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Vulvol
05-01-2011, 08:36
Released this morning:


RNS Number : 9132Y

Games Workshop Group PLC

05 January 2011

Games Workshop Group PLC

("Games Workshop" or the "Group")

TRADING STATEMENT AND NOTICE OF RESULTS

For immediate release 5 January 2011

Games Workshop announces that pre-tax profits in respect of the year to 29 May 2011 are likely to be below current market expectations.

Sales were down 4% in the first half to 28 November 2010. Difficult trading conditions since that time mean that this shortfall is unlikely to be recovered by the year end. The Group's gross margin and costs remain under firm control and cash generation remains healthy. In addition, the outlook for royalties receivable in the current year remains good, although not as significant as in the year to 30 May 2010.

The Board of Games Workshop currently believes that, as a result of reduced volumes, pre-tax profits in respect of the year ending 29 May 2011 are unlikely to meet current market consensus estimates.

The Board will announce the Group's half-yearly results for the six months to 28 November 2010 on 25 January 2011.


One would hope cashflow generation did remain healthy given the 25p dividend they paid out a couple of months ago.

EmperorNorton
05-01-2011, 08:41
And the trend continues.
I wonder what they mean by "difficult trading conditions". Shouldn't be overly hard to sell toys 'round Christmas time.

Satan
05-01-2011, 08:50
I guess they're referring to the weather. Don't know if it hit you in Germany, but Nothern Europe has been having major problems for the last few weeks.

Anyone got a solid analysis of the sales figures? Reinholdt?

Count Zero
05-01-2011, 08:52
all the snow?

toonboy78
05-01-2011, 08:52
this only covers sale up to the end of Novemeber.

share price is down 20%!

Angelwing
05-01-2011, 08:56
Here it is from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12117510). GW information at the end of article.

ltsobel
05-01-2011, 09:01
Hmm interesting read, at least they are not doing as badly as HMV!

EmperorNorton
05-01-2011, 09:04
I guess they're referring to the weather. Don't know if it hit you in Germany, but Nothern Europe has been having major problems for the last few weeks.
Didn't really follow the news, so I don't know if it hit the UK even harder, but here we've had the coldest winter on record and the most snow I can remember. Didn't stop the Germans to spend an equally unprecedented amount of money on Christmas.
Blaming the snow for poor sales sounds mostly like an excuse to me.

Satan
05-01-2011, 09:04
all the snow?

Yep, but as someone said this only covers sales up to November. I was referring to the part about "Difficult trading conditions" since that time.

I imagine they've had a hard time keeping their distributors supplied with goods the last couple of weeks.


Didn't really follow the news, so I don't know if it hit the UK even harder, but here we've had the coldest winter on record and the most snow I can remember. Didn't stop the Germans to spend an equally unprecedented amount of money on Christmas.
Blaming the snow for poor sales sounds mostly like an excuse to me.

Actually the weather had a major impact on christmas sales in the Nordic countries. We've since begun recuperating during the days after christmas though. I suppose it must've hit us harder along with the UK as they mention it as a factor in the BBC article.

I'm still experiencing insane delays in international mail and packages for example.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 09:30
So, June to November 2010, sales were down 4% on the same period in 2009.

If sales had have been good over Christmas, I suspect they'd have tried to sugar coat this news by adding the (Legally unnecessary) "But we did have a good Christmas!"... instead they implied that sales were bad, and blamed the weather for that implied lack of sales.

xowainx
05-01-2011, 09:42
Sales have been terrible in retail over christmas in the UK, due a combination of the snow and the recession.. If you look at this article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/05/next-snow-cost-22m-lost-business) on popular High Street clothing chain Next for example that was posted today, or indeed any article on the Guardian Business section (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business) you can see that the doom and gloom is pretty much universal.

Osbad
05-01-2011, 09:43
The statement says that they sold 4% less than their predicted budget in the period June - November 10. quelle surprise Anyone keeping tabs on the sticky "price whinge" thread at the top of this forum could have told them that was coming! The fact that bad weather since then has meant that the loss of trade will be compounded in December's results, means that the full year's results are likely to be significantly poorer than [the board] expected.

Of course other companies that have had a poor run up to Christmas due to bad weather recouped something in the boxing day sales, which at least in the UK, were some of the busiest high street trading days in history. But GW of course don't do sales....

About now, they are being hit hard with the "I told you so" stick.

No one's saying that trading conditions are easy for any business right now. But I think this shows that a niche market that used to be deemed "price insensitive" is becoming increasingly sensitive to prices. The VAT increases and ongoing job losses in the UK's public sector won't do anything for their prospects for 2011, along with all other UK-dependent luxury goods businesses. Blaming stuff on a recession and bad trading conditions is really just an excuse. All businesses face the same problems. The good ones survive and thrive. The bad ones die.

To be honest, I think GW's main "new" problem is not the poor economy and weather but the strengthening competition from Mantic, Spartan and the like. The fact that GW are no longer the only game in town, and in difficult times there are cheaper and more interesting options available is the largest factor, I suspect, in the ongoing failure of their business model.

That's my 2p anyway.

Steam_Giant
05-01-2011, 09:45
Theres also the fact that GW have barely released anything in the 3/4 quatre of the year. Apart from a few "wave" releases for skaven and HE and of course the Dark Eldar release.

Customers need new "shiney toys" ! :)

Born Again
05-01-2011, 09:51
So, despite Dark Eldar apparently selling ridiculously well, sales are still down by 4%? Hmm. So, less people were buying stuff, but of those that did, more were buying from one army then?

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 09:54
So, despite Dark Eldar apparently selling ridiculously well, sales are still down by 4%? Hmm. So, less people were buying stuff, but of those that did, more were buying from one army then?

*shrug*

Who told you Dark Eldar were selling well?

Osbad
05-01-2011, 09:57
So, despite Dark Eldar apparently selling ridiculously well, sales are still down by 4%? Hmm. So, less people were buying stuff, but of those that did, more were buying from one army then?

Looks like it. New shiney stuff presumably sold "well" (although this is based as far as I know solely on anecdotal evidence) but not well enough to outweigh all the lost sales from customers who never came back or just bought less for whatever reason.

Darnok
05-01-2011, 10:03
June to November 2010 has had what? A few wave releases, WHF 8th, IoB, and the Dark Eldar. I don't know what they expected from that, but it was obviously the wrong numbers...

Edit: I forgot the June price rise... :shifty:

Satan
05-01-2011, 10:04
Looks like it. New shiney stuff sold "well" but not well enough to outweigh all the lost sales from customers who never came back or just bought less for whatever reason.

The concept of "well" is pretty subjective though. Just because a retail store guy somewhere says so doesn't make it universal fact.

They have only their own poor sense of bussiness to blame for the results herein (up to Nov 28th). As to why they keep doing this on purpose (removing units from army books, like trolls and dragon ogres from beastmen) I'll never understand.

crandall87
05-01-2011, 10:25
May to November saw no new Space Marine releases. That obviously must be the reason....

Bad weather? Don't make me laugh. If I can't get to GW i'll buy my stuff online. The fact that one man stores have to be closed for the staff member to go on their lunch break (at least my local one is) means they lose an hour of trading a day.

Hermanesq
05-01-2011, 10:26
id go and stick my hat on wfb 8th being a part of it. The release on a uk level was nowhere near the level of spacehulk the previous year and 40k 5th 2 years ago. By a massive proportion

IJW
05-01-2011, 10:31
Of course other companies that have had a poor run up to Christmas due to bad weather recouped something in the boxing day sales, which at least in the UK, were some of the busiest high street trading days in history. But GW of course don't do sales....
Without wanting to turn this into a pricing thread (because it would apply no matter the pricing level), what would Boxing Day sales do for GW? That's not a trick question, I'd like to hear your reasoning on it.

