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darren redstar
05-01-2007, 07:27
http://investor.games-workshop.com/investor_relations/financial_results/Results2007/Interims/default.htm
but dividends stay at same level.
is this wise?

Steeple_jackuk
05-01-2007, 07:50
Yeah just heard this on Radio 4 where they commented, "Is this a case of Computer games winning over a child's imagination?"

Shame - clearly their strategy is tied up in LOTR which has become a niche market. So predictably things will tail off, but that isn't what investors invest for is it. Wonder how this will turn out now?

Just visiting the site they certainly talk things up as if things are ok. Interstingly I went to a local GW when I returned home over Christmas with a friend on a very good salery, but who knew nothing about the hobby. He has kids my age so is well versed in trends for 11yrs and up and when he saw the prices he was staggered. I found that interesting as someone coming in 'fresh' as it where, being stunned that a hobby aimed at 'kids' up was so expensive - there in lies the real reason I think that computer games win in the high street - instant gratification and cost.

Sj.

Jedi152
05-01-2007, 08:41
And that's the main problem with this hobby, and GW's pricing strategy. A rulebook costs the same as a computer game, and we're in a time where kids aren't likely to want to read a 300 page book just to learn to play - they want instant satisfaction. Mummy and Daddy already got them a 360 or a Wii for xmas, and they'd probably rather spend their money on games.

Hell, you can buy second hand or budget computer games for cheaper than a blister pack.

It's good to see that GW have made steps to rectify this with the starter games.

Devari
05-01-2007, 08:41
Interstingly I went to a local GW when I returned home over Christmas with a friend on a very good salery, but who knew nothing about the hobby. He has kids my age so is well versed in trends for 11yrs and up and when he saw the prices he was staggered. I found that interesting as someone coming in 'fresh' as it where, being stunned that a hobby aimed at 'kids' up was so expensive - there in lies the real reason I think that computer games win in the high street - instant gratification and cost.

Sj.

On the topic of prices, for the past few years they've been at the point where they're a serious deterrent for someone thinking of getting into the game. When I started playing 40K around 6-7 years ago you could get a box of Space Marines for around $30 (I live in Canada, so this is in Canadian funds). That's not exactly cheap, but it's similar to buying one or two CDs or DVDs. This same box of Space Marines is currently $45. Seeing a $45 price tag on something is going to make you stop and think about whether you can afford it, particularly if you have a limited income. At this point the price tag is going to make it difficult to view the item as a "normal" purchase that doesn't have to be specifically factored into a budget.

The other problem is that someone expects to get something substantial after spending that much money. But after spending nearly $50 on the game, all the person has is ten plastic marines. You can't really do much with that in the game and it certainly doesn't look like it should cost that much. And that doesn't even include any rules for the game. So to get a decently sized army you'd need to spend at least 5-10 times that amount. So not only is the price tag alone going to deter people, when they realize what they're getting for that money they're really going to ask themselves "Is this worth the money I'm spending on it?"

On the other hand, electronics and other similar merchandise is actually decreasing in price. You can currently find DVDs routinely priced at 2 for $30 or even 2 for $20. Gaming systems and other electronics are generally decreasing in price and/or giving you more features for the same price. So the increase in GW prices looks even worse in comparison to other forms of entertainment that are getting cheaper.

Personally, I don't see how GW can compete effectively with prices at their current levels. They might not see the full impact of this for a few more years but I expect that they will find their customer base will be sharply reduced as a result.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 10:07
We can now see that our full year sales, and therefore profits, are likely to fall short of current market expectations. This is why we have brought forward the timing of our interim results announcement this year.

2005 results were very bad, 2006 results are even worse. Quel surprise!

They really, really don't have a clue do they?

Same old, same old that we've been hearing for the last 3 years. All that's missing is the blaming it on the LotR bubble bursting for a third time. When will they face the fact that fewer and fewer people want to pay their crazy prices or play their obsolete games?

A positive spin would put this as the beginnings of a "bottoming out" of a decline curve. But that really is putting a strong slant on things. Given there was the release of the new Warhammer edition (which I remind you a year back was being trumpeted as the saviour of the company), then these weak-as-dishwater figures are pretty rubbish.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 10:23
Dawn of War has taken a lot of their custom I'll wager. A lot of my friends have been playing that instead of expanding or buying new armies.

Also, the games are horrifically priced to get into now.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 10:48
Oh yeah. It's no mystery why their turnover keeps falling. At least to *us* the buying public that is. Sadly to the Directors it appears that all they need to do to improve turnover is increase their prices again and sell ever more aggressively to an ever-younger client-base...

*slaps forehead*

nightgash
05-01-2007, 10:56
I think GW has priced themselves out of the market considering the relative cost of other entertainment goods. Hobbyists will pay a lot but there comes a point where it simply is not worth it anymore. Some people are only hanging on by buying second hand miniatures or simply not buying any at all.

If I was to ask all of you what was GamesWorkshops competitive advantage what would it be. What is their advantage that no other companies can easily imitate, which they should concentrate on?

Jedi152
05-01-2007, 11:04
Also, the games are horrifically priced to get into now.
Exactly. The price of rules and a decent starter army is horrific, a good £200+ - then you have all the time needed to learn the rules and paint and model the lot.

New starters nowadays would rather just buy Dawn of War.

WE will gladly pay the current prices, because we are addicted. New starters can't afford to get hooked. Sadly, because the veterans are paying it, they seem to think that everyone is happy to pay it.

Don't GW know why heroin dealers give it out free to new users?

nightgash
05-01-2007, 11:39
The question is, if GW lowered their prices considerably would profits go up?

snurl
05-01-2007, 11:47
If they lowered their prices I would certainly buy more of their new figures.

Dspankdo
05-01-2007, 11:54
I think they need to at least hold there prices steady for a few more years, not necessarily just start giving things away for half price, but stop doing things like the recent empire foot troops set, which is fine for the brits but other nations with weaker currencies suffer from.

Crube
05-01-2007, 11:56
Likewise...At the moment, I am planning a new Empire Arm... if the prices were lower (i'm talking of a ccomparible price to a few years ago - not tha actual price, but comparable) then I wouldn't just be planning it, Id be buying it in bucketloads, as well as probably a couple more units of Wood Elves and those Tomb Kings I have would be a s lonely either....

As it is, it's one or the other

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 12:03
I've been playing for 12 years now (and I'm 23 -sad I know!). I've just finished my chaos army for 40K and would happily get a Fantasy army IF it was cheaper to get into.

Right now I'm looking at Warmachine. It looks set to be at least £100 cheaper.

Autobot HQ
05-01-2007, 12:16
Also 23, and I know if the box sets were the same as they were 2-3yrs ago, so £12/£15 I'd still be buying, but as it is they've priced me out, and I've been collecting for 13yrs. Hell, I even used to work there.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 12:38
I remember when 10 marines cost £12. Even then I thought they were expensive because the metal ones were £1.50 each.

cookiescrumble
05-01-2007, 12:45
The problem is that prices are higher and the quality is getting lower, the new empire plastics are just pants.

The recent prices means that i have turned to Independent traders for my stuff, for big orders i go to the Dragonstears guys and save 25% off retail. Thats a crazy amount. I save around £100 per army i do. These guys seriously are the future of the hobby as far as i am concerned. The only thing i buy from GW is paints.

forthegloryofkazadekrund
05-01-2007, 12:48
i know what you meen about prices darkseer after 16 years of gw ive swapped to warmachine myself and still play with the armys i have, its very rare for me to buy anything thesedays, a lot of vet players around my way are thinking the priceing is getting a bit meh as well

Sleazy
05-01-2007, 12:52
"In September, October and November we experienced growth in our Hobby store sales "

ermm, that would be the once every 5 years release of WFB then? which regular players have now bought. That "growth" is not gonna be there every month you silly man!!

Bombot
05-01-2007, 13:09
Kirby’s statement reads like one from a man who’s run out of excuses.

"The directors firmly believe that the prospects for the business remain very good."

Yeah, you would, wouldn’t you? Despite offering no reason for why you 'firmly believe' it's all ok.

You’re stuff is too expensive – face facts dammit.


I think they need to at least hold there prices steady for a few more years, not necessarily just start giving things away for half price, but stop doing things like the recent empire foot troops set, which is fine for the brits but other nations with weaker currencies suffer from.

They need to make a price drop – a conscious statement saying “Yes, you were all right, our stuff costs too much and we’re rectifiying that.” Holding the prices will just leave people grumbling about the next’ imminent’ price hike and everyone will assume nothing’s changed.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 13:19
I've said it all along: Vote with your wallet.

It looks like more people are voting.

Zazoo
05-01-2007, 13:21
And here I thought only us South Africans had issues with the prices....

But after reading the comments I have to say that I agree that the hobby is just too expensive.
Most people cannot afford to buy a complete army.

Damien 1427
05-01-2007, 13:22
I remember when 10 marines cost £12. Even then I thought they were expensive because the metal ones were £1.50 each.

I remember when they cost £10, and that wasn't even a decade ago. Now they've almost doubld, and I wouldn't be shocked to find out this time next year squad/regiment boxes will be £20 a throw, at which point I probably will back out of 40k again, even if the proposed new Orks are made of glory and win. I just can't afford to pay that much.

Which is where the problem seems to be. Newcomers aren't bothering as it's just too much to get started, and the older crowd are pulling out because they can't justify the costs of new armies, new rulebooks, and so forth because they feel the quality isn't there.

Whether they will actually try to deal with this in some way, or just ignore it and drop further and further into a black hole, is up to them. I'll just keep playing other games, or older editions with OOP or third-party miniatures.

Jedi152
05-01-2007, 13:35
The sad thing is that none of us want to see this company die, despite what some of us say - Kirby et al know what their short term business plan is.

Sadly, they don't seem to care about a long term business plan, they just seem intent on more bucks for themselves now.


I've said it all along: Vote with your wallet.

It looks like more people are voting.
Like i said, we are addicted.

If marines were £80 a box people would still buy them. Look at Forgeworld - £900 for a ship and people are queueing up to throw money at them.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 13:51
This is the nub. Clearly Kirby things there are suffificient fanatics out there who'll keep buying the stuff whatever price he charges: he just has to sell it hard enough.

Many of us beg to differ!

There may be enough fanatics around to keep a garage company like FW alive, but are there enough to maintain sales for the whole of GW... The jury's still out. Kirby keeps forecasting sales growth, but sales kust keep a-shrinkin'

Maybe he's right, maybe if he opens enough stores there'lll be enough exposure to keep him in Farraris.

My guess is not...

As to whether we want GW to keep going or not, I personally am ambivalent. They did good stuff in the past, but nothing they do right now rocks my boat. Either they reduce their prices, or for me they may as well not exist any more.

ryfitz13
05-01-2007, 13:52
According to a Marketing course my wife took just recently, one of the first big rules of marketing is that, among those controllable factors that a vendor can manipulate, cost is the absolute last one they should touch.

It's hard to say exactly what they need to change... There's certainly enough of us who claim that we'd buy more if it was cheaper - but how many of us truly would?

I, for one, try not to horde too many unpainted models at any given time. Considering the speed (or lack thereof) at which I paint, I don't really know that I'd buy more if the costs were different. If they got much higher, I'd certainly have to consider buying less though. And I'm 30 with a good job and salary; I can't imagine how kids can get into this hobby!

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 14:01
I agree with Jedi152 -none of us want to see GW go down the pan, but it's going to happen sooner or later.
Back when I did my serious collecting I was pulling in £10,000 pa. In my current job I'm pulling in twice that much and I'm VERY cautious about my purchases now.

As for Forge World -what they produce looks stunning, but very few people will buy a whole FW army. I've treated myself to a few things here and there, like the odd dreadnought, or even the spined beast for my chaos army, but these a one offs and FW has been set up to produce 'one offs'.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 14:07
Well I would for one. I buy absolutely zero right now. Purely because the figures do not represent good value for money.

If their prices were to drop (as I can't see them increasing their quality any, if anything, their quality has dipped recently for me, despite the introduction of their "new" technology) then I'd see them once again as a viable option.

As things stand I buy stuff from other companies because they are either cheaper or (to my tastes) better.

There's lots of stuff in their catalogue I like. I just don't like it enough to pay the prices they are asking. If I can get it cheap off eBay or second hand at sometime in the future within my value bracket, then I'll partake. Otherwise I spend my money elsewhere. I work too hard for my cash to pee it away unecessarily.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 14:11
Apart from lowering prices, is there anything else that GW could do to keep their profits up?

We've mentioned that it's costly to buy the rules and a whole army for newcomers. How could they covercome this beyond telling people to buy the starter box and stick with that?

Also, how can GW compete with Dawn of War?
Want to play a particular race? -get online and download the mod for free!

Jon_Irenicus
05-01-2007, 14:13
Hey, nearly 22 here, been buying GW for about 11.

The only deals I´ve had from GW were from closing independent stores ^^

I love GW´s products, but I agree with what´s been said, truly. When I last bought a box, I felt bad when I opened it and looked at what was inside. Not that the miniatures are bad or anything like it, it´s the thought, "I just paid nearly 30 euros for this?". It doesn´t mean I´m stopping altogether, it just means that my purchases went from a box per month to about a box every three months. Very poor price/value feeling is what´s ruining it for gamers.

Damien 1427
05-01-2007, 14:37
Apart from lowering prices, is there anything else that GW could do to keep their profits up?

Quality. Compare Legends of the Old West to the 40k Rulebook. I feel like I got my £20 worth with LOTOW. It was nice, concise, beautifully presented and had everything I needed to play. Apart from Kill Team, which I love to bits, the 40k rulebook doesn't have that oomph.

Produced by the same people as well. So I must ask what the bloody hell went wrong.

Either start publishing meaty articles in the Dwarf again (Path To Glory, Index Asartes, Creature Feature...), or ressurect the Citadel Journal and start publishing them in that instead. As it stands, The 'Dwarf has been crap for months. Something along the lines of Movie Marines or an article on Kill Team would tempt me to throw down the £4 for it.

Basic things like spellchecking would be nice, too. Since I haven't bought a publication of theirs for a while I don't know if it's gotten better, but it could always have done with a step up.

Overall, they need more polish if they expect me to start buying like I used to.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 14:46
I'd like them to make more use of their store infrsatructure. IT always strikes me that by just selling their own core games they're putting all their eggs in one basket.

If they went back to being a general gaming retailer rather than just a purveyor of Citadel miniatures for 3 games, I might pop back from time to time.

As it stands GW stores don't contain enough of interest for me to vist them more than once a blue moon.

I think GW being so precious about "GW only" retailing is getting them out of touch, and alienating them from their remaining fans.

It's also cost them in the pocket as well. Flames of War (or rather a predecessor version) and SST (allegedly grown out of Andy Chambers version of 40k 4th ed.) are successful games that GW missed out on because of their slavish "core games only" mentality.

Bombot
05-01-2007, 14:48
According to a Marketing course my wife took just recently, one of the first big rules of marketing is that, among those controllable factors that a vendor can manipulate, cost is the absolute last one they should touch.

When you say cost, do you mean cost, or price to the consumer? I'm a bit confused by your statement.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 14:53
He means price to customer

eengaming
05-01-2007, 15:00
I could not agree more about Legends of the Old West. It is a fantastic game. With GW what it comes down to for me is value. I just don't see much value in most of their games. I'm a big Hordes/WM player and I'm not convinced it is a cheaper game (though you need less figures to play), but I do feel that the miniatures and rules are a much greater value.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 15:11
Conf and WM are pretty much on a par with pricing for GW metals (maybe a little higher), and of course there isn't the option to go for plastics.

I simply don't understand why people accept fantasy/sci-fi models priced at a premium compared to similarly sized historical models.

The Winslow
05-01-2007, 15:13
I work too hard for my cash to pee it away unecessarily.

Don't drink much beer then, I take it?)

The Winslow
05-01-2007, 15:21
Revenue £54.8m £57.1m
Operating profit £0.5m £0.5m
Profit before tax £0.1m £0.1m
Basic earnings per share 0.2p 0.2p
Interim dividend per share 4.95p 4.95p

Looking at the numbers, while sales are down, everything else is static. The question is, where did the cost savings come from? Efficiency is good, but if it's just from raising prices or firing off middle management, that's not a good thing long term. And while sales can always keep slumping, it's much tougher for them to keep getting more efficient to balance it out. My hope is that the "return to growth" part, isn't just in Mr. Kirby's mind.

Jedi152
05-01-2007, 15:23
Quality. Compare Legends of the Old West to the 40k Rulebook. I feel like I got my £20 worth with LOTOW. It was nice, concise, beautifully presented and had everything I needed to play. Apart from Kill Team, which I love to bits, the 40k rulebook doesn't have that oomph.

Produced by the same people as well. So I must ask what the bloody hell went wrong.
They knew they didn't need to try with 40k - it'd sell bucketloads if they hand-wrote it on old fag packets with a crayon.

LOTOW was different. It had something to prove. I've heard nothing but good things from Warhammer Historicals, as with Black Industries' WFRP - it simply oozes quality.

Osbad
05-01-2007, 15:27
Don't drink much beer then, I take it?)

That's *necessary* though...! :P

Incidentally I read the BBC report on this just now:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6233559.stm

Usual analysis. Interesting point though that the only game they mention is "Lord of the Rings". Seems like despite the bubble bursting, LotR is a valuable franchise for them as its the only thing the non-gaming public have heard of that they produce!

I also add my general plaudits to the LotOW. It's a very good game and I enjoy it immensely. If you haven't given it a go yet, you really should try it. If not in its origianl incarnation then in any of the "spawned" mods that have taken it to feudal Japan, Mars, the French & Indian wars and beyond...

de Selby
05-01-2007, 15:56
I don't think product quality is a major issue for GW. I occasionally look at a new figure and think 'where's the quality control?', but GW still produce more great stuff than I have time to paint, let alone money to buy.

Despite not playing or collecting it, I'm a defender of GW's association with the LOTR franchise. There will always be a market for LOTR figures and games; it's the most popular fantasy world ever. That doesn't mean it can prop up GW incompetence however.

My point of view:
I tend to collect 1500-2000 pt armies o' stuff (rather than, eg. random figures I like, or everything from my favourite range). I look at two things when purchasing cool models, and I don't consider purchasing anything that I don't think is great because life's too short:
1) can I build it for 10p per point or less
2) are the prices for particular items totally ridiculous (ie. will I feel like a chump when I open the box and consider how much I paid for what's inside).

Careful purchasing, battleforce savings etc just about keep me buying GW. But I have not bought many cool recent releases purely because they break my 'price rules'. I nixed a possible Eldar army because of cost and cost alone. I think the value/expense of their products is GW's primary problem.

superknijn
05-01-2007, 16:08
Hm......
My local shop (non-GW, Elite IIRC) has a 10%-off-pass, at a price of 5 euro's. It paid itself back at my very first purchase (BfM). Although it is only a minor difference, it somehow encourages me to buy more. So, price isn't a mayor let-down for me.

I hope that GW will recover soon, as I have had no bad experiences yet (mostly due to my local store), and wish to continue this hobby in the forseeable future.

Bombot
05-01-2007, 16:20
He means price to customer

That's what I thought. In which case I might agree, except that GW have been 'manipulating' the price since before the dinosaurs died (probably), and so now the'y in a hole with their overpriced toy soldiers.

Alright, I can see what the marketing idea is - dropping prices sends out the wrong sign / an admission of failure / whatever. But either they can wait five years with their current prices so that eventually they don't seem so silly (not sure the investors would think that the best plan), or they can do something like change 40k back so the cost of an army isn't so bad - i.e. maybe bring it back nearer to the skirmish game it began as.

Actually, thinking about I guess there are rumours that the are trying to push the odd Specialist Game again (namely BFG). They cost less to play (in total). As others have mentioned with the historicals and WHFRP, GW have quality products in their stable. Trouble is, the games that hook people in (chiefly 40k) are still priced to put off beginners.

Bombot
05-01-2007, 16:24
I don't think product quality is a major issue for GW. I occasionally look at a new figure and think 'where's the quality control?', but GW still produce more great stuff than I have time to paint, let alone money to buy.

The figures are alright, it's with the rules that the quality control goes wandering.

FatOlaf
05-01-2007, 16:33
I've been playing for 12 years now (and I'm 23 -sad I know!). I've just finished my chaos army for 40K and would happily get a Fantasy army IF it was cheaper to get into.


I am 32 and have played on and off for the last 18 years and I am staggered how they keep putting the prices up, I remember in the late 80's when they went from lead to 'white metal' and doubled the prices over night, I stopped buying from them then. And ten again last year they add another £1 to the blisters, a &%*$% POUND! for what? they're the same figure, again I will only now buy paints and Black libary from their stores now.



The other problem is that someone expects to get something substantial after spending that much money. But after spending nearly $50 on the game, all the person has is ten plastic marines. You can't really do much with that in the game and it certainly doesn't look like it should cost that much. And that doesn't even include any rules for the game. So to get a decently sized army you'd need to spend at least 5-10 times that amount. So not only is the price tag alone going to deter people, when they realize what they're getting for that money they're really going to ask themselves "Is this worth the money I'm spending on it?"

Personally, I don't see how GW can compete effectively with prices at their current levels. They might not see the full impact of this for a few more years but I expect that they will find their customer base will be sharply reduced as a result.

Yeah 40K is there easy sell and I used to play it, but looking at it now it's shocking how expensive it is even when compared to WFB. The price of the vechiles alone is shocking. I watched a dad once go into the Oxford street GW asking about getting a TAu army for his son, he almost had a coronary when he found out how much it would cost for his son's 2K list. When the store mgr tried to explain what good value for money it is, he almost went postal.


The question is, if GW lowered their prices considerably would profits go up?
Of course, as a starter hobby it's a no go area for your average working family.


I remember when 10 marines cost £12. Even then I thought they were expensive because the metal ones were £1.50 each.

I remember when you could get 5 lead figures for £2.50 and 20 plastic for a £10, aah great days.




The recent prices means that i have turned to Independent traders for my stuff, for big orders i go to the Dragonstears guys and save 25% off retail. Thats a crazy amount. I save around £100 per army i do. These guys seriously are the future of the hobby as far as i am concerned. The only thing i buy from GW is paints.

Absolutely, I buy all my figs from a indi store who is on Ebay, he sells at a 25% discount and he still makes a profit, so how much are the GW stores trying to make?


The sad thing is that none of us want to see this company die, despite what some of us say - Kirby et al know what their short term business plan is.

Sadly, they don't seem to care about a long term business plan, they just seem intent on more bucks for themselves now.


Like i said, we are addicted.


Yeah their 'future' is us, the 18-35 year olds (and older) who have grown up on this game, we have jobs and money and we will carry on playing this game regardless, we will have kids who will then start playing etc.
Why then do they completely blank us? Their official forum was modded by teens with (bad) attitude, White Dwarf is aimed at 10 year olds and completely snubs the older generation, the way the staff behave in the stores is so off putting that many of my friends who play avoid them like the plague. We have the money, not little jimmy or poor old student but they want us to spend it but keep out of the way and keep very quiet whilst JJ tries to get kids into the white elephant that is LOTR.


