing production.

It would be interesting to know what the revenue and costs associated purely with Hobbit/LoTR is relative to the whole of GW. I assume that this will be the last year (2015) they are required to make any games/models related to that license. I can't imagine they will produce anything but a final War of the 5 Armies game set and some models and then just let it die.
.

I really, really don't see The Hobbit as blocking that many resources.
A few FC minis in a year is really nothing.
The production limit is set by the plastic products.

Finecast certainly could put a minimum stretch on the production runs, but really not so much.

frozenwastes
12-12-2014, 09:59
You left out option #3: they kill the company before it gets to that point.

This requires some sort of revenue shock. Which is very unlikely given GW is intentionally reducing volumes and slightly under producing while drastically protecting their margins. Some sort of big project would have to fail to sell well. After so many price hikes on new releases, I think GW can very accurately predict sales and safely under-produces to avoid carrying dead stock.

So unless they make a mistake, the only real source of such a shock would be a network effect cascading failure. If the pricing of new kits, GW's policies and the quality of their game causes the larger gaming community to reach small enough numbers that participation in GW supplied hobbies suddenly dips down. So far it's happened locally in many places, but to get a true revenue shock, they'd have to have a collapse of their player base be more universal. Wargaming is a social hobby and in any given area the next person that quits might be a driving force in their local community and suddenly GW gaming in the area just dies off. This happening in multiple regions at once could be where a surprise revenue drop could come from.



More likely, they will continue cost-cutting to maintain a positive cashflow, until they've substantially shrunk in size. If their revenue continues to shrink, it means they've got less demand, so less to manufacture, which means less jobs to do. HQ can be relocated to a smaller building, Bugman's Bar can close, GW's stores can close, unprofitable armies can be eliminated from stock (and from the games), tooling machinery can be sold, people can be let go...

This is the future for GW I see as well. A slow, managed, decline into greater and greater irrelevancy.


The only director who would have an incentive to do this would be Tom Kirby (he would get something like 1% of the equity, because he's a 1% shareholder).

6.7%

http://investor.games-workshop.com/shareholder-statistics/


Even Tom Kirby doesn't have enough shares to form a retirement cushion. Not really much of a motive to kill the company, when he could just keep giving himself £400,000 every year.

Kirby is a multi-millionaire just from his LOTR bonuses back in 2004. If GW were to vanish tomorrow, he's going to have a retirement most can only dream of.

winterdyne
12-12-2014, 10:18
I'm interested what the response to FFG's Imperial Assault will be.

For those that aren't aware, IA appears on first glance to simply be 'Star Wars Warhammer Quest or Descent - 28-35mm (ish) unpainted minis'. On it's own, that's attractive, BUT:
It also has a skirmish game (board pieces make the 'map / terrain') based on boosters with cards in (yep, just like the X-wing boosters are arranged to make you want to buy even the stuff you have little intent of using). This appears to be geared for tournament play.

Price wise, pretty steep (but fully fledged) 'starter' (about £80), with boosters (single 'hero' / 3 'grunt's) most likely going to roll in at about £15-£20 (including all the rules and a few upgrade cards unique to each booster).

It's a product which has offers a DIRECT challenge to the typical 40k mindset, and exists in a similar price range. Production quality from first looks seems to be extremely high.

If this goes well, I don't think it'll be long before FFG won't bother with licensing GW IP's any more.

MiyamatoMusashi
12-12-2014, 10:40
I'm interested what the response to FFG's Imperial Assault will be.

For those that aren't aware, IA appears on first glance to simply be 'Star Wars Warhammer Quest or Descent - 28-35mm (ish) unpainted minis'. On it's own, that's attractive, BUT:
It also has a skirmish game (board pieces make the 'map / terrain') based on boosters with cards in (yep, just like the X-wing boosters are arranged to make you want to buy even the stuff you have little intent of using). This appears to be geared for tournament play.

I hadn't realised it was a standalone skirmish game as well. "Star Wars Descent" was already tempting enough. I'll take a closer look... though the price is worryingly high, especially for the boosters. (Damn GW if they've set price expectations so high that everyone else decides to match it).


If this goes well, I don't think it'll be long before FFG won't bother with licensing GW IP's any more.

I wouldn't go that far. I'm sure FFG's GW stuff makes them some profit, or else they wouldn't have bothered making so many different games. (Who does Blood Bowl Team Manager appeal to? I honestly have no idea, but presumably someone bought it or they'd have stopped there). It would seem a bit odd to throw away a license that still makes you money, especially if you're still relying on someone else's IP to replace it.

Maybe if FFG had created their own IP that was dominating their sales, they might ditch GW (much like GW ditched D&D when Warhammer and 40K took off); but not if they're just a license holder. FFG putting everything into Star Wars would be like GW dropping Warhammer in favour of LotR. Might have seemed tempting a decade ago, wouldn't look like such a smart idea now.

Herzlos
12-12-2014, 10:52
Maybe if FFG had created their own IP that was dominating their sales, they might ditch GW (much like GW ditched D&D when Warhammer and 40K took off); but not if they're just a license holder. FFG putting everything into Star Wars would be like GW dropping Warhammer in favour of LotR. Might have seemed tempting a decade ago, wouldn't look like such a smart idea now.

If they'd invested WHF money into LoTR 10 years ago, how much stronger would LoTR be now?

If FFG are struggling to keep up with demand on SW games, why would they redirect effort towards GW based games which are becoming less and less relevant.

MiyamatoMusashi
12-12-2014, 11:51
If they'd invested WHF money into LoTR 10 years ago, how much stronger would LoTR be now?

How successful are the Hobbit movies compared to LotR?

Granted, GW have made approximately zero effort to maintain LotR in the years since, or to sell The Hobbit models and game now. So I get your point - they could have pushed it. Would it have worked? We'll never know for sure, but I don't think so. For most people, LotR was a period of a few years where those movies were a cultural phenomenon. Then it stopped. It's no longer got people's interest, the Hobbit movies have failed to reignite that interest, and (while arguably Warhammer itself has hardly been a big hit over the last decade) if GW had bet the farm on LotR, they'd probably have lost heavily.


If FFG are struggling to keep up with demand on SW games, why would they redirect effort towards GW based games which are becoming less and less relevant.

I already tried to explain, evidently not very clearly. Firstly, Star Wars can phase in and out of popularity, just as LotR has. Secondly, and much more importantly - it's not FFG's IP. When you're licensing other people's IP, you can't afford to throw everything behind one of them because you're at the mercy of the IP holder. What happens if Disney/LucasArts decide to bring everything in-house? They can see money being made there, after all; why not keep it all for themselves, instead of taking only the license fee?

To protect against this possibility, FFG need to either create their own IP (as GW did with Warhammer in the 80s) or, much easier, spread their bets - so keep licensing from Disney/LucasArts, GW, and the myriad other IP holders they license from. We can infer that the GW license makes them money because they've done so much with it, so it's probably worth holding on to. They can't risk saying, "well Star Wars is successful, let's drop everything else and focus on that" because (a) it's successful now, who knows about five years from now? and (b) it's not their property.

One need only cast a glance at the videogames industry and see what happened to the likes of Eurocom and Blitz... huge developers, but with no significant IP of their own. Then the licenses they were relying on didn't come through, and they went out of business practically overnight. FFG would do well to avoid risking the same fate, and since they don't seem to be building their own successful IP, spreading their bets on licenses (not just Star Wars, even if it's most successful for them at the moment) seems the only sensible option.

EmperorNorton
12-12-2014, 12:57
(Who does Blood Bowl Team Manager appeal to? I honestly have no idea, but presumably someone bought it or they'd have stopped there).

I bought it, because hey, I like Blood Bowl. As it turns out, Blood Bowl Team Manager is nothing like Blood Bowl, but it is a very enjoyable game in its own right.
All the games FFG has done with the GW license are really good. They offer you the same flavour for a lot less money and effort.

MiyamatoMusashi
12-12-2014, 13:09
I bought it, because hey, I like Blood Bowl. As it turns out, Blood Bowl Team Manager is nothing like Blood Bowl, but it is a very enjoyable game in its own right.
All the games FFG has done with the GW license are really good. They offer you the same flavour for a lot less money and effort.

I've not played BBTM as you can probably tell, but I have played 40KRPG (brilliant), WFRP (2nd Ed - brilliant but not originally by FFG, 3rd Ed - dreadful), Relic (awful, but fantastic models) and Chaos In The Old World (good fun for a short time, not been back to it since).

So I'm not sure I'd agree they're all really good, but some are, certainly... and more to the point, they probably each appeal to different people. Which is fine. They're not my personal game designing company, their audience is more than just me, if they make a game I'm not interested in but other people are, good luck to them. (Funnily enough many of us wish GW still did that, instead of a choice of just two).

And, funnily enough, just as making lots of different games within the same IP means they can offer something for everyone... making games for lots of different IPs has the same effect. Just as they don't need me to want to buy BBTM as long as you do, and it can still be a success; they also don't need both of us to buy X-Wing as long as someone else does, and it (and their GW IP games) can both still be successful. Why pick only one?

Avian
12-12-2014, 13:46
How successful are the Hobbit movies compared to LotR?
About 25% less.

That's noticeable, sure, but there's no reason why a company who actually wanted to make something out of the license (that is to say, someone other than GW) could have made a reasonable profit. Assuming New Line's licensing fees weren't silly, that is. I don't know anything about that.

winterdyne
12-12-2014, 14:18
I think that's probably the key thing that GW miss now though - lots of games, same IP. Some hardcore fans will buy everything, some will focus on one.

Herzlos
12-12-2014, 17:01
How successful are the Hobbit movies compared to LotR?

Granted, GW have made approximately zero effort to maintain LotR in the years since, or to sell The Hobbit models and game now. So I get your point - they could have pushed it. Would it have worked? We'll never know for sure, but I don't think so. For most people, LotR was a period of a few years where those movies were a cultural phenomenon. Then it stopped. It's no longer got people's interest, the Hobbit movies have failed to reignite that interest, and (while arguably Warhammer itself has hardly been a big hit over the last decade) if GW had bet the farm on LotR, they'd probably have lost heavily.

It's not as if the Warhammer World isn't a pretty major rip-off of Tolkiens Middle Earth as it is, and there's almost infinite variation there too. There's no reason (beyond the Tolkien estate) that the current WHF couldn't have been set in Middle Earth. Lord Of The Rings will always be more popular and mainstream than Warhammer, it was long before the films, and it will be long after (I wonder how many people haven't heard of Tolkien/Middle Earth?). The reason the LOTR game has tanked is because they didn't capitalize on it and just let it stagnate, and the reason the Hobbit has tanked is because it's super expensive and little has happened in it that really fits a mass wargame; the first 2 films were essentially just the Dwarves running away from stuff.

But there's endless extra options and even timescales - GW could have expanded games into the 4 (?) previous ages, before the elder races started to fade away, the first encounters with Sauron, and so on. They could have created a Mordheim game set in an old city in Middle Earth, same with Warhammer Quest.

I assume they always saw it as a quick gateway into Warhammer and never really concidered it being a thing of it's own.




I already tried to explain, evidently not very clearly. Firstly, Star Wars can phase in and out of popularity, just as LotR has. Secondly, and much more importantly - it's not FFG's IP. When you're licensing other people's IP, you can't afford to throw everything behind one of them because you're at the mercy of the IP holder. What happens if Disney/LucasArts decide to bring everything in-house? They can see money being made there, after all; why not keep it all for themselves, instead of taking only the license fee?

I'm only 30 so can't remember the original launches, but hasn't Star Wars always been massive, easily the biggest Sci-Fi IP out there, again with an infinite scope for anything within the universe?
I know it's always been massive amongst sci-fi nerds whilst also being a household name.
Sure there's always risks with having all of your eggs in one basket, but FFG are spreading a bit wider, since they've now got the Star Wars and D&D Dragon age games, and some GW stuff. I don't think Disney really has any interest in creating games of that scale; they don't have the expertise for it either, so I suspect if Disney wanted to do it in house they'd likely just buy FFG and let them keep doing it.

Scaryscarymushroom
12-12-2014, 17:15
6.7%

http://investor.games-workshop.com/shareholder-statistics/


My mistake. This makes it much more likely that the board of directors would vote to dissolve the company, if it came to that.


Maybe if FFG had created their own IP that was dominating their sales, they might ditch GW (much like GW ditched D&D when Warhammer and 40K took off); but not if they're just a license holder. FFG putting everything into Star Wars would be like GW dropping Warhammer in favour of LotR. Might have seemed tempting a decade ago, wouldn't look like such a smart idea now.

Just going to point out that FFG abandoning someone else's IP in favor of a different IP that doesn't belong to them is a different scenario than GW dropping Warhammer in favor of LOTR. I don't know if FFG is similarly situated enough that you can draw a fair analogy. FFG's most productive IP (Arkham Horror) is based completely on stories that entered the public domain about four years ago. I don't know enough about their other IPs (Tannhauser, Android/Netrunner, Descent) to say if they're even original.

MiyamatoMusashi
12-12-2014, 17:30
About 25% less.

That's noticeable, sure, but there's no reason why a company who actually wanted to make something out of the license (that is to say, someone other than GW) could have made a reasonable profit. Assuming New Line's licensing fees weren't silly, that is. I don't know anything about that.

There is some speculation that higher fees from New Line (wanting a bigger slice of the pie) is what pushed GW's truly ridiculous LotR prices quite as high as they are.

Possible, though to me it seems just as likely that GW set the prices that high because they just felt like it. We may never know for sure.


I think that's probably the key thing that GW miss now though - lots of games, same IP. Some hardcore fans will buy everything, some will focus on one.

Yeah, agreed.

Having lots of games gives you the chance to reach a wider audience, gives you a longer life before you start repeating yourself (9th Edition of Warhammer, anyone? Fourth different Space Marine Tactical Squad box? Or a brand new game entirely? Which is likely to be freshest?), and if just one of them is a breakout hit, you win big - Rovio made lots of videogames before Angry Birds, then suddenly found they were gajillionaires.

AlexHolker
12-12-2014, 17:40
Having lots of games gives you the chance to reach a wider audience, gives you a longer life before you start repeating yourself (9th Edition of Warhammer, anyone? Fourth different Space Marine Tactical Squad box? Or a brand new game entirely? Which is likely to be freshest?), and if just one of them is a breakout hit, you win big - Rovio made lots of videogames before Angry Birds, then suddenly found they were gajillionaires.
They still haven't made plastic Sisters of Battle. If they wanted to get out of the rut of making yet another plastic Space Marine Dreadnought and inventing new and ugly units that nobody asked for, they still have room to do so. And if they'd done it five years ago, I even would have bought them.

