PDA

View Full Version : How many people play GW games?



JimB
19-03-2010, 12:00
Any ideas? Just wondered how big the user base actually is - specifically in the UK, but also in the US and other overseas markets.

Thud
19-03-2010, 12:07
I believe I read somewhere that GW estimates a total of 750,000 (GW) gamers worldwide.

Cpt_Baughan
19-03-2010, 12:13
Wow that’s quite a fan base but to be honest I would have guessed more, and if they spend half as much as me and my friends do then that’s quite a bit of revenue!

Sorros
19-03-2010, 12:17
I believe I read somewhere that GW estimates a total of 750,000 (GW) gamers worldwide.

I'm somewhat uncertain, perhaps doubtful, of GW's estimations...that does seem a bit high for a tabletop wargame.

Thud
19-03-2010, 12:30
I'm somewhat uncertain, perhaps doubtful, of GW's estimations...that does seem a bit high for a tabletop wargame.

Total revenue for 2008 was 110.3m, which means an average 146.6 spent per player. Seems reasonable to me.

Whitehorn
19-03-2010, 12:41
Then I am 12 gamers in 1 body.

nagash66
19-03-2010, 12:44
Then I am 12 gamers in 1 body.

Hehe same here :cries::p

AFnord
19-03-2010, 13:00
750 000 gamers sounds reasonable. Remember, according to the rumors, GW made 100 000 copies of space hulk. Most copies were most likely sold to GW gamers, with a few being sold to general board game geeks. That means that nearly 1/7 of all GW gamers bought space hulk (on average).


Then I am 12 gamers in 1 body.
And i'm far far less than that. But then again, I already have two armies for each game (not counting LOTR), plus three mordheim warbands & four blood bowl teams. It's not like I actually need anything more ;)

Whitehorn
19-03-2010, 13:05
It's not like I actually need anything more ;)

Need does not equate want :)

PatrikW
19-03-2010, 13:32
I think we should do a hand count. I Will start. 1. =p

More serious i have no idea at all, but based on 60k users here on warseer i wouldn't be surprised if it was more then 750k.

Condottiere
19-03-2010, 13:35
You'd have to factor in the second hand market into annual sales to get a figure that way.

Griefbringer
19-03-2010, 13:59
I believe I read somewhere that GW estimates a total of 750,000 (GW) gamers worldwide.

My understanding is that the estimate was actually for 750 000 active customers.

You can probably add to that a number of people who play the games, but are not actively buying new stuff.

Thud
19-03-2010, 15:24
My understanding is that the estimate was actually for 750 000 active customers.

Probably true. I haven't done too much research. ;)

Earl_UK
19-03-2010, 16:12
Part of that total revenue comes from Computer and console games, I can image that the Dawn of War franchise as shifted huge numbers and then there are rthe others.

I thkn its safe to say far more people play a GW related product than are willing to admit it :evilgrin:

Griefbringer
19-03-2010, 19:22
Part of that total revenue comes from Computer and console games, I can image that the Dawn of War franchise as shifted huge numbers and then there are rthe others.


In the 2009 financial report, the royalties from computer/video games etc. amount to 3.5 million, while the revenue from the sales of GW produced items amounts to 125.7 million.

lanrak
25-03-2010, 12:22
HI all.
I have read somwhere that there are about 3.5 to 4.5 MILLION people, world wide who partake of the table top minature gaming hobby.:eek:

And GW games are/have been played by appx 600,000 to 700,000 of these people.

(GW does have a big presence in the TTMG hobby.)

However in an old issue of a wargames magazine,(it could have been Wargames Illustrated?).
There was an article on how long players stay with thier favorite games setting, on average.
It went somthing like this...
Napoleonics, 8 years
Ancients 7 years.
ACW WWI 6 years
WWII Modern 6 years.
(Other fictional.) 5 years.


The real relevence it that most NON GW gamers tend to stay with thier TTMG hobby , longer than GW gamers stay with GW core games.
(Average interest in '40k' is apparently about 12 months.)

Maybe in the rush to sell product , GW are not targeting the customers who are most likley to keep investing in GW products over the long term.And this could mean massive inefficiency in GW plc buisness plan?

I am not claiming 100% accuracy , (my memory isnt near good enough).
But the basic out line and trends I belive to be true.

TTFN
Lanrak.