Apart from lowering prices, is there anything else that GW could do to keep their profits up?
We've mentioned that it's costly to buy the rules and a whole army for newcomers. How could they covercome this beyond telling people to buy the starter box and stick with that?
Also, how can GW compete with Dawn of War?
Want to play a particular race? -get online and download the mod for free!

GW does not need to compete with Dawn of War or Mark of Chaos as it's their IP, They are making a ton of cash out of this one.
But apart from lowering prices I reckon there are some key things they can do:

Bring back Paul Sawyer (pay him a decent wage) and turn WD back into what it once was, a magazine!

Sort out this Ethos in the stores, leave customers alone, We do not have to put up with a Spanish Inquisition every time we walk in. A simple hello will suffice.

Get shot of LOTR, get it out of WD, LOTR is never going to last as long as WFB or 40K as they have run out of material and they are really pushing the boundaries as they are not allowed to start making things up.

7th Ed army books need to come out quicker, the gulf between the armies is staggering and our choices are being lead by whom GW wants us to play with (and buy) and what we want to use.

Get all the races out, How many years have we stared at the maps and seen these countries without armies, Cathay, Nippon, Araby, Chaos Dwarves for starters, otherwise you are like Nintendo, recycling the same IP over and over again, the 'new' empire army being a prime example of this.

And LOWER the prices ;)

I may come across very anti GW and in ways I am, I love the product but currently hate the company and the way it's being pointed. I am very worried for the future of GW :(

Sleazy
05-01-2007, 16:37
prob is GW have stated who their target is.... but they are misguided on who their competition is.

If their target is the young uns then Rackham, Privateer, Mongoose etc wont be affecting their sales. Their real competitors are Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Thats where 200 quid for a starter army of unpainted plastics looks poor.

Steeple_jackuk
05-01-2007, 16:52
Fatolaf said

I may come across very anti GW and in ways I am, I love the product but currently hate the company and the way it's being pointed. I am very worried for the future of GW

Here I have to agree, I love this stuff - I'm not so interested in the wild west or historic battle the SFX has always caught my imagination, but I can't afford to go on like this for ever. I'd rather play 500 pt skirmish battles than all this. I'm keen to keep the game alive but feel in the silence that is GW PR most of us have made up our minds that GW is just a souless cash cow, but the milks running dry.

The worst part about this seems to be the denial shown by the senior management. Despite Mr Kirby's assertion that they will continue to do beginner hobby sessions and stuff to get new people in, what is the good of that if you dad can't afford to even buy you a decent army? Then you've got to pay a bucket loads of cash just to get the tools to make the things up and get them in a good state for tabletop use?

I love collecting and painting but I'm nearly 40 and do this between other stuff like real life. I don't need instant graitifcation, but how many of me are there. Besides which I'm not stupid I'll go to an indipendent GW stockest who offers a decent discount anyday rather than go to a store to buy my goods.

Sj.

TCUTTER
05-01-2007, 16:58
you know if this keeps happening then this site will be rendered nearly obsolete too, as much as we moan about it, without gw we wouldnt have much to do, so i think its tragic this is happening, i will say this however, gw needs to re focus on us adults and stop arsing around in the kiddy market

Zoned
05-01-2007, 17:00
Eh, I've stopped buying consoles. I used to have a Nintendo, and an SNES. My cousins bought an N64, and the Gamecube. We all purchased several games for each system. As fun as the Wii looks, we've all wasted enough money on the consoles. Sure, they can play their Gamecube games on the Wii, but then the Gamecube would still be gathering dust, right next to the N64, SNES, and original Nintendo. It's not like games were much cheaper back then either.

What's my point? Sure, getting Zelda: Twillight Princess is about the same price as a box of 10 plastic men. But I am sure I will get more repeat entertainment from those 10 men then I will from Zelda in the long run. When my buddies come over to play 40k, I ask myself: Hmmm...do I use the Dark Eldar, the Orks, the Chaos, or the Tau? If those same guys wanted to play video games, and I had a Wii, I'm sure I wouldn't be asking: Hmmmm...do I play the Nintendo, the Super Nintendo, the N64, the Gamecube, or the Wii?

I also know for a fact that if GW lowered prices that I would not buy more product. I only buy more product when I am done my current project (whatever box set I'm working on.) Sure, I've lost interest in some armies over the years and I've got some unfinished minis to work on, but by and large, my rate of purchasing is determined by my rate of painting. So lowering prices doesn't really entice me to purchase more.

Anyway, just my two cents on the whole price/value issue. Good gaming!

Zoned

Yorkiebar
05-01-2007, 17:05
i will say this however, gw needs to re focus on us adults and stop arsing around in the kiddy marketThat's something we all keep saying, but the fact of the matter is that 1) The kids getting into the game will be buying a hell of a lot more than a guy with 5 complete armies and 2) Two-thirds of GW's customers are under 21. Unfortunately for veterans, that means GW will continue to focus on the young'uns.

Brotherdraagor
05-01-2007, 17:11
Didn't really surprise me when I heard this on Radio 4 this morning. The prices are diabolical, and company management itself seems more than a little sub-par. But to be fair, I can sympathise with the pricing decisions made. Games Workshop appear to fighting a losing battle against modern technology, in a generation where imagination is handed over on a DVD and manual. Most people I know are too lazy to bother with collectible figures, as they can sit on their **** watching TV all day and playing the latest GTA on their Playstation. However that's more a problem with my generation and those yet to come than anything else, hence why I see GW as fighting a battle they'll never win.

As for solutions to the problem, leveling the prices, or preferably dropping them would be a good start. It would restore faith in some of the veterans, and encourage those who walk in there unwittingly to start playing a game. But the impact pricing has in my opinion is a lot less than people realise. In order for price to ever be a factor, you have to get people in your store. I have never seen a single advertisment for Games Workshop. Not a TV slot, a bill board or a cinema promotion in sight. I don't care if this hobby is supposed to be a niche market, advertising with the pretty gritty pair of Warhammers they have now would increae interest far more than simply lowering prices in my opinion. Add seperate LOTR advertising and you've got yourself access to a much larger chunk of people already just because they know you exist. Dawn of War actually got me into this game, and no doubt other people as well, and that was sold to me because of an article in a pc games magazine. Nothing to do with GW itself, but PCG. If it happens for me it'll happen to countless others if they actually say they exist.

The above, plus perhaps a little asthetic overhaul of their stores (current look is stuck in the 80's, and nostalgia will only take you so far) and suddenly more people might actually walk into their stores, instead of seeing a spotty gothic kid sitting on his lonesome painting a model whilst being watched by two blue shirts who look as though they died some time ago and walking on (extreme example I know, but true far too many times). Then you want to worry about prices.

Quality I've no qualms with, as most of the latest stuff from GW has either impressed me or made me look twice (chaos possessed being a notable exception), book content and rules are good enough for a casual hobby, and means I'm not dragging my way through 200 pages just to find out how many times I have to divide pi to get my bolter shooting range. It's just the company needs to blow off the cobwebs and stop acting like a geek in defiance.

Wraith
05-01-2007, 17:24
A small random musing for you guys...

Game's workshop was mentioned on the BBC2 business programme 'Working Lunch' today briefly (because of their falling share price).

It was mildly amusing because the host attempted to describe what sort of business it was and he described it as making toy models for children and then became flustered and confused before a person off of camera shouted over to him confirming that they also produced the models for men with beards... :rolleyes: :eyebrows:

I believe you can watch the episode online here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/5170354.stm) although I doesn't look like they've uploaded today's episode yet. yet...

Brandir
05-01-2007, 17:33
Many people seem to focus on prices as the main reason for GW's dwindling sales. Personally I think that price is not the key issue. We wargamers are not that price sensitive.

I think the GW's troubles lie in a number of different areas. These reasons are not in any particular order:

-For the first time GW has serious competition (WARMACHINE, Confrontation and Flames of War).
-ebay
-console/computer games
-the fad is over (anyone remember beyblades?)
-senior management in place too long
-not a wide enough range of products
-underlying warhammer rule engine outdated

Personally I think that GW need to look at their business model. Not prices, but at what they sell. Perhaps it is time for GW to stock non-GW products, whether by acquistion or marketing deals. The strength of GW is three-fold: network of shops, distribution capability and brand recognition. GW must use these strengths and look at ways to exploit these strengths. I also think that the core game relaunches in the past couple of years have, with hindsight, not been radical enough. The Warhammer rules engine is outdated and tired; gamers want something different. Big blocks of models in units is not what people like using as much these days. The preference seems to be moving to the more characterful skirmish type with stat cards vice army books and generic type units.

The LOTR license will give GW a boost in a few years when The Hobbit is released. But is this too far off to save GW? I don't think that GW will go into administration but this sort of drop in share price (10% in one day is a massive drop as far as investors are concerned) will result in shareholders becoming a little twitchy again. The relatively high dividend may keep some of the longer term investment organisations happy for a while, but such good dividends cannot continue if GW underperforms for many more months.

Twitchy shareholders means that GW is ripe for a takeover. Investors are in a takeover frenzy in London at the moment. I would not be surprised if a cash-rich similar sized company (such as Hornby) or a cash-rich larger company (such as Hasbro) had a bit of a sniff around.

The full results, which will include Christmas 2006 sales, should make for interesting reading, especially as:

The company said that demand over the Christmas holiday period did not pick up as expected and will result in sales and profits falling short of targets. Quote taken from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6233559.stm

Some guy (UK)
05-01-2007, 18:07
What's my point? Sure, getting Zelda: Twillight Princess is about the same price as a box of 10 plastic men. But I am sure I will get more repeat entertainment from those 10 men then I will from Zelda in the long run.


Kids, supposedly GW's target market, don't see the long term benefit of putting together a unit of models, painting, playing etc. They see instant, short term enjoyment only. If gamming in the table-top sense is his thing, that is a fair amount of investment time, and money wise before the kid gets to do what he really wants to do. For that reason, nine times out of ten, billy will buy himself a games console and a bundle of games.

For £300, my estimate of the entry price to the hobby, Billy could have a Wii and a few games, or a premium 360 bundle. It keeps Billy happy, and most of all, its a no brainer for the parents (who will usually be the ones paying the way). Billy will be quiet for hours, possibly even when his mates come round, no using up the kitchen table, no mess, no taking Billy to begginer courses on a sunday morning etc. The hassle involved isn't worth the price on the box for someone starting out in the hobby.

Though I will agree that pricing is less of a factor for those who have been in this hobby some time.

@Brotherdraagor: great post, some very good points.

Zzarchov
05-01-2007, 18:07
Price IS a big concern. Older gamers are fading off (life, kids, work-a-holism, the usual) but fewer younger kids are getting in.

Dropping existing prices can be a bad idea, but what they really need is a starter set, a REAL starter set.

BfSP is an Ok, example of this, but still kinda "meh" for what Im getting at.


In 40k terms, make up some new army list "PDF forces" or "Human Mercanaries" or "Pirate warband" or some such, something generic.

Fill it chalk full of single part model humans and some crappy vehicle or two. Add in a paper back mini codex and the paper back BFM rulebook.

Sell this for under a hundred bucks, preferabley for seventy-five bucks or less.

More than anything they need a box, reasonabley priced, that you can hand to a new kid, and the next day he can come in and slap down an unpainted army and play with, right out of the box.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 18:13
It was interesting how on that BBC News article that 'analysts' commented that, although slow, GW seemed to be picking itself up. It seems encouraging that a professional who is unconnected to the company sees more than just bad in these results.

Jim30
05-01-2007, 18:20
I'm in a similar position to a lot of people here. I have a good income and been playing for years, but frankly I can't afford to pay the prices charged in store. I was looking at buying 8 Grail Knights the other day - in store that would cost me £48 - that is a big chunk of my monthly disposable income for not very much at all.

The company is out of touch with gamers opinions - kids don't have that much cash - Mum and Dad will spend money, but we are rapidly reaching the higher thresholds of what they're willing to spend - when we hit £20 per box, expect a further decline in sales.

Nowadays I play FoW, as they're a company that genuinely gives a damn about its customers. I'm sick of GW's imperious "we're perfect" attitude. No they're not - kids aren't staying, and the veterans are getting older. I'd love to know the retention rates for the average new player now as as time progresses and prices get higher, the chances of keeping new blood in the hobbey decreases.

holymarine
05-01-2007, 18:23
Its around 21 minutes and 20 seconds in the programme

Norminator
05-01-2007, 18:29
Haha.

A company for kids and men with beards ;)

SkaGoblin
05-01-2007, 18:47
One thing I though was amazing is the razor-thin profit margins.

Gross Revenue: 54,836
Profit: 456

That's a margin of .8%! And that is including 466K they get from "Royalties Receivable" presumably from DOW, MOC, and any other GW IP they have (how many acronyms can I get in one sentence?). Without that, they would actually be in the red by 10,000 pounds!

I always thought the stores were a bad move on their part. Huge money drain, which is why no other game company (other than WOTC, who has more money than God) bothers with stores. They opened 15 new stores this year, which is freakishly expensive, and closed 8 others which not only closes off revenue streams (albeit small ones, otherwise they wouldn't have closed them) but is more expensive than actually running the store in the short term (I am working at a small independent chain video store, and we are trying to close one of the locations). They quit with the stores and reallocate 1/10th of that money back into indys, I think the numbers would shoot up.

Brotherdraagor
05-01-2007, 18:56
Ah yes, but I think that tactic can only apply to certain countries, as good as it sounds on paper. In the UK, I see far more GW stores than I do indies, so closing loads of stores would be a blow to me, and many others I'm sure. Also, going mostly mail order/online exclusive would severely cut the potential market, as you rarely notice a web site or indy (no offence, but the only one I know of near me is at the top of a spiral stair case, above a book and shoe shop, not sign posted, sitting next to a tattooist).

Norminator
05-01-2007, 19:02
There are some locations though where they seem to have an excessive amount of stores. IIRC there are more Games Workshops in the London area than Scotland, NI, Wales and Eire...

Slaaneshi Slave
05-01-2007, 19:05
I think a lot of the problem with GWs recent price hikes is the Americas failing econemy. The first time I went to America, about 10 years ago, it was around $1.44 to the pound. The second time I went, around 2 years ago, it was ~$1.60, now it is a staggering $1.90 to the pound. This means if GW wish to sell to America they need to put their prices up to expect to earn as much profit per sale as they do over here. But if they put the price up there, but not here people would simply buy from the UK website, thus voiding the whole price raise. To avoid this they simply put the price up everywhere, which is killing them.

I remember when Rhinos were 2 for £10. Now they are £20 each.

Galdur Hrafnsson
05-01-2007, 19:16
There are some locations though where they seem to have an excessive amount of stores. IIRC there are more Games Workshops in the London area than Scotland, NI, Wales and Eire...

That's because of population distribution. That's why there's a lot in the London area. Look at most of the main cities, there's usually at least two. That's because more people live and work there.

And will you please stop insulting the staff? Yes, there are a few bad apples, but in the main we're just trying to do our job. You've never met me or the people I work with, so stop generalising.

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 19:16
I would not be surprised if a cash-rich similar sized company (such as Hornby) or a cash-rich larger company (such as Hasbro) had a bit of a sniff around.


I would be overjoyed if Hornby took over GW. I got a glimpse of their train sets the other day when I was in town. I wish I was a little kiddy again. There stuff looks bloody marvellous and very well priced too!



And will you please stop insulting the staff? Yes, there are a few bad apples, but in the main we're just trying to do our job. You've never met me or the people I work with, so stop generalising.

As the years have gone by GW staff seem to get worse. Are you one of the Plaza boys? If so, I dip my hat to you sir. One of the last few GW Stores worth stepping into as well as the Cambridge store.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 19:18
As long as the things I like about GW didn't change (the overall great service, the reasonably good quality models and the theme of the games (dark and gothic)), I would agree with you there Darkseer. But I wouldn't like to see it taken over by Hasbro.

dean
05-01-2007, 19:19
But prices are a bit cheaper here in the states because we have our own mould line and plastic is a bit cheaper here.

Your Rhino @ 20 quid is only $30 USD here where the exchange rate would put it at $40.

Slaaneshi Slave
05-01-2007, 19:21
But prices are a bit cheaper here in the states because we have our own mould line and plastic is a bit cheaper here.

Your Rhino @ 20 quid is only $30 USD here where the exchange rate would put it at $40.

I've seen many massive price hikes in the time that your economy has died though. It just seems to me to be closely linked.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 19:24
Just a bit off topic, but for an economy n00b like me, do you know what is actually causing the pound to get so high against the dollar?

Slaaneshi Slave
05-01-2007, 19:28
If I had to guess I would say it was because the US was pumping so much money into its war efforts, and going deeper and deeper in debt to cover the costs. Or it could be because the pound is growing a lot lately. The Pound Sterlin is getting stronger vs the Euro too, so I think its a mixture of both reasons.

Yorkiebar
05-01-2007, 19:29
Just a bit off topic, but for an economy n00b like me, do you know what is actually causing the pound to get so high against the dollar?The pound is very stable and always has been. I would hazard a guess that people are buying into the pound for security in a world beginning to realise that its resources are running out, the same reason that precious metals have rocketed recently (highest since the late '80s, I believe).

Norminator
05-01-2007, 19:31
Ah, that does make sense. I had heard about the price of gold; isn't China buying a lot of it?

Does anyone know how the increase in raw material prices (I am mainly thinking oil for plastic production) is effecting GW?

GAWD
05-01-2007, 19:32
What a surprise ... GW's profits fall again. :rolleyes:

It's very simple: GW has a crappy product for the price they're trying to sell it at.

The rules for MOST of GW's games are horrendous. There's simply too many mental midgets holding GW's pens.

The minis are a poor value for the cost, from a sheer material & labor standpoint.

The games are supported very poorly (long army book/codex release schedules, non-existant and/or incomplete FAQs, garbage WD, etc...).

This is a trifecta of suckage that will be almost impossible to overcome in the next few years. In fact, GW will probably be operating in the red w/in the next 18 months, especially if their dividends stay level. As a result, GW WILL be purchased by someone else, and a meaningful shake-up will revitalize the "GW Hobby" (whatever that's supposed to mean anyway).

Look for the following fixes for GW problems w/in the next 5 years ...

1. Ditch the entire games development staff, and find people that can write GOOD rules. Good rules will make people care again.

2. Have a selection of pre-assembled and pre-painted minis for each army. This is the only way to make the game playable out of the box, and if adolescent kids are your target consumer, this is the only way to have sustainable success. Keep your "model" minis too, for those that do want a "hobby" (as if gaming itself isn't a hobby in its own right).

3. Sell intro army deals and starter boxes that have complete armies of 1500 pts for 40k and 2000 pts for WFB priced below $200 (including relevant rulebook & armybook/codex). This way newbies have all they need to start playing w/vets right from the start. These army deals should have a heaping helping of pre-assembled and pre-painted figs.

pacmanswang
05-01-2007, 19:37
the problem is that any monkey who knows how to do price elasticity calculations would realise the positive effect a price decrease would have. GW are in the perfect position in the UK as they are the larges part of an Oligopoly and so are able to do things like raise prices as they wish (to an extent) without serious repercussions.

if games workshop were to put prices back to the same as say 9 months ago or even just the last price hike people would instantly buy more. why? because all of a sudden things are cheaper (they were these prices before remember)?

the answer is that people would buy more because of the mental effect of the price change. it would involve two factors. the first would be how the human mind values things. it works on the basis of comparison, therefore because the price of a rhino was 18 and now its 12, it seems like a much more viable purchase on an overall scale.

the second would be the buying increase purely based on the fear that there could be another price hike back to the previous price set.

did someone say that games workshop arent effected by the economies fluctuations? thats insane if they werent being sarcastic. the purchase of goods within the economy is split (basically although you can further split into essential and non essential in each) into normal or superior goods, and inferior goods. games workshop's products are the archtypal non essential superior goods and so should be effected most by the fluctuations of the economy. if the economy is poor and there is a lower capita per person, then there will be a much lower level of spending with the majority being based on essential inferior goods.

lately games workshop has decided its going to push its prices as far as possible to determine just at what level they can charge. the problem with this is as seen in those statistics. revenue and shares are down, but profits are up. while in a singleminded view you could argue a boost in profit is the most important factor, the other stats are totally detrimental to the company and its practices within the business world.

rant over ;)

Cade
05-01-2007, 19:49
Oh joy. Two years running GW have made less profit than predicted.

There goes my share portfolio!!!!!

Darkseer
05-01-2007, 19:59
We all agree that they can't keep bumping prices forever, but when will it end? Probably when the oil runs out and our beloved army lies in ruins.

Galdur Hrafnsson
05-01-2007, 22:05
As the years have gone by GW staff seem to get worse. Are you one of the Plaza boys? If so, I dip my hat to you sir. One of the last few GW Stores worth stepping into as well as the Cambridge store.

Afraid not, but I do know a few of the plaza guys, not by name though as I'm terrible with remembering people's names. But they're cool and we are too.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 22:11
Amen on the Cambridge store. I started the hobby there and I've never found one better.

Dat Wildboy
05-01-2007, 22:26
i like Cambridege too, i learnt how to play WFB there and the dwarf mountain stronghold, skull pass goblin camp and 40k cityfight boards are very nice. the vats are made out of giant tins of beans- i never thought about doing that and they look very good too.

i don't buy much GW stuff any more, i usually buy plastics and convert instead of buying metal ones.

Wraith
05-01-2007, 22:45
I tell you, I feel like I'm missing out here -- 'obviously' I should grow a beard.

I don't know where that comment came from, must be some sort of personal joke... you have to ask yourself whether someone on the program has or knows someone who has experience of games workshop...

Lord Inquisitor
05-01-2007, 22:55
I've been growing a beard specially to fill that demographic... :p

cookiescrumble
05-01-2007, 23:35
Just noticed this over on BBC.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6233559.stm

Looks like people have been voting with their wallets.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 23:40
That was mentioned earlier on actually.

Cade
05-01-2007, 23:53
This whole thing has come about because LOTR was TOO successful, believe it or not!!

When GW won the rights to produce table-top wargames based on LOTR, they predicted making a certain amount of money over the three-year product cycle of the games.

Problem is, they made that much money within the first THREE MONTHS of the first LOTR game being released.
Share prices went through the roof when people saw this and alot of cash was pumped into the Company by new investors who though GW had finally broken into the mainstream toy market.

The amount of money the three LOTR games made continued to rise with each new release and more and more people were buying GW shares, which pushed the price absolutely sky-high (from around £3 before LOTR to over £8 during the release of the third game).
At the end of the three-year LOTR cycle, obviously profits fell as alot of people failed to take up GW as a hobby, as they only wanted the LOTR games as long as LOTR was on the big screen. They were onlyinterested in playing LOTR and didn't take up either WarHammer or 40K.
This HUGE exodus of part-time gamers hit GW profits hard the following year and the share price absolutely flat-lined. I still get cold shivers up my spine when I remember coming home to a share alert on my PC which informed me that GW had lost nearly £5 PER SHARE in a single day.