English 2000
12-12-2014, 21:14
Having lots of games gives you the chance to reach a wider audience, gives you a longer life before you start repeating yourself (9th Edition of Warhammer, anyone? Fourth different Space Marine Tactical Squad box? Or a brand new game entirely? Which is likely to be freshest?), and if just one of them is a breakout hit, you win big - Rovio made lots of videogames before Angry Birds, then suddenly found they were gajillionaires.

Agreed that having many games means one might be a massive hit offsetting the losses from other games.

The problem is that after a flop like Dreadfleet they're likely a little gun shy (why they didn't just revive Man O War I'll never know).

They used to have many smaller games like you suggest, but they've all (for all intents and purposes) gone the way of the dodo as far as serious revenue generation goes. Mordheim, Necromunda, Bloodbowl, Space Marine/Epic, Man O War, War Masters, Battlefleet Gothic.

Not to mention collaborative projects to lure people into the hobby like Hero Quest, Space Crusade and Battle Masters.

You see, in order to convince them to make more games, you'd have to change them from "a model company" to a games company. That change can only come from the top. Until (unless) GW returns to its roots as a gaming company it will continue its downward slide. Sadly the powers that be just don't seem to understand that almost no one would buy space marines (or much else that they sell) without a game to use them in.

Voss
13-12-2014, 07:33
Agreed that having many games means one might be a massive hit offsetting the losses from other games.

The problem is that after a flop like Dreadfleet they're likely a little gun shy (why they didn't just revive Man O War I'll never know).
Man'o'War would have taken a lot of effort: they'd actually have to build an entire model range and support it. Given how GW operates, I'd suggest they were a lot more comfortable with the returns on dreadfleet than they would have been building Man'o'War up and maintaining it for X years assuming it was successful. Popping out a stand alone game with a limited number of pieces is something they can do pretty easily. Adding something to the production cycle long term? Eh. I'm not honestly sure they can anymore, at least not without investment, and at the time, they had just spent a fair chunk of change retooling for finecast. (Ooops)



They used to have many smaller games like you suggest, but they've all (for all intents and purposes) gone the way of the dodo as far as serious revenue generation goes.
The thing is, for serious revenue generation*, they have to put a lot into development and production. Sharply limited projects are (obviously from the release cycle of the last few years) what they want to do. With sales faltering, profits down and lots of general mucking about, I rather suspect they are all they can do. It is, I suspect, why the attempt to draw more interest in fantasy is largely a book project and the recent 40k codex releases are honestly on the small size (or, like GK, non-existent on the minis side). Instead its books, box sets that largely recycling old minis but just a few 'limited edition' models to draw sales. Heck, we've seen effectively 3 boxed sets for 7th edition, and barring... 4? models, it is all entirely old stuff.

*dodging the question, for a moment, of how many of those smaller games even touched the outer edge of 'serious revenue generation.' I doubt I'm going out on a limb by saying that Mordheim, Man O War and Warmaster never came close. Possibly Epic (over its lifetime of all the games under that umbrella), maaaybbee BFG, but I doubt it.

Not to mention collaborative projects to lure people into the hobby like Hero Quest, Space Crusade and Battle Masters.
Erg. Two of those three things were absolute rubbish, and likely hurt more than they helped.

English 2000
13-12-2014, 13:18
Erg. Two of those three things were absolute rubbish, and likely hurt more than they helped.

That's a matter of opinion. I greatly enjoyed playing Hero Quest and Battle Masters. Space Crusade never interested me that much but I've always preferred fantasy games to sci fi games.

As for hurting them, I find that doubtful. Those games were a gateway into the GW hobby for a lot of people who would have otherwise never heard of Warhammer.

That route no longer exists. I doubt many new players discovered 40k through Space Hulk, both runs were almost certainly snapped up by veterans.

We all know that GW needs to attract new players. That means gateway products like the old days or using existing things like Space Hulk, Storm Claw, Island of Blood etc and positioning then where the general public will be exposed to them (ala the way they used book stores like Chapters for LOTR).

I think that games such as BFG or Man O War can and should be supported. Those are the things that get veterans spending loss of money again. I have 6 fantasy armies totaling more than 30,000 points. I don't need to buy anything for the next few years to keep playing.

Man O War would bleed my wallet dry. I admit Man O War has a limited market and may not be the best example (it's just the one I want to see) . I suspect that a lot of people would start spending again if BFG made a comeback. My two fleets would come out of storage and I'd be buying new stuff. Sure it wouldn't be long term like 40k/fantasy but spins offs can be milked for a lot of money in a few years.

I'm using me as the example because it's the one I know best. While I don't represent the gaming community as a whole, many people in my area feel the same way. I'm sure of GW brought back BFG people would spend a lot in the short term.

ObiWayneKenobi
13-12-2014, 13:45
I am only me but HeroQuest got me started in D&D, which led me to get started in Warhammer. The problem now is there is no cheaper gateway. If Space Hulk wasn't limited for some insane reason, it would be like that. You buy Hulk and then you find out later that there's 40k which uses the same figures and you buy more and play. But instead there's nothing but a large startup cost.

The biggest cool factor when they had the old games was tying them all together. So you could have a grand campaign integrating BFG, Epic, 40k and even Necromunda to play out battles. That's something you can't do anymore either.

Their business strategy is clearly just to sell models for two games, but if they had any sense at all they would expand again so you can use those same models in different games, and vice versa. Even if somebody doesn't jump on 40k immediately, if they can play another game with the same models set in the same universe, it becomes more tempting to buy things here and there until they have enough to play a real game of 40k, rather than try to get them to buy a lot of things at first.

Sephillion
13-12-2014, 17:58
HeroQuest was a huge thing for me and many friends. It led us further and further into the realms of gaming when we were kids. It didn't lead me directly to Warhammer, because of money, but it exposed me to the Warhammer world and the game got my attention later.

Commissar Vaughn
13-12-2014, 19:18
Go price up what £190 gets you at Perry. It's a frightening amount of plastic crack.
Or £190 worth of x-wing. Or anything not GW.

For kicks I went to the perry site and did just that.
190 quid on the wars of the roses stuff -using the army deals you get 360 plastic infantry, 12 plastic cavalry, 9 metal commanders and 3 artillery pieces and crews.
For Napoleonics you'd get about the same- 336 infantry, 6 mounted commanders in metal, 2 guns, and adding 32 cavalry to that only takes you £4 over budget.

Enough plastic crack to make your paint brushes bleed...though of course, any true naps player will consider that 370-odd figures is barely enough for a skirmish game...

HelloKitty
14-12-2014, 22:58
So you could have a grand campaign integrating BFG, Epic, 40k and even Necromunda to play out battles. That's something you can't do anymore either.

We do that very thing today - though it requires having veterans in your group that have these systems still.

This saturday we kicked off our 2015 winter campaign in Badab which is a map campaign that features BFG, 40k, and skirmish (kill team) scale games. The only thing we aren't doing is EPIC just because only a few of us have armies for it.

https://baelsoubliette.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/forging-the-narrative-the-badab-war-begins-at-louisvillewargaming-com/

I really wish that tese systems were still supported though

ObiWayneKenobi
15-12-2014, 15:13
I touched on this in the State of the Tabletop thread but I think it's more suited here:

What personally bothers me, more than anything else, is that 40k had/has everything going for it to be king of the hill on its own merit as opposed to just tenure and investment of its players. But it seems that GW doesn't care or doesn't realize this, and instead constantly cuts corners on things to eke out short term profit rather than do things right and get ahead. Some things that spring to mind:

The figures for instance, are beautiful and really are (with some exceptions e.g. Pumbagore and the skull fetish) some of the best. But they charge really high amounts for using a cheap to produce material and have rules that encourage you to buy a lot, including things like cutting the number of figures per box in half so you have to buy double and not giving you all the options while also allowing no way other than buying a second box to get the missing options.

The game/lore is second to none, but hampered by a complete lack of balance, trying to add depth by randomizing as much as possible and not evolving the game to allow for tactics by making units more than just wound counters for the one or two good models. The game could be so much more and appeal to everybody, from cutthroat tournament players to a couple of guys playing out a grand campaign. Instead it really does neither of these things well as the casual/narrative player is hindered by lack of balance (and the narrative/collector type is more likely to pick what looks cool without caring that it's crap in the game) and the competitive types have to keep up with netlists.

The paint is amazing, with a great range.. and then they charge more than everybody else, give less, and according to rumors deliberately made containers that slowly dry out the more you open them, all to get you to pay more for less and more often. This one sticks in my craw especially, as I really like their paints but can't bring myself to pay that kind of money for so little. If they had 17mL dropper bottles like Vallejo or Army Painter, those other companies would never be able to sell their products because Citadel paints would be great value for money, come in a huge range and are almost universally available at game shops everywhere. Instead, they cut corners.

It's things like this that make me incredibly sad because I see what could have been. I see a GW that engages its customers on social media, writes balanced rules that cater to everybody and supports those rules, and makes incredibly miniatures that are appropriately priced and hobby tools that are a solid mix of budget and quality. But instead you have a company that doesn't engage at all and expects its fans to rabidly buy anything they make as soon as it comes out, even making virtually everything limited edition, writes rules that they have admited don't give any thought to balance at all and therefore hurts everybody, prices things very high compared to what you get/what you need, and offers ridiculously priced hobby tools that aren't good value at all and thinks that you'll buy it just because it has the Citadel logo on it.

Gonefishing
15-12-2014, 20:00
I'm no economist so this is more of a question then a statement, but given the sheer amount of new releases in terms of books and miniatures in the last 2 years (they have massively accelerated the release schedule) the fact that they are still losing money should be a point of obvious concern to them, shouldn't it?

The last 2 years have seen new 2 new editions of 40K, and the end times for fantasy, more codex releases then there were in the previous 5 years, data slates / supplements, a new army (knights), flyers, an expansion of the game in terms of allies/unbound/daemon summoning etc. to drive more sales, and FW has been made game legal (not to mention massive price rise per unit sold).

How much would profits have fallen if they weren't churning out such a constant stream of releases to boost sales? Then again, I suppose it could be argued that the constant churning out of new products at the expense of play testing, game play and the fluff, could be what is driving down sales even more.

Mike3791
16-12-2014, 01:19
I don't understand why people complain about price, look at the Warmachine kits.. 6 models for $30. Seems like all tabletop games are heading in that direction.

ObiWayneKenobi
16-12-2014, 04:16
I don't understand why people complain about price, look at the Warmachine kits.. 6 models for $30. Seems like all tabletop games are heading in that direction.

Value. You get more for your money in the context of WMH than GW where you often need to buy two boxes to make a single unit and then also need multiple units b


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mike3791
16-12-2014, 05:09
Value. You get more for your money in the context of WMH than GW where you often need to buy two boxes to make a single unit and then also need multiple units b


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I checked and compared some infantry prices, looks like with GW you save money per model. At the end of the day its the plastic that what your really paying for.

PP $30 for 6 minis, GW $50 for 20 minis.. GW wins for price. Maybe someone could do a chart for different model sizes and prices, because the perception that PP has more value$ per model is false.

frozenwastes
16-12-2014, 07:14
I think PP vs GW price might be better off in the other sticked thread. This one is about GW financial reports and business strategy. I'll now attempt to bring it back on topic and address your point at the same time:

The value that ObiWayneKenobi is talking about is in terms of utility as a game piece. GW's rules are meant to require large collections and they often make the individual miniature feel less valuable. This has to do with GW's focus on customers who don't really care about game play. If the rules are just an idea they can use to sell models and to get people to use as a framework for collecting, then GW can save money by not spending on design and development of rules. Instead they can spend on product development. The game designers at GW can just make up whatever, maybe get a game or two in on the weekend to test it out and that will be that. Even back in 2009 at Games Day UK, Jervis was talking about how two thirds of GW's customers never actually play games with their miniatures and that they see their core customer base as "craft hobbyists".

PP, in contrast, is about game experience first and models second. They started as a games company making adventures for D&D. They're just now figuring out how to do GW's style of plastics with their new battle engine being the first kit in this type of plastic.

Lots of people on these forums think GW would be better off if they catered to the gamers more and the "craft hobbyists" less. I'm not sure either way. If you can find the type of people who will buy miniatures without ever really getting around to putting them on a table top, you can probably keep those kind of people nicely segmented and spoon fed as customers. You can sell them glue, paint, brushes, etc., for triple the going rate. You can sell them codexes and supplements and keep them going on the treadmill of maybe playing someday. And if some of them actually do get things going on the table top, then great, they put together a large collection and spent a lot of money with GW in order to do so.

GW may have to continue to shrink to make this work though. They might need to crank the prices up even higher and accept a smaller slice of the wargaming pie in order to segment their core group of true believers into a direct sales revenue source sold on the idea of a game in order to have them buy miniatures.

Mike3791
16-12-2014, 07:41
I think PP vs GW price might be better off in the other sticked thread. This one is about GW financial reports and business strategy. I'll now attempt to bring it back on topic and address your point at the same time:

The value that ObiWayneKenobi is talking about is in terms of utility as a game piece. GW's rules are meant to require large collections and they often make the individual miniature feel less valuable. This has to do with GW's focus on customers who don't really care about game play. If the rules are just an idea they can use to sell models and to get people to use as a framework for collecting, then GW can save money by not spending on design and development of rules. Instead they can spend on product development. The game designers at GW can just make up whatever, maybe get a game or two in on the weekend to test it out and that will be that. Even back in 2009 at Games Day UK, Jervis was talking about how two thirds of GW's customers never actually play games with their miniatures and that they see their core customer base as "craft hobbyists".

PP, in contrast, is about game experience first and models second. They started as a games company making adventures for D&D. They're just now figuring out how to do GW's style of plastics with their new battle engine being the first kit in this type of plastic.

Lots of people on these forums think GW would be better off if they catered to the gamers more and the "craft hobbyists" less. I'm not sure either way. If you can find the type of people who will buy miniatures without ever really getting around to putting them on a table top, you can probably keep those kind of people nicely segmented and spoon fed as customers. You can sell them glue, paint, brushes, etc., for triple the going rate. You can sell them codexes and supplements and keep them going on the treadmill of maybe playing someday. And if some of them actually do get things going on the table top, then great, they put together a large collection and spent a lot of money with GW in order to do so.

GW may have to continue to shrink to make this work though. They might need to crank the prices up even higher and accept a smaller slice of the wargaming pie in order to segment their core group of true believers into a direct sales revenue source sold on the idea of a game in order to have them buy miniatures.