TheBigBadWolf
26-03-2010, 13:38
The last thing I bought was the 40k rulebook, I didnt even buy it it was a xmas present, the only money that I put towards GW is WD, 54 a year.

Brandir
26-03-2010, 22:30
In an interview a few years ago Tom Kirby claimed that there were 750,000 GW gamers world-wide. This was before the LOTR bubble. My Google abilities have, however, let me down and I am unable to find the article!

blackcherry
28-03-2010, 18:33
Hmm, I would argue if they can drop GW refences into comedy shows (see Red Dwarf, Peep Show) then it must have a large base of people who are at least familliar with the concept, many of who which have probably bought at least one GW thing in their lives.

eltanko
28-03-2010, 23:05
750,000 doesnt seem enough to me, just sounds like such a tiny number compared to the 6,000,000,000 people that inhabit this planet!

And as said, for warhammer/40k etc to be mentioned on main stream TV shows, it must have been decided that the fanbase was large enough to actually get the joke! And for a film to be in the making aswell, then GW must have decided the fanbase was big enough to make a profit on it!

ElTanko

MacVurrich
28-03-2010, 23:33
IRC White Dwarf circulation 150000 + in 5/6 laguages and with "more" gamers playing than buying the Mag I'd say that the number could be bigger if you include those who are still in the closet :)

Crazy Harborc
29-03-2010, 00:54
Do not forget, GW was talking about GW customers and GW games players.

750,000 active players/customers (world wide)....versus what....5-6 billion humans as potential customers/players.

I read wherever,whenever, there are 2.6 to 3 million plus wargamers world wide.

GW just may be the largest single company catering to "wargamers". GW is the only company catering to it's customers. The majority of world wide wargamers are not too likely to be buying/using very much GW brand name anythings.

By the by, that 750,000 active customers is 3-5 years old now. It was released/claimed by GW.

Inquisitor Engel
29-03-2010, 05:15
750,000 doesnt seem enough to me, just sounds like such a tiny number compared to the 6,000,000,000 people that inhabit this planet!


When you can't find clean drinking water or a safe place to sleep, painting Space Marines is not particularly high on your list of priorities.

Brandir
29-03-2010, 09:41
GW and it's games have visibility beyond the present 750,000 playing 40K or whatever.

Remember that most players are active for 18 months or so, meaning lots of kids who stop playing become adults with an awareness. Also there are siblings, parents, relatives and friends who have to suffer their wargaming relative further increasing visibility.

Condottiere
29-03-2010, 09:56
And there are those people who prefer to buy on the second hand market or have concluded that they have sufficient models, making them an invisible demographic.

Occulto
29-03-2010, 11:34
When you can't find clean drinking water or a safe place to sleep, painting Space Marines is not particularly high on your list of priorities.

Yup. 80% of the world's population live on less than $10 a day - hardly room in the budget for warhammerz.

Interestingly, something I noticed on the GW website is that they have no country selections for the two most populous nations on earth: China and India.

India strikes me as being quite strange. There's fair number of people with cash there (a lot with almost no money too) and considering the widespread use of English, it's not even as if there's a language barrier.

Yet a Google search for "Games Workshop India" brings almost nothing.

Brandir
04-04-2010, 16:48
As a way of looking at the nearest rival to GW in the 'hobby industry', Wizards of the Coast claim that there are 330,000 active Magic players, 1.5 million D&D players and that there are 24 million non-active D&D players ...

Of course WotC and GW occupy different aspects of our hobby (RPG/TCG vrs Tabletop minis) but it is interesting nonetheless.

Condottiere
04-04-2010, 21:58
Funny that no mention is made of non-active Magic players, there should be a very considerable number of those.

Brandir
04-04-2010, 22:11
Just found this from the FT in March 2004:


Games Workshop reckons that the 1.5m people around the world who use its products are predominantly similar. Two-thirds are teenagers and almost all are male. Customers tend to come from middle-class families that are reasonably wealthy.

The article is an interview with Tom Kirby but the above is not said by him during the interview, it is merely within the article. Probably cut & paste from a background document given to the journalist by a GW PR person.

But Tom does say "The average customer spends hundreds of euros a year on our models and books. We only need to add a relatively small number a year to continue to expand. And I don't think fantasy is going to go out of fashion."

starlight
04-04-2010, 23:04
GW estimates that the average customer spends approximately $900 (including books, hobby supplies, etc) in their first 18 months to complete a single 2000pt army of either WFB or 40K...and then basically drops off the face of the earth as far as GW is concerned.