GW don't really have end-of-line stock to sell off like regular retailers and what they do have (old DE etc.) would be in direct competition with new stock.

Sales on new stock doesn't help in the long run because it just means that the regular customers wait for the sale and GW see lower than usual sales before and after. Again, that applies no matter the pricing level and we've had multiple ex-GW staff say that this is what happened when GW had sales in the past.

Asuron
05-01-2011, 10:34
So, despite Dark Eldar apparently selling ridiculously well, sales are still down by 4%? Hmm. So, less people were buying stuff, but of those that did, more were buying from one army then?

Didn't DE come out on November 8th though?
or around that?
The sales during the whole of that month and the ones following them I think would reflect on how well they sold?
If it was the 8th, two extra days wouldn't really reflect how well they are selling or at least I'm assuming thats how it would work

Born Again
05-01-2011, 10:42
*shrug*

Who told you Dark Eldar were selling well?

Oh, you know. People :shifty: I don't have any hard evidence, but I've heard it stated many times from many independent sources, both customer and retailer.


Didn't DE come out on November 8th though?
or around that?
The sales during the whole of that month and the ones following them I think would reflect on how well they sold?
If it was the 8th, two extra days wouldn't really reflect how well they are selling or at least I'm assuming thats how it would work

Yeah, they haven't had long, but still as it was anticipated, pre-orders, lead up to Xmas etc, I would've thought they were more of "snap it up quickly" release than a long term investment. At least initially, they were looking for a respectable immediate return, one would think.

Asuron
05-01-2011, 10:52
Oh, you know. People :shifty: I don't have any hard evidence, but I've heard it stated many times from many independent sources, both customer and retailer.



Yeah, they haven't had long, but still as it was anticipated, pre-orders, lead up to Xmas etc, I would've thought they were more of "snap it up quickly" release than a long term investment. At least initially, they were looking for a respectable immediate return, one would think.

To be fair they just might be talking generally for that period and not towards the release
Heres hoping it did sell well, I'd like to think since the release was done so well that they would get back alot of money on it
Encourages them to go to such efforts on other releases

Hermanesq
05-01-2011, 10:57
other things that spring to mind that happened in the first half of the financial that can be considered. Numbers may be ball park however.↲

May time - 20-30 stores in the uk go from 2+ manned stores to 1 man stores. Losing a fair few staff.↲
Gw introduces new retail expections of its staff, replacing the well known 10 commandments.↲
Gw introduces performance related pay for its managers.↲
june - december, loses another 30% of managers in uk

Creamster
05-01-2011, 11:26
I picked up on this on the news, just wondering what everyone thinks of the direction GW will take with profits down (and even more during the year with VAT rise)

(1, Prices - Going up or Going down?
(2, Releases - Will be closer together or spread out more?
(3, Models - More focus of getting newer models for updated races or completing models they have missed out?
(4, Sales/Deals - Stick with the constant no deals stance or change to push sales through?
(5, Marines - How many "new" marine armies will we see this year? move one onto fantasy?
(6, LOTR - I am not sure how well this is supported currently but consider dropping? (please please)
(7, Specialist Games - Again I don't know how well these sold in the golden period, but maybe bring them back as gate-way games? (please please)
(8, Nothing - Act like they are immune to everything and nothing will change...

I am guessing (8, though... I wonder how many excuses they will continue with before they understand that there is competition from other games now (LOTR bubble, recession, snow, VAT...)

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 11:26
Definately 8, at least thats the usual strategy.

I can't say that I am suprised. I wonder how much more restructuring and streamling room they have left in the company?

Kaptajn_Congoboy
05-01-2011, 11:31
They can't drop LOTR, can they? Although they probably can cut back on the releases...it depends on their deals with New Line and others.

Steam_Giant
05-01-2011, 11:38
(1, Prices - Going up or Going down? It would be foolish of them not to "Round up" the VAT rise
(2, Releases - Will be closer together or spread out more? I believe this is already happening
(3, Models - More focus of getting newer models for updated races or completing models they have missed out? difficult to say, depends on finances
(4, Sales/Deals - Stick with the constant no deals stance or change to push sales through? I cant see them changing their pricing when 3rd party sites already compete on price.
(5, Marines - How many "new" marine armies will we see this year? move one onto fantasy? sounds great, I love space marines ! :D
(6, LOTR - I am not sure how well this is supported currently but consider dropping? (please please) Not with "The Hobbit" on the horizon, this has potential to provide a mega boost to the revenue of the company,
(7, Specialist Games - Again I don't know how well these sold in the golden period, but maybe bring them back as gate-way games? (please please) Pure Wishful thinking !
(8, Nothing - Act like they are immune to everything and nothing will change...


Im guessing they will carry on as they planned 1-2 years ago, neither this profits statement or VAT rise are likely to affect their long term strategy.


They can't drop LOTR, can they? Although they probably can cut back on the releases...it depends on their deals with New Line and others.

Its possible they right ramp up the releases in preperation for "the Hobbit"

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 11:46
(1, Prices - Going up or Going down?
GW raised their prices slightly yesterday, alongside the VAT increase. :-)


(5, Marines - How many "new" marine armies will we see this year? move one onto fantasy?
I get the impression that WFB is in decline, and that GW doesn't know why (Hint to GW: Rules).


(6, LOTR - I am not sure how well this is supported currently but consider dropping? (please please)
Why would they drop LOTR, with The Hobbit just a few years away?

(7, Specialist Games - Again I don't know how well these sold in the golden period, but maybe bring them back as gate-way games? (please please)
Not well enough to justify main studio time being spent on them, sorry.

Osbad
05-01-2011, 11:49
Without wanting to turn this into a pricing thread (because it would apply no matter the pricing level), what would Boxing Day sales do for GW? That's not a trick question, I'd like to hear your reasoning on it.

GW don't really have end-of-line stock to sell off like regular retailers and what they do have (old DE etc.) would be in direct competition with new stock.

Sales on new stock doesn't help in the long run because it just means that the regular customers wait for the sale and GW see lower than usual sales before and after. Again, that applies no matter the pricing level and we've had multiple ex-GW staff say that this is what happened when GW had sales in the past.

But that was back then and this is now. Nowadays, there is serious competition for GW, back then there was none. So if they were to (say) discount their slower selling items, they may pick up business that otherwise would go to competitors like Mantic, Warlord, Privateer Press, etc. If they restricted it to their B&M stores only then there would likely be extra "pick up" side sales as well - such as paint, glue, dice etc.

Sales apparently work for other wargames companies (such as Wargames Foundry - a company who GW are intimately familiar with - who spammed my email inbox with "20% off" offers a bazillion times over Christmas!). Also the 10 to 20% discount is already available to me via online discounters, so the sales they would be cannibalising would likely be the online discounters, not their own full price offers later in the year. Or of course I could buy that Undead army I've been saving up for from Mantic, at a fraction of the price it would cost me at GW. Nowadays there are many easily accessible alternatives to GW for my modelling and gaming needs. GW having a sale means I may conisder them, not having one means I may not consider them as a viable choice. Back when the "no sales" policy came into force in the late 90's (?) there were virtually no other alternatives to GW for Sci-fi/Fantasy gaming and even historical wargaming was still pretty hard to access for the typical "normal" GW customer who didn't know anyone already into that scene.

Seriously, the whole "we're GW so we don't do sales" mantra is simply outdated dogma based on an expiring business model that is no longer justifiable in the age of the internet, thriving competition and the double-dip recession.