None of this is based off of actual cost. I'm talking about the cost of plastic per model, and you're talking about the cost of "feelings". Apples and oranges, not even close comparison.

frozenwastes
16-12-2014, 08:05
None of this is based off of actual cost. I'm talking about the cost of plastic per model, and you're talking about the cost of "feelings". Apples and oranges, not even close comparison.

This isn't the price thread. What you're talking about is better talked about here: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?209297-Games-Workshop-Pricing-Feedback-Thread&p=7334988#post7334988

What I'm talking about is GW concentrating on a segment of the market and how game development costs can be shifted onto product development. Rehashing the same rules as previous editions (the amount of copy-pasted text in the latest version of 40k from the one before it is quite impressive) and putting the least effort possible (into making sure the game experience is good) saves GW money. Some here would say it costs them money in lost sales. It probably does, but GW doesn't want sales that can't be had under their current plan of margin protection through high prices and massive cost cutting.

As for "feelings" you should probably ask yourself why someone would say PP offers better value even if their per-figure prices are higher. The people with these feelings you are dismissing are making purchasing decisions that impact GW's financial status and the future player base of GW's games by going with competitor's products.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-12-2014, 08:25
None of this is based off of actual cost. I'm talking about the cost of plastic per model, and you're talking about the cost of "feelings". Apples and oranges, not even close comparison.

Cost of plastic? Fine. Try comparing to the Perrys. Or just go and read the pricing feedback thread.

General guideline for discussion: if you're offered an argument that demonstrates why you're wrong, dismissing it as "apples and oranges" does nothing to support your case. For a start, both are fruit.

Herzlos
16-12-2014, 09:14
I checked and compared some infantry prices, looks like with GW you save money per model. At the end of the day its the plastic that what your really paying for.

PP $30 for 6 minis, GW $50 for 20 minis.. GW wins for price. Maybe someone could do a chart for different model sizes and prices, because the perception that PP has more value$ per model is false.

There aren't many GW mini's that are $50 for 20 anymore. Which ones did you find?
Blood Angel Tactical Squad is $43 for 10, which is just under the PP price you quoted ($4.30/each for GW Vs $5 each for PP), the terminators are ~$45 for 5, so $9 each). I thought pretty much everything else was now in boxes of 10?

AGC
16-12-2014, 10:26
How much would profits have fallen if they weren't churning out such a constant stream of releases to boost sales?

To emphasize this point even more: ex-GW staff have all consistently told us that their business is driven by new releases, products selling best in the first few months after release with Space Marines and paint being the only ones to make any significant sales beyond that point.

Given that GW have doubled their release schedule in the last year we should have expected their revenue to increase by a similar factor, instead it fell 8%.

Inquisitor Kallus
16-12-2014, 10:55
Erg. Two of those three things were absolute rubbish, and likely hurt more than they helped.

Absolute rubbish? Hardly


Ironically Space Crusade was the big thing that got me into the hobby to start with ( I never had Heroquest, though played it a few times). A number of other people got into the hobby/40k through SC. It was basically a sci fi HQ but different enough that you could own both and not feel that the two products were the same game with different models.
Battlemasters wasnt as popular as the other two but kind of bridged the gap into more traditional wargaming. It was simple but could be pretty entertaining if you got into it as a child and had a mass of miniatures, it really felt like having proper battles.
Heroquest was definitely the best game out of the 3 though.

zoggin-eck
16-12-2014, 11:09
Ironically Space Crusade was the big thing that got me into the hobby to start with

How is that ironic? That was the exact purpose of the game (besides sell some and make money, kind of goes without saying).

(I do agree that Voss' comment is odd).

Liber
16-12-2014, 11:17
None of this is based off of actual cost. I'm talking about the cost of plastic per model, and you're talking about the cost of "feelings". Apples and oranges, not even close comparison.



You're really missing the point.


Nobody here is talking about opinions.

http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Dark-Elves-Witch-Elves

Ever hear or seen anyone include a unit of 10 Witch Elves in an army? I haven't.

Elite infantry from almost every army is the best example to use to explain GW vs PP value. You throw down 40-60 dollars on anything in the PP range, and you can guarantee that you can field it as is. You drop 40 bucks on a unit of greatswords, and you still need to do that 3 more times for your deathstar. 160 dollars for one unit. Keep in mind that deathstar is of course ONE unit out of an army of expensive purchases.


PP games are played at a smaller scale by culture (as in what tournaments set and is the norm in casual games) and design.

Warhammer (40k as well) is played at a larger scale by culture and design. This is where problems arise. You can't just plop down 120 for a battalion box and go to a store expecting a game - nobody (hardly) will have a list that small.


Now I've been thinking for a long time that the topic of the Fantasy culture (as pertains to standard and commonly seen army sizes) would deserve a thread of its own. If we could make a conscious effort to scale down it might help the game. That said, it looks like GW might be scaling it down for us at this point. Wait and see for 9th I guess.


Edit - Just want to mention that I don't play any PP games and have no plans on starting.

shelfunit.
16-12-2014, 11:39
Absolute rubbish? Hardly


Ironically Space Crusade was the big thing that got me into the hobby to start with ( I never had Heroquest, though played it a few times). A number of other people got into the hobby/40k through SC. It was basically a sci fi HQ but different enough that you could own both and not feel that the two products were the same game with different models.
Battlemasters wasnt as popular as the other two but kind of bridged the gap into more traditional wargaming. It was simple but could be pretty entertaining if you got into it as a child and had a mass of miniatures, it really felt like having proper battles.
Heroquest was definitely the best game out of the 3 though.


Completely agree. These three games (although BMs was released a bit later, and felt like it was released even later than 1992 when it was) seemed to be hugely popular, and at the very least, with the tv adverts gave massive public awareness to both the genre of game and GW. There are few gamers around who started 1989-1992 who started without them. Heroquest especially had a huge following, and going the amount raised when Gamezone originally started their somewhat ill fated 25 year anniversary, still has a huge following.

ObiWayneKenobi
16-12-2014, 13:33
@Mike3791: We should probably take this to the pricing thread, but the thing is the cost of plastic is not a valid comparison, and price per model is an incorrect fallacy that commonly gets trotted out to show GW is "cheaper" than others. Cost per model isn't a good comparison, you have to look at how many models you need and what value you get for each model. GW might have a lower cost per model, but those models are little more than wound counters for a squad and they often find ways to screw you in other ways such as by giving only 5 in a box for the same amount (Dire Avengers, for instance) or not giving you all the options (see how Tac Squads don't come with a lascannon or other heavy weapons) to push you into buying duplicates or another box to make a complete unit. On top of that look at how many of those squads you usually use, and you see why GW isn't considered good value. It might be cheaper per model, but you need that many more models so the cost rises exponentially instead of laterally.

That said though, if you want to continue this talk let's go to the pricing thread where you can also read other similar comparisons to yours and how they have been debunked and shown to not be good comparison mechanisms.

Back on the subject of business strategy, I don't get why they don't have Space Hulk in constant production and stocked to whet people's appetites. Even if they believe that someone might buy Space Hulk and not "graduate" to 40k, it's still money for GW. If Space Hulk sold 10,000 copies, that's still 10,000 x (Price - Cost) that GW has made. Instead they seem content to make very little and then $0 from a game that most people would probably be interested in trying even if they don't play the larger game.

HelloKitty
16-12-2014, 13:41
From a business standpoint - models are models. I can at least see where they stand on that point. They are selling models so price their models in the same ballpark as other company's models.

ObiWayneKenobi
16-12-2014, 13:48
From a business standpoint - models are models. I can at least see where they stand on that point. They are selling models so price their models in the same ballpark as other company's models.

Well I think it was the other way around, but yeah. The problem is it's poor business strategy to price things high AND require a lot, and GW is basically alone in that regard.

Jobu
16-12-2014, 13:51
With the growth in table top games, similar to space hulk ( myth, super dungeon explore, FFG starwars table top thingy) I am somewhat surprised that it is not being sold at other outlets. It does seem that this would be a great intro to the game, just like all the LoTR base game sets that were available outside the GW traditional distribution. I never would have known about it if that had not been done.
OTOH they do make video games and other digital content so maybe that is how they are trying to reach out. I personally think it would be a good idea to push their citadel hobby lines outside of their own stores more, get them into shops that do not carry their models to get more brand recognition.

HelloKitty
16-12-2014, 14:25
I think they just need to push out skirmish versions of their systems and support them again.

aprilmanha
16-12-2014, 15:25
To emphasize this point even more: ex-GW staff have all consistently told us that their business is driven by new releases, products selling best in the first few months after release with Space Marines and paint being the only ones to make any significant sales beyond that point.

Given that GW have doubled their release schedule in the last year we should have expected their revenue to increase by a similar factor, instead it fell 8%.
While I was working there, the first week of each month was the money maker with the new release, even the second wave week was never that big an improvement over a normal week.

It was not uncommon to see the first week taking up 40% - 50% of the months takings.

I am no expert but I think that GW having a big release right after pay day for most people is when they were making the most.
With the releases smeared across the month, the old monthly splurgers are now coming in after pay day, and now buying only the limited numbers of new things rather then coming in each week to get them all.
This is compounded with some of the mid monthly releases selling out and not returning by the next time the monthly splurgers return for the next model injection.

When someone is spending £150 its easy to add another unit for them to make it £180
When someone is only spending £30 its very hard to make them spend another £30 for another unit.

frozenwastes
16-12-2014, 16:55
With the growth in table top games, similar to space hulk ( myth, super dungeon explore, FFG starwars table top thingy) I am somewhat surprised that it is not being sold at other outlets. It does seem that this would be a great intro to the game, just like all the LoTR base game sets that were available outside the GW traditional distribution. I never would have known about it if that had not been done.

In the late 90s GW hit a tipping point and had enough customers worldwide that they could take control of their own distribution and independent stores could either open trade accounts with them or not carry their product. Distributors were cut out of the process and those few that continued to carry GW products could only offer them at terrible prices compared to dealing with GW directly. In a previous financial report, Kibry patted himself on the back for this move and recommended it in general.

GW has a culture of controlling how its product is sold. They tell their independent trade partners which sales channels are forbidden (the internet and international sales where possible) and even have trade terms about not breaking open kits and selling parts of them.

I think it's safe to say that GW will never have another Heroquest or DeAgostini LotR type success as long as the current management team, and their corporate culture they have created, is still in place. Battle Games in Middle-earth was so successful that it was extended twice from its run of 65 issues to 71 and finally to 91. I recall either Kirby or Wells expressing dismay at the past success of DeAgostini's campaign for them because such growth in revenue is hard to deal with from a manufacturing perspective. GW would rather have it's current mediocrity than deal with the unknowns of growth from marketing.

When the last LotR movie was done and the bubble was bursting, GW borrowed money to prop up a dividend that they didn't have the revenue for. They should have been honest with their shareholders, cut the dividend a year earlier when the revenue was already drying up and contracted DeAgostini to make a Battle Games in the Dark Millennium magazine using the exact same formula. But investing back in the company for growth requires long term thinking...

Reinholt
16-12-2014, 17:48
I am tired of this cost per model vs. cost of plastic nonsense (edit: guys, seriously, plastic is one of many inputs to the construction of a model, does anyone rant about how their car is super duper overpriced because the metal used to build it only costs a few hundred bucks and they charged you thousands upon thousands? Stop it!). All of you would flunk out of even an average business school and be laughed out of a board room at the current level of discourse. It's the same foolishness I see from consultants with 2-3 years of "experience" (mainly making powerpoints) attempting to talk about very complex industries in meaningful ways, as if they are going to spot something that can transform it overnight. If they really had that kind of idea, they'd be starting a company to compete against you, not consulting for you.

Let me be clear: I'm not saying this to be mean (though it may come across that way, as I tend to be very blunt), but I want to plant my flag in the ground on this topic for once for those who read this thread and hopefully put a knife in this kind of thing for the immediate future.

Here are some key points on thinking about pricing theories and comparison:

1 - You need to define the basis of comparison first, and you need to do so in an intellectually honest way that represents the group you are purporting to do this for.

In the case of models, you should start by definining if you are talking about the perspective of a painter/collector, or the perspective of someone who intends to play the game.

In the first case, cost per model is perhaps relevant, but certainly not cost per model per boxes of multiples of the same kind of model, which are typically not the kinds of things you collect (I don't know any collectors who buy four boxes of witch elves), as opposed to big centerpiece models, one off characters, and conversion bits. There is also the problem of asking if someone would be constrained to a single company; many collectors and painters I know have models from multiple companies and are either completionists or just pick up whatever inspires them (which is going to be notoriously difficult to define).

In the second case, cost per model is irrelevant without first introducing the constraint of a functional, playable force for the game at the typical sizes at which it is played. Which, coincidentally, means you also need to define all of that stuff first for each game in a way that would sound reasonable to the community that actually plays that game.

This also implies if you wish to define a value scale for all purchasers of models, you are going to need a composite measure since the preferences of all purchasers of models are not identical. This is something I would suggest most companies in the space don't think enough about, and is part of why MTG is very popular (they think about it, and well).

2 - Once you define a basis for comparison, you need to find a rigorous way to compare the purchasing decisisons. All too often, I see things like GW retail compared to ebay prices for Privateer, or deeply discounted GW prices from some auction from a "dude I know" compared to least favorable exchange rate full retail for Privateer, etc, etc, etc. That's all BS. A valid comparison point should be accessible to all consumers at typical times, in reasonable amounts corresponding to aggregate demand (so not ebay, as auctions are limited in scope, scale, and time). They should be comparable in source (no discounter vs. full retail vs. ebay auction nonsense), and reflective of what people actually would do.

Again, this probably requires a composite in most cases (not all items are sold through 3rd parties for GW, for example), and may require averaging costs over time as not all people buy in with a giant block at the start.

3 - No cherry picking. There are egregious examples in each direction for almost all data sets, but without a representative cross-sampling, all you have managed to demonstrate is that you suck at statistics. If you want to talk about an army, you should be taking a weighted average for each spot (for instance, average the cost of all the warcasters for a faction in Warmachine to get your average warcaster cost), so that you smooth out the differences. GW sells 20 dudes for 50 bucks and 1 dude for 30 bucks. You can pick only one of those in order to lie about what is going on, or you can be honest and start weighting and averaging.

What falls out of all of this is that doing proper analysis of this kind of thing takes a pretty significant amount of work, transparency of assumptions, and representative groups for everything that is being represented. Otherwise, what you really have is misleading lies, intentional or not, and that kind of thing is all too common and has been the death of more than one company who believed it.

This should start to allow people to understand some of the fundamental underpinning for my beliefs about GW pricing, if you do the work and follow this through to some of the logical conclusions. There are very real and very important implications for GW's business model that drop out if you do the actual work. However, as a starting point, I suggest that people at least begin calling out everyone else if they aren't stating assumptions and using reasonable and comparable examples across manufacturers. Otherwise, you are letting the other person get away with deception, whether they intended it or not.