What did GW do with all this money? Built two new factories in the USA, improved the Company infrastructure regarding Mail Order, opened more stores than ever before.
In short, they spent every penny. It was a huge risk and it seems to have not paid off. YET.
Before LOTR, GW was a tiny company with poor infrastructure (as the many threads about poor mail order service will prove).
After LOTR, GW had a global profile and the infrastructure to deal with high demand.
All it needs now is to replace the lost LOTR gamers with new WarHammer and 40K players.
Everything is in place to make the step to the next level in the business world.
All it needs is to spread the word.

Norminator
05-01-2007, 23:57
A very good point Cade. There does seem to be a void since LotR ended (my local used to be packed with younger kids when LotR was out, but you see very few nowadays). I can't see a sudden fillling of this with the conventional systems though. The only things I can see having a hope of doing any help are either stocking other companies systems (such as SST, as suggested earlier) or pushing the specialist range in store more (I know that I personally might get into Epic if it was more readily available).

nathonicus
06-01-2007, 00:28
Conf and WM are pretty much on a par with pricing for GW metals (maybe a little higher), and of course there isn't the option to go for plastics.

I simply don't understand why people accept fantasy/sci-fi models priced at a premium compared to similarly sized historical models.

Well, first off, you don't need as many models to play Confrontation or War Machine. I think some of the prejudice is because the other companies are new, so they produce minis we haven't seen before, instead of new versions of old ideas. Also, while some of the new WH stuff is awesome (I just paid $10 us for the Wood Elf Spellsinger, couldn't help myself) the griping comes when you have to pay the same cost for old, static, sculpts that used to cost half as much. And in many ways, GW is playing catch up in terms of dynamic models to the younger companies who have really pushed innovation.

My 2 cent "Save the Hobby!" strategy:
Lower prices at least on Battalions/Armies/etc to make them a good enough deal that people are excited to buy them instead of gritting their teeth and taking the hit. Keep prices on pewter the same or slightly lower.

Release advanced rules! The starter sets are good for the young'uns, but us vets need another reason to sink hundreds of dollars into models. Advanced rules would give me a reason to pick up another army and would certainly keep me playing more. And they could do a big box with it that cost a bundle. If it was good, it would sell. GW has a good universe (mostly because it incorporates ideas from every other universe) that has lasting appeal. But it feels really stale right now. Innovation is needed.

The game is afoot
06-01-2007, 00:29
What did GW do with all this money? Built two new factories in the USA, improved the Company infrastructure regarding Mail Order, opened more stores than ever before.
In short, they spent every penny. It was a huge risk and it seems to have not paid off. YET.
Before LOTR, GW was a tiny company with poor infrastructure (as the many threads about poor mail order service will prove).
After LOTR, GW had a global profile and the infrastructure to deal with high demand.
All it needs now is to replace the lost LOTR gamers with new WarHammer and 40K players.
Everything is in place to make the step to the next level in the business world.
All it needs is to spread the word.

Do you work for the company or have shares in the company?

The reason I ask this question is because in all your discussion , at no time have you mentioned the stone cold fact that during the LotR period and beyond GW have continued to raise their prices faster than the Inflation Index. In 2003 they made 4 separate price hikes in the one year.
The fact you are missing is this; no matter how many stores you have, no matter how many factories you have, if the product is marked up so high that you are losing your demographic market, you will continue to lose money, and that is exactly what GW are doing, continuing to lose money.
Lets hope for their sake that xmas was good for them because they are now sailing very close to the wind.

Crazy Harborc
06-01-2007, 00:58
Well, there's not much for me to add.

The just released results are what I expected (I really wanted to be wrong too). GW does have alot going for it.

Pricing is killing a good chunk of the urge to buy into the systems GW offers. I've been watching people checking out prices and just walking away.

Oh it's true, they pay as much or more for PC and or Playstations then the price of their games. Once installed, then the games inserted....guess what, there's NOTHING to assemble, NOTHING to paint, no forty pages of rules PLUS the rules for your army to learn!!

Yes, I bought Skull Pass. Yes, I bought the greenies armybook and today, the Empire's. I've been checking out the new versions of old troops/models. I have found a couple of NEW troop types I want. Will I be replacing old minies/models with the new versions? At 50 to 100% more for replacements?

Hello indie mailorder (discount). Hellooooooo "other minies makers".:D

nathonicus
06-01-2007, 01:10
Sigh. I just spent a few minutes trawling the net, and I think things are just going to get worse for GW. The improving quality of pre-painted mini games (from Wizards, etc) while not on par w/ 'real' minis I think will continue to pull the younger kids away. I just don't know if GW can be as large of a company as it wants to. I wish that instead of dropping quality/complexity in the rules systems, they would follow suit and launch a different game for the kiddies. What about it? Warhammer kids! The collectable mini game that would introduce the WH world and branch into the adult game.

I think they might need to do something like this, because lets face it; the number of people who are willing to buy, prime, paint and THEN play with a mini are few and propbably will get fewer as we move forward.

Crazy Harborc, the thing I hate the most about GW's pricing is it makes me do what you're talking about; indie mail order, other figs, and ebay. Not that there is anything wrong about it, but I have a GREAT gaming store 4 blocks from my house, and aside from materials and the occasional impulse buy, I don't patronize it because I can't stomache the GW retail. A bummer because I bought my first minis there. (I try to make it up by buying him out of paint, styrene, and spray base, though!)

simonr1978
06-01-2007, 02:00
Do you work for the company or have shares in the company?

The reason I ask this question is because in all your discussion , at no time have you mentioned the stone cold fact that during the LotR period and beyond GW have continued to raise their prices faster than the Inflation Index. In 2003 they made 4 separate price hikes in the one year.
The fact you are missing is this; no matter how many stores you have, no matter how many factories you have, if the product is marked up so high that you are losing your demographic market, you will continue to lose money, and that is exactly what GW are doing, continuing to lose money.
Lets hope for their sake that xmas was good for them because they are now sailing very close to the wind.

I'm guessing from the post:


still get cold shivers up my spine when I remember coming home to a share alert on my PC which informed me that GW had lost nearly £5 PER SHARE in a single day.


that they do or at least did.

In any case, one important point (and I'm certainly not a GW fanboy since I haven't been able to justify buying their products from them for years and as for shares in anything... Food and mortgage comes first...), they're not loosing money. They're just not making it as well as they were during the LotR hightide.

Arch-Traitor Horus
06-01-2007, 02:37
i remember when i first started GW games (oh i thank my brother now for pushing me in to the dark eldar side of the starter set) that a box of tactical marines was 34.95 AUD and now they are 50 AUD wtf 15 bucks in like 7 years

Almost_Famous
06-01-2007, 03:12
Wow... you know what? aside from a few pointless complaint posts, this thread is actually pretty good.. someone should email a link to the GW-brass.

One thing that has yet to be addressed (that I've seen... admittedly, I've skimmed some of it) .. in the very first post, someone questioned GW's decision to keep dividends at the same level despite falling profits.

Usually, announcing a lower dividend is followed by a decrease in share prices, as investors interpret (often correctly) this as the company having financial trouble.
Naturally, they would really want this to not happen, especially considering that its been on the decline for a while now.

I will close with the hope that somehow, GW manages to turn this mess around, since as much as we all complain, we wouldn't be playing this silly game if we didn't really love it (especially at this ******* price)

colhodg
06-01-2007, 03:40
Hoping GW end up in administration so i can get some cheap mini's to finish my army is wrong isn't it? I hope they sort it out too.

Most people i game with have generally felt put out by price rises and uninspired by releases over the past few years, that wouldn't be soo bad as it's a hobby you make for yourself but there's a lot of decent competition around and ebay is possibly not doing them any favours.

Crazy Harborc
06-01-2007, 04:29
GW is a business. Well, when we spend our money we are businesses too. IMHO, I should be worrying about MY botom line not GW's. If I can get their product at a discount, why shouldn't I?

I've been buying from GW since they opened their doors in the USA. First as a retailer then as a regular gamer. For many years and thousands of dollars. I bought through indie stores. GW had NO stores known to me within 300 miles. I owe GW nothing. I paid in advance for 25 years for the "privilege" of gaming in a GW store. MY money helped finance those stores in the USA.

I'll buy this and that (I have since the store opened here) direct. I have played in campaigns at the "official" store (still plan to).

Darn shame we can't mail (e-mail) copies of threads like this to the people holding the stock shares of GW stock. Been told most of those shares are held by companies not individual shareholders. If/when the dividend goes down......what will those share owner, corporate boards recommend be done with those shares??

ExquisiteEvil
06-01-2007, 05:53
I have said it (more than)once and I'll say it again;

GW only listens to its shareholders - their shareholders only listen to Mr.Kirby's dellusional statements.

The reason is, most of GW shareholders havent a clue whats best for GW as they know nothing of the hobby.

The ONLY way to get the message through to GW would be to the shareholder meetings: How?

Get a conglomerate together and buy enough shares(just enough) to warrant sending a representative to the meetings. A 'voice of the gamers' so to speak.

I can guarantee you that ifthe shareholders saw there was a better way of doing things and had that link to the companies actual customers Mr.Kirby would not be in charge much longer.

ORKY ARD BOYZ
06-01-2007, 06:49
Who's Mr.Kirby? :confused:

Darkseer
06-01-2007, 06:51
Wow... you know what? aside from a few pointless complaint posts, this thread is actually pretty good.. someone should email a link to the GW-brass.

It's been a great discussion so far. No point pestering the GW head honchos though, I'm sure they (or one of their minions) read the hot topics on this forum.


How can GW bring in the kiddies when all the new video games are out?
How did they bring all of us into the hobby when we were little?
Bringing back the board games like Hero Quest and Space Crusade would be a step in the right direction, although I know that they said they wouldn't re-release Warhammer Quest because of all the printing costs involved for the tiels and counters.

Skull Pass looks excellent and I was VERY tempted to pick up fantasy because of it...until I worked out how much a 2000pts army comes to in £ sterling.


Who's Mr.Kirby? :confused:

That weird Nintendo character. He heads GW by the way.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b135/AdamsMiniatures/kirby.jpg

DesolationAngel
06-01-2007, 06:56
Thing is with GW the prices continue to go up, yet you get the same models.

I remember the white metal price rise, which to me was reasonable, but then everything started shooting up in price, paints at one point were £1.50, now they are £2, infantry boxes where once £12, now they're £18. Even things like the new wraithlord, metal one used to be £18, new plastic one is £25.

Mail order is also very expensive, to get 7 sets of furies wings and spawn talons it would cost me £28 to upgrade plastic ungors to furies. The staff member thought this was a good idea, having done so himself, but its just too expensive. I guess part of it is the staff getting considerable discounts which may result in them not seeing how expensive things are for everyone else.

A little while ago I started a beasts army and wouldn't have finished if if not for getting some percentage off via independant retailers, now I only buy paints/brushs from GW and even then I could probably get brushs from IR.

I currently own 9 painted armies and wouldn't buy new ones if I didn't get the discount I do. Its a shame as I really like and enjoy the hobby, like both main systems (40k more than warhammer) and kind of feel sorry for the GW staff, who ive known for a while. Someone I know owns nearly all the 40k lists at exactly 1,500pts with only the hard stuff to save on money. He likes the hobby, has a good job, but you think that if people like us see it as unaffordable how will kids get into it?

While I can longer play computer games due to my RSI and get little enjoyment from them, as its not as socail and lacks variety, I can see why people would, mainly as a game is cheaper and more instant and also doesn't come with additional costs.

Average GW army £200, Codex £12, Paints £20, Brushs £5, Flock £5, PVA £3, Super and Plastic Glue £6, carry case £30 = £281 + scenery and somewhere to play.

OK some of that is reuseable, but its very expensive for any beginner to consider buying.

As far as warmachine goes it is more expensive in some respects, needing less models doesn't change that, 500pts may be cheaper than a 1,500pt 40k army, but then it would be. Flames of war, my italians (which im selling as I found the game to be uninteresting) cost £200 for 2000pts, are made of lead, cheap resin and you don't really get much for your money, it also tooks 2-3 months for battlefront to send me a replacement part. Even then warmachine and FoW just seem more limited as a game system to me and don't get played much in the UK, although FoW does get played down our club.

Warmachine also seems very new and undeveloped so far to me and the dominance of characters puts off most people I know, even though most of the models are gorgeous, different prices for same size models doesn't help much either.

I know a lot of people that will only buy from independant retailers and all the clubs I know have their own accounts.

Maybe the solution is on principle to buy only from independant retailers/ebay, thus still doing the hobby you enjoy without paying over the odds to do it. Personally I find at 25% off what you get is reasonable. People should also stop buying WD, as its a £4 minatures catalogue lacking anything worth reading.

Bottom line is a land raider crusader worth £40 or a predator worth £25? £35/£20 respectivily maybe, but the new prices are just too much. Most mailorders things are now 25p more, which also adds up, take away the increase and it maybe more reasonable.

Palatine Katinka
06-01-2007, 07:17
To all who buy from independents: GW still makes more profit from that sale than an instore purchase. The independent retailer will be the one missing out from the reduced price.

To all who have had bad experiences in store: Let the staff know what you want. If you want quiet time to browse ASK FOR IT! If you haven't been in for years they wont recognise you and assume you are new unless you talk to them. Remember they are there because they like playing games too. You have a common interest, don't be shy, let them know your needs.

To all who complain about prices: I remember when i could get 2 terminators for £3. At that time I could get a new computer game for that price. Now a new (not second hand) game would be £40-£50. That would get me about £10 Terminators!

Profits may be down on last year but it is still a profit. The Lord of the Rings influence has been mentioned, it will be a long process to turn this around.

Quality reduction? Have you compared the new Dark Reapers to the old ones? Actual hold the models next to each other and you will be amazed by the contrast. Stop look at the past through rose tinted glasses.

As to Warmachine, just got a starter myself. £25 for 3 models (1 great, 2 mediocre) for one faction and starter rules. Compared to Battle For Skull Pass, over 100 models split between to armies, dice, measuring rulers, guide to playing/painting and the FULL rules for £40. How can you say Warmachine is more attractive to new starts?

Darkseer
06-01-2007, 07:25
As to Warmachine, just got a starter myself. £25 for 3 models (1 great, 2 mediocre) for one faction and starter rules. Compared to Battle For Skull Pass, over 100 models split between to armies, dice, measuring rulers, guide to playing/painting and the FULL rules for £40. How can you say Warmachine is more attractive to new starts?

I think we all agreed it was a viable option for veteran gamers, not necessarily newcomers to the hobby.

Newcomers seem to be going for the video games market instead.

Privateer Press make some beautiful models! I found myself actually hunting for some flash to cut off, but there was none.

The game is afoot
06-01-2007, 07:44
The just released results are what I expected (I really wanted to be wrong too). GW does have alot going for it.

Exactly, no surprises there. On current form, GW are losing the fight to stay alive. The xmas period should give them a boost but will it be enough to get them through next summer without yet another loss?
If the summer is long and warm like the last one it could spell disaster for the retail stores as it is very difficult to get the kids inside when the sun is out.
Parents take the kids out to museums, fun parks, swimming parks etc.

Targets in stores have been revised downwards, staff in the UK have been slashed to the bone across the board.
Good measures from a company perspective but nothing is going to stop the high price of the goods on the shelves from continuing to be unpalatable to prospective newcomers.
Watching GW is like watching an acrobatic Biplane at an Air show... the plane has been climbing and climbing but now it's reaching the the end of it's climb and its starting to get close to stalling the engine...
£500,000 is a miniscule operating profit for a company the size of GW and once the holiday period is out of the way and another summer comes around it's a matter of time before the engine does stall if the sales indicators continue in this way.


Pricing is killing a good chunk of the urge to buy into the systems GW offers. I've been watching people checking out prices and just walking away.

Same here, the old firm like us may still buy a bit here and a bit there but the company under Kirby is only interested in new money, new kids to be correct, and the ever higher price margins are meaning ever decreasing numbers of beginners.
You can compare it to other kids toys as much as you like, however Playstations and Xboxes advertise globally, so while they are expensive, they do indeed sell well.
GW does not advertise outside of the White Dwarf and the lack of TV exposure in particular is reflected in the sales falling.
Advertising would go some way to getting people into the stores, but it would also eat a chunk of the profit.
The problem still remains, if people are attracted to the store by advertising, the high price of the product will still drive a proportion of them away.

The continuous price hikes have seen GW have back themselves into a corner.

Brandir
06-01-2007, 10:27
Interesting article in the Telegraph today:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/06/cngames06.xml

under the headline Games Workshop 'forgot core market'

extract: Games Workshop gained hordes of new customers following the release of the Lord of the Rings films in 2001-2003, but has since found that many quickly lost interest and deserted their new hobby.

"It was all a bit too easy. We forgot the basic skills," said Mr Kirby who blames the bubble caused by the Lord of the Rings for the group's current woes.

Further to this last quote, which is taken out of context a little by the Telegraph, the LOTR bubble is causing problems because investors expectations were heightened and they did not listen to Tom's year on year warnings that the LOTR bubble was unsustainable.

cookiescrumble
06-01-2007, 11:13
I particularly like this quote,

"admitted that this time the mistakes were self-inflicted.

We have not been paying enough attention to the hobbyists."

EDIT: Just noticed this aswell, this guys not very sharp for a chief executive.

“‘While our sterling sales for the first half have declined by £2.3m, the sales in September, October and November reinforce our confidence that the business is returning to growth.”

That wouldn't be the build up to Xmas by any chance, of course sales will be higher.

noneedforaname
06-01-2007, 13:35
GW need to look at two different sales areas than one.

First of all the beginner end of the market:

Initial problems are cost and interest.

1)you have to generate interest, this is usually done by word of mouth, passing trade etc or there school clubs which seem to work well in the uk.

this seems to be working ok, they get the people in the door.

2)making them buy the stuff. GW are missing a trick when it comes to the WOW factor when needed to close a sale, a lot of the staff have underwhelming talent when it comes to painting the store armies and display pieces. People will not buy something that looks rubbish.

This is not the staff's fault, they are given insufficient guidance and time to create models and scenerey that will really spark kids imagination. This area needs a thorough overhaul.

Cost, yes BfSP is good value, if they have someone to game against and is a big chunk of money. Perhaps they need to look at a single faction starter set for beginners, include the paperback rulebook, a paper back army book and some models all the same race, pointy stick templates and dice for about £30 pounds. Something similar to this for 40k too.

Much more reasonable and attractive as a gift, cheaper than a new computer game.

3)retention and advancement

this is where the staff and white dwarf come in, they need to show them how to play a fun game and in a fun enviroment. a lot of stores lack this by the nature of the staff they hire and some of there regulars.

things like, bad language, cheating, cheesing and bullying can be prevalent in GW stores.

The kids need to be taught how to improve there modelling and painting. This involves tutorials with staff and proper step by step painting guides like in the old white dwarf.

Veterans (old gits :) )

1)Dont keep stiffing us with price rises that are way above inflation.

2)Product quality, we would be happy to wait longer between codexes and army books if there where more new models and the quality was better, release more of the army deals for those who want everything early but space the other releases out so people have a chance to sort there finances and a chance to paint there models.

3)A publication aimed at veteran modellers/gamers ie maybe a quarterly but big publication £10 region

painting stuff
NMM, wetblending, cross hatching, glazes filters etc

modelling stuff
use of green stuff, gap filling, sculpting hands, faces, weapons etc all the way up to in depth whole model sculpting.

gaming stuff
new scenarios, or narrative campaign formats.

And most importantly no advertising.

4)get us involved, a lot of us are a damn site better at sculpting, painting running campaigns etc than staff. The staff need to build a good rapport with these customers and take advantage of the fact we are willing to help people.

GW are going to have to pull there finger out as Rackham have just moved into the sci-fi realm with AT43, this features prepainted models that are designed so extra detail can be painted on top, or reundercoated to paint anew. This again has more out of the Box wow factor than anything else available.

Wintermute
06-01-2007, 13:43
That wouldn't be the build up to Xmas by any chance, of course sales will be higher.

And the launch of the Orcs and Goblins for WFB and Eldar for 40K which would (or should) have bolstered sales.

I do find it interesting that Kirby is still trying to blame GW's current misfortune on the LOTR bubble bursting and not looking at the real problem, poor management decisions which include not being able to predict that the sales of the LOTR games would decline sharply once the films had finished their theatrical release and they had been made available on dvd.

Perhaps next time GW will release a realistic and more conservative profits forecast for their next financial period.

But I doubt it.

cookiescrumble
06-01-2007, 14:08
I see your point about LOTR. It died ages ago, and still they are releasing stuff. Let it die guys, let it die.

Wintermute
06-01-2007, 14:31
I see your point about LOTR. It died ages ago, and still they are releasing stuff. Let it die guys, let it die.

GW will not stop producing LOTR minis whilst the sales are still acceptable to them.

Brandir
06-01-2007, 14:50
The thing is Tom Kirby predicted the LOTR bubble and constantly warned investors in his annual & interim reports that LOTR was a bubble.

Unfortunately investors don't seem to have believed him.

Where Tom Kirby and the board are at fault is not anticipating a downturn in the fortunes of Warhammer and WH40K and being too bullish about GW's short/medium term prospects. They also expected the LOTR bubble players to take up Warhammer/40K en masse; this has clearly not happened as they had hoped/expected.

GW needs to rethink its marketing strategy on how it will try and get The Hobbit bubble players to keep going in their shops post 2009/2010 and not let them get away, as happened with the LOTR bubble players.

cookiescrumble
06-01-2007, 15:00
GW will not stop producing LOTR minis whilst the sales are still acceptable to them.

I meant they should think about future releases.

Sarevok
06-01-2007, 15:11
And the launch of the Orcs and Goblins for WFB and Eldar for 40K which would (or should) have bolstered sales.


Also, that was the time when WFB 7th was released so you'd naturally expect more sales during that time, but it's not indicative of long term growth.

Jim30
06-01-2007, 15:14
Another interesting thing is the huge amount of debts the Company seems to have acquired this year. Read into the detailed figures and you'll see how much money they owe for various issues (itro £8m). Whats the loan for?

intellectawe
06-01-2007, 15:35
I think a lot of the problem with GWs recent price hikes is the Americas failing econemy.

Maybe, if this was taking place during the 80's. America's Economy is very strong. Been that way for many many years.

No. The issue with GW is that they are out of date. The hobbyists have left the company for other ventures, while the skeletons left behind are treating Warhammer like a business before a hobby. Other businesses, like Warmachine, treat their business AS a hobby. Thats why they are successful.

GW is a dinosaur.

GAWD
06-01-2007, 15:38
"GW is a dinosaur."

This is true on so many levels: games development, business models, etc... .