I appreciate putting in a sale may actually save the company, and it definitely wouldn't be enough to solve all their woes, but by eliminating even the possibility of a sale, GW have removed one weapon from their arsenal, that other retailers have used successfully to partially mitigate the impact of the bad weather, if not the wider recession.

But I agree, we are straying dangerously into "pricing" territory, so I suggest we divert any further discussion of this element of the issue to *that* thread!

IJW
05-01-2011, 11:53
Fair enough, I just wanted to hear the thoughts behind your comment.

'Your scheduled programme is now resumed!'

Creamster
05-01-2011, 11:59
GW raised their prices slightly yesterday, alongside the VAT increase. :-)


I get the impression that WFB is in decline, and that GW doesn't know why (Hint to GW: Rules).


Why would they drop LOTR, with The Hobbit just a few years away?

Not well enough to justify main studio time being spent on them, sorry.


1) I am not 100% familar with the current prices but have they bumped up by a whole pound or went for a middle 50p bump?

2) I wasn't aware and this is shocking news after the massive launch of the game... Can you send me the link?

3) I am guessing that "cinema" laws might stop them from playing against each other etc. Like keep both seperate! Yes it is a few years away so why waste resources and space on a game that will be outdated/pushed-to-side when a new movie comes out?

4) Boooo. I loved the rpg aspect of these games. Enjoyed them a lot more then the pitched battle games (not that I don't love WFB and 40k). Looking at world of warcraft it would make sense that there is a market for these - I understand that you cannot compare, but a lot of online games have improvements with the players the more they play. GW should look to a way to milk this...

Little Joe
05-01-2011, 12:09
Usually a VAT increase results in a price raise 6 months in advance (UK had that) as to not upset custumers. At least that is what what GW did in germany when they raised taxes. No price raise now in germany, but the 1,5 to 1,3 creep in euro-pound ratio was already a good start (for a 1,2 worst ratio this year).

I hope ...

It is 8), GW ignores us as they should (I have no business degree), they will wait out the recession as any luxury goods supplier should and hope to make it. Just to find out it was not that or the weather but a decline in custumer base.

Actually I saw a price decrease this year in the spinetail/elf lord release this year. They only charged 10,5€ for what should have been 12,5€ per normal ratio.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 12:11
1) I am not 100% familar with the current prices but have they bumped up by a whole pound or went for a middle 50p bump?
Middling bumps mostly I think.

For example boxes that used to cost £15, should have been increased to £15.30 if you were just applying the VAT increase, but GW put an extra 20p on top to take them to £15.50.

Not all that big compared to their standard autumn price increases (Which can have anywhere between £1 and £5-£10 in price increases), but enough that it'll add up to an extra pound or so for GW per £100's worth of product (In yesterday's prices).


2) I wasn't aware and this is shocking news after the massive launch of the game... Can you send me the link?
There is no link, as GW does not release that kind of sales breakdown data.

It is only my gut instinct that tells me GW has mis-handled their Warhammer game system rules, and that the game as a whole is in decline because they are failing to hold on to long term WFB players because of it, and also are having a harder time attracting new players to WFB because of it.


4) Boooo. I loved the rpg aspect of these games. Enjoyed them a lot more then the pitched battle games (not that I don't love WFB and 40k). Looking at world of warcraft it would make sense that there is a market for these - I understand that you cannot compare, but a lot of online games have improvements with the players the more they play. GW should look to a way to milk this...
What you *enjoy* matters not a jot to GW.

What matters to them is that 40k outsells the entire SG range a hundred times over.

Deathwing_Matt
05-01-2011, 12:13
I get the impression that WFB is in decline, and that GW doesn't know why (Hint to GW: Rules).


I'm not sure its the rules alone which would cause problems for WFB sales. WFB deals with a relatively generic fantasy world which is easily replicated without any IP copyright. You could spend £45 or whatever on a rulebook and get everything else to play the game elsewhere. I could build a decent enough VC or High Elf army using mantic figures and AoW. I'm sure there's other ways of building armies too. As long as I didn't play at official GW events I'd get away with it. Compare this with 40k, where the setting and figures are more unique to GW, and alternatives are more difficult to find.

I don't think the sale would work, as people wait for them. Over the last five or so years on the UK high street January sales were triggered prematurely when the public held off buying straight away and retailers were forced to begin sales before Christmas, GW would face the same anticipation from customers.

Additionally, how much of a discount could GW give which would really help? With many indy retaillers selling at a 20% discount, GW would have to go further to make much of a difference.

When I was a GW staffer 3-4 years ago, certain items, such as glue, were seen as 'convinience purchases'. Better alternatives were available, but those too lazy to go elsewhere or unaware of alternatives (parents of 13 y/os) would buy it anyway. This idea was relatively successful and has been rolled out further. Most people in the know will buy cheaper figures from an Indy supplier, even if they have to wait a week or whatever for delivery. Those not in the know or wanting a model more urgently (more able to pick up in town) would pay more at a GW. GW must be aware of this. One indy store I visited between Christmas and New Year was packed when I got there, and there were a lot of purchases being made. The prerequisite for more intro games, painting workshops etc. has halted the threat from ebay somewhat and GW are actively accomodating this price discrimination.

Osbad
05-01-2011, 12:27
What amuses me about this is that the stock market price fell so much. Or rather that it had got so over-inflated based on the financial results from the last 2 years that were simply a result of exchange rate gains and licence fee windfalls masking a poor underlying sales trend. Shows maybe that Reinholt and I perhaps understand what we are talking about a little. Maybe ;)?

dominic_star
05-01-2011, 12:34
I wonder how much the enormous and swiftly rising, 1m nearly, level of unemploymen for 24 and under is denting UK sales.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 12:38
I'm not sure its the rules alone which would cause problems for WFB sales.

Allow me to clarify my opinion; At least partially, it's down to what I consider to be the poor targeting of the two rulebook releases:

1 - The stand-alone rulebook (At least conceptually more suitable for existing players than beginners) is over-large, packed with unsuitable beginner-level information, and fairly expensive.

2 - The small rulebook can only be had with a (More expensive) starter set.


So, I'd contend that both the hardback rulebook and the starter box (IoB) have been targeted at newbies, to the extent that they actively dissuade existing players from upgrading to the new edition.

Sure, an existing player can stump up the extra cash for the hard back upgrade (More than it cost last time around) and carry around a 500 page book when they only really need the 1/4th of it that covers the game rules, or trawl eBay for a cheap copy, but either way GW demanded a higher level of commitment from their "veterans" than previously (Assuming all their existing customers don't want to start High Elves or Skaven), and I *think* that there was a higher level of "new edition drop outs" than was usual previously in the jump from 7th to 8th, due to the way in which they released the new rules.

================================================== =======

Now, normally I'd say that focusing on beginners is a good thing for GW to do, but to actively (Instead of their usual passive methods) make products unsuitable for existing customers seems pretty silly to me.


So, ultimately, despite the WFB 8th edition hardback rulebook being the best looking, best gaming resource GW have ever produced... it's a terrible, terrible, terrible product from a practical, business point of view, IMHO.

IJW
05-01-2011, 12:43
So, I'd contend that both the hardback rulebook and the starter box (IoB) have been targeted at newbies, to the extent that they actively dissuade existing players from upgrading to the new edition.
That's certainly what stopped me moving on to 8th as a very occasional Warhammer player, on the other hand I don't buy Warhammer models anyway so there's no money lost from me in the first place.

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 12:45
What matters to them is that 40k outsells the entire SG range a hundred times over.