There is a reason the lies, damned lies, and statistics joke exists. The discussion in this thread about cost per model is a good example, sadly.

frozenwastes
16-12-2014, 18:54
I know price has been a favorite topic of many in discussing GW's business strategy, but it's never really been my favorite. It's a useful thing to consider when you look at revenue and average price and try to figure out whether volume is going up or down (almost always down for GW btw). The volume thing is far more interesting as it then intersects with the nature of their manufacturing process. There's a fundamental disconnect between a technology like injection moulded plastic which gives its greatest benefits when high volumes are produced and an approach to pricing that is accepting (or even encouraging) of reduced volume in order to reduce costs associated with manufacturing and distribution.

As far as comparing miniatures across manufacturers, I find the most interesting* thing about the last few years to be the increased accessibility of styrene plastics to smaller and smaller companies. Some of which have opted for a GW style low volume approach (Malifaux with all characters likely selling only one of a sprue to a given customer) and others have embraced the tiny marginal cost of each additional figure (most plastic historicals with multiples of a given sprue in each box). Either way though, GW is not in the same situation as even 10 years ago when they were almost exclusive in their use of the material for wargaming.

* I lied. The thing I find the most interesting thing about the whole topic is what GW does with their earnings after all expenses are paid. It's like GW has grown allergic to reinvestment.

ObiWayneKenobi
16-12-2014, 19:08
I know price has been a favorite topic of many in discussing GW's business strategy, but it's never really been my favorite. It's a useful thing to consider when you look at revenue and average price and try to figure out whether volume is going up or down (almost always down for GW btw). The volume thing is far more interesting as it then intersects with the nature of their manufacturing process. There's a fundamental disconnect between a technology like injection moulded plastic which gives its greatest benefits when high volumes are produced and an approach to pricing that is accepting (or even encouraging) of reduced volume in order to reduce costs associated with manufacturing and distribution.

As far as comparing miniatures across manufacturers, I find the most interesting* thing about the last few years to be the increased accessibility of styrene plastics to smaller and smaller companies. Some of which have opted for a GW style low volume approach (Malifaux with all characters likely selling only one of a sprue to a given customer) and others have embraced the tiny change in marginal cost of each additional figure (most plastic historicals with multiples of a given sprue in each box). Either way though, GW is not in the same situation as even 10 years ago when they were almost exclusive in their use of the material for wargaming.

* I lied. The thing I find the most interesting thing about the whole topic is what GW does with their earnings after all expenses are paid. It's like GW has grown allergic to reinvestment.

Well, are they keeping the money in reserve? Could be that they are building up enough revenue to keep things afloat until they can sell off the IP or get bought out once the jig is up and sales decline past what is sustainable. Kind of like the "screw you" fund but for a business.

ColShaw
16-12-2014, 20:22
Well, are they keeping the money in reserve? Could be that they are building up enough revenue to keep things afloat until they can sell off the IP or get bought out once the jig is up and sales decline past what is sustainable. Kind of like the "screw you" fund but for a business.

From what I've gleaned from this and other casual research, they're mostly paying it back to investors in dividends, which means they're not building anything... not growing the company, and not building a reserve.

Jim30
16-12-2014, 20:38
Their policy is one of paying out all surplus cash as dividends - this explains why the share price is so high as many investors love the return on their investment relative to most other stocks.

frozenwastes
17-12-2014, 02:54
Their policy is one of paying out all surplus cash as dividends - this explains why the share price is so high as many investors love the return on their investment relative to most other stocks.



Year - Dividend - Earnings - Ratio
2010 - 20 - 48.4 - 41.3%
2011 - 45 - 36.1 - 124.7%
2012 - 63 - 46.8 - 134.6%
2013 - 58 - 51.5 - 112.6%
2014 - 36 - 25.2 - 142.9%

Paying out more than their earnings might make for an impressive yield, but not a sustainable one. The dividend has already been cut year-over-year and even dropped 20% from 20p to 16p (to make the total of 36p for 2014) in the last half year.

Mike3791
17-12-2014, 21:15
Well, are they keeping the money in reserve? Could be that they are building up enough revenue to keep things afloat until they can sell off the IP or get bought out once the jig is up and sales decline past what is sustainable. Kind of like the "screw you" fund but for a business.

Geez, I've been hearing this for 10 years.. I'll believe it when I see it.

ObiWayneKenobi
17-12-2014, 23:05
Geez, I've been hearing this for 10 years.. I'll believe it when I see it.

The way sales are declining, you might not have to wait more than a few years...

TheGreatestGood
18-12-2014, 12:31
Ok I'm going to throw myself open to being destroyed here by people with actual business acumen, but I'm seeing a lot of doom and gloom here. Should I really be worried about a company that is generating an 11 million pound operating PROFIT in half year figure results?
I get that profits are dropping year on year but that's down there is a lot of viable competition for the market share these days.
Tesco supermarket has falling profits every year too, but I have no concerns about that disappearing from my life.
Feel free to rip me to shreds and help me understand the plight of GW.

MiyamatoMusashi
18-12-2014, 12:53
Ok I'm going to throw myself open to being destroyed here by people with actual business acumen, but I'm seeing a lot of doom and gloom here. Should I really be worried about a company that is generating an 11 million pound operating PROFIT in half year figure results?

Not sure which number you're using there, the last time they made £11M half-year profit was (from memory) 2013, in 2014 it was £8M and they've recently announced that for 2015 it'll be down another million again. Continue that pattern into the future, and... it starts to look less good.

They are indeed profitable, and that's better than not being profitable, but they've only been able to remain profitable by aggressively slashing costs, hiking prices, and accelerating the release schedule such that, for example, 6th Ed 40K lasted less than two years before they were asking for another £50 for 7th Ed (with barely any changes). They can't keep slashing costs forever, they can't keep putting prices up forever, and anecdotal evidence suggests people are already pretty hacked off about edition churn.

It's one thing to say "we're profitable at the moment". GW can say that - good for them. But everything's heading in the wrong direction - from a good starting point, certainly; slower than some expected, perhaps - and that's not healthy.


I get that profits are dropping year on year but that's down there is a lot of viable competition for the market share these days.


There is, but GW don't seem to realise it. While they're putting prices up higher, churning new editions out faster, and selling fewer models (as proved by their own financial reports), their customers have got more options then ever before, and getting more all the time.

The market is getting bigger and bigger, but GW's turnover and profit are both shrinking. That's not a good position to be in, because it means GW's market share is shrinking fast - and this is a social hobby. If everyone in your area plays something else, will you continue to buy from GW anyway? Or buy something you can use in games against them? GW are already selling fewer models every year, and the likelihood is that that will accelerate.

itcamefromthedeep
18-12-2014, 12:54
Ok I'm going to throw myself open to being destroyed here by people with actual business acumen, but I'm seeing a lot of doom and gloom here. Should I really be worried about a company that is generating an 11 million pound operating PROFIT in half year figure results?The more convincingly someone can make a case for having business acumen, the more likely they are to tell me that this can continue for a matter of years, but it can't continue forever.

They'll be around this year, and next year, and the year after, but *perhaps* by this time next decade they'll have been chopped up and sold... unless something changes.

Baragash
18-12-2014, 13:12
The more convincingly someone can make a case for having business acumen, the more likely they are to tell me that this can continue for a matter of years, but it can't continue forever.

They'll be around this year, and next year, and the year after, but *perhaps* by this time next decade they'll have been chopped up and sold... unless something changes.

It's very difficult to predict where the tipping point for a company is, what we do have is a wealth of economic and marketing theory, case studies and some behaviours (by the company or competitors) that allow us to infer whether a trend is likely to continue given the data we can see.

Herzlos
18-12-2014, 13:25
They are also giving more out in dividends than they make, so it's it's not that the bank balance is growing more slowly, it's reducing.

driller
18-12-2014, 14:21
a quick little story:

Today I have walked into my FLGS for some vallejo air paints. I remembered seeing the new Blood Angels Librarian on the net and thinking to myself that would make a great runepriest for my Wolf army (after some conversions, obviously.) Didn't know what it costs.

The guy who runs the store has put the figure on the desk before me (its to be sold from december 20th on AFAIK, but he wasn't bothered.)

I saw the price.

We all had a hearty laugh - he was laughing even more than i did - , we agreed the GW is out of their *********** mind, and I bought the vallejo paints and left the store.

Maccwar
18-12-2014, 14:57
Ok I'm going to throw myself open to being destroyed here by people with actual business acumen, but I'm seeing a lot of doom and gloom here. Should I really be worried about a company that is generating an 11 million pound operating PROFIT in half year figure results?

Both Sales and profits are declining despite a program of cost reduction and re-structuring. Unless things improve before too long I would suggest that you consider starting to worry.

Of course nothing here is inevitable and GW could benefit if the underlying economy improves and people find more disposable income in their pockets.

ObiWayneKenobi
18-12-2014, 15:42
a quick little story:

Today I have walked into my FLGS for some vallejo air paints. I remembered seeing the new Blood Angels Librarian on the net and thinking to myself that would make a great runepriest for my Wolf army (after some conversions, obviously.) Didn't know what it costs.

The guy who runs the store has put the figure on the desk before me (its to be sold from december 20th on AFAIK, but he wasn't bothered.)

I saw the price.

We all had a hearty laugh - he was laughing even more than i did - , we agreed the GW is out of their *********** mind, and I bought the vallejo paints and left the store.

This is the biggest issue for me. I want to play 40k again but not at these prices. $30 for a character that doesn't do a lot beyond look cool is pretty crazy, doubly so at the scale they want 40k to be played. Their business strategy in that regard is just nuts.

English 2000
18-12-2014, 15:54
This is the biggest issue for me. I want to play 40k again but not at these prices. $30 for a character that doesn't do a lot beyond look cool is pretty crazy, doubly so at the scale they want 40k to be played. Their business strategy in that regard is just nuts.


a quick little story:

Today I have walked into my FLGS for some vallejo air paints. I remembered seeing the new Blood Angels Librarian on the net and thinking to myself that would make a great runepriest for my Wolf army (after some conversions, obviously.) Didn't know what it costs.

The guy who runs the store has put the figure on the desk before me (its to be sold from december 20th on AFAIK, but he wasn't bothered.)

I saw the price.

We all had a hearty laugh - he was laughing even more than i did - , we agreed the GW is out of their *********** mind, and I bought the vallejo paints and left the store.

I've been in the hobby for over 20 years. People have complained about prices the whole time. I've done it myself. GW has never been a cheap hobby. Never will be but I'm pretty sure there's a pricing thread for us to complain about prices.

This isn't that thread.

ObiWayneKenobi
18-12-2014, 15:57
I've been in the hobby for over 20 years. People have complained about prices the whole time. I've done it myself. GW has never been a cheap hobby. Never will be but I'm pretty sure there's a pricing thread for us to complain about prices.

This isn't that thread.

At the same time, pricing things high is their business strategy and has been for over 20 years, it's just especially bad right now and it shows in declining sales.

MiyamatoMusashi
18-12-2014, 16:05
This thread really is just a duplicate of the pricing thread, isn't it.

New, on-topic, short-lived threads each time a report comes out, seem far more appropriate than repeating the same discussion in two endless sticky threads.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 16:07
Of course nothing here is inevitable and GW could benefit if the underlying economy improves and people find more disposable income in their pockets.

The global economy and disposable income is a legit factor in purchase/sales.


This is the biggest issue for me. I want to play 40k again but not at these prices. $30 for a character that doesn't do a lot beyond look cool is pretty crazy, doubly so at the scale they want 40k to be played. Their business strategy in that regard is just nuts.

Since people refuse acknowledge that their competition is doing the same thing, allow me to draw some comparisions.

40k Blood Angels: Librarian $30, Terminators $60 (5 models), Tac Squad $43 (10 models)

Warmachine Khador: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir $22.99, Kommander Zoktavir (the Butcher Unleashed) $64.99, Assault Commandos $59.99 (10 models), Doom Reavers $32.99 (6 models), Great Bears of Gallowswood $37.99 (3 models)

Please stop speading misinformation that GW is the only company overcharging for models, I said it before.. that's just the direction the industry is heading. In many cases I find GW models to be less expensive.

shelfunit.
18-12-2014, 16:09
This thread really is just a duplicate of the pricing thread, isn't it.

New, on-topic, short-lived threads each time a report comes out, seem far more appropriate than repeating the same discussion in two endless sticky threads.

That's the problem when the main problem and business "strategy" are pretty much the same thing.

nosebiter
18-12-2014, 16:15
The global economy and disposable income is a legit factor in purchase/sales.



Since people refuse acknowledge that their competition is doing the same thing, allow me to draw some comparisions.

40k Blood Angels: Librarian $30, Terminators $60 (5 models), Tac Squad $43 (10 models)

Warmachine Khador: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir $22.99, Kommander Zoktavir (the Butcher Unleashed) $64.99, Assault Commandos $59.99 (10 models), Doom Reavers $32.99 (6 models), Great Bears of Gallowswood $37.99 (3 models)

Please stop speading misinformation that GW is the only company overcharging for models, I said it before.. that's just the direction the industry is heading. In many cases I find GW models to be less expensive.

True, and GW's plastic is of a superior quality.

Howeverm you need alot more of GW's products to make a viable army, then you do of PP. And by changing a single 23$ model, the PP army can completely change the way it operates.

40k isn't in too bad of a place, but warhammer is. Building a 1500-2000 point army is very very expensive.

Liber
18-12-2014, 16:21
40k Blood Angels: Librarian $30, Terminators $60 (5 models), Tac Squad $43 (10 models)

Warmachine Khador: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir $22.99, Kommander Zoktavir (the Butcher Unleashed) $64.99, Assault Commandos $59.99 (10 models), Doom Reavers $32.99 (6 models), Great Bears of Gallowswood $37.99 (3 models)


As has been said, the value comes from what one can do with those models. If you are purely a painter/collecter of miniatures than I would say GW and PP offer similar value as yes, both have what would generally be considered an expensive range. Actually what with the amount of bits from GW plastics they probably win this one.


But if (and I believe this constitutes a good majority) one does or wishes to at some future date actually game with said models than PP has a higher value hands down. I already said my bit on standard game sizes and gaming culture so won't repeat myself.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 16:29
True, and GW's plastic is of a superior quality.

Howeverm you need alot more of GW's products to make a viable army, then you do of PP. And by changing a single 23$ model, the PP army can completely change the way it operates.