WH40KAj
06-01-2007, 15:54
I'm sorry but I don't agree that LOTR is unsuccessful because the movies are no longer about. The system, models and way the game plays is by far better than 40k, and before I played LOTR i was only a 40k player, so it's not like it's a bad game. Its more people (mainly Vets of Warhammer Brands) were not introduced into Lord of The Rings, as they are more likely to keep it up. I do agree the prices of models doesn't help. They should work on that most.

philbrad2
06-01-2007, 16:52
I found that interesting as someone coming in 'fresh' as it where, being stunned that a hobby aimed at 'kids' up was so expensive - there in lies the real reason I think that computer games win in the high street - instant gratification and cost.

Sj.

Been saying this for several years now. There will come a fiscal point where the product will be simply too expensive. Once this threshold is approached GW's sales will stagnate and fall. What they seem to have been doing on late is shoving up the prices so the 'hardcore' buyers of their products help shoulder the sales drop by paying more. As much as I love 40K my 'love affair' with GW is very much off the boil currently. I very rarely buy directly from GW nowadays. My mailorders for parts have shrunk and I've taken to using discounted online retailers and non-GW sources for bits (ebay/bwbits.com etc...) I'm no 'hard up' student/teen type either. I'm a IT professional in my 4th decade and my earnings mean I can quite readily afford to support my 40k 'habit'. With two sons who also play and a number of similarly aged friends who are all slowing down their GW purchases over the last couple of years the biggest gripe I hear about GW is this the cost of their product. I feel GW is ignoring this element with an almost head in the sand approach. If players in the UK are moaning what about those overseas where such things as the exchange rate can make their product even more expensive. If we felt GW gave a bit more value for their colossal prices (remember the days of 2 Rhinos in a box of blisters for a few quid?)I think this might help. Most core products are now almost entirely plastic far easier and cheaper to produce than metals as well as all the associated, packing, distribution cost. I know GW sights its quality as a reason why it costs so much but the competition in recent years has made huge improvements, all slowly but surely moving into GW's market. That's of course not mentioning video games in all their guises.

The whole LoTR thing is a bit of a red herring, its a core GW product now, has made them large profits in the early '00's. The time whether GW should keep/ditch/expand it has come and gone. Its a part of the GW core estate now, after all its what ... six years old now! Whether they keep or ditch it I seriously dont think will effect GW that much its not like loosing LoTR they could knock a 1/3 off the design studios costs. The studio is now set up where developers are working across the systems not solely on 40K or FB or LoTR. The design staff has already been trimmed for this.

A comment was made above about the loss of imagination such games can give over something like WHFB/WH40K. However these video games in such thing as co-op modes can provide a very rich and 'real' experience the sheer immersibility (is that a word???) of such games is quite addictive. I find myself these days more on the virtual battlefield in Ghost ReconAW or Battlefield 2 than the tabletop. In fact I probably play more 40K these days on DoW than with minis.

I know gaming is only one element of the 40K/GW 'experience' but as a modeller long before I came to 40K (probably nearly 15-20 years of AFV/aircraft modelling experience) its not everyones 'cup of Earl Grey'. We saw at the end of 2006 a much loved modelling brand of Airfix very nearly disappear in the UK, several other quite large model producers have fallen by the wayside over the years. There are simply some players who want to open a box and play the game. Video games offer this. GW is starting to come over to this ethos with its starter sets at long last these offer excellent value for money so why is it £40 will buy me a 100+ figure wargaming set and yet the same company will also sell me a single mini for £9 - 22.5% of the cost of the complete 'game in a box' set??? This is a very worrying trend I see with GW. Even the most ardent gamers will (and have) said enough is enough, this is simply too expensive for what it is.

GW are starting to see the upshot of some of the cost reductions they employed in 2005 but as we've said before when you look at GW and the size of the company it stands head and shoulders over it competitors. However I don't hear that many moans about other gaming companies with simlarly price products, this must sure reflect on the way GW sees and tries to cater to its customer base. From what I see nowadays GW simply want to sell stuff end of story. Their advertising is`aimed at the young end of the market and catering for those established in the game is virtually non existant. I think GW need to realise this is a luxury market for a niche product people don't have to buy it. They need to change something to see their sales come back to the heady days of 2001/2/3.

The gaming world in all its guises of wargaming, video games and even board games in very different to what it was 10-15 years ago when GW started to expand into the international presence it is today, perhaps looking back and taking on some of the aspects of the business from the 'good old days' woudn't be such a bad thing afterall. GW has gotten to the stage IMHO where its simply a manufacturing company who have shareholders to satisfy and a market share to retain and simply wish to ship product. Its a very different world of 'by gamers - for gamers' it used to be and it was - isn't it and I think this is where a lot of what I dislike about GW in 2007 stems from.

PhilB
:chrome:

Paulus
06-01-2007, 17:32
I think the biggest issue they need to address is cost - If you look at the price of a plastic box set & think of it in terms of product cost the mark up must be astranomical.

I appreciate the initial outlay in the mini's is fairly large for a niche market company like GW & cost in plastic is raising by a few percent almost twice a year but certainly not enough to justify the cost we are charged.

The price of a standard plastic Chaos Warrior is £1.50, if you look at most plastic based products & compare size (forget detail as that relates back to the machinery used which will probably have been written off financially after 3 to 5 years of purchase ) to that of other plastic products & it is a high cost.

I don't know if GW use a specialist plastic that is more expensive, I certainly doubt it, but it seems to me that they have underestimated customer loyalty & have lost long time customers due to price rises but have not brought new ones in, again due to over inflated prices.

Jo Bennett
06-01-2007, 18:08
Maybe, if this was taking place during the 80's. America's Economy is very strong. Been that way for many many years.


Matter of opinion mate, matter of opinion. The official figures (GDP etc.) are strong, but they're fuelled by public deficit spending, particularly on the military. Strip those out, and the US is in recession.

FatOlaf
06-01-2007, 18:33
The above, plus perhaps a little asthetic overhaul of their stores (current look is stuck in the 80's, and nostalgia will only take you so far) and suddenly more people might actually walk into their stores, instead of seeing a spotty gothic kid sitting on his lonesome painting a model whilst being watched by two blue shirts who look as though they died some time ago and walking on


This is a site I see too often and is not a good look!

Many people seem to focus on prices as the main reason for GW's dwindling sales. Personally I think that price is not the key issue. We wargamers are not that price sensitive.

Umm What? We bloody well are! Even Heroin addicts know when prices are too high


I think the GW's troubles lie in a number of different areas. These reasons are not in any particular order:

-the fad is over (anyone remember beyblades?)

What fad do you mean, LOTR? or GW hobbying as a whole?
This 'fad' has been going since the early 80's, not bad a 26 year fad...





The LOTR license will give GW a boost in a few years when The Hobbit is released.

There are massive rights issues with the Hobbit and there might never be a film, Peter Jackson said a long time ago that he had no interest in doing it and if you really look at the book, it will make one hell of a boring film when compared to the the trilogy. I really cant see it happening and if GW needs to hang on till the, they're doomed!


There are some locations though where they seem to have an excessive amount of stores. IIRC there are more Games Workshops in the London area than Scotland, NI, Wales and Eire...

If you live in zone 1-3 you really only have the Oxford street and Covent garden stores, Horrible to get to and so bloody small. Covent garden is nice though. SOme of the so called indi stockists in the back of WD are a joke, the wimbledon stockist basically has the LOTR and 40k starter packs, that's it!



As the years have gone by GW staff seem to get worse. Are you one of the Plaza boys? If so, I dip my hat to you sir. One of the last few GW Stores worth stepping into as well as the Cambridge store.

YEah they are friendly but still run around not leaving any one alone for a moment, reading this thread had made it clearer, the mantra must be that every customer must be told about all the systems etc since they do NO external advertising. In reality all this does is drive VET gamers out of the stores onto Ebay to escape from the constant verbal barrage. SHUT THE %$*& UP!




Maybe the solution is on principle to buy only from independant retailers/ebay, thus still doing the hobby you enjoy without paying over the odds to do it. Personally I find at 25% off what you get is reasonable. People should also stop buying WD, as its a £4 minatures catalogue lacking anything worth reading.


Fully agree

To all who buy from independents: GW still makes more profit from that sale than an instore purchase. The independent retailer will be the one missing out from the reduced price.

To all who have had bad experiences in store: Let the staff know what you want. If you want quiet time to browse ASK FOR IT! If you haven't been in for years they wont recognise you and assume you are new unless you talk to them. Remember they are there because they like playing games too. You have a common interest, don't be shy, let them know your needs.


Rot, the Indi retailer is the one who sets his prices within his own profut needs, they make money from it and are relishing the swing in their favour no doubt. Just look at the number of Indi stockists on Ebay. I do often wonder how many of the smaller ones are GW store staff eraning a few extra quid by the state of some of the prices for 'new' stock. :angel:

I have tried to ASK FOR IT! I once went into the Oxofrd street store and after spending five minutes telling two staff members that I just wanted to browse, I had to put my Ipod on to get rid, their mgr than comes up asking all the same questions. I hate this Customer service method in Clothes stores, mobile phone shops, GAME and do not shop from these places. The customer knows where the counter is, if you want to ask something, then you go there. A hello is fine, after that leave it to the customer if they want to chat.


So did he enjoy the film? "Personally I preferred the book. But I suppose I shouldn't say that."

And that end bit from Lord God Kirby at the end of the Telegraph Int is priceless, sums it all up

Brandir
06-01-2007, 19:14
.....There are massive rights issues with the Hobbit and there might never be a film, Peter Jackson said a long time ago that he had no interest in doing it and if you really look at the book, it will make one hell of a boring film when compared to the the trilogy. I really cant see it happening and if GW needs to hang on till the, they're doomed!....

MGM have announced that The Hobbit will be released on November 2009. Whilst making The Hobbit in 2008, they will also be making a prequal to LOTR, title TBC. This film will be released in Nov 2010.

Paulus
06-01-2007, 19:23
There's a HUGE cloud over The Hobbit at the moment, it will happen, but it's a matter of when.

Peter Jackson was initially due to direct (he does want to but wants a break first as the LOTR trilogy & King Kong took there toll on him) but has been suing New Line over the profits from The Fellowship of The Ring & this has apparently stopped chances of him directing it even though as you rightly point out MGM hold the rights to The Hobbit (I can hunt out the news stories on this from a movie site I regurlarly visit).

The people who run Tolkien Industries however want Jackson as director, MGM's rights contract expires in about a year or so & they have said they are prepared to throw a spanner in the works to stop production until rights come back to them at which point they will seek a new backer who will install Peter Jackson as director.

This is completely off topic though & probably better suited to another thread.

tcmainprize
06-01-2007, 19:37
Here are a few thoughts of mine on this issue, I am in the UK so these thoughts are based on my experiences of GW in the uk, and may not apply to GWs actions oversees.

Firstly GWs management has to relise that LOTR is a lame duck. It's just a huge case of short sightedness if they didn't relise that after the films weren't on at the pictures and the media hype surrounding the film releases subsided that demand for LOTR products would all but vanish. To continue developing and producing new products must be a big drain on resources.

I agree with the people who point out the demand for instant gratification from todays kids. They don't want to read a 300 page rule book, then collect and paint an army. Now, I've been playing GW games for over 15 years and what first got me interested was Heroquest. I expect this or Space Crusade was the case for most folks of my vintage. It was easy to learn the rules, fun to play, and you didn't have to paint loads of models. Perhaps reproducing these games would provide an affordable and more instantly gratifying gateway to the world of GW.

Its not just the price which puts off older gamers. If you happen to take a look in any Games Workshop store on a saturday its full of kids. I don't know about anyone else but this puts me off from going in. The stores have become glorified creches for parents to dump there kids while they go shopping. The store full of kids not buying anything puts off older gamers with disposable incomes to spend who might actually buy something.
Also the fact that GW now aggressively targets kids is showing obviously in the language used in there publications. The emphasis seems to be on glorified catalogue pretty pictures, rather than interesting articles with written content. Battle reports used to have whole pages of text. By aiming almost entirely at the young GW is alienating older gamers.
I would also raise the issue of the store staff. I'm 27 not ancient by any stretch of the imagination, but to a man the store staff are all younger than me. Perhaps older gamers would feel more at home in stores if they were dealing with staff members who are as experienced gamers/painters/modellers as they are. Retention of good experienced staff is, I suspect a problem due to poor wages. This point may apply across the whole of GW. You can pull in keen young staff with the offer of big staff discount, but once they get a bit older and have other things to spend there money on - the Mrs, kids, a car etc... then they want a decent salary!

I also don't understand the recent advent of so called gaming centres. Yes people might go to play games in them but i would question if they bring in anywhere near enough extra revenue to cover the costs of running them.

With regard to the low profits but dividends remaining high point... who decides the dividend level? Board of director. Who are the majority shareholders? Board of directors. A degree of pocket lining perhaps.

I could go on, believe me, on and on....

I'll happily read through any response and opinion on these thoughts, but please remember, they are just thoughts. Lets keep it well mannered.

The game is afoot
06-01-2007, 20:20
LotR may not be that lame after all, word has it that the Hobbit is going ahead and it's likely Jackson will be the director.
LotR could be back on the menu sooner than you think.;)

noneedforaname
06-01-2007, 20:32
On jacksons website he stated he would not be doing the hobbit as new line have dropped him from the project, this was because he would not drop a legal action against newline regarding the post production audit for the LoTR trilogy. This wasn't his decision it was the studios.

Wintermute
06-01-2007, 20:51
Can we please get this thread back on-topic and keep the discussion of the MGM's plans for filming The Hobbit, and Peter Jacksons' involvement to other another thread.

Wintermute
The WarSeer Inquisition

static grass
06-01-2007, 21:55
I think the key issue for GW was their total failure to get players to cross over from LotR to WFB or 40K. I think tcmainprize is right GW don't have an "entry" level game anymore. Nothing to hook younger players for a year or two before they move on to WFB or 40K. I used to play Heroquest and space crusade for several years before I started with Epic and then WFB and 40K.

Arg! It's a drug!

Tom
06-01-2007, 22:22
Any of you lot actually mailed GW to say 'If prices rise, we will drop out, and we've spent a lot of money on this in the past'?

If you drop out, somebody might notice a tiny drop.


If you give prior warning, and explain why you might, people listen. Sometimes companies don't notice things because we're all so busy complaining to people who aren't them, that we forget to actually tell them themselves the problem.

If you haven't, and you have issues... Hell, the address is goddamn everywhere.


Might do something, instead of just walking away. If everyone who was dissatisfied on Warseer actually told the correct people (Hey, I'm good, but I'm not GW), they'd get, what, assuming a decent 'can be arsed' ratio, what, couple hundred maybe?


And don't be rude, because I know some of you would be, it not being face-to-face and all, please no death threats or letter bombs.

noneedforaname
06-01-2007, 22:26
I think they moved in the right direction with the battle for skull pass box set when it comes to something for beginners, hopefully this is something they will take onboard for the next version of 40k.

Also the megaforce box sets do come out as very good value.

I feel the stumbling point for beginners is the fact itlacks instant play ability like a computer game and the failure of GW to do enough to retain these customers.

However there atttempts to chase this market area is also ostracising the veteran end of the market so they are leaking reenue at both ends.

Its time they moved away from a purely fiscal examination of the company and asked the customers want they anted and tried to improve customer satisfaction and take some new ideas onboard.

If my dodgey memory still works i seem to remember a long time ago they put a questionairre in white dwarf with a prize draw offer attached. Maybe its time to do something similar to that again so they can get a better view of the state of the hobby as it is and the market demographic they are selling to.

Vulvol
06-01-2007, 22:31
Definitely an interesting thread this. I'd just like to present a slightly different view:

After the announcement of the full year results, GWs share price fell to around 270p. Since then the price steadily rose (without making any headlines) to above 400p before retracting on this well-reported 10% fall to 368p at the close on Friday. Therefore, even taking into account a downbeat statement, anyone smart enough to have invested in GW six months ago would have made a 36% gain on their shares, an impressive return in anyone's books. This sort of performance, coupled with the maintained dividend payments will keep the institutional shareholders (pension companies etc) quite content I would have thought.

GW remains a profitable company - even independent estimates of the 06/07 final profit suggest £3m+ again - not one about to drop into administration. The suggestion of a takeover by Hornby is interesting: taking market capitalisation as a measure of company value, GW is currently worth £115m and Hornby £101m.

There were two separate reasons for the announcement on Friday - the half-year results and a warning on expected full-year profits. A quote from the release:

Games Workshop, which makes and sells figurines for escapist games based on books such as Lord of the Rings, was posting results for the six months to November 26 including a 4-percent fall in revenue to 54.8 million pounds with pretax profit up 7 percent at 127,000 pounds.


This rise in actual profit (not speculation for the next six months) hardly seems to get a mention anywhere.

It just shows, you can twist numbers to show anything!

I think GW remains a solid company. It certainly has issues it needs to address and won't reach the dizzy heights of the LOTR period again, but I think rumours of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. If I had a bit of spare cash I'd be buying some shares next week!

Simsandwich
06-01-2007, 22:35
As a 13 year old lad myself, 40K is a lot of hassle to get into. My army, just for 500 points took me ages to piece together, and I was planning a big splurge of purchases near Christmas, but unfortunately the price rise struck. Now it was £5 for a Nob with Powerklaw and not £4. I saved up £40 pounds to buy 9 of the Nobs for my list and possibly pick up a nice Grey Knight Sergeant. This was not to be when the £1 price raise struck. It annoyed the hell out of me that I would only have 9 with no Sergeant, as I had to do chores for that money and work. So when I can only have 9 and have to come back later which was a hassle I decided to just go and buy Medieval 2 instead. I think I have had far more enjoyment with that than my Nobs would have given me. This is from GW's target audience.

teh_soldier
06-01-2007, 23:09
As a just turned 17 year old, even i feel alienated when i walk into a store and there's a load of screaming 10-year olds (no offence, but some were screaming at each other), and the poor red-shirt was completely exhausted.

As the guys atmy local store are a nice bunch, i usually buy a pot of paint when they ask if i need anything else (eventually gonna have every one in the range) just to cheer em up a bit.

I work in sevice myself (i'm a waiter and maître d') so i know that you have to puch the sale, so i can sympathise with the red-shirts.

All i can advise is to in essence "humour" overly pushy staffers, so when they ask if you've seen/bought the latest product, just tell them you already have it and move past that point of the conversation. It avoids hostilities and makes the world a better place. (Though "humour" could probably be replaced with a better word in this example...)

RobC
06-01-2007, 23:11
If you happen to take a look in any Games Workshop store on a saturday its full of kids. I don't know about anyone else but this puts me off from going in. The stores have become glorified creches for parents to dump there kids while they go shopping.Yep, and 15 years ago I was one of those kids...

Dismissing the kids is a foolish thing to do. I totally agree with what's been said about the millstone that LotR has become, and the frankly idiotic short-term view they've taken by rising prices and slashing the design studio. And you're also right that GW have made a mistake by concentrating on the younger gamers at the exclusion of others - but this happens every so many years. It happened in the mid-90s, and it was only with the arrival of Fanatic and some surprisingly sensible decisions in GW retail regarding encouraging a hobby rather than hard sell that things changed at all.

Kids are annoying. But they aren't to blame for GW's mistakes. GW need to cater for ALL its customers, and stop making short-term decisions - because they'll ultimately damage the company beyond repair. Ideally, the company needs to be taken off the venture capitalists and taken over by someone who wants the company to survive in the long term, rather than be bled dry and slowly destroyed in order to keep dividends up for as long as possible.

carmachu
07-01-2007, 03:15
According to a Marketing course my wife took just recently, one of the first big rules of marketing is that, among those controllable factors that a vendor can manipulate, cost is the absolute last one they should touch.

It's hard to say exactly what they need to change... There's certainly enough of us who claim that we'd buy more if it was cheaper - but how many of us truly would?





Here's the thing, its a 2 fold problem:

Their prices are too high, and they believe that their poop doesnt stink.

The charge alot, more than the market will really bear('cause lets face it, less and less units are sold), and their logic behind it is:we're the porche of minis"


Ok. That leads to problem #2:

They dont think anything is wrong with their game, their poop doesnt stint.

Its funny, because GW thinks its a high class product. Problem is: its not, its game mechanics have serious flaws, they look down on the consumers when we bitch about it, and just say "well their good enough."


Well if their just good enough, how can you be a premium product? Its like saying Porche is a top notch car, but we have a small engine problem when you hit 65MPH.....

See the contradiction?

FarseerUshanti
07-01-2007, 05:18
I see a couple of things that could help GW over the long term.

1. A price drop of $5 U.S. When I look and see a box of terminators for $50 I can scarcely believe my eyes when they are plastic, and 5 Grey Knight Terminators made of pewter were $50 just a couple of years ago. Also considering the fact that independent retailers are able to seel figures for on average, 20% off means that GW can afford to drop the MSRP of at least boxed sets by $5 and blisters by maybe $2.

This price drop would not only help us veteran gamers, but also allow GW to draw in more younger kids, along with allowing them to stay in the hobby by buying more miniatures.

Also people who complain about the U.S. economy being a factor. BElieve it or not, the economy is still strong. The problem that people do not realize is that in the late 90's, the dotcom bubble wa son the rise which allowe dpeople to invest more becuase of the bubble. The bubble, like all others collapsed in a spectacular fashion leaving people with the image that the economy was worse off.


2. Expand the age of target. Currently the age of target is young kids from 10 - 13. The problem with this is that as kids grow into their teens, other things, such as girls movies, and socializing, become more important. AFter this it is difficult to get back into a hobby one did as a kid. Maybe expanding the core target to 10- say 18 or 19 would allow them to gather in, and retain younger kids to allow the hobby to grow.

3. Get down off your high horse: Gw is no longer the only miniature maker in the market that has quality figures and game systems. Warmachine and Flame sof War are only some of the outstanding games coming out providing competition for consumers. GW actually has to work to keep customers. This can be done by provding excellent customer support (which it already does), competitive prices (definitly not happenning), Friendly store atmosphere (depends on the store), and quality rules and support for such rules (fairly ok job). I personally have not had a good experience at any GW run store, perhaps if they themselves would realize when changing the target audience of their games that they do not need to focus on a super sales approach, more gamers would be inclined to shop at their stores instead of independent retailers. This would lead to increased revenues as GW makes more money from products sold at their stores than those sold at independent retailers, in addition to retaining more gamers.

4. Better White Dwarf: White Dwarf, as we can all agree in most aspects, has decreased in value over time. ALthough there have been some articles that have been quality in the past years, those have faded into obscurity as time passes by. Even by returning the index astartes (including index xenos), chapter approved, and the little things like dirty steve's letters, the magazine would se ean increase in sales I believe. Also a return of conversations and pictures of quality armies at various Grand Tournaments and Games Day's. SUch as the article on the one hobbyist who inserted LED's into all of his 1,000 Sons miniatures. Another big thing that would help is real battle reports. I liked the battle reports that would have people using thier own armies. Also they used competitive lists and did not neccessarily require the newest army released to win. Some memorable reports are those like the Carnage report in 40k, along with the large Eye of Terror Camapign are some of my favorites. Those where the victor wasn't neccessarily determined beforehand were the best.


ANyways these are my 4 thoughs

Edit: ANyone notice that it seems GW's drop in profits and rise in prices began after the unfortunate departure of Andy Chambers??