Given how they are handled that is no great surprise ;)

Its plain to see that GW has no need for gateway games :shifty:

LuciusAR
05-01-2011, 12:51
Given that GW has made the beginners the focus of its business model then this is no big surprise. Teenagers may spend the most in times of plenty, but they are a notoriously fickle bunch and it’s no surprise that they are likely to abandon GW when times are leaner. The Gamers who would have been most likely to keep on spending throughout times of hardship no longer figure in GW’s grand scheme.

Still I bet companies like Mantic are cleaning up.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 12:54
I bet companies like Mantic are cleaning up.
I've moved my 28mm Fantasy loyalty to Mantic's Kings of War, so for what it's worth, GW have gotten what they wanted out of me: They didn't want me as a customer for their 28mm Fantasy Battles game, so I've moved on to a company that does want my custom.

Deathwing_Matt
05-01-2011, 12:58
Allow me to clarify my opinion; At least partially, it's down to what I consider to be the poor targeting of the two rulebook releases:

1 - The stand-alone rulebook (At least conceptually more suitable for existing players than beginners) is over-large, packed with unsuitable beginner-level information, and fairly expensive.

2 - The small rulebook can only be had with a (More expensive) starter set.



I agree that the hardback rulebook has so many parts which are completely unecessary (pushing the price up), and perhaps this rulebook isn't as attractive and amazing as GW thought when it was published. However, I don't think the poor targetting would be entirely responsible for a potentially struggling important segment of GW's business.

1) The hardback rulebook has been available from Indy retailers, such as Dark Sphere for roughly £36 (on its own, cheaper if ordered with other items). This is only £1 more than previous rulebooks direct from GW, notably a highly successful 40k 5th Ed. Most veterans would be aware of where to get a rulebook cheapest, so it wouldn't cost them much more at all.

2) Smaller rulebooks and starter sets have not deterred players in the past. This format has previously been used for 2 editions of 40k, 1 edition of fantasy and 1 edition of LoTR and has worked ok. In many cases people have bought 2 rulebooks (1 to play the game when the rules come out, another smaller one to take to tournies etc).

simonr1978
05-01-2011, 13:06
1) The hardback rulebook has been available from Indy retailers, such as Dark Sphere for roughly £36 (on its own, cheaper if ordered with other items). This is only £1 more than previous rulebooks direct from GW, notably a highly successful 40k 5th Ed. Most veterans would be aware of where to get a rulebook cheapest, so it wouldn't cost them much more at all.

2) Smaller rulebooks and starter sets have not deterred players in the past. This format has previously been used for 2 editions of 40k, 1 edition of fantasy and 1 edition of LoTR and has worked ok. In many cases people have bought 2 rulebooks (1 to play the game when the rules come out, another smaller one to take to tournies etc).

What if you bought the previous edition from Dark Sphere though? I'd like to bet it would be a bit more than £1 cheaper. You can't really compare full RRP to a discounted indy and say "See, it's hardly gone up in price at all."

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 13:13
1) The hardback rulebook has been available from Indy retailers, such as Dark Sphere for roughly £36 (on its own, cheaper if ordered with other items). This is only £1 more than previous rulebooks direct from GW, notably a highly successful 40k 5th Ed. Most veterans would be aware of where to get a rulebook cheapest, so it wouldn't cost them much more at all.
"Most"

Plus, those players who are aware of Indy retailers got their 300 page (more practical) rulebooks for 20% less than RRP last time, too, so they too were being asked to pay more for the edition upgrade.


2) Smaller rulebooks and starter sets have not deterred players in the past. This format has previously been used for 2 editions of 40k, 1 edition of fantasy and 1 edition of LoTR and has worked ok. In many cases people have bought 2 rulebooks (1 to play the game when the rules come out, another smaller one to take to tournies etc).
And in the past, the hardback rulebook was cheaper and more practical (300 pages not 500), and in the case of 40k the starter set contained Space Marines, which "Most" people wouldn't mind having some of anyway.

Odin
05-01-2011, 13:25
all the snow?

Not to mention the fact that the economy is knackered.

Ravenous
05-01-2011, 13:25
other things that spring to mind that happened in the first half of the financial that can be considered. Numbers may be ball park however.↲

May time - 20-30 stores in the uk go from 2+ manned stores to 1 man stores. Losing a fair few staff.↲
Gw introduces new retail expections of its staff, replacing the well known 10 commandments.↲
Gw introduces performance related pay for its managers.↲
june - december, loses another 30% of managers in uk

That 4% is probably just all the guys that lost their discount :D

Seriously, when I worked for GW I knew a few guys that would drop half their paycheck back into the store essentially only making $4/hr from GW. Making everything into one man stores means that you just nuked a good portion of your foam mouthed crack head sales.

shandy
05-01-2011, 13:31
The hobby is a luxury for a lot of people and with the Government going on about all the cuts that need to be done and the fact that these are now becoming reality (student fees, VAT etc) that people are reviewing what they spend their money on and asking themselves do I really need that now.

For example a lot of my "luxury" shopping is now curtailed. I have 2 40k armies and therefore happy to stay at current levels until things change- I don't really need anymore stuff even though I would like it. Similarly DVD, video games etc are also being met with the "do I really need that" and outside Christmas, Birthdays and the occasional treat the answer is generally no.

In such situations the hobby market generally takes a hit- I think GW, like many companies, are looking to survive and then once things turn around start to expand again.

Mart007
05-01-2011, 13:37
I hope for GW's sake the Hobbit can reinvigerate some profits.

I spend a lot of money on the hobby every year (probably over the thousand mark if you include the tournies I go to) but even I have cut back (last year I spent hardly anything on new armies) as alot of boxs are over £20. Im not a money watcher so if I am more careful on what I buy a lot of other people are going to be twice as careful!

You have to take into account the economy is bad and a lot of retailers are having a tough time at the moment, not that I think that GW havent made mistakes, I think they really need to re-look at how they sell to newbs. Bring out one off small boxed games (spec games imo). But hey I havent got all the facts im speculating.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 13:42
Sorry but I think may of the posts here are looking at things in a far too narrow perspective.

All the issues mentioned so far - prices, range, sales, gateway products etc - all actually tied up and a much broader and, for me, failing strategic direction. GW have chosen to pursue the 11-18 year old bracket as a prime, and almost sole, primary market. The target within that bracket has been middle class boys. Comments about increasing competition from Mantic etc are, in part, entirely accurate and entirely unimportant. We have been complaining about GWs prices since the early 1990's when they were charging 2-3 times what others were charging, the real issue here is the price ceiling and the perceived value, both of which GW have got wrong.

Instead of creating a holistic and broad approach to wargaming - which is the market we are in - they have tried to shift that bracket to "teenage boys toys" and it is failing. It is failing because of the cost, the perception; back when GW games were for adults, what teenage kid didn't want to be a part of it? now they are for teenagers, more and more adults are falling out, and the teenagers are falling out quicker because it is perceived as childish. Its failing because GWs retail approach doesn't work for customers like us. Its failing because of an obsession with the US which the company has shown no understanding of or ability to adapt to.

Despite the perceived whining on here there is in essence nothig wrong with the products, and not much that cannot be addressed very simply. Its still one of the most unique brands around and one of the most accessible products of its type. The key area for me where GW have fallen down on is how to deal with the more fanatical parts of the community, exemplified by some of the tournament fanatics we have seen on here. Incorrectly GW have decided to abandon vets as a whole, instead of learning to grow a thicker skin and sideline those fanatics (pro and anti GW). This is where the overall product has been affected most of all for me.