You can do the math about what that says about their actual numbers... :(

The $900 figure is from recent Management briefings in North America from a manager with a decade working for GW who attended the meetings.

burad
04-04-2010, 23:19
Red Dwarf was a long time ago, and was really a small niche. What's Peep Show?
I know two people who play anything GW, and we kind of got each other into it. No other gamers i know play anything GW, they all play other miniatures.

There are three major (3-4 day) and several minor (1-2 day) miniatures wargaming conventions in this part of the country every year. GW has one, for one day. And they don't even try to have an official showing at any of the other cons. Conventions are the biggest place you can get hundreds of people who are all already interested in gaming to see your product. They are really doing themselves a disservice in not trying to demo at other cons.

starlight
04-04-2010, 23:22
GW doesn't feel that it can properly showcase it's product if there are *distractions* from other lines... :shifty: ...or that used to be the line handed out... :shifty:


...realistically, they know that their perceived value doesn't stack up well when the next booth over has similar models for half the price... :shifty:

Brandir
05-04-2010, 01:31
May have been the case in Canada but here in the UK the quality of GW minis shines through when compared to much of the offerings at wargames shows .... some of it is just, well, so, well, the words I would use will be filtered out so I'll just leave a trail of asterixes *********!

Just remembered another popular reference to GW - in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone! Well, fleeeting glimpse really. Harry had a few models on the shelf above his bedroom in the cupboard under the stairs.

I wonder if there are any independent studies out there about our hobby and the numbers that play? Most companies seem to be quite reticent to publicly declare how many of each model is produced & subsequently sold. Where did the figure of 100,000 copies of Space Hulk being produced come from? Or is this a figure that was casually mentioned and has become an internet fact?

starlight
05-04-2010, 01:40
The numbers I've heard from those *in the know* ;) were closer to 65,000-85,000. I haven't heard any independent confirmation of the 105,000 range numbers, although others may have different sources.


There simply isn't enough value in the business of hobby gaming for any significant independent studies to be done. Anyone interested in the business generally does their own at the time.


...and the -con/show reference was actually more of an American thing, but it applies up here as well. The NA market is simply too different for the the UK centric model to work over here...but we've been saying that for years...

Chaos and Evil
05-04-2010, 08:54
Anyone know White Dwarf's print run numbers these days?

Griefbringer
05-04-2010, 09:26
Anyone know White Dwarf's print run numbers these days?

No idea. But back in the issue 183 it was specified as "Audited at 60,841 copies per month in the UK".

caddock
05-04-2010, 12:50
Red Dwarf was a long time ago, and was really a small niche.

Red Dwarf had new episodes in 2009 (3 or 4 parter) one of which had a visit to a toy shop and referenced Warhammer. That is probably what the other poster meant.

simonr1978
05-04-2010, 13:31
Red Dwarf had new episodes in 2009 (3 or 4 parter) one of which had a visit to a toy shop and referenced Warhammer. That is probably what the other poster meant.

OT but... Back to Earth was a 3 parter which aired in the UK over Easter weekend 2009, at the Red Dwarf convention later in 2009 it was announced (By Robert Llewelyn IIRC, who plays Kryten) that the script for a new series had been commissioned and there are rumours that it may be filmed toward the end of 2010.

starlight
05-04-2010, 17:46
Yes, you're right, it's Off Topic. Take the Red Dwarf discussion to another Thread.


starlight

spetswalshe
05-04-2010, 18:12
To bring it back on topic; both Peep Show and Red Dwarf are British shows, and there's a GW in most major cities here. That's enough for people to be aware of it - most men in Britain will have heard of Games Workshop or Warhammer through friends back at school. Red Dwarf is a 'geeky' show that attracts a similar (male, younger) fanbase as GW products; Peep Show has as one of it's main characters an 'office nerd' who is almost spot-on the stereotype of an adult wargames player. Hence, both are working to their audience - Peep Show not so much, but the writer/actor dabbled in Warhammer in his youth and so considered it viable. People are aware of it to the same degree that people elsewhere might be aware of D&D (from my experience, probably more so).

Brandir
05-04-2010, 18:53
Older people may have more recognition of D&D here in the UK over Warhammer/GW

Showing my age I do remember the 'D&D is evil' furore in the 1980s that added to the D&D recognition in the UK. Also anyone else remember in 1982/1983 seeing the old pre-Warhammer GW in the news when the shops stock a board game based on the Falklands?