ExquisiteEvil
07-01-2007, 05:53
As a 13 year old lad myself, 40K is a lot of hassle to get into. My army, just for 500 points took me ages to piece together, and I was planning a big splurge of purchases near Christmas, but unfortunately the price rise struck. Now it was £5 for a Nob with Powerklaw and not £4. I saved up £40 pounds to buy 9 of the Nobs for my list and possibly pick up a nice Grey Knight Sergeant. This was not to be when the £1 price raise struck. It annoyed the hell out of me that I would only have 9 with no Sergeant, as I had to do chores for that money and work. So when I can only have 9 and have to come back later which was a hassle I decided to just go and buy Medieval 2 instead. I think I have had far more enjoyment with that than my Nobs would have given me. This is from GW's target audience.

The quote above is gold.

This is GW's target market, explaining exactly one of the many reasons why GW is falling short.

The above statement should be on every shareholders annual report - maybe then they will realise that their prices are not so elastic afterall.

I wonder how many other '12-16' year olds money went to video games due to the price hike and dissatisfaction.

corsair_01
07-01-2007, 06:54
On the topic of prices, for the past few years they've been at the point where they're a serious deterrent for someone thinking of getting into the game. When I started playing 40K around 6-7 years ago you could get a box of Space Marines for around $30 (I live in Canada, so this is in Canadian funds). That's not exactly cheap, but it's similar to buying one or two CDs or DVDs. This same box of Space Marines is currently $45. Seeing a $45 price tag on something is going to make you stop and think about whether you can afford it, particularly if you have a limited income. At this point the price tag is going to make it difficult to view the item as a "normal" purchase that doesn't have to be specifically factored into a budget.

The other problem is that someone expects to get something substantial after spending that much money. But after spending nearly $50 on the game, all the person has is ten plastic marines. You can't really do much with that in the game and it certainly doesn't look like it should cost that much. And that doesn't even include any rules for the game. So to get a decently sized army you'd need to spend at least 5-10 times that amount. So not only is the price tag alone going to deter people, when they realize what they're getting for that money they're really going to ask themselves "Is this worth the money I'm spending on it?"

On the other hand, electronics and other similar merchandise is actually decreasing in price. You can currently find DVDs routinely priced at 2 for $30 or even 2 for $20. Gaming systems and other electronics are generally decreasing in price and/or giving you more features for the same price. So the increase in GW prices looks even worse in comparison to other forms of entertainment that are getting cheaper.

Personally, I don't see how GW can compete effectively with prices at their current levels. They might not see the full impact of this for a few more years but I expect that they will find their customer base will be sharply reduced as a result.

I also live in canada and just the other day i went to GW to buy an Archaon
the cost was 50$ this was a major turn away
other things also lead me to suspect that they dont really know the value of their products such as- i recently converted price on a bunch of th same models from canada Vs. the U.S. , i found that some of the american models were actually cheaper than in canada, in fact some where even cheaper for me to buy and have it shipped than if i where to buy it at my store
- another product i find out rageuos is eldrad ulthran blister, it costs 30$ for a single model which is all one piece, the staff were even dumbstruck at this
anyways i find it getting to be ridiculous

The game is afoot
07-01-2007, 08:38
On jacksons website he stated he would not be doing the hobbit as new line have dropped him from the project, this was because he would not drop a legal action against newline regarding the post production audit for the LoTR trilogy. This wasn't his decision it was the studios.

That was correct but the truth is Jackson is suing New Line Cinema because they have not paid him according to his contract.
New Line Cinema have said that they will not use him for the Hobbit but they only have 8 months left on the rights to make the Hobbit and counting.
Then the rights default to the Tolkien Foundation and they have stated categorically that they want Jackson to make the Hobbit.
So it may not be New Line Cinema who make it but it will be Jackson.

Furthermore, GW have moved to extend their franchise lease for a further five years because of this.

Chances are New Line Cinema will settle up with Jackson at the 11th hour to get the option to do the Hobbit. It will be a huge money spinner.

So folks, GW will not be dropping the LotR range and it it is not the millstone around their neck you may think it is.
Sales are down in Warhammer, not so much LotR.
Projected sales of 7th edition and the armies that have followed it have been down by 60% on expected forecasts.
Secondly, the best sculpts coming out of GW in the last 18-24 months have been the LotR range.
No question.

The reason GW are suffering is twofold, firstly, the Prices are far too high to encourage gamers into the stores regularly.
Secondly, eBay has created a ready point of sale at a massive discount compared to retail prices.
None of that eBay money goes into GW's coffers.

It probably doesn't help GW that there has been an upsurge in games like War Machine and Confrontation but there is still only ONE single reason that GW are struggling with a tiny £500,000 profit to be shown for 6 months of global trading and that is this...

The PRICE of the models is TOO high.

The game is afoot
07-01-2007, 09:14
I
- another product i find out rageuos is eldrad ulthran blister, it costs 30$ for a single model which is all one piece, the staff were even dumbstruck at this
anyways i find it getting to be ridiculous

This is the same response people are giving all around the globe.
The price is too high.
People are turning away.
You can find this model for less than half retail price on eBay.
You may need to use paintstripper etc on it but you can get this model cheaply from eBay.

For decades GW have felt that because there was no competition and their quality was the best they could have high prices because people would buy them. They were right. Back then...

Now other competitors have caught them and in some respects surpassed them.
They are not the only option out there for table top gamers these days and the exorbitantly high prices GW are now charging are seeing other game/toy options become attractive to parents instead of GW products.

It's not rocket science, it's supply and demand.
The product being supplied is too highly priced compared to what is available from competitors so the demand for their product is in decline, and correspondingly so are the profits and the share price.

Lower the prices and increase the volume of the sales. Make more profit from turn over.
They have just had a poor xmas by their normal standards, the current ideas are not working, in 6 months time on current trends and a bad recent xmas (which is where GW make 35% of their yearly income) indicates they are well on the road to making a loss at the next 6 month shareholders report.

Brotherdraagor
07-01-2007, 10:01
Any of you lot actually mailed GW to say 'If prices rise, we will drop out, and we've spent a lot of money on this in the past'?

If you drop out, somebody might notice a tiny drop.


If you give prior warning, and explain why you might, people listen. Sometimes companies don't notice things because we're all so busy complaining to people who aren't them, that we forget to actually tell them themselves the problem.

If you haven't, and you have issues... Hell, the address is goddamn everywhere.


Might do something, instead of just walking away. If everyone who was dissatisfied on Warseer actually told the correct people (Hey, I'm good, but I'm not GW), they'd get, what, assuming a decent 'can be arsed' ratio, what, couple hundred maybe?


And don't be rude, because I know some of you would be, it not being face-to-face and all, please no death threats or letter bombs.

Give that man a flapjack. Well put sir.

Paulus
07-01-2007, 10:17
The quote above is gold.

This is GW's target market, explaining exactly one of the many reasons why GW is falling short.

The above statement should be on every shareholders annual report - maybe then they will realise that their prices are not so elastic afterall.

I wonder how many other '12-16' year olds money went to video games due to the price hike and dissatisfaction.

Spot on EE that quote from Simsandwich say's it all!

Most older hobbyists who have a disposable income will say the price of mini's is too high, but GW as you say have targeted the 12-16 age group.

GW obviously have the attitude of were not on target bung a pound on things, but when (in a lot of cases) your target only has £5-10 a week to spend that extra £1 on each item is HUGE!

Obviously there are other problems such as stores being used as cresches in some cases for children who have no intrest in the hobby!

Casual interest (the passer by) will possibly be detered by these other issues, anyone more solidly interested in starting if not happy with the shops will simply purchase online from GW's online store (which a friend of mine who works for GW has confirmed is the most profitable area of the company).

Online shopping is a growing trend with ALL shops, not just GW. They should be alarmed by how many people are happier to purchase from e-bay than them & address this quickly.

Darkseer
07-01-2007, 10:20
Well, I did something to change people's dissatisfaction. I started up FIREBASE.

Unfortunately, no one can set up a cheaper alternative to the figures...not legally anyway.

Spacemunkie
07-01-2007, 11:23
Talk of dropping prices is utterly pie-in-the-sky stuff. Look at their turnover. Look at the profit. It is NOT going to happen. Expect more price rises in the next 12 months I'd say. Also consider what will happen when road charging comes into being in the UK....

As an ex teacher, I see that much of the problem GW has is with perception of it's games. They just aren't cool. The sort of kid who is going to read a 300 page rulebook and sit around in their room painting toy soldiers in their teens is never going to have much street cred are they? GW are already limiting their market within the age group they're targeting because they are utterly skewed towards those of a certain academic ability. I used to run a games club at school, and the combined IQ of those that used to attend was massive. They were a very odd bunch though.....:D

Compare it to the kid who has a Wii (for example...). Everyone will want to know them. Once all the other kids at school get them, online gaming now provides a social experience even when your mates aren't there.

There is just too much cool' stuff to spend money on - Ipods, DVDs, PSP, DS, Wii, 360, PS3, mobile phones - GW is competing against all of it.

Their retail chain is strangling them as well. It'll be the death of them.

philbrad2
07-01-2007, 11:33
Reading the comments in the TELEGRAPH (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/06/cngames06.xml) article posted earlier. I just simply see this as gob smackingly stunning.

How can the Chief Exec of an international company still continually ( for the second year now :wtf: ) still blame their short sightedness on LoTR and keep getting away with it! In any other company this guy would be out on his ear. I know LoTR isn't the be all and end all of GW's problems, but it seems to be sighted as the GW root of all evil in Kirby's case. LoTR (can't believe I'm typing this as , as I detest the game ) is getting the blame for which I see is something Kirby and his management team should have seen and since, taken steps to remedy. I see nothing more taking place than falling sales, 'blame' statements coming from the chairman and the good ship GW steaming on its continued course employing a policy that is pushing up its prices ahead of exchange rates/interest rates/inflation . Alienating it long term customer base. Fighting a losing battle to entice new blood into the game. When will this end?

To pick up on a couple of comments made above that we should let shareholders know what we the buying public think of GW - well I reckon the vast majority of shareholders couldn't give a 'monkeys' about the GW buying public. To them GW is a company they've put money into and expect a return. If this doesn't happen they will either withdraw their financial support or exercise the right and vote to remove the Chairman and/or the senior management team. If they continue to see poor sales (even though GW are propping up the dividend in some way) then they will vote to remove Kirby and possibly the board. Currently I see GW shareholders are still getting a good return and until the funds are not there to keep the returns for investors coming in, this current managerial and economic cycle for GW will continue.

PhilB
:chrome:

Paulus
07-01-2007, 11:36
I agree Spacemunkie, GW is making a good profit in a niche market which is difficult to expand due to the stigma attached (don't deny it we've all been called nerd/geek & accused of playing with toys - do we care do we fudge :D) that will inevitably put some people off.

Lots of people have & are quitting the hobby though due to increasing prices, GW could afford to reduce prices somewhat & still make a very healty profit, but they won't.

As you have said prices will go up & then when the road charges inevitably come in "to help save the environment" (yeah right!) we will see them go up again.

Understand where you're coming from as well the GW my friend works at has some younger regulars come in who we do wonder if they will appear on the news in years to come with the infamous quote "he was such a quiet person, he always kept himself to himself really". :D

Marked_by_chaos
07-01-2007, 11:49
Got to say as much as we all love a bit of GW bashing this is a bit unsubstantiated.

You have to remember how much more GW make now compared to when I first started out. All that has happened is that the LOTR bubble has burst and we are seeing that without this the enterprise perhaps only ever had a limited potential for further growth.

I do think the prices should come down a bit but I doubt this would actually rescue anything for GW.

The biggest problem is when you look at their revenue and compare to operating profit there is a ridiculous drop off. This is partly because due to the nature of their business they have to maintain hundreds of stores operating at a substantial loss.

They stay open all day - weirdly during the period of time when people are at work and kids at school - and every time I go in I'm one of only a couple of people in there except for Games Nights.

It is for this reason that GW are looking to move the sales more and more to Mail order and to de-stock the stores.

Paulus
07-01-2007, 11:58
How can the Chief Exec of an international company still continually ( for the second year now :wtf: ) still blame their short sightedness on LoTR and keep getting away with it! In any other company this guy would be out on his ear.

You'd be suprised, I work at a major UK airport that has undergone several restructures over the last few years to the point that it is now back where it started at!

All of these happened under the same Chief Exec & yet no one on the board has asked why all these changes have been necessary to end up back where they started only now below target - surely someone should take blame, namely the top man, but no he got a 50% payrise! :wtf:

My attitude to this has been to compare it with any sports team if they under perform ultimately the manager/coach is dismissed, yet in the business world this does not happen.

In my few experiences of dealing with the aforementioned Chief Exec though I have actually found him to be very knowledgeable & willing to listen to probs.

The point to my rambling is that the Chief Exec is easy to blame but is not always the correct person, he will rely heavily on the people a tier below him that everyone else reports to & in my experience these people are power hungry & will blatantly distort facts to meet there own ends, including getting rid of people doing a good job that they see as a threat.

carmachu
07-01-2007, 15:09
Kids, supposedly GW's target market, don't see the long term benefit of putting together a unit of models, painting, playing etc. They see instant, short term enjoyment only. If gamming in the table-top sense is his thing, that is a fair amount of investment time, and money wise before the kid gets to do what he really wants to do. For that reason, nine times out of ten, billy will buy himself a games console and a bundle of games.

For £300, my estimate of the entry price to the hobby, Billy could have a Wii and a few games, or a premium 360 bundle. It keeps Billy happy, and most of all, its a no brainer for the parents (who will usually be the ones paying the way). Billy will be quiet for hours, possibly even when his mates come round, no using up the kitchen table, no mess, no taking Billy to begginer courses on a sunday morning etc. The hassle involved isn't worth the price on the box for someone starting out in the hobby.



Hence Rackham's decision of prepainted in their AT-43 PRODUCT.

Playable right out of the box....which is nice.

Some guy (UK)
07-01-2007, 16:00
Yet Rachham don't have their own chain of stores, only independant stockists, and online stores, and most kids will not have heard of Rackham, or any other producer of minatures. Games Workshop has it's own stores, are in most towns and cities in the UK, and more, and yet they don't seem to have much interest in producing such products which can make a quick sale. Seems like a wasted oppertunity to me.

Jon_Irenicus
07-01-2007, 16:15
This happens to most of my friends.

Their reactions are, "Ooooh, that looks good". Afterwards, they ask about painting and modelling, and I tell them I´ll help them, it´s not that hard, anyone can get into it.

Then I show them the price, they remark that it was interesting, but the price shows them the way out.

As a kid, I was afraid of telling my parents how much I paid for a Catachan Lieutenant. My father then supported my expenses, but nowadays I just can´t find a valid reason to spend 35 euros on a box of five plastic miniatures.

Especially since I can buy a pair of jeans and still have dinner on McD, or just go to Fnac and buy a couple of opportunity cd´s/dvd´s or comics, or even art books.

GW has managed to price me out, but not because of the actual price. It´s just that I find myself offended for being charged said 35 euros (box of termies) when I used to pay 25 for a box of 5 lead ones. Same for Tactical Squads.

Paulus
07-01-2007, 16:17
I personally would not be remotely interested in pre-painted mini's as to me it would take the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby away.

I can understand out it can massively appeal to kids & those more interested in gaming.

If GW took that route though I think I would loose all interest as they would eventually stop supporting the hobby aspect of the game & would become nothing more than a glorified toy shop.

Warboss Snazgrod
07-01-2007, 16:33
I appreciate that this might be a bit off topic, but it is LOTR that is keeping me a GW customer. Most of the models are decent, and whats more they are quite (not too much though, £12 for a hero mounted and on foot? I hear Ebay calling...) good value. I know this is going to date me, but believe it or not i remember when 40k was first released. Consequently, i have heard all the arguements as to why LOTR is rubbish and won't last before. Apart from the movie comments, most of the criticisms levelled at LOTR are exactly the same as those that were aimed at the new 40k game. People said that it would not last back then as well, yet look where we are now.

philbrad2
07-01-2007, 16:38
The point to my rambling is that the Chief Exec is easy to blame but is not always the correct person, he will rely heavily on the people a tier below him that everyone else reports to & in my experience these people are power hungry & will blatantly distort facts to meet there own ends, including getting rid of people doing a good job that they see as a threat.

Amen to that brother... having worked for leading UK utility company that lost over £100,000,000 when they decided to pull the plug on a billing and CRM project that simply didn't work, heads did role but not the ones I would have expected - nothing much surprises me and GW's position is a reflection of this and attitudes in business.

Mr Kirby is the figurehead for the management team at GW and ultimately the buck does stop with him. However I suspect (sadly) I think we'll see him a while longer.

As SPACEMUNKIE has said the retail arm of GW is pretty amazing how many companies that appeal to such a niche market with very specific demographic have a retail network like GW? I agree the likes of Toys R Us are open when parents are at work and kids at school but a retail chain such as that has much more to offer in product range than GW does.

GW has tried other retail avenues before. Who remembers WH Smiths a few years back. Larger stores carried a good sized slice of GW boxed sets. Even Argos used to carry boxed games - I bought a 2nd ed starter set for 40K for my nephew from there many years ago at a saving over the same box available for the GW store 100 yards away. If GW could make their product readily available to the public without the huge costs of maintaining its retail chain in the UK and elsewhere then I think they'd make money hand over fist. GW seem to be the only wargaming company who push the hobby/modelling element. OK its nice to be able to get tips on painting etc... but is the cost of running a retail store, often in prime retail centres, where costs will be high, keeping on board several staff members (regardless of their houly rate) and all the associated overheads this involves, multiply this by 200+ times in the UK alone, and you soon see where GW could save a lot of expenditure. It's a delicate balance, the UK retail stores are a big slice of the sales 'pie' and sales would be lower without them, but if another outlet was available with reduced costs GW could save huge amounts on keeping its retail chain alive and probably offer their product at a reduced rate.

The report said 15 new stores opened and 8 closed in the last period. How long before we start to see GW store disappear form many of the high streets in the UK? Within a hours drive of my home there are 10 stores including WW. Does a wargaming company really need to maintain such a widespread retail network when others, ok their sales aren't as big as GW don't?


I personally would not be remotely interested in pre-painted mini's as to me it would take the most enjoyable aspect of the hobby away.

I can understand out it can massively appeal to kids & those more interested in gaming.

I agree but I can see GW going down the 'prepainted' route for at least their starter boxes in the next few years. People today want stuff NOW. Not to go home and spend several hours constructing models before they can even play a game. BfSP and BfM are moving towards this genre, can you imagine those that bought the 3rd ed starter set and having to build all those SM and DE models before they could even play! I know the modelling/painting aspect is a big part of the hobby but there are those that would like to pick up and play, as well as those that will spend years converting and painting armies to a stunnign standard and rarely, if at all play them. GW needs to be able to capture both these elements.


If GW took that route though I think I would loose all interest as they would eventually stop supporting the hobby aspect of the game & would become nothing more than a glorified toy shop.

That's fairly easy for us who have been modelling/painting/gaming in this way for years to think and say. GW need to try it. If they want to entice new blood they need to explore all the avenues.



PhilB
:chrome:

Paulus
07-01-2007, 17:01
I appreciate that this might be a bit off topic, but it is LOTR that is keeping me a GW customer.

I don't think it's at all off topic - your simply pointing out the fact that some play that system.

I've heard a lot of people say that the LOTR games system is the best that GW have ever produced, I have never played it & so couldn't comment.


Amen to that brother... having worked for leading UK utility company that lost over £100,000,000 when they decided to pull the plug on a billing and CRM project that simply didn't work, heads did role but not the ones I would have expected - nothing much surprises me and GW's position is a reflection of this and attitudes in business.

It's a sad state of affairs, more chief's than Indians syndrome everything blamed on the worker.


Mr Kirby is the figurehead for the management team at GW and ultimately the buck does stop with him. However I suspect (sadly) I think we'll see him a while longer.

Agree totally! It should stop with him that's why he get's the big money but he'll blame it on others below him & the people on the shop floor will suffer.


As SPACEMUNKIE has said the retail arm of GW is pretty amazing how many companies that appeal to such a niche market with very specific demographic have a retail network like GW?

It is indeed, don't know whether they will still work in this way in 5 yrs time though.

GW has tried other retail avenues before. Who remembers WH Smiths a few years back. Larger stores carried a good sized slice of GW boxed sets. Even Argos used to carry boxed games - I bought a 2nd ed starter set for 40K for my nephew from there many years ago at a saving over the same box available for the GW store 100 yards away[/QUOTE]

Lol! Had exactly the same thing happen I bought Warhammer Quest from an Argos 3 shops away from GW for £10 less - don't get how that works!

Gaebriel
07-01-2007, 17:59
...
Mr Kirby is the figurehead for the management team at GW and ultimately the buck does stop with him. However I suspect (sadly) I think we'll see him a while longer.
...Wasn't there something about a golden parachute in his contract which would ruin GW if they ever fired him? So I guess they'll have to let him lead his little experiment through till the end...

Paulus
07-01-2007, 18:13
Wasn't there something about a golden parachute in his contract which would ruin GW if they ever fired him? So I guess they'll have to let him lead his little experiment through till the end...

You've got to love it when a company say's no matter how badly you perform we'll still give you loads of money & if you do so badly that we have to sack you, well ...... then we'll just have to give you a ton more!

Brandir
07-01-2007, 18:15
Wasn't there something about a golden parachute in his contract which would ruin GW if they ever fired him? So I guess they'll have to let him lead his little experiment through till the end...

No. Mr Kirby would be entitled to compensation if fired under certain circumstances. But nowhere near enough to ruin GW. Public limited companies cannot operate like that; due diligence and annual accounts prevent a CEO from securing such a deal.

Paulus
07-01-2007, 18:21
Phew, glad to hear that!

Brandir
07-01-2007, 18:27
Mr Kirby did step down as CEO in 1998 and was replaced by a 'professional' CEO. That did not work out so Mr Kirby was asked to rejoin as CEO in 2000. Remember that he is a GW gamer and has been with the company for over 20 years. He is not one of those MBA suits that has no sympathy with customers, employees or the company. Mr Kirby is GW through and through. I am glad that he is running GW and not some suit parachuted in from outside the hobby by suits only interested in the accounts.

Paulus
07-01-2007, 18:52
I will admit I was not aware of that, thanks for letting me know. I did try do a Google & Wiki search on him before I posted as I like to try & make sure I know what I'm talking about.

I agree it is much better to have someone who is GW through & through in charge than a chief exec from outside that would not understand the product.

That Telegraph article posted earlier though is quite alarming in how he seems suprised that the LOTR products aren't selling as well as they did when the films were being released.

Then again I suppose he couldn't really say to the press & stock market that he knew sales would drop once the films were no longer in the cinema, either that or they hoped to move people to the core games & hasn't panned out.

Brandir
07-01-2007, 19:34
.....Then again I suppose he couldn't really say to the press & stock market that he knew sales would drop once the films were no longer in the cinema, either that or they hoped to move people to the core games & hasn't panned out.