Quite simply, the majority of the posters on here are exactly the sort of customers GW should be courting right now. GW sales are not made up of mad £400+ orders nice as they are, or by kids blowing their parents loose change as profitable as it can be, but by those 20+year old customers, in regular jobs, taking it easy and popping into their local supplier every week to spend £20. If a GW store can't look to around 100 of those types of customers (a smallish percentage of its overall customer base) then it has lost a significant income stream. Attempting to force that expenditure up without reason was a major error, and they have all but lost that regular income.

Its not the prices as such, or the products, but the overall goals and strategy. For that there is only one place to lay the blame, and that is at the very top. 3-6 years ago this would have been easy to solve, even with an upcoming sales drop due to LotR sales falling. Unfortunately a succession of no doubt qualified and experienced business people have wandered into the top areas of the business, with little or no understanding of what the base of GWs market is, what has supplied it with a form of financial stability for 20 odd years, and have chosen to interpret stores and schools full of kids playing with toy soldiers as a dependable and exploitable income stream.

The saddest thing for me is the few acquaintances I have left in the company could know be looking at joining the vast majority of the Games Workshop staff I have known over the decades, on the outside wondering what went wrong. Too many staff in important, non-systems positions have been lost to GW, people who understood the market even if it was just in terms of little soldiers on a board.

Oh well.

Deathwing_Matt
05-01-2011, 13:47
"Most"

Yes. Most. Consumers vary in their behaviour. If I was to say that every single veteran was to do that, my statement would be simply untrue. A significant proportion (doesn't even have to be most), is enough to affect sales figures to a level material to GW and other retailers.

The influence of discounted indys has risen in the UK, with more people switching to them. So yes, whilst normally you compare like with like is the correct thing to do, a significant proportion switching from GW stores to discounted Indy would be important in this respect, with more established Indys becoming available in the UK. Therefore many gamers . And yes those who didn't switch would loose out. But a £35 book (even if you have bought from Indy's throughout) which you'll use for 4 or 5 years isn't really that much, unless you don't play very often at all...




And in the past, the hardback rulebook was cheaper and more practical (300 pages not 500), and in the case of 40k the starter set contained Space Marines, which "Most" people wouldn't mind having some of anyway.

Because a 300 page hardback rulebook is so much easier to take to a games night along with models etc. If you're travelling around for games, the smaller rulebook is always going to be more practical. That's not just something which has happened in the last 6 months...

Marines are GW's biggest sellers, but that didn't stop Skull Pass...

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 13:52
Quite simply, the majority of the posters on here are exactly the sort of customers GW should be courting right now. GW sales are not made up of mad £400+ orders nice as they are, or by kids blowing their parents loose change as profitable as it can be, but by those 20+year old customers, in regular jobs, taking it easy and popping into their local supplier every week to spend £20. If a GW store can't look to around 100 of those types of customers (a smallish percentage of its overall customer base) then it has lost a significant income stream. Attempting to force that expenditure up without reason was a major error, and they have all but lost that regular income.
I'd note it was exactly this kind of "casual" customer that GW actively pushed away with their 8th edition release strategy.

While the fanatics were overjoyed at the 528 page "tome", and the newbies were happy with their lovely new starter sets, the casual players saw neither product as appropriate for them and just quietly walked away.



But a £35 book (even if you have bought from Indy's throughout) which you'll use for 4 or 5 years isn't really that much, unless you don't play very often at all.
Except it's £45.
Whilst not a huge amount, it's not chump-change either.


Because a 300 page hardback rulebook is so much easier to take to a games night along with models etc.
It's a matter of degrees, not absolutes.
A 300 page book is quite simply easier to cart around than a 500 page book.


If you're travelling around for games, the smaller rulebook is always going to be more practical.
Ah, so now an existing, casual, player is expected to buy the £60 starter set, or hang about on eBay, just to get a practical rulebook.
Not everybody is going to do that.

Mart007
05-01-2011, 13:52
I dont mind them focusing on a younger market personally, I just think they have done it wrong. As you get older you take from the hobby what you need. I love beer filled weekend away tornies and I love spending hours on my minis. What a 15 year old does with there hobby has little interest for me. The Warhammer settings are great and as it stands I think they can fulfil vet gamers and young gamers alike. What they have got wrong is failing to bring enticing newbie deals or packages that vets might like together.

And without wanting to talk on pricing entirely, breaking the £20 mark on boxs is big mistake.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 13:54
I'd note it was exactly this kind of "casual" customer that GW actively pushed away with their 8th edition release strategy.

While the fanatics were overjoyed at the 528 page "tome", and the newbies were happy with their lovely new starter sets, the casual players saw neither product as appropriate for them and just quietly walked away.Been happening long before that fella.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 14:00
Been happening long before that fella.
I don't disagree, but I think GW passed "passive dissuasion" (Which I've nothing against, as long as GW's making more money from their main target market to compensate for the adults lost to them) and moved into "active dissuasion" with their WFB rulebook release strategy (Which is simply a bad idea).

As you know, I'm normally on the side of GW's targeting of kids (As long as there's some brains behind it), but with WFB 8th their design style went from ignoring adults to actively pushing them away. That, I don't support.

Satan
05-01-2011, 14:00
For once I actually agree fully with Yabbadabba - barring one thing; I believe that the rules products (starting sets and/or the rules themselves) are actually one of the faulty factors at play.

Not to say that they're not viable as such, but they're used to exclude products from different armies, especially evident with Chaos for example, and I belive this to be utter folly.

I guess someone will find some extreme way of interpreting what I've just written, but used with sense rules products can actually help increase sales.

Nocculum
05-01-2011, 14:06
This is to be expected, as long as they remain over their costs and continue to generate profit at all, there's little to be worried about. Especially if companies such as HMV are going through crisis.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 14:15
For once I actually agree fully with Yabbadabba - barring one thing; I believe that the rules products (starting sets and/or the rules themselves) are actually one of the faulty factors at play. Cheers fella ;) and sorry for the essay. I think the current rules philosophies are a product of the strategy and not the other way around. The way the rules have developed have allowed GW to create mini fads within each system to push the most popular new releases. Kids and fanatical tournament players as a whole have one thing in common, they hate to lose. So by creating a system which is inherently designed to encourage certain abuses and by producing armies which maximise these abuses, you can direct a hard core of customers and staff towards the new "shiny shiny", driving new release sales. I don't agree with it, but I have never really been a fan of shiny-shiny syndrome, although I know far too many people who get the new army everytime, especially when GW did army deals with a limited ed. figure in.

If GWs strategy had you or I in mind, GW would have open sourced their rules, or created a portal for advanced rules design by the adult community. Its a simple way of generating sales. This strategy they currently have has also allowed them to pursue IP protection more fiercely in return for better access to licencing.

When I look at GW these days I am always reminded of a Robin Williams joke about partial circumcision.

edit: the worry will be if GW take a 10-15 year moving trend financial view on a series of 5 year plans. I think this will show them a gradual increase as they will almost certainly ignore the LotR bubble, with a slight flatlining in one of the worst recession periods around. And that won't bode well for sorting this mess out, although it will keep the faithful few at GWHQ going.

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 14:18
This is to be expected, as long as they remain over their costs and continue to generate profit at all, there's little to be worried about. Especially if companies such as HMV are going through crisis.
HMV is in a clearly dying industry (Hardcopy media sales), however.

Sai-Lauren
05-01-2011, 14:28
Creamster, you ignored a possible option:

9) Diversify the product lines - e.g, selling prints from their back catalogue of art, traditional or IP based board games (Heresy chess set anyone? or a Regicide board), resurrecting the Warp Artefacts lines and expanding it to include replica armour and weapons, even things like those mocked up plush Terminators that appeared on another thread. It's what Lego are basically doing with their board games, plush mini-figures, cutlery sets, adult orientated models etc.