However, I would suggest anyone under 45 in the UK has recognition of Warhammer/GW and not D&D but the US? Probably more recognition of D&D???

Llew
05-04-2010, 19:09
D&D has common, widespread recognition in the U.S. It is common enough that comedians can make references to it and expect the audience to get it and laugh. (Patton Oswalt is most notable for this, but it really is a staple cultural reference.)

When I describe playing wargames to my friends, and the miniatures painting that goes with it, they say, "like the guy in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin?" Lots of gamers know about Warhammer over here, but relatively few non-gamers. Everyone over here between the age of 20 and 65 probably gets broad D&D references and stereotypes.

starlight
05-04-2010, 19:29
In North America, I would venture to say that people are more likely to recognise video games, RPGs (D&D, etc), actual board games (Axis and Allies, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, etc), and party games (Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, etc) than anything GW makes. It's a cultural thing, combined with population demographics. GW simply isn't that big a deal over here...and they need to stop acting like they are... :(

If GW were to put their NA *Core Games* expansion plan on a slow boil for a few years and put time and energy into Space Hulk/GorkaMorka style *board* games, the DoW video games, and the BL books they would likely see a slow, but steady increase in Core Game sales due to increased awareness. What GW doesn't *get* is that they may be the 800-lb gorilla in the UK, but in NA they are just one of *many* entertainment options and their perceived value (ie what the customer thinks is good value) is no where near what they think it is.

We in NA have a lot more options that cost a lot less money, especially entry costs, so getting people into GW games can take a lot of convincing...especially when people just want to *game*, and not spend hours building and painting models that can be invalidated in the next edition... :shifty:

burad
06-04-2010, 02:29
We in NA have a lot more options that cost a lot less money, especially entry costs, so getting people into GW games can take a lot of convincing...especially when people just want to *game*, and not spend hours building and painting models that can be invalidated in the next edition... :shifty:

For instance, my buddies and i recently returned from a wargames convention where we played in a Battletech demo, among other things . The next day we got out the Battletech minis we hadn't looked at in 15 years - and they are just as playable now as they were then. Sure, there's a few new rules, but everything we have now does pretty much exactly what it did then. We had virtually no learning curve to going in and playing in a game we hadn't played in 15 years.

burad
06-04-2010, 02:37
The only fantasy games here in the US that are generally recognized across the map are D&D, and - due to some widely played TV commercials last year with Willam Shatner and Mr. T - WoW.
Nothing else comes close.

Frankly, one of the most effective ad posters I have seen on a GW store window is the "What is That" poster with the little pic of a dreadnought. Makes people come closer to see what's in the window.

But other than that, there basically is no advertising for GW here outside of in their own magazine, which you can't get except in a game store that carries GW. Amazingly poor advertising campaign for a company trying to do what they seem to be trying to do.

Crazy Harborc
06-04-2010, 02:52
Since the offical local GW store did not encourage....GW playing clubs, I doubt there are any. The indie stores that are stocking GW products have tables in their stores. They had those tables for gamers BEFORE they started stocking GW games.

Oh now, there are GW games nights at a couple of the indies. The indie's tables are also used for other games/rules/minies most nights of the week. Those indies regularly host store/local tournies. That does include hosting GW rules tournies too I suppose.

I do not know of any "official" Games Workshop gaming clubs. There IS a official Wargaming Club....no GW involved. Not at the regular monthly gatherings.

For the 40 plus years I've been a wargamer historical wargamers usually gather on/at private tables in players homes/apartments/etc.

IMHO, GW's closing the company store this last Janurary showed the people who had regularly painted and or gamed at the local GW "Hobby Center" just how much GW cared about "the hobby(ies) of GW, or WHFB or 40K".

burad
06-04-2010, 03:08
The local store here used to have a 'vet night' where you'd find older (adult) gamers. Pretty good. That was the closest thing there was to a GW club here. They even talked about putting on demos in other venues, etc.

All that went out the window when he was let go, and there was a succession of young managers following who only wanted to go home at the end of the day - sorry, we're closing now, time to go, goodbye....

So it didn't seem like the passion was there. Nobody in the new staff was willing to give of their own time to support the hobby. It's like their interest in the hobby is strictly professional, not personal. It's just business now. 'Course it doesn't help when they make it a one man store, so the poor guy can't spend any significant time interacting with the veteran gamers.