Thing is Kirby DID has continually used annual reports to emphasis that LOTR was a bubble:

we therefore believe that an element of these sales could
represent a ‘bubble’ effect which may not be sustainable in the future. ....... At the time we indicated that this ‘bubble’ effect increase in sales might not
be sustainable in the future.

Arkzein
07-01-2007, 22:18
Fanatstic thread this for the most part after sitting and reading through it all, even managed to drag me out from lurking.

Must say that an earlier posters reference to Games Workshop being the main player in an oligopoly (Perhaps in the past closer to a monopoly, I have known many who thought of wargaming as simply "warhammer", thinking historical something entirely apart and knowing nothing of other games). In any case it seems they are pushing the boundiries of their inelastic demand of late, perhaps seeing just how far it can go. Those at the top aren't stupid, why charge less when you can charge more with only conmparitively small decreases in demand?

Yet whereas before there were few direct substitutes, making this more viable in my opinion (The hobby was always expensive, at least in my 12 years) we now have ebay, the 2nd hand market directly taking sales from them, and a mass of cheaper internet shops. (Notice how they attempted to stop online retailers offering discounts a while back I recall) and other games becoming real compeition. (Warmachine comes to mind here) Whereas before these would perhaps have been seen as something additional or to play as well, not instead of as a substitute.

Furthermore, entirely conjecture here, I'm not saying these price rises are a good thing for the company, or can go on forever. Time after time in this thread we see two things, entrants getting priced out and veterans buying less and leaving. Now perhaps things are inleastic enough that this is just a decrease at both ends and the price rises cover it, but perhaps also people will continue to leave and too few will enter. in this case in the short term things look fine, but as we get to the medium to long term. More leaving, less being bought and other games rising it could really get to be a problem. Perhaps even snowballing. (I believe GW keep their almost monopoly like grip due to having a critical mass of players, the rise of others or fall of their base could shatter this, again just in my opinion)

Again you have other negative externalities eating into things all at once, the fall of LOTR in the public's mind, increase in forms of other gaming with the release of the new consoles this year and the rise in online gaming, even Dawn of War, the rising price of both energy and materials. Heck you could even argue the resurgence of reading with Harry Potter had some slight effect. My point is a lot of going against the flow at once. All in all the "fad" argument wasn't entirely wrong (Though it has most certainly outlived a fad and the term isn't apt) just that perhaps other "fads" or events happening at once hit hard. I mean if pokemon cards alone hurt them back in the 90s....

Still I have to agree with another poster who looked a bit more carefully at their figures before. It's not a total disaster just yet, it was the market's own mistake regarding the LOTR bubble that makes matters seem worse, this seems to be the cause of a lot of grief and worry (namely the company was overvalued, and now isnt) they're up on the year and not so different from a few years back (Share price wise). Perhaps investments made from the LOTR profits were off, expecting a rise in other games that never came. (2 factories in the US I read here? I haven't followed or looked at their activity or statments over the years to be honest) but still the management seems to think it's a growth market and the temporary losses some stores are making are just that, temporary. Still, intuition would tell me it's mature or even in decline, at least in the UK (The loss of small and independants, hinting at decline, also hitting their sales, these make up more than you would think, 40%+), and facing more competition. But then GW does seem to be aiming at entering new markets where there perhaps is room for growth so this may be true. (Not sure on US, Asia, or european growth figures on like for like sales)

In any case I'm rambling, with mostly an only half-educated guess/opinion, having not the time or inclination to read much into the financial statements, so will wind down ;). My thinking is things are returning to pre-LOTR levels, (Even take them away as you would have seen gains in turnover over the period as was happing from the late 80s year on year, but I caoulsn't see this continuing as fast for the reasons above unless the markets they are entering do have as much piotential as the UK market) with some bad decisions during that time perhaps hampering matters, and folk are still a bit high on that sucess. I'm interested to see if things level out as they appear to be or start to decline, perhaps they have gotten the pricing right and it will work (for profits at least) perhaps not. Not to forget there has been a lot of investment within and restructuring/streamlining which could pay dividends that we haven't seen yet. Furthermore the Hobbit could see a boom again, yet Warhammer Online could have a negative effect despite royalties. I might actually start taking an interest in the corporate side of things in any case, never even crossed my mind before this. I'd be interested to know what a professional analyst or such with an interest in the hobby would make of things (Sounds like a good job for a nerd like us! ;))

In short: Cautiously ~ not as bad as it is made out to be. ;)

My two coppers.

carmachu
07-01-2007, 22:57
Well, first off, you don't need as many models to play Confrontation or War Machine. I think some of the prejudice is because the other companies are new, so they produce minis we haven't seen before, instead of new versions of old ideas. Also, while some of the new WH stuff is awesome (I just paid $10 us for the Wood Elf Spellsinger, couldn't help myself) the griping comes when you have to pay the same cost for old, static, sculpts that used to cost half as much. And in many ways, GW is playing catch up in terms of dynamic models to the younger companies who have really pushed innovation.


No. Thats not it at all.

Its the fact they basically treat customers right. Probelm with teh game? Drop them a message on the board and guess what?

They solve the *******' problem. No exucses. No belittling the players. No "its good enough"

Hell PP is rereleasing the prime book IN COLOR with UPDATES because its something the customer wants.


Could you EVER see GW doing that? "Oh our rules are wrong, here, lets update the rule book."

Instead we get shots taken at us in their magazine...

idinos
07-01-2007, 23:04
OK, your crusade against GW has persuaded me that they suck while PP are the Gods of the gaming industry. That said, why don't you go play Warmachine instead of whining about GW like a cheated wife all the time?

scarletsquig
08-01-2007, 00:15
why don't you go play Warmachine instead of whining about GW like a cheated wife all the time?

Put bluntly... + Edited by the Warseer =I= +

* Keep it clean please PhilB *

Paulus
08-01-2007, 00:20
No. Thats not it at all.

Its the fact they basically treat customers right. Probelm with teh game? Drop them a message on the board and guess what?

They solve the *******' problem. No exucses. No belittling the players. No "its good enough"

Hell PP is rereleasing the prime book IN COLOR with UPDATES because its something the customer wants.


Could you EVER see GW doing that? "Oh our rules are wrong, here, lets update the rule book."

Instead we get shots taken at us in their magazine...

Please don't think I'm defending GW because I most certainly do not intend to.

I have 2 questions:

1) Were you charged for the initial rules book?

2) Will you be charged for this update?

I have a serious issue with things like this, on the Warhammer Fantasy boards there was a recent thread about mistakes in the NEW (as in Oct/Nov 06) Orc's & Goblin's army book.

People asked for the book to be updated AGAIN due to the number of "mistakes" (I've never read the book & had no idea what these mistakes were) within the book.

I said that surely if the book was so poor a complaint should be made & any update made should be provided FOC by GW to anyone who can prove purchase of the initial book as they had so recently purchased a shoddy product.

I was shot down though & informed that the book was so bad people were willing to pay again, to which I thought fair enough you clearly have more money than sense.

My reason for this ramble is to see how Privateer Press deal with a similar scenario (I'm sorry I went a long way about getting to it!).

swordwind
08-01-2007, 01:35
OK, your crusade against GW has persuaded me that they suck while PP are the Gods of the gaming industry. That said, why don't you go play Warmachine instead of whining about GW like a cheated wife all the time?

Becaue lo and behold, you're allowed to play more than one miniatures game. Hell I play 40k, Warhammer Historicals, Warmachine, Flames of War and Starship Troopers. They're not mutually exclusive. You arent excluded from criticising a game you play because you play another.

Crazy Harborc
08-01-2007, 02:33
GW targets young children starting with oh (GW used to claim 8 years old) 8 to 10 years old. That market very likely contains a large share of guys/girls who are more into playing GW's games because of the great toys. They aren't into it because they want to be "wargamers". They are into it until they mature mentally. That's if they don't move on sooner to the next "cool toys". Hey, no intent to flame here. Just talking about what I've learned in 40 plus years of life that includes wargaming as a hobby, a "life time" hobby

As an 8 year old I had toy soldiers. I had several friends who had them too. Of 50 plus friends from then....I am the only one who is a wargamer. Don't know of any of them being collectors of military miniatures in any scale. Oh, at class reunions, there have always been questions from those guys as to whether or not I still have my miniatures/toy soldiers.

corsair_01
08-01-2007, 04:22
all of the price changes are mainly to keep warhammer in tact
if you knew something about what these things are made of you'd know why the prices are changing
first the plastic model are made partly of a petroleum bi-product and since gas prices have increasedso have the prices to buy the materials
and the metal models are made of 85% tin. The price for tin has almost doubled in the last two years, so it costs them more to buy the material.
so then it costs the stores more to get the models so they have to charge more to make a profit.
Plus most stores will try to balance things out(ex. all blisters will raise in price or both blister and boxes will raise a little0

Jo Bennett
08-01-2007, 06:06
The materials cost is a red herring. Ever bought plastic coathangers recently? The main costs for GW are staffing and making the moulds, not the unit costs of the models. For plastic models especially we're talking pennies (though obviously packing and transportation will add a chunk). I think GW could sell things cheaper, but they'd have to change their business model, move out of town a bit onto trading estates with space for more stock (and more gaming tables) and drop prices substantially but make up for it with bulk.

KnightoNi1894
08-01-2007, 07:23
Please don't think I'm defending GW because I most certainly do not intend to.

I have 2 questions:

1) Were you charged for the initial rules book?

2) Will you be charged for this update?

I have a serious issue with things like this, on the Warhammer Fantasy boards there was a recent thread about mistakes in the NEW (as in Oct/Nov 06) Orc's & Goblin's army book.

People asked for the book to be updated AGAIN due to the number of "mistakes" (I've never read the book & had no idea what these mistakes were) within the book.

I said that surely if the book was so poor a complaint should be made & any update made should be provided FOC by GW to anyone who can prove purchase of the initial book as they had so recently purchased a shoddy product.

I was shot down though & informed that the book was so bad people were willing to pay again, to which I thought fair enough you clearly have more money than sense.

My reason for this ramble is to see how Privateer Press deal with a similar scenario (I'm sorry I went a long way about getting to it!).

Any and all rules changes are available from Privateer Press on their website, here.
http://www.privateerpress.com/FAQ/faq.php?errata=1&search=1&Prime=1&Esc=1&Apo=1&NQ=1&category=-1

The new rules changes (all 6 of them) are also available in No Quarter #10 (that came out this month).

The new prime,WARMACHINE Prime: Remix costs $25, rather than the origonal $20 for the black and white prime. So, they are charging for the updates, but you don't have to buy the book to get the updates.

Knight

Paulus
08-01-2007, 08:00
Any and all rules changes are available from Privateer Press on their website, here.
http://www.privateerpress.com/FAQ/faq.php?errata=1&search=1&Prime=1&Esc=1&Apo=1&NQ=1&category=-1

The new rules changes (all 6 of them) are also available in No Quarter #10 (that came out this month).

The new prime,WARMACHINE Prime: Remix costs $25, rather than the origonal $20 for the black and white prime. So, they are charging for the updates, but you don't have to buy the book to get the updates.

Knight

Good, I can understand charging for new books but as long as the amends are made available for free that's fair.


all of the price changes are mainly to keep warhammer in tact
if you knew something about what these things are made of you'd know why the prices are changing
first the plastic model are made partly of a petroleum bi-product and since gas prices have increasedso have the prices to buy the materials
and the metal models are made of 85% tin. The price for tin has almost doubled in the last two years, so it costs them more to buy the material.
so then it costs the stores more to get the models so they have to charge more to make a profit.
Plus most stores will try to balance things out(ex. all blisters will raise in price or both blister and boxes will raise a little0

I work for the sign department of an airport, part of my job includes purchase of materials.

I know that as you say tin has increased in cost but don't know what's actually in GW's metal miniature's to judge that to be honest.

What I do know is that although plastic costs have risen, they have not risen as much (based on percentage increments) as GW's plastic models over the last few years.

We currently pay £20 more for a 3m x 2m x 3mm sheet of Perspex than we did 5 yrs ago, now that is a branded material (the most expensive brand at that) bought singularly. GW will buy in bulk & probably use an unbranded acrylic, so they're cost over the same amount will be even less than.

I cannot comment on tin costs as I don't know enough, so as you say that could level it out over plastic box sets & blisters.

The game is afoot
08-01-2007, 09:37
You can add inflation and the increased cost of raw materials together and you will not get anywhere near the price increases GW has forced on it's customers.
That same price increase has seen another fall in profits, another slide in the share price and worst of all, a poor xmas at the till.
Making only a measly £500,000 quid across the globe as an operating profit of 6 months from three mail order points, 344 stores and a network of independent retailers, is not a positive report.
GW's profit continues to shrink and so does their shareprice.
The trends indicate a slowing but no change in this direction.
They are already sailing very close to the wind, what is going to happen when the the growth goes negative as the trends indicate?

The game is afoot
08-01-2007, 09:45
That said, why don't you go play Warmachine instead of whining about GW like a cheated wife all the time?

Garbage comments like this don't help to develop the discussion in the thread.
People who accuse others of whining are generally satisfied with the status quo.
If that is the case why put others down for having a different perspective?
Why not simply elect not to comment.

In case you haven't noticed a LOT more people are becoming disgruntled at GW's conduct.
Thats why games like War Machine and Confrontation have been able to climb so quickly in the industry.
If GW were to pay more attention to keeping gamers, (and all the quality control involved with that) rather than discarding them for newer younger ones their profit margin and share price would not continue to slide in a downward direction.
Their market share would not be either fleeing to other systems or leaving the hobby altogether.

Death Before Dishonour
08-01-2007, 09:56
I feel it is important to register as well that the UK econmony is slowing down, the first things to go are expensive luxories like GW figures. So although I'd agree that on the whole GW is in a spot of bother its not entirely their fault.

The game is afoot
08-01-2007, 10:18
It's true, outside of London where the residential house prices have artificially boosted the building industry there has been a slowing of retail purchasing as noted by the media over xmas.
Luxury Product specific shops like GW will notice this more than most.
It coincides with the increase of purchasing off the internet.
Most of the little boutique manufacturers have websites and in an environment where shop fronts are not an issue, and the quality and price of your item are, GW are certainly suffering, particularly when you can pick up so much of their products cheaply off eBay.

Bombot
08-01-2007, 10:42
Talk of dropping prices is utterly pie-in-the-sky stuff. Look at their turnover. Look at the profit. It is NOT going to happen.

This is GW director think. “We need to boost profits – let’s raise prices!”

And then umpteen customers walk off and they’re at square minus one. You are, alas, probably right to call price drop talk ‘pie-in-the-sky stuff’ but when, over approximately a 20 year period, GW have been outpacing inflation by a factor of 2.7 for their main product (plastic space marines), it’s little surprise that customers are wandering elsewhere.

Tammo_Korsai
08-01-2007, 11:07
Its quite obivous that GW can only get so much from their LOTR edeavour. I think that the specalist games should be pushed forwards to the front lines, they already have good minatures and well written rules, just push them into the light and huzzah! A spot more income with little cost. Take for example Battlefleet Gothic, free rules, very cheap to play with a fantastic starter set with beautiful but easy to paint minatures.
It's not super complex like Inquisitor, which is best suited for veterans. And at my store's Veterans night I taught a GW staff member how to play in just one game and we had great fun, no confusing rules, very little terrain needed and all you need is your average sized gaming table, prefably with a cloth dotted with stars and whatnot, and another great thing is that terrain is a doddle; it doesn't need to be 3D. Just with 9 models aside you can have a very exciting game.

Come on GW, you've got tons of good games on the back shelves hidden in your mail order catalouges, use them. :) Instant profit boost is just a stones throw away.

Osbad
08-01-2007, 11:11
Well, according to the latest "Fanatic Online" magazine, BFG is about to be revamped and they are selling the new rulebooks in main stores. So maybe there are glimmerings of hope...

purplehoob
08-01-2007, 13:22
I do hope that the rulebook is only the first step in a return to Fanatic days. But part of me thinks that fanatic is not actively pushed because most of the rules are too compicated for the kiddies.

Don't get me wrong kids are the life blood of the hooby, but give them credit for intelligence and stop dumbing down rules.

Bring back Epic the one and only third core game system. No not the armageddon stuff either, real honest to goodness epic with Titans and CAF and shooting and ....


Gets carried off and fed his medication.


Buy new giant.....

Zazoo
08-01-2007, 13:59
Ive read 90% of the posts in this thread and the one thing that stuck out to me, was that most people didnt actually start with 40K or fantasy, but actually with a simpler game like Hero Quest or Space hulk.

I know the majority of the players in South Africa did exactly that.

So maybe getting some of those type of games back into the mainstream, would help getting the new players involved without them having to spend loads of cash before playing.

carmachu
08-01-2007, 17:45
Please don't think I'm defending GW because I most certainly do not intend to.

I have 2 questions:

1) Were you charged for the initial rules book?

2) Will you be charged for this update?


Yes and yes. The difference is: the old one is black and white, the new one is color(to match later releases).

And you know what? I dont mind paying for the new one. Its not a "we ****ed up and here's a new rulebook" kinda a thing.

Its a "you asked for it, here we're going to make it for you."

Its something announced. and Nice. You dont HAVE to buy it, mind you, at all. YOu can happily live with your black and white one with the FAQ's printed out on the site quite nicely. Its not a necessarily buy. Nor is it a "stealth" change like the 3 editions of teh chaos codex.



I have a serious issue with things like this, on the Warhammer Fantasy boards there was a recent thread about mistakes in the NEW (as in Oct/Nov 06) Orc's & Goblin's army book.

People asked for the book to be updated AGAIN due to the number of "mistakes" (I've never read the book & had no idea what these mistakes were) within the book.

I said that surely if the book was so poor a complaint should be made & any update made should be provided FOC by GW to anyone who can prove purchase of the initial book as they had so recently purchased a shoddy product.

I was shot down though & informed that the book was so bad people were willing to pay again, to which I thought fair enough you clearly have more money than sense.

My reason for this ramble is to see how Privateer Press deal with a similar scenario (I'm sorry I went a long way about getting to it!).



PP deals with rules problems MUCH MUCH better than GW. Keep in mind again, the prime book isnt a problem- all the changes are up on FAQ's on their site.

If you have a rules problem, you can ask them and it gets solved.

PP HAD a problem with its latest release: Superiority. 2 pages didnt have the proper text. They had "place holder" text. Real stupid mistake. PP's fix is.....print out stickers and cover the text with correct text. All done before release.

PP has a much better way of handling problems: rules or otherwise. Its one MORE thing, beyond price, that GW doesnt do. Or does very poorly.

carmachu
08-01-2007, 17:49
OK, your crusade against GW has persuaded me that they suck while PP are the Gods of the gaming industry. That said, why don't you go play Warmachine instead of whining about GW like a cheated wife all the time?



Ahhh yes, you exemplify GW's other problems quite nicely there Idinos: Poor customer relations.

If I complain, I should just stupid up and go play something else. And GW wonders why its not selling as well anymore.

See Idinos, prices arent the only GW problem: poorly or "good enough" written rules, bad customer relations are GW's other problems. You just showed the typical GW attitude I see alot.

"We got your money, now go away." seems to sum it up quite nicely.

I dont see why I should, however. Being in retail has taught me doing so only just drives your customer base away, as much as a shoody product would.

carmachu
08-01-2007, 18:10
all of the price changes are mainly to keep warhammer in tact
if you knew something about what these things are made of you'd know why the prices are changing
first the plastic model are made partly of a petroleum bi-product and since gas prices have increasedso have the prices to buy the materials
and the metal models are made of 85% tin. The price for tin has almost doubled in the last two years, so it costs them more to buy the material.
so then it costs the stores more to get the models so they have to charge more to make a profit.
Plus most stores will try to balance things out(ex. all blisters will raise in price or both blister and boxes will raise a little0

As someone said, its a red herring: GW's own reports have the raw materials cost at 3%.....

Jim30
08-01-2007, 18:11
I am still convinced that the decision to supply Edition 2 flames of war rulebooks in A5 format to all extant customers was a work of genius. I know a lof of people who liked what they saw and then splashed out on the main rulebook. End result, one company with more sales and a lot of very happy customers.

carmachu
08-01-2007, 18:25
I am still convinced that the decision to supply Edition 2 flames of war rulebooks in A5 format to all extant customers was a work of genius. I know a lof of people who liked what they saw and then splashed out on the main rulebook. End result, one company with more sales and a lot of very happy customers.


THats generally how it works in retail: you give he customer what he wants(within reason) and they're happy to spend their money.

We all know GW isnt going to lower prices. But there are otehr areas of improvement they COULD make.....and folks might come back to spend money.

Spacemunkie
08-01-2007, 18:39
This is GW director think. “We need to boost profits – let’s raise prices!”

And then umpteen customers walk off and they’re at square minus one. You are, alas, probably right to call price drop talk ‘pie-in-the-sky stuff’ but when, over approximately a 20 year period, GW have been outpacing inflation by a factor of 2.7 for their main product (plastic space marines), it’s little surprise that customers are wandering elsewhere.

The point is that their net profit vs turnover is absolutely miniscule. They HAVEN'T been increasing prices to boost profits recently, they have increased prices simply to keep their heads above the water! They simply could not afford to drop prices, no matter how much they wanted to (yeah, right :D).

It's proof that their 'strategy' of using a vast retail chain to recruit new addicts is starting to get too expensive. When you buy stuff from them, you're paying for all that infrastructure. Imagine how much more pure profit PP or Rackham make off each blister when compared to GW...

Norminator
08-01-2007, 18:42
Someone told me once (so take this with a pinch of salt) that it may well take a few years for GW to make back money on for example a character blister back, after paying for the product design, 'eavy metal painters, production and all the other nuts and bolts. Plastic kits on the other hand will go into the black within a few months. Prices are high so that overall GW can make a profit on initial investements - otherwise some models would always be making a loss.

Jon_Irenicus
08-01-2007, 18:54
Someone told me once (so take this with a pinch of salt) that it may well take a few years for GW to make back money on for example a character blister back, after paying for the product design, 'eavy metal painters, production and all the other nuts and bolts. Plastic kits on the other hand will go into the black within a few months. Prices are high so that overall GW can make a profit on initial investements - otherwise some models would always be making a loss.

I wonder if Cap´n Cortez paid back his dues :rolleyes:

Honestly, I can believe that it hits them hard to make, produce, advertise and ultimately sell their product, but I think that their spending of 1000 € making the moulds, paying the designer (I´m not bringing HM into the light because their salary is monthly and not based on what characters they paint - I´m guessing here, anyway) is easily recoverable when they sell, for example, the Autarch and such like.

Some may take years to make good their return, but we can´t think on a single miniature here. A long running machine where every miniature makes the other sell, in the long run. Obviously, with a little quality control and self criticism, they can make incredible stuff (thinking Wood Elves here, some of those miniatures still amaze me... and I always hated the race) and completely revamp and renew interest in a race with a complete overhaul.