40k isn't in too bad of a place, but warhammer is. Building a 1500-2000 point army is very very expensive.

I've also heard this arguement before, I think everyone should play lower points games anyways, because over the years the point cost per model has been reduced in the army books. Also note that 9th ed is on the horizon, and it looks like the 50% Lords rule is a good way to reduce model count.

Regardless, to me it's the principal, I don't beleive that just because Warmachine plays with fewer models that it justifies PP charging (sometimes double) more per kit.

PS. Pricing is part of business strategy, so this topic is fine to discuss here as well.

HelloKitty
18-12-2014, 16:29
Warhammer fantasy can be expensive or it can cost less depending on the faction you choose.

My fantasy armies and 40k armies all end up about 60-75 models and both cost comparable to each other.

That you always need a lot more models for fantasy is not an accurate statement. My dark elf army has roughly the same model count as a space marine force. I've seen full chaos armies with less than 20 models in fantasy. My chaos demon army for fantasy cost me less than my necron army did at standard points for my area, for example.

Both 40k and fantasy at their "standard" points (standard deviates depending on region - here a standard 40k force is 2000 points and a standard fantasy army is 2400 points) are usually fairly expensive and sit around the $500 - $600 retail point on average. High model count armies for either system will push that boundary even more. Guard, orcs and goblins, skaven, orks, etc.

Liber
18-12-2014, 16:42
I've also heard this arguement before, I think everyone should play lower points games anyways, because over the years the point cost per model has been reduced in the army books. Also note that 9th ed is on the horizon, and it looks like the 50% Lords rule is a good way to reduce model count.


Agreed. Not just for affordability but for painting ease as well. If force sizes were generally smaller I predict we would also see more fully painted armies. That said, as of now lower points games aren't the new thing at all. So until then its just a hypothetical and can't really be used as a reason.


Regardless, to me it's the principal, I don't beleive that just because Warmachine plays with fewer models that it justifies PP charging (sometimes double) more per kit.

Well that's just like, your opinion, man. And on this I disagree. In my opinion it does matter.

Herzlos
18-12-2014, 16:47
I've been in the hobby for over 20 years. People have complained about prices the whole time. I've done it myself. GW has never been a cheap hobby. Never will be but I'm pretty sure there's a pricing thread for us to complain about prices.

This isn't that thread.

GW has always been more expensive than everyone else, but they seem to have been taking it to a new level recently.

When I dropped out the first time (~2000) it was accepted that plastic rank and file were just under £1 each, now they're usually coming in at about £2-3 each for older releases and anywhere from £4-6 each for newer releases, whilst I can still get plastic rank and file for about £1 each elsewhere.

At best that's a 100% price increase in a decade and at worst it's a 600% increase. Inflation from then sits at about 50%.

When I played as a teenager, I bought allsorts, but now when it comes to GW my reaction is usually stunned silence and sticker shock. After paying Warlord prices for plastic sprues, I can't bring myself to pay GW prices for the same thing.
Warlord is growing (rapidly), and GW is shrinking (rapidly), so I'm not the only one.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 17:15
Agreed. Not just for affordability but for painting ease as well. If force sizes were generally smaller I predict we would also see more fully painted armies. That said, as of now lower points games aren't the new thing at all. So until then its just a hypothetical and can't really be used as a reason.

The current size of "standard games" is not in any way GW's fault, GW doesn't set tourney standards.. independent organizers do. Gamers should be putting more pressure on their local area to lower point cost of games, this is an easily fixable solution. The game is perfectly fun and competitive at 1000-1500 points.

Sephillion
18-12-2014, 17:23
The global economy and disposable income is a legit factor in purchase/sales.



Since people refuse acknowledge that their competition is doing the same thing, allow me to draw some comparisions.

40k Blood Angels: Librarian $30, Terminators $60 (5 models), Tac Squad $43 (10 models)

Warmachine Khador: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir $22.99, Kommander Zoktavir (the Butcher Unleashed) $64.99, Assault Commandos $59.99 (10 models), Doom Reavers $32.99 (6 models), Great Bears of Gallowswood $37.99 (3 models)

Please stop speading misinformation that GW is the only company overcharging for models, I said it before.. that's just the direction the industry is heading. In many cases I find GW models to be less expensive.

I’m not sure your examples really showcase anything else than “different types of models are priced differently”. If you look at the Great Bears and think about the number of models… then you should really consider that for barely less, you get a lone HQ. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be comparing the Great Bears (or even the Butcher Unleashed) with, since 40K has no direct equivalent. If the point was “price per model”, GW still has the most egregious example, at 30$ for a lone, small model…

You buy more than a lump of plastic or metal, you buy an accessory to a game. If your intent is to use the models for gaming purposes, gaming considerations ARE relevant. Including number of kits/clampacks needed, the cost of the rest of your army and the cost of the rules.

If you don’t want to cover the overall cost of the army then look at Orks, they are much less expensive…

(Obviously, anyone kows that Orks are a quite expensive army, since you have to buy so many kits, each worth little points).

Scaryscarymushroom
18-12-2014, 17:39
The current size of "standard games" is not in any way GW's fault, GW doesn't set tourney standards.. independent organizers do. Gamers should be putting more pressure on their local area to lower point cost of games, this is an easily fixable solution. The game is perfectly fun and competitive at 1000-1500 points.

I can't speak for 7th edition 40k, but the 5th edition rulebook explicitly stated that 2000 points is a standard game. Hard to fault the community for having that expectation when GW printed it in black and white.

I played lots of 1000 point games back then, because I couldn't afford that many models. It took me about 4 years to get to 2200 points. It's a lot like rock paper scissors. But then I suppose rock paper scissors is perfectly competitive and fun. :shifty:

Edit: actually, at the middle of 5th, considering the models we all had, it was more like playing rock paper scissors, without the scissors.

MiyamatoMusashi
18-12-2014, 17:46
The global economy and disposable income is a legit factor in purchase/sales.

Of course it's a legit factor. Why are we expected to believe it's only a factor for GW? The rest of the wargames industry is growing.


Since people refuse acknowledge that their competition is doing the same thing, allow me to draw some comparisions.

40k Blood Angels: Librarian $30, Terminators $60 (5 models), Tac Squad $43 (10 models)

Warmachine Khador: Kommander Orsus Zoktavir $22.99, Kommander Zoktavir (the Butcher Unleashed) $64.99, Assault Commandos $59.99 (10 models), Doom Reavers $32.99 (6 models), Great Bears of Gallowswood $37.99 (3 models)

Please stop speading misinformation that GW is the only company overcharging for models, I said it before.. that's just the direction the industry is heading. In many cases I find GW models to be less expensive.

Stop cherry-picking.

This is a GW forum, so we're focussed on GW. Yes, as it happens, PP are nearly as expensive, and if you pick and choose carefully enough you can find a few individual figures that are more expensive. They don't get as much flak for it because (a) for an army, it's much cheaper and (b) this isn't a PP forum. Sure, fine, PP are expensive too (though it's pretty clear they're following GW's lead on that). But you're pretending like that's the entirety of GW's competition, or representative of "the industry", and it plainly is not. Go and do the same comparison for the Perrys, or Warlord, or Wargames Factory, or Mantic. I know you're not ignorant of those companies, which means by choosing to ignore them you're being disingenuous and intellectually dishonest - all so you can attack the strawman you built of claiming people are saying GW is the "only" company that are expensive, which I don't think anyone has ever said; it's certainly not the broad argument.

To spell it out in simple terms with words containing as few syllables as possible: yes, PP are expensive too, on a per-model basis. That's not representative of the industry as a whole, let alone the entirety of it, and it is emphatically not a justification for GW's pricing.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 17:47
I’m not sure your examples really showcase anything else than “different types of models are priced differently”. If you look at the Great Bears and think about the number of models… then you should really consider that for barely less, you get a lone HQ. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to be comparing the Great Bears (or even the Butcher Unleashed) with, since 40K has no direct equivalent. If the point was “price per model”, GW still has the most egregious example, at 30$ for a lone, small model…

You buy more than a lump of plastic or metal, you buy an accessory to a game. If your intent is to use the models for gaming purposes, gaming considerations ARE relevant. Including number of kits/clampacks needed, the cost of the rest of your army and the cost of the rules.

If you don’t want to cover the overall cost of the army then look at Orks, they are much less expensive…

(Obviously, anyone kows that Orks are a quite expensive army, since you have to buy so many kits, each worth little points).

My comparisons was from kit to kit, regarding heroes, light & heavy infantry model # per kit. I didn't include Battle Engines and Colosuss but they are still a lot more expensive compared to GWs heavy/rare choices. If you want to talk about Orks, I think you can draw a PP equivelent to a Merc/Minion army.

Scaryscarymushroom
18-12-2014, 17:53
My comparisons was from kit to kit, regarding heroes, light & heavy infantry model # per kit. I didn't include Battle Engines and Colosuss but they are still a lot more expensive compared to GWs heavy/rare choices. If you want to talk about Orks, I think you can draw a PP equivelent to a Merc/Minion army.

Were you aware that people will only ever need one set of great bears of Gallowswood in their army, no matter how large it gets? They're characters. You can't use more than one set. The reduced demand might explain the higher price? Or does that only work when defending gw's prices?

And mercs are not really anything like orks.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 18:06
Stop cherry-picking.

This is a GW forum, so we're focussed on GW. Yes, as it happens, PP are nearly as expensive, and if you pick and choose carefully enough you can find a few individual figures that are more expensive. They don't get as much flak for it because (a) for an army, it's much cheaper and (b) this isn't a PP forum. Sure, fine, PP are expensive too (though it's pretty clear they're following GW's lead on that). But you're pretending like that's the entirety of GW's competition, or representative of "the industry", and it plainly is not. Go and do the same comparison for the Perrys, or Warlord, or Wargames Factory, or Mantic. I know you're not ignorant of those companies, which means by choosing to ignore them you're being disingenuous and intellectually dishonest - all so you can attack the strawman you built of claiming people are saying GW is the "only" company that are expensive, which I don't think anyone has ever said; it's certainly not the broad argument.

To spell it out in simple terms with words containing as few syllables as possible: yes, PP are expensive too, on a per-model basis. That's not representative of the industry as a whole, let alone the entirety of it, and it is emphatically not a justification for GW's pricing.

You can't discuss business stratedy without comparing the competition, ignoring competition in this context is disingenuous and intellectly dishonest. I'm not cherry picking, just pointing out some examples. I'm actually not familiar with Perrys, Warlord, or Wargames. I went out of my way and picked Warmachine as a comparison because I thought that it was the most parrarel comparison in terms of gamestyle structure.


And mercs are not really anything like orks.

In terms of cost? How much does the average merc army cost for a tourney game? The kits are certainly very expensive for the # of models included.

ObiWayneKenobi
18-12-2014, 18:10
You cannot fully compare a Warmachine caster to anything in 40k because they do about 10x more. A Librarian does what exactly in 40k? A Warcaster changes your entire army and how it plays. Also you neglected that Kommander Orsus Zoktavir (Butcher2) is on a scenic base and Kommander Zoktavir the Butcher Unleashed (Butcher3) not only is the same but comes with two extra models. Also the fact these figures are METAL, not plastic, and therefore more expensive to produce.

So who's spreading the misinformation here? You're comparing a more expensive material for one, and for two not even comparing what those units do for their corresponding games, and other than Butcher3 (who again has three multi part figures on 40mm bases) they are around the same price or cheaper than GW while using a more expensive material.

Doom Reavers are metal and 6 in a box for less than GW charges for 5, on top of that 6 is a full unit (not counting the Greylord Escort UA), not half a unit like GW tends to do with its boxes of 5 (Sternguard, Vanguard and Dire Avengers spring to mind).

Assault Kommandos are pricey but also metal and again a full squad with everything you need; also when PP switches to plastic from metal, they lower the price a little to compensate for it being cheaper for them to produce.

Great Bears really have no comparison because they are 3 metal guys that are a unit, but they're a unit of powerful guys, roughly the equivalent to three SM Captains (which would be $90 by the way). Not really sure what you're trying to prove here, since they're a bit more than a single $30 plastic dude from GW for three metal dudes.

Also Mercs cost about the same as any other faction, just you tend to buy a lot of cheaper solos that you use elsewhere.

Sephillion
18-12-2014, 18:20
Double post for some reason.

Sephillion
18-12-2014, 18:25
My comparisons was from kit to kit, regarding heroes, light & heavy infantry model # per kit. I didn't include Battle Engines and Colosuss but they are still a lot more expensive compared to GWs heavy/rare choices. If you want to talk about Orks, I think you can draw a PP equivelent to a Merc/Minion army.

Heroes… Librarian vs Zoktavir, OK. Point PP. Assault Kommandos vs Tac Squads in Light Infantry… OK, point GW.

Then it falls apart.

The models you picked for heavy infantry are nowhere near comparable! Butcher Unleashed would be the equivalent of a super HQ (three figs plus scenic base). Doom Reavers vs Termies? Point PP (though I think Doom Reavers are smaller, but then they’re metal). And Great Bears have nothing close to an equivalent for GW. Even comparing GB to termies, GB are barely more expensive and are unique characters (more limited demand) and come with their full rules.

(What’s this, I hear? Three Hobbit *Dwarves* for 40$? Oh my. But it’s the Hobbit, so no one cares, really.)

This is futile. It’s just cherry picking, really.

As for Battle Engines and Colossals… Colossals are more expensive than most big kits… except a few, like Imperial Knight and Wraith Knight. But they also represent at least 1/3 of your whole army. Unlike a Wraith Knight! Most Battle Engines are generally about the same price of a GW vehicle, if not cheaper (new CoC BE price: 70$).

(this is all in Canadian currencies, as I said, GW does have a terrible exchange rate! We’re the new Australia it seems)

And yes, Mercenaries and ESPECIALLY Minions have nothing in common with Orks. The closest thing in common with Orks would be a Cryx Mechanithrall spam.



In terms of cost? How much does the average merc army cost for a tourney game? The kits are certainly very expensive for the # of models included.

Huh? My 35 pts Mercenaries army set me back about 255$ for 35pts. That’s an army that includes a lot of solos (hence a bit higher PPM on average). Again, you probably cherry pick. Or don’t know how to build a Merc army.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 18:26
You cannot fully compare a Warmachine caster to anything in 40k because they do about 10x more. A Librarian does what exactly in 40k? A Warcaster changes your entire army and how it plays. Also you neglected that Kommander Orsus Zoktavir (Butcher2) is on a scenic base and Kommander Zoktavir the Butcher Unleashed (Butcher3) not only is the same but comes with two extra models. Also the fact these figures are METAL, not plastic, and therefore more expensive to produce.