So it shouldn't be a surprise if the old guys wandered off to play in their homes instead. And order stuff online as a result, 'cause it's not fun to go to the store, it's just business. Instead of going there to see who's there, you just go there to get stuff. That's just what it feels like.

starlight
06-04-2010, 05:16
If you think it's bad now, just wait until the one-man stores are properly rolled out... :(


Long time veteran managers at GW have estimated that once the *one man store* roll-out is complete (about a year) the average retail employee at GW will have been with the company less than three years. :eek:


So much for investing in the hobby... :rolleyes:

isaac
06-04-2010, 07:15
@Starlight

Well, stuff like DoW is bringing in new fans and letting people about 40k. I know some people who started 40k because of DoW, but recently they say, "Fun computer game but the minis cost too much, why would I start it?"

So, while more awareness and spreading of IP is needed, it is a bit pointless if the entry point is too high.

And even the people who can afford 40k, think it is a waste to start up, 50 dollars for 5 terminators? It is not save up, buy slowly or just get AoBR, many people see the price is too high and they have no interest in starting, even though they find painting minis and wargames to be interesting.

Condottiere
06-04-2010, 09:43
My personal experience with collecting and playing GW miniatures is that it depends a great deal with the local gaming community; if there are enthusiastic gamers, you find yourself spending more money acquiring figures in order to play with your friends (friends, not acquaintances).

Dwarf Supreme
06-04-2010, 20:41
If GW were to put their NA *Core Games* expansion plan on a slow boil for a few years and put time and energy into Space Hulk/GorkaMorka style *board* games, the DoW video games, and the BL books they would likely see a slow, but steady increase in Core Game sales due to increased awareness.

You mean kind of the way GW used to do it? :evilgrin:

starlight
06-04-2010, 20:47
:shifty:

:angel:

:shifty:

Of course that was how they did it back in the days when they were seeing significant expansion and excellent reputation amongst gamers...

:shifty:

isaac
06-04-2010, 20:52
Why use negligible loss/gain leaders to establish word of mouth and familiarity with GW products? No one would like it, much better to raise prices to show what a luxury product GW sells so that the rich will come and spend. And put stores everywhere, people will see GW everywhere so they will automatically come and spend money, no matter the cost. GENIUS!

burad
13-04-2010, 03:02
And when your one and only store in the whole county goes belly up like ours is doing next month, there won't be any word-of-mouth, or even a place where people see the games being played and wonder "what is that"? We've been written off by GW.

People aren't going to be wandering around an industrial park and happen to pass by the bunker and wonder 'what's that store".... If you're not specifically looking for the bunker you will never know it's there. The flagship store. With the biggest displays and the most people. Hmmmm.

Exactly what's the strategy here?

Crazy Harborc
13-04-2010, 03:26
Since January 2009....GW, USA has been closing stores at a fair pace/speed across the USA. We had one in the State of Missouri....no more. I am sure other states with only one and cities/towns large and small with just one are doing the same.

It's the new business model being used at GW to increase the market share by recruiting new players by closing hobby centers. Works real well when combined with a massive lack of advertizing outside of WD magazine.

Enfid
13-04-2010, 03:52
The local store here used to have a 'vet night' where you'd find older (adult) gamers. Pretty good. That was the closest thing there was to a GW club here. They even talked about putting on demos in other venues, etc.

All that went out the window when he was let go, and there was a succession of young managers following who only wanted to go home at the end of the day - sorry, we're closing now, time to go, goodbye....

So it didn't seem like the passion was there. Nobody in the new staff was willing to give of their own time to support the hobby. It's like their interest in the hobby is strictly professional, not personal. It's just business now. 'Course it doesn't help when they make it a one man store, so the poor guy can't spend any significant time interacting with the veteran gamers.

So it shouldn't be a surprise if the old guys wandered off to play in their homes instead. And order stuff online as a result, 'cause it's not fun to go to the store, it's just business. Instead of going there to see who's there, you just go there to get stuff. That's just what it feels like.

My gawd, I have been having a feeling about my local GW for a while, but I can't pinpoint what it is. I think you just hit it on the head for me. Worse is, there isn't even a change in staff. Everyone is still there (bar one guy, who was promoted to manager to another store), but everything feel so soulless, and it's been ages since I've seen more experienced, more mature gamers there.