Something they can´t do with Marines, as people will eventually lose interest again, IMHO. It´s all about the bling, right?

Cpt.Hellboy
08-01-2007, 18:59
I was speaking to one of the Games Workshop staff a few months ago(when the prices went up in the UK) about this same problem and he just said it was inflation, and tried to tell me that a PC game would, in a years time cost £10 more! But is it me or are the prices seem to be going down for items like games and CDs? So why should Games Workshop raise their prices by like £4 every 6months?!

Voronwe[MQ]
08-01-2007, 19:03
Instant satisfication... so sad, since it points at lack of patience. I wonder what this can come from? [hints at major parts of the computer games market and modern short-sighted culture]

The problem, I hope (since things is very bad in the modern world right now if the above factor is the main cause), is the prices.

Though of course a more sound strategy and the fact that many people are distasted or have a dislike of modern culture's naïve "extremes" could be used to a financial advantage is a supposedly working way to at least slow, and in the longer run also turn, GW's current down curve. Of course, deciding which group(s) are most likely to catch with better prices and "enlightning" (perhaps I'm a bit too schooled in military things - this might not work in "civilian" circumstances) information of the imaginery depth and the patient (but not so time-consuming as first may seem) satisfication of all manner of aspects of the hobby - gaming, reading, painting, modelling and more - are vital parts of this.

Voronwe

Spacemunkie
08-01-2007, 19:12
Honestly, I can believe that it hits them hard to make, produce, advertise and ultimately sell their product...

You are joking? Apart from the two manufacturing plants, they've got a retail chain of over 300 shops to support. Then they have to distribute to those shops - something which is becoming increasingly expensive. 'Production' costs are only a small portion of GW's operating costs.

Bombot
08-01-2007, 19:16
The point is that their net profit vs turnover is absolutely miniscule. They HAVEN'T been increasing prices to boost profits recently, they have increased prices simply to keep their heads above the water! They simply could not afford to drop prices, no matter how much they wanted to (yeah, right :D).

It's proof that their 'strategy' of using a vast retail chain to recruit new addicts is starting to get too expensive. When you buy stuff from them, you're paying for all that infrastructure. Imagine how much more pure profit PP or Rackham make off each blister when compared to GW...

They make much more per pack but have far less customers, which the stores help bring in. I couldn’t say offhand whether the retail stores are worth keeping. They do seem a lot less busy than in days of yore. To be honest I think GW have to keep them to keep their customers as far a way from (superior) rival rulesets as possible!

The point about the prices is, while you say they need them to keep their head above water, how many customers walked off when they made them? If prices go up 10% and 15% of your customers leave, it’s not helping you keep your head above water is it?

Common sense dictates that sooner or later the price of GW figs will be ‘too high’ to any sane buyer. They price hikes are outpacing inflation by a significant margin and clearly GW figs are not status symbols like Ferrari or Rolex. To me, 40k has already gone beyond that point. The SG games are still ok for me personally, though objectively Epic figures aren’t exactly a bargain.

stevegb
08-01-2007, 19:16
http://investor.games-workshop.com/investor_relations/financial_results/Results2007/Interims/default.htm
but dividends stay at same level.
is this wise?

Hi all,

I've been playing 40k for the best part of 20 years and have a few armies but have painted and sold loads over the years. I have not bought anything new from GW for almost a year. Consider these points:

1. GW prices too high
2. Every e-bay sale (2nd hand not re-seller) is a sale taken away from GW
3. I think 40k is an awefull dice rolling comp with very little skill involved (most of the time but not always) and has been dumbed down beyond belief.

These are the reason why I think GW is in a bit of trouble and why me and a number of my long playing friends have either quit completely or at least give GW a wide berth.

Steve

noneedforaname
08-01-2007, 19:18
Is there anywhere you can get a copy of the annual accounts that they issue to shareholders. I fancy a nosey if i can find it online.

Brandir
08-01-2007, 19:27
This link:

http://investor.games-workshop.com/investor_relations/financial_results/default.htm

will take you to all GW annual reports since 1999.

Jon_Irenicus
08-01-2007, 19:32
You are joking? Apart from the two manufacturing plants, they've got a retail chain of over 300 shops to support. Then they have to distribute to those shops - something which is becoming increasingly expensive. 'Production' costs are only a small portion of GW's operating costs.

Ah, I overlooked that small detail. You know, there isn´t a single games workshop store in the country I live in, so it´s easy to not remember they exist, especially because they seem to be only there for the expenses. And some of the stores are so close that the profit they´re making is more ' ghostly' than anything else, like the before mentioned London stores (speculation on my part).

Even so, the stores must have some kind of gain. Otherwise they wouldn´t be open. The way you´re talking, my good man, GW would be the only company in the world that sustained itself by expenses only :)

intellectawe
08-01-2007, 19:41
I have been harping about this for years.

-gets on soap box-

GW used to be a hobby company, back in the early 90's and before. But ever since they went public, the game has taken a turn for the worst. Now GW is a company selling a hobby. Big difference.

GW believes their product is better and that their ***** doesn't stink. Its amazing how wrong they are. I mean, their very own people read these forums form time to time, you would think they would get a clue?

But no, the 10 guys behind the doors believe they know more about running a hobby than the hobbyists who buy their models. True, they know how to run a business, but not a hobby.

GW believes they are the DeBeers of the gaming world. Sorry. Not going to happen.

In my store, people have sold off their warhammer armies and now play Warmachine. There is 1 tournament a year for all the GW products in the store, but Warmachine has 1 tournament every month.

GW does stupid things, like not give stores "store" copies of rules books unless the store carries LotR, Fantasy and 40k. Please. My store can barely make due selling warhammer figs, thats why they don't carry LotR figs.

What a mess. I honestly see myself selling my 16 armies in the next few years as this game goes down the tubes. No body wants to play the game anymore in my area SIMPLY due to the high prices.

So a box of 5 plastic fuxers is supposed to cost 50 bucks and make me feel good that I am paying the electric bill for some GW store in NYC? Whatever.

I have been buying GW figs online for years. And I will NEVER buy one fig in a store as long as these prices are outrageous.

noneedforaname
08-01-2007, 19:52
well just had a nosey through some of the 2005/2006 report and there where a few interesting things.

1)europe is doing pretty well in terms of sales.
2)US market fell due to independent stockists no longer carrying GW's line, however in there GW stores in the US there was growth, but still an overall fall.

They are using a 'metropolitan model' in the US meaning they put there stores near independent stockists to 'support the hobby community'.

Were these in fact the independent stockists that stopped stocking GW products? where these stores offering better prices and customer service than GW stores?

It could be the case that they have spent capital to move in and over saturate these areas. Have they paid to make there sales fall in the US?

carmachu
08-01-2007, 20:38
The problem, I hope (since things is very bad in the modern world right now if the above factor is the main cause), is the prices.


Its ONE problem. Its not the only problem.

I personally dont like some of the models in warmachine. However, since they have a tight set, I know when I buy the whole pacakge, the models are backed up by rules that work right, and if they dont work, they get fixed.

Sorta a guarentee if you will.

GW's price problem MIGHT be overcome if they backed it up rules wise. Instead of throwing out lines like "good enough."

Do you know how bad that sounds when you try and promote yourself as "the porche of minis world" when you throw of lines like that?

I'm going to steal a quote from someone elsewhere...... because its relevant, and I agree:

"This means that "customer loyalty" is a prime asset for GW or PP or whoever.

It strikes me that with GW's turnover vaporising like it is, then due to whatever reason - prices rising, perceived lack of quality in product, etc., etc., then this is the nub of the problem.

Once GW lose a customer, then pretty much he is lost for good. They haven't just not sold that one item he walked into the store to get and changed his mind about - they have also lost everything else he was going to buy over the next 10 years!

Of course, often it isn't going to be as stark as that. There'll be a period of reduced sales before the customer gets disenchanted completely. But over time this is what is going to happen.

Make no mistake about it. The financial figures indicate that GW is in serious financial trouble. They cover the period when 7th edition was splash released and still they show lower levels of sales than the year before. Remember last year's financial results? 7th edition was trumpeted as being the Great White Hope of GW for 2006. And it hasn't materialised!!

And now they are massively increasing borrowing to pay shareholders' dividends.... OUCH!!

I'm not gloating. I'm not happy at GW's problems. I'm just feeling vindicated about my opinion that they really shouldn't cheese off the "vets" like they have being doing over the last few years. A company that takes its customers for granted in the way GW does is heading for a cliff. Looks like they are only feet away from the edge now..."


Here's another problem:

Part of GW's problem, as well, is the fact that old models that haven't changed in 7+ years are going up in price. For example... ORKS! Ork warbikes, which haven't changed since 2d ed, and Ork Wartrukks, which haven't changed since 2d Ed and Gorkamorka, have all gone up in price. If I remember correctly (its been awhile), but Ork Wartrukks were only $15 each back in the day, now they are $25 each. Bikes have only gone up a little, but they still have gone up.

thelightbringer
08-01-2007, 20:53
mmmmmm!! Yes GW prices are high! Thier customer service is pretty good if you compare it to any other business out there! They are a business and the reason why they are sucessful is that a lot of people play warhammer as opposed to War Machine et al! The rules are not that bad and I think alot of views expressed are nit picking and GW bashing!! I personally couldnt give a toss about the politics of it all, I play because its fun!!

teh_soldier
08-01-2007, 20:56
My personal reason i play Games Worskhop rather than Flames Of War or WarMachine? The support. I can go into any town or city and find a Games Workshop. I can walk into my local one and find players to play with. There is no-where i know that i can walk into and find players, or buy new models, or buy paints, or play a game not at home. It is simply Games Workshop's working monopoly on the market that keps players like me involved and to keep buying their products.

PP and other company's models look fantastic, and the rules seem great, but i wouldnt be able to find people to play them, and i would have to play them at home with my gaming group.Until the other companies open up hobby centres, i cant see them competeing with GW.

ashc
08-01-2007, 20:58
I've been following this thread for a while and thought i would just throw in 2 pennies.

I don't think you can point out one thing that is causing GWs financial woes, its a combination of a number of factors. For myself personally i I have decided that I am on my limit for how much the hobby costs; One more price hike and i am sorry to say that it looks like I'm out. I love the game, the hobby, the background, but its got to a point where for a student like myself it is completely unsustainable.

This also then ties in to general dissatisfaction; I wouldn't mind paying the price if i felt i was really getting my money's worth, but more often than not, i just don't feel that that is the way any more.

No other wargame has really gripped me like these ones; Im not a fan of most of the Warmachine sculpts, or other game systems rules seem clunky and ill-conceived (even in comparison to some of GWs bloopers); nothing I have seen gives me that same feeling Warhammer/40k does, and I think its a real sorry state of affairs where someone like myself is feeling ready to drop out from the game having been in it since i was 12 (now 21).

Ash

noneedforaname
08-01-2007, 21:00
Like i said europe is a fairly healthy market, the two markets they are having trouble with appear to be the UK and the US.

I have already pointed out what may have caused the US problem and the UK economy is having trouble supporting luxury good sales.

The lack of disposable income in the UK and what may have been a marketing own goal in US seem to maybe more of a factor than the prices.

Yes some guys leave but they are still bringing in new blood. Maybe they could do more customer service wise and improve the quality and value for money. However I think the fall is caused by other factors.

But maybe addressing the other complaints would help to increase revenue with little or no associated cost at the same time that they try to resolve other issues.

f2k
08-01-2007, 21:05
Another interesting thing is the huge amount of debts the Company seems to have acquired this year. Read into the detailed figures and you'll see how much money they owe for various issues (itro £8m). Whats the loan for?

Yeah, I noticed that as well. What the *bib* happened here? From May to November the debt rose from £1.7 million to £8.4 million. That's a massive increase! Was it just to keep the divident up, or am I missing something here?


Mr Kirby did step down as CEO in 1998 and was replaced by a 'professional' CEO. That did not work out so Mr Kirby was asked to rejoin as CEO in 2000. Remember that he is a GW gamer and has been with the company for over 20 years. He is not one of those MBA suits that has no sympathy with customers, employees or the company. Mr Kirby is GW through and through. I am glad that he is running GW and not some suit parachuted in from outside the hobby by suits only interested in the accounts.

Well, for a gamer he sure seems to be out of touch with the "gamer on the street"...

Vic
08-01-2007, 23:21
My personal reason i play Games Worskhop rather than Flames Of War or WarMachine? The support. I can go into any town or city and find a Games Workshop. I can walk into my local one and find players to play with. There is no-where i know that i can walk into and find players, or buy new models, or buy paints, or play a game not at home. It is simply Games Workshop's working monopoly on the market that keps players like me involved and to keep buying their products.

PP and other company's models look fantastic, and the rules seem great, but i wouldnt be able to find people to play them, and i would have to play them at home with my gaming group.Until the other companies open up hobby centres, i cant see them competeing with GW.

That may be the case in your GW saturated part of the world, but in other places (the US), GW stores are far and in-between. Competition out here is open to whatever.

eventually though, I dont see other companies having to worry about competing with GW, as GW seems to be working themselves into irrelevancy. I wish that they got their act together, and come to grips that they are not the Porsche of the gaming community. BMW maybe, but not Porsche.

What I find frustrating is that GW has the ingredients to be what they once were, but I dont see managment mixing those ingredients properly. They have a catalog of good introductory games (Space Hulk etc), great fluff and awesome IP. We get an occasional hit (Dawn of War), and a bunch of misses (CCG, LOTR -invested too heavily IMHO, Inquisitor). Instead of souffle, they are just breaking eggs and making a mess. They have got to get a chef in the kitchen quick, because the bus-boy has the place on fire.

And no, I am NOT GW bashing, i like their product. Not a fan of the pricing, and not a fan of how they are killing off my GW hobby that I have invested alot of time and $$ in (began in 1988).

Crazy Harborc
09-01-2007, 00:47
Vic....well said. Busboy:eek: I enjoyed the way you put it. LoL LoL

Bottom line is a lot of factors. I'm guessing......a majority of the 750,000 GW claims as "their gamers", don't have tables at home to game on. A majority of those 750K gamers started with GW and don't know diddlely about any other companie's minies or rules. Most newbies aren't buying their minies for their new "hobby", parents, relatives and friends are.

Bottom line for me. Thanks to couple of special deals that GW offered recently, I "thought" GW was testing the waters on various methods of having "specials" and maybe a price (partial) rollback. What do I think now??

About a year (or less??) ago, GW raised just about all prices but regimental box prices. SUPRISE, SUPRISE, SUPRISE......you want, you need state troops, swordsmen, halberds or spearmen, You want 20 of them....THATS going to be $44(USD) now. Never mind that a year or less ago it was 35!! $9. more in a year is NOT keeping up with cost increases/inflation/whatever.

Curufew
09-01-2007, 03:29
I love the 40K minis and fluff. But the way that they're priced now, I find them quite expensive for a student to afford.If they were to rise the price again to balance up their accounts, I think I will most likely stop buying GW products and go play other system stuff.AT 43 has caught my eye.

Captain Cortez
09-01-2007, 04:51
Same with me, if GW has another price raise, I'm done. For as much as GW charging for their stuff their should be drugs included, its an addictive hobby anyways.

Osbad
09-01-2007, 09:12
Price is ALWAYS a factor I believe.

I agree that perhaps all of the things listed in the posts above are eroding GW's sales - PP, Rackham and MP having games systems/models that are more attractive for many people; alternative sources of supply being available ever more easily via the internet; youthful fadishness and lack of attention span making computer games more attractive than painting up an army for kiddies; etc. etc.

But price affects everything because in all of these decisions about whether you spend your wedge on GW's products or on something else you are running a little calculation through your head: "will I get more fun for my money if I buy this or if I buy that?" If money was not a factor then you'd just go ahead and buy everything. If GW's models (for the sake of argument) cost just 1 penny each then even if you'd got fed up to the back teeth with 40k you'd snap them up just on the off- chance. I reckon the price (which informs the "value for money" we feel we have received) pretty much comes into any decision.

There is a cogent argument that time is the limiting factor - and that is true. As a father of 3 young kids, it is certainly my own major constraint as to how much painting and assembling of models (of whatever kind) I do. However, price is still a major factor. Not because my funds are limited (I have more than enough spare cash to build a backlog that would last me decades, even at GW, Rackham and PP's prices), but because I don't want to waste it. I could buy X models from GW and feel I would get a certain level of value from them or I could buy something else from an alternative company and feel I was going to get more value (or arguably less of course, depending on your p.o.v.). In any case, while it is not the limiting factor (i.e. I will still be buying X number of models, whatever the cost), because I feel I will get better value from the alternative company's products - either because for a similar price they deliver more fun, or they deliver similar or less fun, but at a much lower cost.

No one likes feeling ripped off.

For some that point may have been reached years ago, for others it may still have to happen. But it is a simple law of economics, even Bill Gates doesn't like paying more than he feels something is worth!

Never has competition for the wargamers money been more fierce. GW need every weapon in their armoury to fight their corner. By keeping their prices high, and iincreasing them way ahead of inflation, they are really painting themselves into a corner in that regard.

Anyhow, before I end the post, another point that came up in this thread is that allegedly the UK economy has had a bad few months, and GW's last quarter sales woes are symptomatic with the UK retail sector as a whole. That simply isn't true:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6243541.stm

In the UK retail sector as a whole: "takings in December were up 2.5% compared with a year ago".

What is true though is that the performance was patchy. Retailers that saw successful trading were those prepared to bring forward sales and offer discounts.... oh. Oops!

No prizes for guessing why GW's December sales were disappointing then...

Sureshot05
09-01-2007, 10:11
I often wonder whether value for money is emphasised by the release of Dawn of War etc. After all, for £25 I now have a complete Eldar, Necron, Tau, Space Marine, Chaos, Imperial Guard and Ork armies courtesy of Game. Or comparitively I can buy a single tank from GW.

Value for money is definitely one thing, I also wonder whether the time investment factor is another critical contribution as the hobby does take time, and i swear that I seem to be losing that at an astronomical rate, such that the time i can spend with my armies seems less every year.

Nevertheless, I hope GW start actually trying to compete with the market and soon, because there current performance leaves a lot to be desired.

ashc
09-01-2007, 10:23
Price is ALWAYS a factor I believe....

That is an excellent post that hits the nail on the head for me Osbad; Of course, from a personal point of view I am not tempted by other game ranges, models, or computer games (im not much of a gamer); it is pure price that will kill the hobby for me.

Ash

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 10:50
I thought I'd jump in before the next price hike (not that there's one announced, but everything seems to go up by £1 every March) and I bought myself a mechanised Tau army in one go for my local hobby store. I could have bought it from GW, but they wouldn't have given me a 10% bulk discount now would they?

Forbiddenknowledge
09-01-2007, 11:14
Well, if the prices rise again, I'm out. I am trying to support half dozen armies and as long as I am careful, its manageable.

I would leave, and play WM or something, but everything I have read in the book, and models I have seen are poor, IMO. The models are nicely sculpted, but look poor. The rules seem, weak, from what I have read, I would rather play GW with a healthy dose of common sense.

They have proved, even with some blunders (space pope, Shadowsun) that they still can make nice models (Wood Elves) even when they keep making the odd balls up (The special edition Empire Wizard).

And besides, there is always forgeworld ;)

Voronwe[MQ]
09-01-2007, 11:33
Its ONE problem. Its not the only problem.
It should have been the main problem. Sorry.


GW's price problem MIGHT be overcome if they backed it up rules wise. Instead of throwing out lines like "good enough."

Do you know how bad that sounds when you try and promote yourself as "the porche of minis world" when you throw of lines like that?
It'd be one step in the right way, but (I have no figures for the english prices at the moment) if models costed lesser (as they did when I entered the hobby), at the level of 80 (swedish) kronor for a blister pack of three or four, possibly 90 kronor for a command box, 150 for Lotr plastic boxes (and for CoD buildings, five-rangers-metal packs etc.), 225 for Warhammer and Warhammer 40'000 plastic boxes and 250for a pack of ten metal models of an 'elite' unit including command group, I feels that it is at the best level for all; acceptable to 100% for customers (the price-increase that heightened this was too much - I don't buy near as much as I did then, and then I have slightly better economy than then; this is because that however much I like the models and would like to have them, the prices is, and feels, too much.) whilst GW still maintains a relatively high level as required by the harsh times. Some enterprises have began to follow Sun-tsu's The art of war in a lot of circumstances and planning of strategies: "Defend when you are weak and attack when you are strong" are a simple classic one. Defence is achieved by maintaining customer loyalty (well, mine needs not be maintained; I'm hooked to the core) and a good facade (and "internal workings") to the world in general whilst trying to have prices at not too-high levels, but at acceptable ones. Of course there is a huge amount of more to do, but I will only mention these things.


I'm going to steal a quote from someone elsewhere...... because its relevant, and I agree:

"This means that "customer loyalty" is a prime asset for GW or PP or whoever.

It strikes me that with GW's turnover vaporising like it is, then due to whatever reason - prices rising, perceived lack of quality in product, etc., etc., then this is the nub of the problem.

Once GW lose a customer, then pretty much he is lost for good. They haven't just not sold that one item he walked into the store to get and changed his mind about - they have also lost everything else he was going to buy over the next 10 years!

Of course, often it isn't going to be as stark as that. There'll be a period of reduced sales before the customer gets disenchanted completely. But over time this is what is going to happen.

Make no mistake about it. The financial figures indicate that GW is in serious financial trouble. They cover the period when 7th edition was splash released and still they show lower levels of sales than the year before. Remember last year's financial results? 7th edition was trumpeted as being the Great White Hope of GW for 2006. And it hasn't materialised!!

And now they are massively increasing borrowing to pay shareholders' dividends.... OUCH!!

I'm not gloating. I'm not happy at GW's problems. I'm just feeling vindicated about my opinion that they really shouldn't cheese off the "vets" like they have being doing over the last few years. A company that takes its customers for granted in the way GW does is heading for a cliff. Looks like they are only feet away from the edge now..."
I agree with that too.


Here's another problem:

Part of GW's problem, as well, is the fact that old models that haven't changed in 7+ years are going up in price. For example... ORKS! Ork warbikes, which haven't changed since 2d ed, and Ork Wartrukks, which haven't changed since 2d Ed and Gorkamorka, have all gone up in price. If I remember correctly (its been awhile), but Ork Wartrukks were only $15 each back in the day, now they are $25 each. Bikes have only gone up a little, but they still have gone up.
One big problem for maintining customer loyalty and a good facade to the world in general.

Voronwe

Asq_Dak
09-01-2007, 12:28
I would like to start by saying that I love this hobby, the models and everything else etc. but the attitude that GW upper management seems to have is a real kick in the teeth!

To paraphrase Kirby from one of these articles "We seem to have forgotten about our own hobbyists". That's pretty much how it goes now. Upper management push immediate sales and want immediate growth and really want store managers to follow this approach. However, this is a hobby and the the more and better the quality of hobby support GW provide, the more successful the store.

