View Full Version : A Question

19-12-2005, 11:57
Hi there

Just thought i ask a question here and see what you guys and gals say. Please whatever you do not turn this into a GW bashing thread, constructive comments only!

This morning while here at my last day at uni for xmas eating my ceral infront of my computer reading warseer (bloody flat mate took the tv home! GOD DAM IT) I had asort of ephinay (if i could spell it) While looking at a particular fine nurgle army in the painting section with some very cool bases from battlebases i believe, i had a thought. Why has GW not bothered to do something similar they would probably sell quite a few. It then dawned on me, in the UK they are pretty tough on "fair" competition not allowing only company or sector to dominate over another. Ie the the trouble they had when asda went up for sale and tesco couldn't buy it. Now i don't know if this would apply to GW as its a toy company to all purposes and therefore doesn't own the biggest share but is this the case?

Feedback or any ideas would be cool?

19-12-2005, 12:39
I am not quite sure what exactly is your question, but if it is about competition legislation (an issue not really relevant to 40K, better discussed on the "Other GW discussion" forum), I can tell some things.

One part of the competition legislation is to restrict individual companies from obtaining dominating market position. This is done by controlling company purchases/fusions, with the appropriate governmental office (or EU office in case of events that would affect the whole EU-market) able to prevent a purchase if it would lead to the formation of a new company with dominating market position.

Obtaining a dominating market position just by making people to buy your product (due to it being cheaper, higher quality or better marketed) is not illegal, and companies have the right to bring in new products to increase their market position. However, if company has reached a dominating market position, there are further laws forbidding it from abusing that position (eg.
dumping sales to get smaller companies out of business).

Notice that the dominating market share is defined in relation to the relevant market. I am not sure to which relevant market miniature wargames belong to, but I doubt they would qualify as forming one of their own.

And there is no hard and fast rule of thumb to determine what share of market would form a dominating market position - it tends to depend on the relevant market. However, for company purchases there are certain limits in terms of percentage of relevant market and yearly turnover such that if it would be exceeded, the investigation and permission of the appropriate governmental office is a prerequisite for the acquisition to take part.

19-12-2005, 13:15

I'd also toss in the fact that GW is a small player in the wargaming/modelling world. What GW has done is to create a set of rules, miniatures to use with them, hobby supplies to support them and then bundled it into one overall "gaming product" and sold it through exclusive company-owned stores, and then distributed to some other hobby venues. The key here to GW's success (and one that I also feel hinders it as well) is that it created a series of tournements in which only GW products may be used, and backed it up with a fan magazine and good advertising.

However, GW's miniatures output is more than matched by MiniFigs, Essex, Foundry, and other gaming companies. GW's Gamesday events are crushed by Historicon, Origins, etc. The Historical Miniatures Gaming side of the hobby is still the leader, followed by the RPG section. GW garners maybe 5% of the total.

Example: Where a WFB player might have 150-200 miniatures in his army, a gamer who plays Napoleonic period STARTS with 200 or more and easily reaches 1-2 thousand. That's per gamer. My own ACW period armies numbered nearly 3500, and the ancients are approached that as well.

Anyway, to bring it into line with this thread, my point is that GW could easily produce textured bases, and have no worries about encroachment or market share. The product demand is simply not that great for GW to invest the time into developing molds and producing the items when they would account foronly a small share of their overall sales. Better to leave it to a garage company who can easily crank them out with resin as orders come in. The sole owner, making his molds and casting with resin on demand has a much lower overhead than GW would incur.

Look at it this way: GW is not at all affected negatively by a company producing textured bases. Why should they be? It's a product that could actually enhance GW products and demand for them, and GW doesn't have to spend a nickle in the process. Secondly, and most importantly, by supporting the garage-based business, you are also helping out the economy by providing an additional source of revenue for the sole-owner, or small start-up, which in turn will find it's way back into the marketplace.

In short, everyone wins.


19-12-2005, 13:42
The Historical Miniatures Gaming side of the hobby is still the leader, followed by the RPG section. GW garners maybe 5% of the total.

Example: Where a WFB player might have 150-200 miniatures in his army, a gamer who plays Napoleonic period STARTS with 200 or more and easily reaches 1-2 thousand.

You might be looking at things from the US perspective, where GW is not doing very well - in Europe (and especially on the home market in UK) it has much stronger presence. As for comparing things, I would say that the money spent on the miniatures would make a better number for comparisons than the total number of miniatures - a historical gamer having five Old Glory 15mm armies of 400 miniatures each might have spent the same amount as a GW player having two armies of 100 miniatures.

As for GW making special scenic bases, that sounds like something that would most likely be catered by Forge World - I guess if enough people express interest in it, they might try it out.

Chaos and Evil
19-12-2005, 15:55
Forgeworld already produce some textured scenic bases.

19-12-2005, 16:24

Sadly, the cost of historical miniatures in relation to GW's pricing is dependant upon the manufacturer. True, Old Glory (and I am using their 25mm range here when comparing to GW, not the 15mm range) works out to about $1.00 a figure for the rank and file, and a bit more for the command and ancillary equipment. It's an excellent deal, and the figures are, to my eye, more pleasing and animated than the GW ones. That doesn't mean i don't like GW minis. far from it, but Old Glory seems to be able to sculpt and cast huge ranges of miniatures for substantially less than GW, and match them in quality.

Now, other ranges, like Foundry and Essex, are closer to the GW price range, running 2-3 US dollars per mini, and other ranges are comperable.

What sets apart the miniatures from other ranges, however, is that they are fully interchangeable with other ranges and rules sets. you can buy a set of rules you like, then build your armies from a variety of sources and play them anywhere. You are not "locked' into the convention scene that GW wants to perpetuate with a captured audience/following. Now, true enough, i can use any figures i want to with the GW rules sets, but I wouldn't be able to use them in any of the GW shops or any GW sponsored tournies.

I guess what i am getting at is that although GW makes a fine product, they are self-limiting, and because of that, they will never grow to be the huge market share that they want folks to believe they are.

If GW would drop the dilly "Only our figures with our rules" bit, and open up to allowing other minis to be used with their rules sets, they might find a substantial increase in sales across the board, especially of rules and background material.

Anyway, I've dumped a LOT of money over the years into GW's coffers, but I have substantially more invested in my historical minis than I ever would in GW products.