Basically, rather than contracting into a few lines (which runs the risk of them dropping off and seriously messing your company up), stand up and say "Don't like that? Ok, what about this, is that more to your taste? Or maybe you'd like this instead?". Keep money coming in, keep the companies name in peoples minds, and you'll not only weather the storm, you'll be in a good position to capitalise on it coming out.



Sorry but I think may of the posts here are looking at things in a far too narrow perspective.

All the issues mentioned so far - prices, range, sales, gateway products etc - all actually tied up and a much broader and, for me, failing strategic direction. GW have chosen to pursue the 11-18 year old bracket as a prime, and almost sole, primary market. The target within that bracket has been middle class boys. Comments about increasing competition from Mantic etc are, in part, entirely accurate and entirely unimportant. We have been complaining about GWs prices since the early 1990's when they were charging 2-3 times what others were charging, the real issue here is the price ceiling and the perceived value, both of which GW have got wrong.

Instead of creating a holistic and broad approach to wargaming - which is the market we are in - they have tried to shift that bracket to "teenage boys toys" and it is failing. It is failing because of the cost, the perception; back when GW games were for adults, what teenage kid didn't want to be a part of it? now they are for teenagers, more and more adults are falling out, and the teenagers are falling out quicker because it is perceived as childish. Its failing because GWs retail approach doesn't work for customers like us. Its failing because of an obsession with the US which the company has shown no understanding of or ability to adapt to.

Despite the perceived whining on here there is in essence nothig wrong with the products, and not much that cannot be addressed very simply. Its still one of the most unique brands around and one of the most accessible products of its type. The key area for me where GW have fallen down on is how to deal with the more fanatical parts of the community, exemplified by some of the tournament fanatics we have seen on here. Incorrectly GW have decided to abandon vets as a whole, instead of learning to grow a thicker skin and sideline those fanatics (pro and anti GW). This is where the overall product has been affected most of all for me.

Quite simply, the majority of the posters on here are exactly the sort of customers GW should be courting right now. GW sales are not made up of mad £400+ orders nice as they are, or by kids blowing their parents loose change as profitable as it can be, but by those 20+year old customers, in regular jobs, taking it easy and popping into their local supplier every week to spend £20. If a GW store can't look to around 100 of those types of customers (a smallish percentage of its overall customer base) then it has lost a significant income stream. Attempting to force that expenditure up without reason was a major error, and they have all but lost that regular income.

Its not the prices as such, or the products, but the overall goals and strategy. For that there is only one place to lay the blame, and that is at the very top. 3-6 years ago this would have been easy to solve, even with an upcoming sales drop due to LotR sales falling. Unfortunately a succession of no doubt qualified and experienced business people have wandered into the top areas of the business, with little or no understanding of what the base of GWs market is, what has supplied it with a form of financial stability for 20 odd years, and have chosen to interpret stores and schools full of kids playing with toy soldiers as a dependable and exploitable income stream.

The saddest thing for me is the few acquaintances I have left in the company could know be looking at joining the vast majority of the Games Workshop staff I have known over the decades, on the outside wondering what went wrong. Too many staff in important, non-systems positions have been lost to GW, people who understood the market even if it was just in terms of little soldiers on a board.

Oh well.

Indeed - the veterans don't normally spend a load of money in one go, but they do spend a nice even amount regularly, which keeps the money flowing into your store and gives you nice even cash flow (something that economists love above nearly everything else). And newbies might spend a big lump of cash once, but very little ever again.

Also, IMO, the newbies are the ones that are more likely to say "I've got my 1500/1850/2000 point army, I'm done" - they've collected the army they originally wanted, they're happy (at least until they get a PS3 and the army winds up at the back of the wardrobe or on ebay).

Meanwhile the veterans are more likely to think "You know what, I could do a full guard infantry company/ High Elf Tower of Hoeth defenders list/ wierd and wacky counts as list" or go off and fight a campaign for which they decide they need a whole selection of new choices, or start a new army simply because they're a little bored with their old one, and fancy a change, or create scenarios based on the movie they watched last night.

And yes, if you aim at teenagers, but treat them as adults, you've got them - all the screaming "Waaaagh" may get people hyped up intially, but sooner or later, it's just going to become immature and put people off.

That's not to say people should play as though they're in a library, the odd sound effect here and there is fun, but it needs to be spontaneous. Telling people to do it is like telling them that they're having fun, right now, or else.

And staff acting like puppies on the upswing of a massive sugar rush doesn't help - enthusiasm's one thing, but professionalism is something else.

Finally, Mantic etc, whilst they are in the same overall industry, they aren't GW's competition - the PS3, Wii and XBox are (did the two movement based controller releases impact on GW's sales figures at all?), cds and dvds are, and mobile phones are.

By pushing themselves at the teenage market, those are the competitors that they've chosen for themselves, and sadly, GW doesn't have the marketting muscle to really compete when the available money in that demographic contracts.

IJW
05-01-2011, 14:35
Out of a generally excellent post, I do have to pick you up on:

back when GW games were for adults
When was this? Back when Bryan Ansell was running the company?;)

Joking aside, the RT and 3rd edition WFB books from 1987 were '16 to adult' while 2nd edition 40k in 1993 was already 'Aged 12 to adult'.

GW's core games have been aimed at teens for a very long time...

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 14:40
Out of a generally excellent post, I do have to pick you up on:
When was this? Back when Bryan Ansell was running the company?;)
Joking aside, the RT and 3rd edition WFB books from 1987 were '16 to adult' and 2nd edition 40k from 1993 was already 'Aged 12 to adult'.
GW's core games have been aimed at teens for a very long time... Hmm....... I am going to differ here, the teens were a potential customer base, definitely, and one the stores were good at focussing on but compared to the past 6/7 years, adults and in particular adult wargamers were seen as an important/key part of the overall market. Back in the 90's, and even as late as the very early 2000's the idea was one of aspiration for the teens - adults playing the games - and it was a key factor for recruitment and retention. The ages on the box don't really mean alot other than to ensure you don't overly narrow your market etc. Its the perceived exclusivity of the marketing that makes the difference these days mate.

Baragash
05-01-2011, 14:51
There may be some product issue - but of course I realise this is my view and I don't know how widespread it is.

I play mainly: High Elves, Tomb Kings, Chaos Marines and Dark Eldar. I occasionally dabble with Warriors of Chaos.

High Elves I guess are a little misleading, I have 10k points, I don't really feel I need to add anything to them.

Chaos Marines and Tomb Kings I'm just bored with. Not because I don't like the models, fluff etc (well the CSM book fluff sucks, but I've got loads of ancillary products to fill it in for me going back to Realms of Chaos). I won't invest more money in them until they get new books because the models either have terrible rules or badly need updating.

I won't drop money on Warriors until there's been two or three 8th Ed books out so I can see the lie of the land due to the above experience.

Dark Eldar, I want to update my army, but I don't want to buy into the army until more (not all) units are available, especially as I own the old versions of most of those models (which I will update in time, but I don't need to now).

I want to give GW some of my money, but they aren't giving me a reason to.

(Actually I'll probably end up doing an Astral Claws or UM army in the first half of this year, but I already own the core of that army unassembled so it's not big £££ to GW).

IJW
05-01-2011, 15:26
Back in the 90's, and even as late as the very early 2000's the idea was one of aspiration for the teens - adults playing the games - and it was a key factor for recruitment and retention. The ages on the box don't really mean alot other than to ensure you don't overly narrow your market etc. Its the perceived exclusivity of the marketing that makes the difference these days mate.
I'd agree on the exclusive marketing to teens these days, but my experiences of GW stores in the early to mid-Nineties is that they were aggressively marketing towards schoolchildren and that late teens/early twenty-somethings were actively discouraged from in-store gaming.