My local store has had some good and some bad managers. The best pushed a very simple sales and development tactic:

1. Show someone new how the game plays (Intro game)
2. Invite them back to a FREE painting lesson and give away free model then to boot. (it's a major part of the hobby, so having a good introduction to this side is important)
3. Afterwards, show them the other games on offer, and invite them to join a beginners programme for the one that suits them most.
4. Let them borrow models for a couple of weeks so they can see which army most appeals to them
5. Make sure they buy things that are useful to the current state of their army and/or hobby abilities - encourage purchase of useful things, not expensive ones. (Someone hates spending a lot of money on something they can't use).

This approach brought in a lot of fresh blood. For people that new how to play:

1. Club on a Thursday and a Saturday for aimed for 12-16 year olds to play
2. Club on Tuesdays for old vets to come and play.
3. Facilitate all of this with very effective campaigns spanning into even the specialist range. (encouraged diversifying army purchases from the sector seen as needing to buy the least. How bizarre GW think this...)

This resulted in each club having an attendance of 40+ each week! Very high input of new customers, and a very high retention rate resulted in a very successful GW.

Next manager comes in. upper GW management says "cut saturday club - it interferes with sales". Massive drop in general customer retention, and the general anti attidtude to the gaming club side just meant customers were losing interest. The whole thing just collapsed.

But under the correct management approach, a GW store can be very successful. Just the majority of managers don't do this and want customers to be sold as much as possible in the shortest space possible. This is what GW upper management is pushing!

With its current infrastructure, GW would be better off if they foucsed on being a hobby company, rather then selling a hobby.


... and what may have been a marketing own goal in US ...


GW often uses successful independent stockists as a guide to build a hobby centre, even in the UK. It really depends on what the managers focus on. When the open, it should really focus on gamer support and building well-rounded beginners - NOT sales (they follow a good gaming environment anyway...). I think that's probably a mistake most new stores make.

Voronwe[MQ]
09-01-2007, 13:03
I would like to start by saying that I love this hobby, the models and everything else etc. but the attitude that GW upper management seems to have is a real kick in the teeth!
The same that I feels about it. And I'm really liking/loving it, but the prices rubs GW of the money they could make out of me.


To paraphrase Kirby from one of these articles "We seem to have forgotten about our own hobbyists". That's pretty much how it goes now. Upper management push immediate sales and want immediate growth and really want store managers to follow this approach. However, this is a hobby and the the more and better the quality of hobby support GW provide, the more successful the store.

My local store has had some good and some bad managers. The best pushed a very simple sales and development tactic:

1. Show someone new how the game plays (Intro game)
2. Invite them back to a FREE painting lesson and give away free model then to boot. (it's a major part of the hobby, so having a good introduction to this side is important)
3. Afterwards, show them the other games on offer, and invite them to join a beginners programme for the one that suits them most.
4. Let them borrow models for a couple of weeks so they can see which army most appeals to them
5. Make sure they buy things that are useful to the current state of their army and/or hobby abilities - encourage purchase of useful things, not expensive ones. (Someone hates spending a lot of money on something they can't use).

This approach brought in a lot of fresh blood. For people that new how to play:

1. Club on a Thursday and a Saturday for aimed for 12-16 year olds to play
2. Club on Tuesdays for old vets to come and play.
3. Facilitate all of this with very effective campaigns spanning into even the specialist range. (encouraged diversifying army purchases from the sector seen as needing to buy the least. How bizarre GW think this...)

This resulted in each club having an attendance of 40+ each week! Very high input of new customers, and a very high retention rate resulted in a very successful GW.

Next manager comes in. upper GW management says "cut saturday club - it interferes with sales". Massive drop in general customer retention, and the general anti attidtude to the gaming club side just meant customers were losing interest. The whole thing just collapsed.

But under the correct management approach, a GW store can be very successful. Just the majority of managers don't do this and want customers to be sold as much as possible in the shortest space possible. This is what GW upper management is pushing!

With its current infrastructure, GW would be better off if they foucsed on being a hobby company, rather then selling a hobby.
Perfectly summed up, and the example is very clear.


GW often uses successful independent stockists as a guide to build a hobby centre, even in the UK. It really depends on what the managers focus on. When the open, it should really focus on gamer support and building well-rounded beginners - NOT sales (they follow a good gaming environment anyway...). I think that's probably a mistake most new stores make.
Indeed; a classic business-mistake; to understand that by being a bit more 'good-hearted' (for general sum-up) you'll get far better results in the long run. I'm tired of the current foolish 'buy this, and then that, and why not also this when you're on your way anyway?' approach; one are not interested in buying, but in the hobby. Help and jovial questions about armies (not followed by "Oh, and you know there's a new pack of [insert whatever you like] coming uot soon?", but rather a hint) and the hobby in large etc. would make a huge re-improvement.

Voronwe

Forbiddenknowledge
09-01-2007, 13:20
Has any one seen this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/06/cngames06.xml

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 13:36
This is news!

VERY interesting.

carmachu
09-01-2007, 13:38
Here's another problem, as I see it:

Release schedule.....

I understand why they did it: good chances are why you wait for "your" army to get redone, you'll pick up another one.

Nice idea, but is it really valid anymore?

I mean you make some customers wait 7 years......in in times where your fighting against instant gratification in video games, making people wait ages for SOMETHING for their army.

COD it was nice to see something for every army, even if it was just a model or two.

I mean, wouldnt it be better for GW to pick up on its competetions idea of releasing something for everyone?

Jedi152
09-01-2007, 13:42
"We have not been paying enough attention to the hobbyists - We need to get back to our bread and butter."

Interesting, but i'm sure nothing will come of it. Kirby doesn't care how the company is run, as long as he can award himself £millions in bonuses a year to keep him in ivory backscratchers.

monkphish
09-01-2007, 13:43
I have a pretty interesting point of view on this subject.
I started playing GW games with spacehulk back in the early 90's and near spent every penny i had on GW stuff untill i left school and lost interest.

Ten years on i have recently redescovered the joys of painting mins but i see the hobby has changed dramatically.
More plastic mins than metal, it used too be the other way around and yet the prices are far higher than they used to be respectively.
And the biggest change by far is the internet, a massive resource of cut price wares and free pirated materials.

The way i see it is this type of hobby has probly peaked with respect to new kids taking it up, value for money is another thing.
For the price of a months WOW subscription what does that get you in your local GW store? a few space marines?
MMORPG's are a massive new timesink hobby and compared to wargaming with very good value for money.

Just my opinion.

I also think a factor for bad sales this christmas was prodbly effected by wii ps3 lauches.

alpha_dude
09-01-2007, 14:01
ive been into the hobby for a long time, but i havent actually bought anything for a long time, the consant price hikes having much to do with it. Its not only that, but you seem to be paying more for less. The new empire regiment for example...

GW also used to have really big sales every now and then, lots of buy one get one free things...havent seen one of those for a while

Osbad
09-01-2007, 14:10
Has any one seen this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/06/cngames06.xml

IIRC Brandir mentioned this a few pages back. Still very interesting.

intellectawe
09-01-2007, 14:52
What GW should do is AXE their store models.

Go back to selling figs through independent sellers. That way, GW can make more profit and keep the local economies booming within the hobby.

I mean, my local store is telling us that he is going to have to get rid of his Warhammer sales because they aren't selling as much. His Warmachine section, which is not even 1/20th the size of the warhammer section, makes quadruple the amount of money warhammer does, according to him.

So when 40k vanishes from my local store, guess what? Time to start selling armies and buying warmachine because I would have no one to play with.

All because GW wants to have their precious little money sink stores.

Anathema
09-01-2007, 15:18
Go back to selling figs through independent sellers. That way, GW can make more profit and keep the local economies booming within the hobby.

I mean, my local store is telling us that he is going to have to get rid of his Warhammer sales because they aren't selling as much. His Warmachine section, which is not even 1/20th the size of the warhammer section, makes quadruple the amount of money warhammer does, according to him.


So what your saying is that they should close their stores and then try and get independent stores which aren't going to stock their stuff because it makes little money to sell their products? Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

So when none of the independent stockists (of which there are few around here anyway) stock their products, the only way to have a visible high street presence is to say, open their own stores?

The best way for GW to increase turnover is to have occasional sales and bulk buying deals (aside from often useless army deals). You know, like every other business out there? People would buy a ton more stuff just through the perception of it being cheaper and turnover would increase. They wouldn't feel so bad about buying the odd item in between these sales as they can justify it to themselves that they got a good deal when they bought most of their stuff.

Asq_Dak
09-01-2007, 15:20
That's so bizarre - I thought that GW preferred the use of independent stockists because they made more profit per item as there is no maintenence.

What seems to go amiss is that the GW stores SHOULD be hobby centres that excite an enthuse the public to continue to debvelop their hobby (ie by being cool and fun and somewhere to play and experiment, people will buy more. GW will make money from it so long as it wasn't bought 2nd hand off ebay).

The failing with the store models is that they don't enthuse and excite as many people in the hobby as they should. This changes wildly on a store by store basis, but upper management doesn't focus on making the hobby as cool as they can, they focus on making sales as big as they can.

Ironic when making the hobby more available and enjoyable you will inevitably sell more without trying...

intellectawe
09-01-2007, 15:25
Ironic when making the hobby more available and enjoyable you will inevitably sell more without trying...

GW used to be a Hobby Company. Many years ago they have become a Company selling a Hobby.

And with other Hobby Companies popping out of the woodwork, GW is starting to feel the pressure of treating their hobbyists not as hobbyists, but as customers with wallets.

The Winslow
09-01-2007, 15:32
I mean, my local store is telling us that he is going to have to get rid of his Warhammer sales because they aren't selling as much. His Warmachine section, which is not even 1/20th the size of the warhammer section, makes quadruple the amount of money warhammer does, according to him.

Just curious, but is this because he is doing a good job with WM vs. a bad job with GW, or are there several GW stores around, or what? My shops stock both as a full line, all models that are currently in print stocked at all times.

An average month for Privateer is about 1500 to 2000 dollars. We sell 10 times that much in GW.

intellectawe
09-01-2007, 16:57
You can either buy a squad of terminators for 50 bucks, or half a Warmachine army for that much.

Thats the reason why. Plus, the Warmachines are metal while the GW figs are plastic.

Asq_Dak
09-01-2007, 17:11
You can either buy a squad of terminators for 50 bucks, or half a Warmachine army for that much.

Thats the reason why. Plus, the Warmachines are metal while the GW figs are plastic.

Interesting, looking at the costs for buying a warmachine army Vs. a GW army, I found the costs to be about the same, probably with WM costing a bit more. But that's with me living in the UK where all WM stuff has to be imported here.

But I imagine what has a bigger effect is how easy it is to play the game with a wide variety of players. If there is nowhere tto play GW stuff near you, no wonder it sells poorly.


GW used to be a Hobby Company. Many years ago they have become a Company selling a Hobby.

And with other Hobby Companies popping out of the woodwork, GW is starting to feel the pressure of treating their hobbyists not as hobbyists, but as customers with wallets.

Ah, but GW is building up such a good infrastructure now (particularly in the UK) that if those stores all focused on becoming excellent hobby centres, GW's profits would soar - I'm certain of that. A guy needs somewhere good to enjoy their hobby... Now this might become more of a focus, particularly now GW seems to realise they have forgotten about thier hobbyists...

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 17:14
The GW stores that have Battle Bunkers like Poole and Cambridge are outstanding.

intellectawe
09-01-2007, 17:18
A guy needs somewhere good to enjoy their hobby...

Exactly. And as long as GW tries to compete with much cheaper alternatives out there, which are better quality and better written rules, GW will fail, as is evidence in my area.

Too bad GW is now going back to their "core" customer. No *****. Should have thought about this before making warhammer a tournament game back in 1998, which it is not designed to be. Other games do it much better.

GW treats their product like it is the Rolex of the gaming world, but then dumbs it down so any kid can play it. This doesn't work. You are either going to make your product exclusive, precious and sought after, or you can make it into a board game that any eTard can enjoy. Either way, GW failed at trying to please everyone when they should have just stuck to what worked.

GW over stepped their short sighted greediness with LotR and now they have to pay for it. They are trying to pass that mistake onto us, the customer, but GW isn't selling gasoline. We don't NEED Warhammer. Driving up prices because they expanded on a short term budget is all they are doing to keep their stock prices level and break even. But we don't fuel our cars with Warhammer figs. We can just go play Warmachine, or a video game, or an MMO.

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 17:27
Actually I thoroughly enjoy their games and welcomed the changes they have brought to each edition.


How will Kirby & co now cater for the older target audience? What will be done to appease us old beardies?

I doubt that prices will be dropped.
Perhaps White Dwarf will be turned around?

But as some of you are VETERAN gamers like myself (12 years playing), how can GW seriously make things better for you without altering their prices?

intellectawe
09-01-2007, 17:31
By altering their prices. Thats it.

40k is already marketed for children, so I would see a price drop before seeing a compete game overhaul of the rules. I don't touch 40k much anymore.

Fantasy is fine as is. It is borderline since 7th edition. It is still more adult than 40k game play and rules wise, but its getting closer to the tournament ideal that GW is shooting for.

Bombot
09-01-2007, 17:37
GW treats their product like it is the Rolex of the gaming world, but then dumbs it down so any kid can play it.

This sums it up for me. I’ll pay a lot for a good game, and I’ll pay a reasonable amount for an average game, if lots of people play it (cf. 40k). I won’t pay a lot for an average game, which is what GW want me to do with 40k.

BozzyB
09-01-2007, 17:43
how can GW seriously make things better for you without altering their prices?

Would having a sale count as altering their prices?

Something like 'skullz', or a reward/loyalty card, maybe?




BozzyB

The game is afoot
09-01-2007, 18:00
I've given up on Warhammer for the time being, i've taken up Armies of Arcana instead and i am much better off for it, all my GW models are valid and usable so it cost me virtually nothing to play with a far superior ruleset.

Now i'm thinking about taking up War Machine as well.

I have one life, I want to play the best games.
GW has turned it's back on the quality of it's rule systems.

Time to look elsewhere and for a fraction of the price you will ge a far better system.

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 18:13
I realise a lot of people are getting into Warmachine, but is it really cheaper?

500pts is the standard tournament size force.

Here's what my old Khador force used to look like:

The Butcher =£6
Destroyer Warjack =£12
6 Widow Maker Snipers =20
5 Man O War Shock Troopers =41
Hern and Jonne Mercenaries = £12
Man Hunter =£6
Mage Hunter =£6

£98. Yeah, it's cheaper, but only because you need less models to play tournament scale games. If Privateer Press set their tournaments at 1,500pts we'd see a different reaction.

The game is afoot
09-01-2007, 18:29
£98 for a War Machine army. Yeah, it's cheaper, but only because you need less models to play tournament scale games. If Privateer Press set their tournaments at 1,500pts we'd see a different reaction.

Ahhh but they haven't, they think of their customer development, they don't just forget about your future business after one good sized purchase.
I've heard enough about War machine to give it a go.
40K is a dead duck and I sometimes wonder if Warhammer is still breathing at all.
Down at South london Warlords where they regularly get 50 members playing on a Monday night there has been weeks where not a single game of Warhammer is played across 50 members.
War Machine is doing a little business, Armies of Arcana makes the occasional appearance but Flames of War and Disposable Heroes is really cooking.
I'm not fond of WWII so I'll give War machine a go when i don't have a new Armies of Arcana opponent.
At least War machine is much cheaper to play than a new £300 quid Warhammer army.

swordwind
09-01-2007, 18:34
But a 500pt Warmachine game lasts aslong as a 2000pt 40K game. When you bump up the points of Warmachine to that level we're talking 40k Apocalype sized battles as an equivalent.

ashc
09-01-2007, 18:35
I realise a lot of people are getting into Warmachine, but is it really cheaper?........ Yeah, it's cheaper, but only because you need less models to play tournament scale games. If Privateer Press set their tournaments at 1,500pts we'd see a different reaction.

This was my exact reaction Darkseer when I looked into Warmachine.

Im still unconvinced by the game.

Ash

The game is afoot
09-01-2007, 18:46
This was my exact reaction when I looked into Warmachine.
Im still unconvinced by the game.

What can you tell us about the game Ash?
Or are you making an assumption from a distance.
If I can get a full War machine army at full retail price and still pay less than £100 quid it seems like a very small investment to me compared to what i would get from a GW store.
I'll give it a go first before making statements like I'm unconvinced about it.
Truth is, I'm thoroughly unconvinced by Games Workshop games at this time so why not?
I tried Armies of Arcana and that floors Warhammer stone cold dead.
War Machine is taking off across the globe, everywhere it goes the spark of life goes out of 40K.
It must be alright because I know former GW tourney players who have been picking it up and they rave about it.
Theres no smoke without fire.

Darkseer
09-01-2007, 18:59
I played Warmachine when it first came out. Once Escalation came out, my brain couldn't handle the game very well. Too much magic and special abilities all over the place! Prime was alright though.

Warmachine is BRILLIANT when everyone has just a starter set, but beyond that it gets very complicated. I know some people here will claim that it's for the more tactically minded gamer and I'm sure it is...but I play wargames for fun and 4th edition 40K fulfils that need perfectly for me because it's quite simple.

How is Privateer Press better than GW?
Well, they were able to learn from GWs errors when they set themselves up. They also hyped up their would be fan base by saying how (heavy) metal is mightier than plastic. As you know, all PP models are metal and most of GW's are plastic. Nuff said.

As for pricing, it's cheaper than GW in the states, but about the same in the UK. Good plan considering Americans make up the majority of active internet users.

PP also got fanatical members to become 'Press Gangers' by buying 2 starter sets and getting their friends and clubs to play the game. This worked better than they probably could have imagined. Especially as I was one of the first people to bring Warmachine to my local(ish) games club at the time. Now they all play it!

How is PP different to GW?
1) Gradual releases for ALL races at the same time. Each time an expansion comes out, every single race gets 5 new units. GW won't be able to do this as effectively as they keep updating their basic rules, whereas PP sticks with what they've got.
2) Less cost for a tournament size army. Perhaps if GW reduced their tourney sized armies to 1000pts things would be different? Either way, it's a bit late now.
3) Superior quality of sculpts and moulding process. Mind you, this is in a totally different style and conversion parts aren't as easy to come by. Almost every Warmachine conversion I've seen incorporates GW parts. No one can beat GW on bits!
4) Cheaper metal models. The Butcher costs £6, but if GW released him, they'd charge us at least £8
5) I was going to say 'happy customers', but PP is starting to suffer as they expand and bring in a larger audience. It seems to be an occupational hazard.
6) Bigger and Better magazine support. No Quarter is pure excellence while White Dwarf is a glossy magazine.

So what are PP's Strengths?
1) Slightly cheaper metal miniatures
2) Cleaner manufacture process with less flash
3) Better magazine support
4) Gradual unit release for all armies

So what are GW's Strengths?
1) Plastic components by the bucket load!
2) EVERYONE has a 40K or fantasy army
3) Easy to buy on ebay on any hobby shop
4) Sudden army release

Keravin
09-01-2007, 19:03
PP have also now started releasing paints which so far are better than Games Workshop's due largely to the experience of McVey. That may help make inroads as well.

ashc
09-01-2007, 19:05
What can you tell us about the game Ash?
Or are you making an assumption from a distance.

Played an introductory 500pt. game using a Cygnar force against Cryx and just wasn't generally impressed. I can see how the game gets really clunky over and above 500pts. and as Darkseer has said, the constant expansions are making things more and more complex or convoluted as time passes (especially now with hordes); Im all for playing a more complex game, but sometimes it felt that WM was needlessly that way.

From what I have seen of the game its about getting the right units in the right place at the right time to release some form of combo to splat the other player almost in a similar vein to something like Magic: The Gathering in wargame form; I didn't especially enjoy myself.

I also do not find myself naturally attracted towards any of the factions, and i'm not as keen on the miniatures as others are.

but as always, its horses for courses; if you like the game go ahead, Im not going to begrudge anyone for playing it - Its just not my cup of tea! :)

Ash

The game is afoot
09-01-2007, 19:16
Cheers.
Well I have to say I've been far more impressed by some of the PP miniatures for Hordes of the Things, particularly those super looking Fire Pyro Trolls.
So the starter Army for War machine is £100 quid then?

de Selby
09-01-2007, 19:21
Gradual releases for ALL races at the same time. Each time an expansion comes out, every single race gets 5 new units. GW won't be able to do this as effectively as they keep updating their basic rules, whereas PP sticks with what they've got.

GW may have cottoned on to this; with the Medusa 5 campaign lots of races got a few new minis at the same time. Probably the same will happen with this year's Warhammer campaign. It's a good way to do things IMO

Basically (again from my point of view) if we're not considering the possibilty of things getting less expensive, then the only way to get me to buy more is an accelerated release schedule. The more they release, the greater the chance that I'll consider some of it worth buying.

Voronwe[MQ]
09-01-2007, 19:30
Altering the prices and re-become a hobby company with focus on availability and support of its hobbyists. That's the head rules. How much they ever makes out of focussing on the hobby instead of the wallets, it will not be enough by far if the prices won't sink. 2002's price-level should be set as the standard overall, with CoD buildings and Lotr plastic packs costing 150 swedish kronor, 40k squad boxes and Warhammer regiments 225 and blisters with three models 80 or 90 if command group. I believe this is a sound strategy, though I too believes that Kirby is not interested in making the company profitable in the long run with a big, solid core of hobbyists that gets support, but in gaining a fortune out of the company.

Voronwe

The game is afoot
09-01-2007, 19:38
They have to do something because since Feb 2005 the company's profit margin and shareprice has continued to fall and the xmas just gone was the worst in ten years for sales.
Kirby's myopic ideas are killing GW slowly and he's just hoping for a miraculous turnaround.

f2k
09-01-2007, 20:07
Here's another problem, as I see it:

Release schedule.....

I understand why they did it: good chances are why you wait for "your" army to get redone, you'll pick up another one.

Nice idea, but is it really valid anymore?

I mean you make some customers wait 7 years......in in times where your fighting against instant gratification in video games, making people wait ages for SOMETHING for their army.

COD it was nice to see something for every army, even if it was just a model or two.

I mean, wouldnt it be better for GW to pick up on its competetions idea of releasing something for everyone?

Well, my 40K greenskins are held in a stasis chamber right now. The current codex isn't particularly good, and with a new one just around the corner I could wait for a bit.
But this "bit" has become a long time now. And if rumours are to be believed, I won't see a new codex for a year or more.

So, what did I do? I went to my local hobby-pusher and borrowed two WarMachine starter sets and played a few games against my usual opponent. And since that day, neither of us have bought anything from Games Workshop.

He plays Dark Eldar, I play greenskins. And neither of us have any hope for our armies anymore. So I would say that, at least for my small gaming group, the long time between releases for our armies have pretty much killed our interest in the game. A shame really, I love my greenskined horde. But I'm just not willing to wait that long for my codex.
WarMachine, at least, is playable right out of the book...

swordwind
09-01-2007, 20:28
So the starter Army for War machine is £100 quid then?


Starter set with quick rules and about 300pts worth of minis is arround £25. A full tournament army aswell as the full rulebook is £100.