So who's spreading the misinformation here? You're comparing a more expensive material for one, and for two not even comparing what those units do for their corresponding games, and other than Butcher3 (who again has three multi part figures on 40mm bases) they are around the same price or cheaper than GW while using a more expensive material.

Doom Reavers are metal and 6 in a box for less than GW charges for 5, on top of that 6 is a full unit (not counting the Greylord Escort UA), not half a unit like GW tends to do with its boxes of 5 (Sternguard, Vanguard and Dire Avengers spring to mind).

Assault Kommandos are pricey but also metal and again a full squad with everything you need; also when PP switches to plastic from metal, they lower the price a little to compensate for it being cheaper for them to produce.

Great Bears really have no comparison because they are 3 metal guys that are a unit, but they're a unit of powerful guys, roughly the equivalent to three SM Captains (which would be $90 by the way). Not really sure what you're trying to prove here, since they're a bit more than a single $30 plastic dude from GW for three metal dudes.

Also Mercs cost about the same as any other faction, just you tend to buy a lot of cheaper solos that you use elsewhere.

So how much does an average tourney army cost?? It seems like a lot of your justification of price is based on what the in game rules are for the unit..

Liber
18-12-2014, 18:30
The current size of "standard games" is not in any way GW's fault


I never said it was.

But does it really matter who's 'fault' it is anyways? Its currently how things are so when talking shop one would think it best to deal with realities rather than fantasies?

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 18:31
I never said it was.

But does it really matter who's 'fault' it is anyways? Its currently how things are so when talking shop one would think it best to deal with realities rather than fantasies?

I didn't say you did, I was just expanding on what you wrote. That's all

Scaryscarymushroom
18-12-2014, 18:32
So how much does an average tourney army cost?? It seems like a lot of your justification of price is based on what the in game rules are for the unit..

I thought we were talking about price per model...

@Sephillion: I don't think assault kommandos to tac squad is a valid comparison anyway. One is metal, the other is plastic. Even librarian to Zoktavir is a stretch. In terms of collecting, metal appeals to me more.

ObiWayneKenobi
18-12-2014, 18:34
So how much does an average tourney army cost?? It seems like a lot of your justification of price is based on what the in game rules are for the unit..

Depends almost 100% on the faction. Circle Orboros with one beast heavy and one construct heavy is going to run probably around $500 or more depending on exact makeup (but that's for TWO tournament armies; $500 is like a single 40k army), Legion of Everblight can run under $200 for both armies if you magnetized the beast kits. I've priced out a single 50 point Cygnar army (so one shy of normal tournament lists) for IIRC $150. On the counter, I hit that mark for 40k buying like an HQ and two troops (assuming I had the rules and codex already).

There is still a pretty big disconnect there.

For instance I just looked at a 1,000 point basic Necron army, it was something like a Lord on command barge, two units of warriors, two units of wraiths and two annihilation barges; now I have no idea if that's good or bad or what, just things that caught my eye when I was looking at Necrons. That came to like 830 points and was already over $300 just for that small level of play, and I still needed another unit or something to hit 1000. It might have run a bit cheaper if I used a Battleforce (but chances are that will go away when the new codex comes out, since the rest seem to have), but still. That's like starting point for 40k, and that's a pretty nice chunk of money to spend at the entry level.

Sephillion
18-12-2014, 18:55
I thought we were talking about price per model...

@Sephillion: I don't think assault kommandos to tac squad is a valid comparison anyway. One is metal, the other is plastic. Even librarian to Zoktavir is a stretch. In terms of collecting, metal appeals to me more.

Yes, I was just going by his choices to illustrate that it’s not as clear cut as he seemed to indicate. There is no doubt that the value of a Warcaster, in terms of bang for my buck, is much higher than for any non-character HQ. And again, you get the rules in the box!

As for the price of a competitive army… starting in February, you can have a competitive 35 pts army for 135$. Add a few models, and you will have a 50 pts army for around 200$! The lists so far are very good. And I think they even come with the full rules. They’re sadly limited. But as far as aggressive campaigning for new players/getting players to build new armies go, this is amazing.

Mike3791
18-12-2014, 18:59
I thought we were talking about price per model...

We were, now I'm trying to look at it from a larger scale perspective.


Depends almost 100% on the faction. Circle Orboros with one beast heavy and one construct heavy is going to run probably around $500 or more depending on exact makeup (but that's for TWO tournament armies; $500 is like a single 40k army), Legion of Everblight can run under $200 for both armies if you magnetized the beast kits. I've priced out a single 50 point Cygnar army (so one shy of normal tournament lists) for IIRC $150. On the counter, I hit that mark for 40k buying like an HQ and two troops (assuming I had the rules and codex already).

There is still a pretty big disconnect there.

For instance I just looked at a 1,000 point basic Necron army, it was something like a Lord on command barge, two units of warriors, two units of wraiths and two annihilation barges. That came to like 830 points and was already over $300 just for that small level of play. It might have run a bit cheaper if I used a Battleforce (but chances are that will go away when the new codex comes out, since the rest seem to have), but still. That's like starting point for 40k, and that's a pretty nice chunk of money to spend at the entry level.

Thank you for the info, some factions costing more then others is surprisingly common across game systems. The overall costs between GW and PP seem similair. There are a lot of variables here, and I'm on my way to see the new Hobbit movie so I don't have time right now to comb through them. Interesting discussion, but I'm beginning to draw the conclusion that price is not the primary reason why GW is taking losses.

Wintermute
18-12-2014, 19:00
This thread is not intended to discuss pricing, which should be discussed here (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?209297-Games-Workshop-Pricing-Feedback-Thread) or comparing GW with PP or other manufacturers.

The thread is to discuss GW's business decisions, financial results and share price etc. Everything else is off topic and will be removed from this point onwards.

Wintermute

Tyberos
18-12-2014, 20:50
Not to ignore Wintermute's post but while price is certainly an issue, it isn't their only issue.

The way they have trained their store staff to deal with customers results in them being too pushy which is off-putting.
The way store staff make Facebook updates with overuse of exclamation marks in a sad way of trying to build excitement comes across as childish.
Limiting certain product releases, or simply not making enough in an attempt to create a false sense of urgency and 'buy it before its gone' is off-putting. (In general missing opportunities to boost revenue).
The way they think 5 £50 vouchers (last year), or a cardboard box is a good promotion to have on at Xmas.
Higher instances of poorer quality products coming out, (see replacement of unit art with photos, more instances of rushed artwork, and general photo space filling in their books) due to cost cutting.
Higher instances of type's and mistakes in their books. (S values missing from certain walkers, and wargear missing from unit entries so it has to be being FAQ'd).
The error rate in their kits where parts are missing or warped.
Even their web-store is poorly designed, taking you back to the top each time you apply a product filter, so you have to scroll down.
£4,000,000 for a web store?
Stores being closed on weekdays?
Lost sales due to items being in stock on the US web-store, but not on the UK store and vice-versa.

Sorry a bit of a random list and I am the cynical sort so not all of those people will relate to. My point is I think they're approaching their market wrong, they are aiming at collectors but their Facebook posts seem aimed at children. I don't know, based on their past releases and the way they've been behaving I think their overall strategy is to throw poo at the wall and see what sticks.

English 2000
18-12-2014, 21:03
The error rate in their kits where parts are missing or warped.


I'm pretty sure it's been 10+ years since I last stepped into a GW store so I can't comment on what you've said about the stores.

The point I quoted got my attention though. Are you referring to finecrap? (I've never bought anything that was made from finecrap) If not quality isn't an issue I've ever noticed.

20+ years in the hobby and I've never had anything plastic or metal that was warped or miscast. 3.5 years working in the FLGS and almost nothing ever came back.

Are other people experiencing non-finecrap problems?

I don't think quality control is an area GW struggles with, except for finecrap, but they've made a lot of improvements (so I hear) so I'm not sure we can slam then for that.


Compare GW to the discussions about minis from other companies and I think you'll see that GW is way ahead of the pack on that score.

Scaryscarymushroom
18-12-2014, 21:44
The point I quoted got my attention though. Are you referring to finecrap? (I've never bought anything that was made from finecrap) If not quality isn't an issue I've ever noticed.

20+ years in the hobby and I've never had anything plastic or metal that was warped or miscast. 3.5 years working in the FLGS and almost nothing ever came back.

Are other people experiencing non-finecrap problems?

I don't think quality control is an area GW struggles with, except for finecrap, but they've made a lot of improvements (so I hear) so I'm not sure we can slam then for that.

Compare GW to the discussions about minis from other companies and I think you'll see that GW is way ahead of the pack on that score.

In about ten years, I have had two problems with GW plastics (a problem ratio of something like 2%), and two problems with finecast (problem ratio of 100%). On metal models, I've had mold slippage and parts that don't fit together. Ratio of maybe 5% bad. I have had 7 mispacks, 6 of which were in my favor.

The two plastic kits with issues were the Necron monolith and the space marine scouts. For the Monolith, the mold was so deteriorated that flashing took over about half of the sprue, and cleanup prior to assembly was very difficult. In the end, not really a problem, although I suspect my Monolith's walls were a few millimeters thicker than earlier casts. The space marine scouts weren't filled enough, their torsos were blobular and not fully formed.

A quick call to customer service fixed every problem.

In my experience with several competitors, I would rate companies in this order, in terms of their quality assurance:

1 - Cipher Studios
2 - Wyrd
3 - Reaper, GW
4 - Privateer Press, Avatars of War (for both companies, metals are great, pvc plastics could be improved)
5 - Spartan Games

But most of these companies have pretty good customer service for the US.

EDIT2: all of this is extremely divergent from business and financial strategy. (I don't feel too bad, because about 2 out of every 3 posts in this thread aren't on topic anyway.)

@Tyberos
I am also saddened by the photographs in the codices. Art was the way to go. If I wanted pictures of models, I'd buy Warhammer visions. :shifty:

paddyalexander
18-12-2014, 22:31
@Tyberos
I am also saddened by the photographs in the codices. Art was the way to go. If I wanted pictures of models, I'd buy Warhammer visions. :shifty:

But this way they can sell you art books separately from the rule books.

ehlijen
18-12-2014, 23:48
But this way they can sell you art books separately from the rule books.

Is that why they then tried to sell photo magazines separately from the codices instead of doing what you suggest on a wide scale? :p

The_Real_Chris
19-12-2014, 00:24
I think price has some relevance here when compared to quality. GW believe the quality of their models (really we should be saying kits now) matches the price their core market can bear. Where many of us diverge is we are gamers as well as dragon like model hoarders (apart from me of course) and look at the overall experience of kit quality and game quality - GW don't consider both. GW is not making collectable models designed for collectors and painters, their style is over the top and exaggerated which is actually pretty good for a game piece, but massed armies where people are expected to buy quite a bit. For most commentators those game systems is where it ceases to be fun. Where it falls down is that holistic approach to the customers end experience. Now I grant you many people will play very infrequently, get a bunch of stuff, drift in and out, etc. But if you don't have a core group of customers giving your product visibility you can't rely on picking up all those profitable new players.
I ran briefly a school club and the game I picked as easy to play and as the linking theme for model building, painting and the like was dwarf kings hold. I could make the maps easily enough and the game was simple yet challenging. The models were from 5 mantic crazy boxes. At the end we graduated to god of battles for a few people that had assembled enough stuff. Now I was always going to pick up the cheap models, but if GW had a good game I would have used it. No doubt anyone who got the bug would have ended up shopping for GW stuff. I personally can afford GW prices, but there is no point paying them when as a gamer they don't have much utility...
We can criticise pricing, retail strategies, shrinking ranges, lack of entrance level games etc etc, but at the core the evidence is less and less games of warhammer and 40k are being played, especially away from the GW stores which are not the be all and end all of promotion. The way to fix that is look at the customer experience and divine what is going wrong, why are other companies muscling in - what has happened? Maybe we are wrong and no-one gives a hoot about playing the games in a way where both players enjoy the experience - but GW seems to know even less.

Voss
19-12-2014, 00:54
But this way they can sell you art books separately from the rule books.

If true, wouldn't there be some art books for sale? :shifty:



@Tyberos
I am also saddened by the photographs in the codices. Art was the way to go. If I wanted pictures of models, I'd buy Warhammer visions. :shifty:
Or you could go on the interwebs. I hear there are free pictures there. Posted/Hosted by GW even.
;)

paddyalexander
19-12-2014, 01:46
If true, wouldn't there be some art books for sale?

Honestly I thought there had been digital art books released with some of the codices this year but I'm probably mistaken. At this point I'm only vaguely paying attention to gwPLCs' products out of a morbid curiosity and concern over the impact they have on the wider hobby.

I also said the could sell you not that they are selling you. :angel:

MiyamatoMusashi
19-12-2014, 12:34
You can't discuss business stratedy without comparing the competition, ignoring competition in this context is disingenuous and intellectly dishonest. I'm not cherry picking, just pointing out some examples. I'm actually not familiar with Perrys, Warlord, or Wargames. I went out of my way and picked Warmachine as a comparison because I thought that it was the most parrarel comparison in terms of gamestyle structure.

Maybe you should learn a little about GW's competition before picking just one company and declaring it exemplary of the industry.

Of course comparisons to the competition are viable, but if you are genuinely unaware of the Perrys , Warlord Games, or Wargames Factory then any comparison you make is from a position of total ignorance. It'd be like me saying only the exceptionally wealthy can afford cars, because I've only ever heard of Ferrari and Maserati. Wouldn't it make sense for me to do some research before shouting my mouth off on a subject I knew nothing about? And if someone gave me the names of other car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan or Kia I could, say, Google them and see if their products were similar to Ferrari and Maserati or actually demonstrated something about the industry that I hadn't previously realised.

This (http://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Dark-Elves-Witch-Elves) is a GW product. This (https://www.perry-miniatures.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_62&products_id=3217&osCsid=nnq61ct1hkamu83iu4uljcmn60), this (http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/napoleonic-french/products/napoleonic-war-french-line-infantry), this (http://www.wargamesfactory.com/webstore/myths-and-legends/wgf-ml002) and this (http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/kings-of-war/dwarfs/product/dwarf-ironclad-regiment-20-figures.html) are examples of their competition (covering a variety of aesthetics and quality) - not to mention this (http://plastickrak.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/avatars-of-war-dark-elves-vestals-of.html), when it's released. There's just a few examples... so yes, PP are their competition, but not their only competition, and by now it is very definitely cherry-picking if you continue to bang on about PP while ignoring the rest of the wargaming world.

ObiWayneKenobi
19-12-2014, 12:43
As far as I'm concerned the biggest problem with their business strategy is that:

A) They believe that everyone who buys their products buy it to collect, not to play a game, and put out kits accordingly (e.g. lack of complete game options in a single kit, half kits that need two to be brought up to common game strength, etc.)