This is from the period when you couldn't use your army in a store unless all your bases were painted Goblin Green and the models were fully painted. Plus you weren't allowed to use any model that wasn't available off the shelf, even if it was still in the catalogues. It must have been sometime around 40k 2nd edition and Warhammer 4th, not that anyone was allowed to call it 4th edition or Warhammer Fantasy Battle...

So yes, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

Llew
05-01-2011, 15:37
I'm not surprised at these numbers. GW's broad strategies coupled with far better competition (often by ex-GW guys) means that GW is in a tough spot. I know out of my group, typically 5 or 6 rule books would have been purchased when a new edition of WFB came out, plus a handful of boxed sets whether we needed them or not. (Heck...I bought 2 of BfSP just because the value was good, even if the dwarves weren't stellar models.) Due to having KoW as an option, our entire group converted over and GW didn't see a penny out of us at the new edition.

I have to imagine we're not the only ones they're losing.

Mucho
05-01-2011, 15:51
Games-Workshop just hit a critical point now.

Their is no longer a direct cause for losing sales volume. The heavy criticized measures taken over the last years all just add up to one big problem: failed positioning in the market and an alienated consumers-basis. This forum is a games-workshop fanatics ground; every release should be a home-run here, but how many of the Warseer members still buy GW's product first hand in huge quantities? I'm convinced that the answer to that question could be really discouraging.

kingofthesquats
05-01-2011, 15:58
Llew I agree with the better competition (often by ex-GW guys). I've just got into Napoleonics, my first departure from fantasy/sci-fi. The Perry twins are making awesome models at the fraction of the cost of GW minis and I've been tempted away from GW after buying pretty much exclusively GW up until now.

I've collected many GW armies in my time but it's getting to the stage where I'm tired of going into GW without the intention of buying anything and feeling awkward as soon as I'm asked 'Have you read this months White Dwarf?' etc. I've dropped a LOT of money on GW products over the years and although people will rightly argue they're a business I personally find as an adult gamer that their approach is very off-putting.

I also agree that it wouldn't hurt to diversify their ranges, although I'm no money expert and I've heard many times that specialist games don't bring in the money.

Finished!

RanaldLoec
05-01-2011, 16:21
16% fall in value of stock according to sky news.

I will not claim to hold any business expertise but any GW product sold by an indy store or online retailer will still return some profit to GW.

The profit margin may be lower but its still there, and the products are still being sold.

The thing is there is only so long you can blame weather for falling sales.

If GW's next quarters figures are still showing an under performance in sales they may blame it on too much rain, sun, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, a mild westerly breeze.

What ever GW does it might need to actually do something other than stream lining and think about other means of making money rather than saving money.

sheppe
05-01-2011, 16:28
[Insert comment about financial times and lots of companies and organizations being hit badly]

Without turning this into the pricing thread, GW really have shot themselves in the foot with such ridiculous price increases, a set of 10 plastic models should not cost £23 when it was £12 four years ago, heck i can feed myself for 2 weeks on £23 and I fall in their target audience (adolescent teenager nearing adult)

Out of curiosity, does "Games Workshop" include it's branch off divisions, like Forge World and Black Library? Ergo, has GW been b1tch slapped as a whole, or just it's core Games suffering?

Chaos and Evil
05-01-2011, 16:30
Out of curiosity, does "Games Workshop" include it's branch off divisions, like Forge World and Black Library?
Yes it does.

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 16:58
Its not the prices as such, or the products, but the overall goals and strategy.

These are linked though. GW has been moving to a mass battle model since at least 40K 3rd ed. This requires large armies with 'streamlined' rules and has become the focus of GW's efforts to the exclusion of all else (with the exception of LoTR).

This just isn't going to work as the price of an army will simply be too high (even if the per mini price is low) and the time investment will be too large for casual gamers . Not only that but the lack of depth to the rules mean that veteran gamers will look elsewhere.

It is that I think is really killing GW. There is certainly more going on but GW just hasn't the diversity nor the long term appeal that it once had. The overall strategy is definately guiding their rules at the least.


Finally, Mantic etc, whilst they are in the same overall industry, they aren't GW's competition - the PS3, Wii and XBox are

This is a red herring, mainstream gaming is almost as old as GW is. While modern console gaming may be more expensive than the days of the spectrum (but probably isn't) it isn't a direct competitor. Lots of things vie for disposable income, you may as well claim that cinema is GW's main rival.

Aiming for children does mean that other sources of entertainment become more significant though, simply because children tend to be more fickle in what they like.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 17:08
These are linked though. I think we need to move away from price (which would have increased no matter what) and move onto pricing strategy related to market.




This is a red herring, No its not, not if you see you sole market as teens. Other wargaming companies just won't register or will be ignored. But thats why I think GW have the market wrong, or poorly defined (even if it is teens), as opposed to the threats.


mainstream gaming is almost as old as GW is. While modern console gaming may be more expensive than the days of the spectrum (but probably isn't) it isn't a direct competitor. Lots of things vie for disposable income, you may as well claim that cinema is GW's main rival.

Aiming for children does mean that other sources of entertainment become more significant though, simply because children tend to be more fickle in what they like. Its the exclusivity that is the issue mate - GW really have made little effort to truly engage any adults, where there could be real competition from these other companies. If you are not exploiting a market, the competition within it cannot be seen as competition to yourself.

Promethius
05-01-2011, 17:18
I can only speak for myself, but over the last couple of years, bills have risen (food, petrol especially), income has fallen (less locums for me, a lot of people I know have taken voluntary pay cuts) and now VAT is up which adds more. A few years ago, I used to go out to the pub every few nights, cinema, meals out etc. The financial situation has pushed me and the wife to spending more evenings at home with a dvd and wine from the supermarket. Reading the BBC it sounds like a lot of people are in the same position. In these times, buying plastic models moves further and further down the priority list. Add to this price rises at GW, the recent change in video games from being a male/gamer thing to a family/women friendly affair (which means that the wife is encouraging wii purchases whereas previously she had never really played on consols) and GW are in trouble. The answer for GW probably lies somewhere between either reducing prices to make purchases more tempting, or some kind of buy one/get one half price deal to push people into buying more. A lot of people here are talking about customer base, and that's probably all correct, but I cant help but think that the main problem is that in a recession people have less money and different priorities, and instead of reflecting that with price drops/deals, GW are going the other way, inexplicably.

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 17:24
I think we need to move away from price (which would have increased no matter what) and move onto pricing strategy related to market.


Exactly. Privateer Press sells its products for about the same, or even above, GW's prices but because of how their game is designed the overall price of an army is much less. This makes their games much more accessable, encourages multiple lists and all the other things that make people buy more.

GW have clearly got their pricing stategy wrong though.


No its not, not if you see you sole market as teens.

Even then I don't see this as being very significant. You either have an interest in wargaming or you don't, distractions such as consoles will only really effect the wispy end of the casual market. Ease of entry is a much bigger hurdle.


If you are not exploiting a market, the competition within it cannot be seen as competition to yourself

Except that the competition has neven been as visible, they are even starting to edge onto the high street (well retail parks). Currently they don't have much of an impact (probably) but they have far more now than they did even 2 years ago. They certainly provide a ready home for all the disillusioned GW vets.

Creamster
05-01-2011, 17:31
These are linked though. GW has been moving to a mass battle model since at least 40K 3rd ed. This requires large armies with 'streamlined' rules and has become the focus of GW's efforts to the exclusion of all else (with the exception of LoTR).