B) They believe that their customers are so die-hard fond of GW and everything it does that they'll pay any price for it, and be happy with it.

While I believe there are some people who do fall into the "A" category above, I'd wager that a great deal more buy the figures because of the game, not because they are nice looking plastic figures with variety.

The second though I find insulting, and again while I'm sure there are those people out there, it doesn't seem like a good long or short term strategy to be completely ignorant of your competition via various dismissals (which the community also uses, I notice) such as not as much variety, not the same aesthetic, different materials, while at the same time having such huge disparities in what you get with what you buy (see: 10 GW figures for less than 30 from some competitors, sometimes even for just as good or better variety and quality), I can only assume because they do everything under the guise of point A above and really think that people will buy just say 10 Witch Elves and use that for a game?

Neither of those are sustainable business practices.

The_Real_Chris
19-12-2014, 15:57
A) They believe that everyone who buys their products buy it to collect, not to play a game, and put out kits accordingly (e.g. lack of complete game options in a single kit, half kits that need two to be brought up to common game strength, etc.)

I don't believe that is true. I think they are fully aware that players will buy multiple kits to make up armies. I think where they fall down is believing that as long as the games don't change too much they can use them as a method of shifting numbers of kits. They no doubt look at the investment at the design, consider it adequate based on people still playing the game and buy army sized lots of models and that’s that. They don’t look at how those rules are being received, what the incidence of games being played it, what the exposure of their product is.

English 2000
19-12-2014, 16:48
Maybe you should learn a little about GW's competition before picking just one company and declaring it exemplary of the industry.

Of course comparisons to the competition are viable, but if you are genuinely unaware of the Perrys , Warlord Games, or Wargames Factory then any comparison you make is from a position of total ignorance. It'd be like me saying only the exceptionally wealthy can afford cars, because I've only ever heard of Ferrari and Maserati. Wouldn't it make sense for me to do some research before shouting my mouth off on a subject I knew nothing about? And if someone gave me the names of other car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan or Kia I could, say, Google them and see if their products were similar to Ferrari and Maserati or actually demonstrated something about the industry that I hadn't previously realised.

This (http://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Dark-Elves-Witch-Elves) is a GW product. This (https://www.perry-miniatures.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_62&products_id=3217&osCsid=nnq61ct1hkamu83iu4uljcmn60), this (http://store.warlordgames.com/collections/napoleonic-french/products/napoleonic-war-french-line-infantry), this (http://www.wargamesfactory.com/webstore/myths-and-legends/wgf-ml002) and this (http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/kings-of-war/dwarfs/product/dwarf-ironclad-regiment-20-figures.html) are examples of their competition (covering a variety of aesthetics and quality) - not to mention this (http://plastickrak.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/avatars-of-war-dark-elves-vestals-of.html), when it's released. There's just a few examples... so yes, PP are their competition, but not their only competition, and by now it is very definitely cherry-picking if you continue to bang on about PP while ignoring the rest of the wargaming world.

And now you're the one cherry picking and making meaningless comparisons.
You cherry picked witch elves, a set generally accepted to be an extreme example (though not the only one) of GW pricing ridiculousness.

You then compare them to Perry Humans, Mantic dwarves, warlord skeletons.

Those Perry humans you picked have VERY limited utility in warhammer if you want to keep the aesthetic of your Empire or Bretonnian army. None of those models looks anything like a witch elf.

Mantic dwarves look like crap. Yes they're a fraction of GW dwarves per model, but some people care about more then utility as a game piece. Little balls of paper are cheaper then mantic dwarves. Doesn't mean I'm going to use them. None of the above will pass as a witch elf.

Wargames factory skeletons look like my 20+ year old GW skeletons. They could very well substitute for GW skeletons. Though not as nice looking as the current ones they do get the job done for a fraction of the cost. They won't pass as witch elves though.

The other link took me to a generic front page so I don't know which of those models you were using as a comparison to witch elves. It looks like it might have been napoleonic french infantry... I don't care how cheap they might be, they're not passing as anything in the warhammer world.

If you want a meaningful conversation how about you compare the GW witch elves to the aratars of war vestals.

To use your analogy, GW produced a Bentley. Avatars produced a ford. Both get the job done, one is a luxury product, the other is utility on a budget. That is a conversation worth having. You can discuss game utility vs price per model, sculpt quality, miscasts, ease of assembly, ease of ranking up. Notice I didn't mention the overall aesthetic? That's because it's a matter of personal opinion. I'm sure someone out there even likes mantic Dwarves....

Comparison of GW elves to perry humans or mantic dwarves is just pointless.

If you want to argue the cost of building a generic GW army vs the cost of a mantic army or warlords army that's a whole other topic and this isn't the place. You also have to factor in the availability of models for your chosen race. Can you reasonably build an entire warhammer army from those other manufacturers? What races can you do that for?

If you want to argue GW army price vs perry price or some other historical game you're arguing the cost of two different things entirely.

Voss
19-12-2014, 16:52
To use your analogy, GW produced a Bentley. Warlord produced a ford. Both get the job done, one is a luxury product, the other is utility on a budget. That is a conversation worth having.
No, it isn't. Its much more akin to a Burger King hamburger being twice as much as a McDonalds hamburger, with no explanation or logic.

The fact that you're banging on about aesthetics (and passing in the warhammer world, of all things*) above any other consideration indicates that it is merely a matter of preference, not economics. You're honestly having a Pepsi vs Coke conversation, and ignoring RC, various generic brands, and assorted national flavors.


*which is utterly bizarre to me, since the human armies are historicals, and the fantasy armies are (with few exceptions) as generic as they can be. Intentionally.

Inquisitor Kallus
19-12-2014, 17:22
How is that ironic? That was the exact purpose of the game (besides sell some and make money, kind of goes without saying).

(I do agree that Voss' comment is odd).

I think you misunderstood what I wrote/meant. Maybe it was a bit ambiguous. He was saying it was rubbish and I was saying ironically it got me into 40k. The ironically part being against what he said. Ive been a gamer/hobbyist since 91 and a staff member for a good number of years. Its possible that without SC I never would have got into 40K and TTWG but I will never know for sure.

ObiWayneKenobi
19-12-2014, 17:25
The comparison above was mostly about the Avatar of War Dark Elf "Vestals of Nemesis" which are basically a carbon copy of Witch Elves but sell in a box of 30 for less than 10 of GW's. That said though let's respect the topic and take the price comparisons to the other thread.


I don't believe that is true. I think they are fully aware that players will buy multiple kits to make up armies. I think where they fall down is believing that as long as the games don't change too much they can use them as a method of shifting numbers of kits. They no doubt look at the investment at the design, consider it adequate based on people still playing the game and buy army sized lots of models and that’s that. They don’t look at how those rules are being received, what the incidence of games being played it, what the exposure of their product is.

I think part of the problem is that they are aware people buy multiple kits, so they deliberately seem to gimp options to get you to buy a second or more box to make a single unit. I find zero logical reason why a unit should have 5 in a box when you will want 10, even without bringing up the price. Privateer Press includes the max unit in a box, there's no reason GW can't do the same (or a reasonable amount in the case of things like Orks where a max size might be 40 guys). One box should equal one unit with all the possible options for that unit, not half the unit with some options but not others so that you need to buy another box of the same or a different unit to round it out.

That's the business strategy part that doesn't sit well with me. It makes customers feel like they're being taken advantage of (which they arguably are) because it's like selling you a car with only 2 wheels and then saying you need to buy a second car to get the other two wheels. It wasn't a big deal when they had the bitz service, but since that went away and they started to crack down on bits sellers it's really annoying to feel that you have to pay two or more times just for one thing.

English 2000
19-12-2014, 17:57
No, it isn't. Its much more akin to a Burger King hamburger being twice as much as a McDonalds hamburger, with no explanation or logic.

The fact that you're banging on about aesthetics (and passing in the warhammer world, of all things*) above any other consideration indicates that it is merely a matter of preference, not economics. You're honestly having a Pepsi vs Coke conversation, and ignoring RC, various generic brands, and assorted national flavors.


*which is utterly bizarre to me, since the human armies are historicals, and the fantasy armies are (with few exceptions) as generic as they can be. Intentionally.

It appears you just missed the point of what I said regarding aesthetics.

Elves do not equal dwarves is not banging on about aesthetics. It's a meaningless comparison

GW Witch elves vs Vestals is a valid comparison when arguing price and utility. In my previous post I listed a bunch of things that go into that utility equation. In fact if you actually take the time to read my post you'll see that I specifically excluded aesthetic from the GW vs Avatars discussion.

To use your analogy, the GW burger costs twice as much because it's twice as tasty. Both fill you up and contain 500 calories so you get the same utility from either burger. But utility per dollar is better with the Avatars burger. However, some people will actually like the taste of the Avatars burger better. They're getting (in their personal opinion) the best of both worlds. A tastier burger for half the price.

To argue Pepsi vs coke we'd need 5 companies producing "witch elves" . Two with a premium price tag and 3 sold at a cheaper price to make up for the fact that they don't have the big name brand.

EmperorNorton
19-12-2014, 18:25
It appears you just missed the point of what I said regarding aesthetics.

Elves do not equal dwarves is not banging on about aesthetics. It's a meaningless comparison

GW Witch elves vs Vestals is a valid comparison when arguing price and utility.

To use your analogy, the GW burger costs twice as much because it's twice as tasty. Both fill you up and contain 500 calories so you get the same utility from either burger. But utility per dollar is better with the Avatars burger. However, some people will actually like the taste of the Avatars burger better. They're getting (in their personal opinion) the best of both worlds. A tastier burger for half the price.

To argue Pepsi vs coke we'd need 5 companies producing "witch elves" . Two with a premium price tag and 3 sold at a cheaper price to make up for the fact that they don't have the big name brand.

You are arguing from the rather narrow perspective that GW's competition needs to make direct equivalents to GW's products that are usable in GW's games. That is not true.

English 2000
19-12-2014, 18:56
You are arguing from the rather narrow perspective that GW's competition needs to make direct equivalents to GW's products that are usable in GW's games. That is not true.

Well yes, because this is a GW discussion forum. In fact I believe I said that GW vs historical games or other armies/games is an entirely different topic.



If you want to argue the cost of building a generic GW army vs the cost of a mantic army or warlords army that's a whole other topic and this isn't the place. You also have to factor in the availability of models for your chosen race. Can you reasonably build an entire warhammer army from those other manufacturers? What races can you do that for?

If you want to argue GW army price vs perry price or some other historical game you're arguing the cost of two different things entirely.

Why yes, yes I did say that [emoji4]

Reinholt
19-12-2014, 19:32
If your comparison space for GW includes only GW, your analysis is going to be very limited.

This would be viable if GW were the only miniatures company around. They are not. Plenty of people quit GW to go to Privateer, or Wyrd, or Infinity, or Bolt Action, or X-wing, or... I'll stop now, but the point is clear despite this being a GW forum. If you consider only GW, you definitionally cannot understand what is going on with GW.

As they say in statistics, the only thing N=1 communicates is that you need more data.

English 2000
19-12-2014, 20:00
If your comparison space for GW includes only GW, your analysis is going to be very limited.

This would be viable if GW were the only miniatures company around. They are not. Plenty of people quit GW to go to Privateer, or Wyrd, or Infinity, or Bolt Action, or X-wing, or... I'll stop now, but the point is clear despite this being a GW forum. If you consider only GW, you definitionally cannot understand what is going on with GW.

As they say in statistics, the only thing N=1 communicates is that you need more data.

You are correct when looking at the high level and I agree with what you're saying.

You're missing the context of my points which are related to the discussion of cost vs in game utility for models to be used in warhammer, not as I've said before, the cost of Warhammer vs other games.

That's a separate topic.

MiyamatoMusashi
19-12-2014, 22:03
And now you're the one cherry picking and making meaningless comparisons.
You cherry picked witch elves, a set generally accepted to be an extreme example (though not the only one) of GW pricing ridiculousness.

Yes. Though I think you missed the point of why I did that? To show the ridiculousness of single points of comparison. Indeed, if you prefer, pick any GW infantry kit from the last year or two. None of them are much cheaper than Witch Elves... a few quid cheaper, sure, but not the multiple factors cheaper that other companies offer.


You then compare them to Perry Humans, Mantic dwarves, warlord skeletons.

Yes. To demonstrate the choice and range of the industry, and show that it's not just GW and PP - to show that they vary in quality, aesthetic and value - but that there is one constant across pretty much any comparison you might make. That's what comparisons with "the competition" or "the industry" involve: multiple options, not just one company. The very point I'm trying to make. :shifty:


If you want a meaningful conversation how about you compare the GW witch elves to the aratars of war vestals.

Uhhhhhhh... I did (http://plastickrak.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/avatars-of-war-dark-elves-vestals-of.html) exactly that, right there in the post you quoted...?

Witch Elves are €45 for 10. Avatars of War Vestals are €35 for 20 (or 30 if you get/got them on pre-order). Less money, two or three times as many models, but basically the same unit (with similar aesthetic and a sculptor who AIUI used to work for them so can sculpt to the same quality). There's your comparison. Which I've already made. It doesn't compare well in GW's favour. Not sure what else you want.

I showed a direct comparison for directly equivalent models (AoW Vestals). I showed a comparison for cheap and cheerful tat (Mantic). I showed a comparison for historicals (Perrys and Warlord) and other fantasy (Wargames Factory). The industry is large, and varied, and consists of orders of magnitude more companies than just GW and PP, despite the previous poster being self-confessedly ignorant of even the biggest of them. If you want to compare GW to the industry, those are the kind of comparisons you need to make - not just say "oh but this one other company is almost as expensive, therefore that's the whole industry", nor even "oh but 28mm plastic toy soldiers from GW can't possibly be compared to 28mm plastic toy soldiers from another Nottingham-based company consisting of ex-GW sculptors because they're completely different things".


Plenty of people quit GW to go to Privateer, or Wyrd, or Infinity, or Bolt Action, or X-wing, or... [...] If you consider only GW, you definitionally cannot understand what is going on with GW.

Exactly the point I'm making. Neither should you only consider GW and PP, as the previous poster did. The more samples for comparison, the better.

Voss
19-12-2014, 23:11
It appears you just missed the point of what I said regarding aesthetics.

Elves do not equal dwarves is not banging on about aesthetics. It's a meaningless comparison
Even if I accept that is true (which I don't, as it's nonsense). You can blatantly compare empire/brets vs various historicals, GW Dwarfs vs various companies dwarves, witch elves vs witch elves (and various ranges of dark elves made by several different companies), so it is the exact opposite of a meaningless comparison. In fact, you did it yourself, with Mantic dwarves and whomever's skeletons. You can talk around witch elves vs dwarves all you like, but cherry picking a single point as questionable to your logic chain doesn't let you toss out the entire data set. There are many, many miniature ranges with Historical Germans, French, Dwarves, Dark Elves and etc.


In fact if you actually take the time to read my post you'll see that I specifically excluded aesthetic from the GW vs Avatars discussion.

Bully for you. You made it front and center of the rest of your argument.

Those Perry humans you picked have VERY limited utility in warhammer if you want to keep the aesthetic of your Empire or Bretonnian army.

Mantic dwarves look like crap. Yes they're a fraction of GW dwarves per model, but some people care about more then utility as a game piece. Little balls of paper are cheaper then mantic dwarves. Doesn't mean I'm going to use them.
This is all about your personal taste, and nothing about the industry. Your inconsistency isn't my problem- if all you can say when presented with multiple model ranges that compete with GW is they aren't witch elves, you don't have much of an argument.

English 2000
19-12-2014, 23:41
Uhhhhhhh... I did (http://plastickrak.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/avatars-of-war-dark-elves-vestals-of.html) exactly that, right there in the post you quoted...?

Witch Elves are €45 for 10. Avatars of War Vestals are €35 for 20 (or 30 if you get/got them on pre-order). Less money, two or three times as many models, but basically the same unit (with similar aesthetic and a sculptor who AIUI used to work for them so can sculpt to the same quality). There's your comparison. Which I've already made. It doesn't compare well in GW's favour. Not sure what else you want.


Yes, you did and I must confess that I missed that last link to the Vestals in your original post. That kinda changes my interpretation of your original post. What I interpreted as a chain of absurd comparisons wasn't in fact entirely that. Though I don't agree with it all, your last post clarifies the point you were trying to make.

Thank you for that explanation.

English 2000
20-12-2014, 00:00
You can blatantly compare empire/brets vs various historicals, GW Dwarfs vs various companies dwarves, witch elves vs witch elves (and various ranges of dark elves made by several different companies), so it is the exact opposite of a meaningless comparison. In fact, you did it yourself, with Mantic dwarves and whomever's skeletons. You can talk around witch elves vs dwarves all you like, but cherry picking a single point as questionable to your logic chain doesn't let you toss out the entire data set. There are many, many miniature ranges with Historical Germans, French, Dwarves, Dark Elves and etc.

I think you'll find I was comparing like to like and highlighting that comparing mantic dwarves to elves was pointless. We're partially arguing the same thing. However, those particular Perry miniatures fit a very limited range of GW models.
Bretonnian bowman? A near Perfect fit. The men at arms? At best they'd pass as Greatswords and even that is a stretch.




Bully for you. You made it front and center of the rest of your argument.
I really didn't but I'm not going to spend any more time on this point as it's going to just keep going on circles.



if all you can say when presented with multiple model ranges that compete with GW is they aren't witch elves, you don't have much of an argument.

If you read my post in its entirety you'll understand that's not what I doing. Sorry, but Perry does not compete with GW. They're historical vs fantasy. Perry isn't even trying to compete with GW. They're trying to compete with other historicals companies. Yes you can proxy their minis for a small part of the GW range but that doesn't equal competition. That's simply a result of GW using history for inspiration.

The others are trying to compete with GW by making fantasy miniatures. In that case you hat to compare like with like. As I stated above, I missed one of Myamotomusashi's links (sorry if I butcher the spelling) which reduces my perception of absurdity contained in his argument.

If you want to argue average dollars as a percentage of average army size that makes sense.
If you want to argue witch elves vs "witch elves" that makes sense.


If you want to show me elves and dwarves from two different ranges and say they're comparable that doesn't make any sense.

However, as he clarified he was trying to point out in the existence of other companies to someone else, albeit with a strange comparison to GW Witch Elves. ;)


I'm going to end my participation in this discussion as we're going way off topic, going around in circles and adding nothing to thy overall thread. We can agree to agree on the bits we agree on and agree to disagree on the rest. Otherwise Wintermute is going to end up closing the thread which I'd rather not see happen.

MiyamatoMusashi
20-12-2014, 00:16
Yes, you did and I must confess that I missed that last link to the Vestals in your original post. That kinda changes my interpretation of your original post. What I interpreted as a chain of absurd comparisons wasn't in fact entirely that. Though I don't agree with it all, your last post clarifies the point you were trying to make.

Thank you for that explanation.

Thank you for recognising it.


Sorry, but Perry does not compete with GW. They're historical vs fantasy. Perry isn't even trying to compete with GW. They're trying to compete with other historicals companies. Yes you can proxy their minis for a small part of the GW range but that doesn't equal competition.

It absolutely does. Just recently, I've bought a Samurai army from Wargames Factory, Zulus from Warlord, Imperial Assault from FFG and I'm so far resisting getting into X-Wing, also from FFG. Know how much I've spent on GW stuff in that time period? Zero. But I'm playing wargames, some of them are even fantasy or sci-fi wargames, and I'm spending money elsewhere. If you don't think that's competition, I'm honestly not sure what you think competition is.

I mean, I could make a wargame myself, called Scroogwar, based around the fantasy world of Scroog, and declare myself to be without competition because nobody else makes models suitable for Scroogwar; but hundreds of thousands of wargamers worldwide would still be spending their wargames time and money on wargames companies that aren't me, so I'm not sure what benefit me being without competition has for me.

Or to put it another way, if all GW had to worry about was how many people are using non-GW models to play GW games, they really wouldn't have anything to worry about. Sure, some people use Mantic (but there are quality concerns) or Avatars of War (availability issues) and there will always be some who proxy, but that's basically it. So GW have nothing to worry about? Hardly. People are playing other games instead, and buying other models. That's competition by any reasonable definition.

Liber
20-12-2014, 01:51
Even their web-store is poorly designed, taking you back to the top each time you apply a product filter, so you have to scroll down.



This, a thousand times this!


The new layout is the crappiest most fiddly thing to navigate ever. How they went from having a good looking normal web page to one that is impossible to navigate and no longer allows you to expand most pictures (replaced with that useless magnifying glass feature) is embarrassing.

Voss
20-12-2014, 02:49
If you want to show me elves and dwarves from two different ranges and say they're comparable that doesn't make any sense.
Yes, it does. They're 28mm miniatures (or thereabouts) for wargames, though the 28mm doesn't even matter much. But if they're not comparable than Warhammer Fantasy doesn't work at all, or at least not if you try to line up against any of the armies that aren't elf armies. Because you frankly can't play the game if elves, dwarves and humans aren't in the same class.

Does GW make elf armies? Yep. Does GW make dwarf armies? Yep. Anyone making any range that even partially overlaps with product ranges GW makes is by definition and obviously competition.
Even if they don't directly overlap, many companies are still competition, since they're fighting for the same market share and monies. Companies don't exist in tiny little bubbles that only compete with each other if they have the same classification tag.

If Miyamoto's Scroogwar exclusively made pony armies, they'd still be competing with GW for marketshare in the wargaming market.

You could even go outside it and deal with any sort of entertainment or hobby market, but the comparisons will be less relevant.

English 2000
20-12-2014, 05:07
Thank you for recognising it.



It absolutely does. Just recently, I've bought a Samurai army from Wargames Factory, Zulus from Warlord, Imperial Assault from FFG and I'm so far resisting getting into X-Wing, also from FFG. Know how much I've spent on GW stuff in that time period? Zero. But I'm playing wargames, some of them are even fantasy or sci-fi wargames, and I'm spending money elsewhere. If you don't think that's competition, I'm honestly not sure what you think competition is.

I mean, I could make a wargame myself, called Scroogwar, based around the fantasy world of Scroog, and declare myself to be without competition because nobody else makes models suitable for Scroogwar; but hundreds of thousands of wargamers worldwide would still be spending their wargames time and money on wargames companies that aren't me, so I'm not sure what benefit me being without competition has for me.

Or to put it another way, if all GW had to worry about was how many people are using non-GW models to play GW games, they really wouldn't have anything to worry about. Sure, some people use Mantic (but there are quality concerns) or Avatars of War (availability issues) and there will always be some who proxy, but that's basically it. So GW have nothing to worry about? Hardly. People are playing other games instead, and buying other models. That's competition by any reasonable definition.
See now we're moving on to what I had already identified as a separate topic. I've been talking about specific models to be used in warhammer. I've deliberately kept my focus narrow and stated twice (I think twice anyway) that GW vs other games is a totally separate topic.

What you're talking about is competition for your disposable income dollars or pounds as the case may be. You're widening the subject. Maybe that's why our viewpoints aren't aligning.

Of course other war games compete for hobby dollars. In my town there was a complete collapse of GW games in the local store. Now you see almost exclusively Warmahordes.

There are a host of things competing for those excess dollars. Non-wargamimg included. I was ignoring that because everyone goes in a different direction and the topic goes nowhere because everyone pretty much thinks the same thing. However some people want to talk war games vs war games only. Others want to compare to video games, or other things. I recently read one person on this forum (might even have been this thread) say that comparing to video games was ridiculous. That person is unaware that in the early 2000's GW told it's employees that video games were their number one competitor. Maybe GW was ridiculous for not seeing the rise of warmahordes as a threat because they were focused on convincing me to buy toy soldiers instead of call of duty. I don't have the answer to that one.

To sum up,
A person who wants to play warhammer witch elves will not spend money on mantic dwarves. Hence why I say mantic dwarves do not compete with GW witch elves.
A person who wants to war games might choose mantic xyz over GW xyz. Mantic minis in a general sense most certainly do compete with GW minis.

Maybe now we're on the same page. If not, I'm just gonna leave it there and we can disagree until Scroogwar is released and everyone migrates to that system [emoji12]

Herzlos
20-12-2014, 08:17
Sure, if all you're wanting to do is compare direct Warhammer replacements, you're right.

But someone could want to play a Witch Elf army in WHF and (unless they are dead set on it) instead end up playing a Romanian Lorried Rifleplatoon in Bolt action. That makes it competition.

frozenwastes
20-12-2014, 08:32
Sorry, but Perry does not compete with GW. They're historical vs fantasy. Perry isn't even trying to compete with GW. They're trying to compete with other historicals companies.

Sorry, they're trying to compete with everyone in the wargames market. They want people, regardless of their current collections and preferred games to find out about their miniatures and spend money on them. The sales channels that Perry (and many, many other historical games) products go through are sold right alongside fantasy, sci-fi and other miniatures products. When a distributor sells some Perry stuff to a retailer or a retailer to an end user, that's money that doesn't go toward another product. That's shelf space that doesn't go toward another product.

GW has made it their strategy to segment their customer base from the larger hobby. They appear to have convinced you that there really is an invisible force field between historical and sci-fi miniatures.

204657

What's this? It's a historical miniatures game being run by GW at Games Day UK 2008. GW actually used to publish historical rules. You'll see a copy of one of their historical products in that very picture. Warmaster: Ancients. Not only is GW a competitor with every supplier in the wargaming hobby, they also used to be a historical rules publisher until very recently (2012). They essentially lost the market for their popular Warhammer Ancients line with some very questionable decisions (like making 2nd edition a direct only product-- imagine what would happen to 40k if the core rules went to direct only) and by earlier creating their own competition by laying off key staff.


I've been talking about specific models to be used in warhammer.

Given the recent CHS lawsuit and the resources GW has put into trying to stop someone from making miniatures and accessories specifically to be used in warhammer/40k, I think this is actually a good sub-topic for this thread. But not at all in some sort of "lets review the products and talk about which ones we think are better" but in terms of the business strategy side of things.

Nogginthenog
20-12-2014, 09:36
Without wishing to get too involved, Perry miniatures are in fact direct competition with GW, I know because my Empire army is constructed almost entirely from Perry War of the Roses and mercenary boxes.
In fact, of the 3 Empire armies I regularly see (we dont really do much fantasy any more, and stick with earlier editions when we do) there is barely a GW model in there.

I'll go further. If I couldnt buy 40 minis for £18 a box (and sculpted by the same people who sculpted the earlier empire troops no less, easily surpassing GWs current human troop output for quality) I just wouldnt have bothered making the army at all. Perry didnt just compete with GW, they are the ONLY reason I own an ostensibly 'GW' army for fantasy.

MiyamatoMusashi
20-12-2014, 12:39
See now we're moving on to what I had already identified as a separate topic. I've been talking about specific models to be used in warhammer. I've deliberately kept my focus narrow and stated twice (I think twice anyway) that GW vs other games is a totally separate topic.

What you're talking about is competition for your disposable income dollars or pounds as the case may be. You're widening the subject. Maybe that's why our viewpoints aren't aligning.

I'm talking about THE THREAD TOPIC.

If you want to identify something else as the topic under discussion, start your own thread entitled "are GW in competition with anyone else for making GW games?" and, alright, the answer will be "not really, with a few exceptions", but it'll be a very short thread. Go for it, have fun.

This thread is about GW's business strategy. As the previous poster whose name I forget identified, that involves comparisons with their competition in the rest of the industry. By excluding all comparisons with their competition in the rest of the industry because you only want to talk about competition for GW making GW games, you're talking about something entirely other.


To sum up,
A person who wants to play warhammer witch elves will not spend money on mantic dwarves. Hence why I say mantic dwarves do not compete with GW witch elves.
A person who wants to war games might choose mantic xyz over GW xyz. Mantic minis in a general sense most certainly do compete with GW minis.

...and the former point is meaningless. Essentially what you are saying is, "people who only want to buy from GW will only want to buy from GW". Which is tautological, and takes the conversation literally nowhere - there is literally nothing else to say on that topic, it is a topic completely devoid of interesting discussion. Ah, but how do they get to be "people who only want to buy from GW"? That's what matters, and that involves looking at the wider industry and comparing to other products.

Tyberos
20-12-2014, 13:14
On the subject of GW's current state: this is basically what I have been predicting for years upon years now. Smaller sales volumes lead to genuine decay of customer base at some point, and that creates a self-sustaining cycle towards even smaller sales volumes. Nobody who is sane and familiar with GW's reports and industry data believes GW is growing their market share at this point. The problem is that I've seen no indication from GW they understand what the core problems are. Nothing they are doing right now is meaningful enough to change this trend. It's like watching a train heading off a cliff in very, very slow motion.

Or like I said in my earlier post, although perhaps not so eloquently, they're throwing poo at the wall to see if anything sticks.

Codsticker
20-12-2014, 15:42
As this thread has long since departed from it's initial topic it is now closed.

Codsticker

The Warseer Mod Squad