This just isn't going to work as the price of an army will simply be too high (even if the per mini price is low) and the time investment will be too large for casual gamers . Not only that but the lack of depth to the rules mean that veteran gamers will look elsewhere.



Yep this nailed it for me. 3rd Ed of 40k was great and fun. Then they killed a lot of the customization to speed up games and target younger crowds and ever since then have removed loads of options. I mean now every army looks the same as the kids next door. Wfb which was a thinking mans game has envolved into dice spaming, 1 turn magic winning games. For the record we always played massive battles and only hth was a grind.

Another aspect is how computer games have changed this (I know theres mobiles and movies but gamers are gamers). Back in the day I remember all new games being 35-50 quid which you would rarely play for longer then 2 weeks. Buying a few boxes of figs was a decision I had to make and generally went the figs way. Now games are cheaper and thanks to online gaming, last a lot longer. On the otherhand boxes are more expensive and you need more of them (which also results in extra painting time and extra tools).

But as pointed out by moving up the cost in the hobby you start to cross the border of other interests of younger players.

Sai-Lauren
05-01-2011, 17:34
This is a red herring, mainstream gaming is almost as old as GW is. While modern console gaming may be more expensive than the days of the spectrum (but probably isn't) it isn't a direct competitor. Lots of things vie for disposable income, you may as well claim that cinema is GW's main rival.

A tactical squad box is roughly one months mobile bill. Buy a Leman Russ box, and you're heading into the same price territory as a new video game, which you can get home and start playing quickly, rather than having to take the time to build and paint.

And maybe cinema is a rival as well - single model blister packs are up at that price level these days.



Aiming for children does mean that other sources of entertainment become more significant though, simply because children tend to be more fickle in what they like.

It does, because those other sources of entertainment are aiming for them as well - and positioning themselves, like GW, as "lifestyle" choices.

Except those companies have got multi-million dollar advertising and marketing campaigns.

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 17:40
A tactical squad box is roughly one months mobile bill. Buy a Leman Russ box, and you're heading into the same price territory as a new video game, which you can get home and start playing quickly, rather than having to take the time to build and paint.

In which case that person would do the same even if the prices were a fraction of what they are, they may just buy an extra box or 2 first. Only people with an interest in wargamng will buy wargaming products but thats not to say that price isn't an issue of course.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 17:42
GW have clearly got their entire stategy wrong though. Edited that for you ;)

Anyway, I think most of what we are discussing is relatively moot given the above statement however:


Even then I don't see this as being very significant. You either have an interest in wargaming or you don't, distractions such as consoles will only really effect the wispy end of the casual market. Ease of entry is a much bigger hurdle. Ease of entry has become a bigger hurdle in the past couple of years. With a GW store (which would be the focus of GWs strategy) you can see so clearly that there is a huge drop off in kids once they get to about 16. You can also spot the 11-14 year olds who aren't wargamers but are there because they are having fun and/or its the fad amongst their mates. Its a mud at the wall approach instead of every other wargames companies' approach of cannibalisation or word of mouth within a much smaller market. I say GW got it wrong, but maybe not as so obviously as other might imply.


Except that the competition has neven been as visible, they are even starting to edge onto the high street (well retail parks). Currently they don't have much of an impact (probably) but they have far more now than they did even 2 years ago. They certainly provide a ready home for all the disillusioned GW vets. I think that has been GWs strategy for about 10 years or so. They knew where they were going and what they were going to do, and the idea of fighting for a vet's money in the muddy, bitter and anti-GW waters of wargaming for vets was too much like hard work. For this, in part, I also blame a certain naivety on behalf of GW staff memebers on the front line and in clubs - they have been telling the suits for years how much GW are slammed in the community. What more excuse could GW execs want to dump the whole lot - again mistakenly.

edit
Following the update, house broker KBC Peel Hunt slashed its forecasts, reducing its profit expectations from £17 million to £12 million in 2011, and from £18 million to £15 million in 2012. In addition it has downgraded its EPS forecasts 29.5% for 2011, from 37.6p to 26.5p and from 40.5p to 33.7p for the following year. from here: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/news/smallcap-spotlight/1309483/games-workshop-slammed-by-profit-warning.thtml

Tooooon
05-01-2011, 17:56
I don't know about everyone else, but are you guys just sick and tired of every UK business blaming the snow for poor results?

Even ones that aren't directly affected by snow?

Ozorik
05-01-2011, 18:04
Edited that for you ;)

I'm sure they must do something right, how good is the tea there ? :shifty:

I wonder what the wargaming topography will look like at the end of the decade.

jack da greenskin
05-01-2011, 18:17
What they have got wrong is failing to bring enticing newbie deals or packages that vets might like together.


IMO, AOBR would fit into this catergory at it's original £40 price tag. I bought 2. Newbies could buy them, they bulked out my ork army, they made it easier to do marines for newbs.

A 41% price increase in 2 years is ridiculous. End of.

static grass
05-01-2011, 18:30
I don't know about everyone else, but are you guys just sick and tired of every UK business blaming the snow for poor results?

Even ones that aren't directly affected by snow?

Oh really? :D Try buying winter tyres in the UK and tell me that UK business don't know to count their red herrings up the wrong tree :D

In fairness (and back to GW) the results only apply upto the end of november although I am sure the snow argument will be wheel out in six months.

In all seriousness though what have GW released in the last 4-5 months? Anything particularly amazing? We have had Blood Angels and 8th ed and then... what... its been a pretty weak half year for GW.

Havarel
05-01-2011, 18:38
In all seriousness though what have GW released in the last 4-5 months? Anything particularly amazing? We have had Blood Angels and 8th ed and then... what... its been a pretty weak half year for GW.

A large set of new Dark Eldar releases? (Although, granted, these won't have impacted this set of figures).

Hermanesq
05-01-2011, 18:46
Found out earlier,

GW are dropping their White Dwarf distribution through WH Smiths. Again, less likely to affect grumpy old vets, but its another interesting facet to the bigger picture

El'Flashman
05-01-2011, 18:59
I just caught wind of this on the BBC website (buried at the bottom of an article on HMV's sales slump) and TBH I've got to laugh. I've pretty strong in my support of GW but there's a limit and frankly they've been sailing too close to the wind for too long now.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want them out of business or anything like that, but I'd like to see them get a good firm kick in the nuts this year.

Mucho
05-01-2011, 19:18
While the failure of GW's strategy includes many elements (e.g. reinvigorated concurrence, only one target group, steep prices, less inspired studio work, lotr- bubble,...) their main fault right now, is the fact that they fail to do well at what they essentially are: a retailer.

If you have to close shops or limit the staff in the shops to a bare minimum, you're not doing well. The brick and stone shops should be a leverage to make sales in huge quantities; not a overhead cost you can barley justify. Ideally, a well established retailer should be opening new shops in non stop organic way since the overhead costs are already made and from there on every shop is a potential sales point.

As some of you already pointed out, the internet creates plenty off possibilities for the consumers to shop-hop every where they want to go. Retailers have long since been arming themselves against this phenomenon by creating some sort of unique relationship with there clients and translate that in a vision towards the products they try to sell, ( e.g. cheapest, good for the environment, we don't sell a product but an experience,... )

GW has neglected to even think about a relationship with their clientele. In fact the last years their actions towards the fervent hobbyists, have been at best nonexistent and at worse almost hostile, killing off every contact that does not immediately generate sales. Their biggest asset, the WD, in building such a long term 'committed' relationship has the last four years been downgraded to uninspired advertisement. Retailing is since a long time no longer the job off moving as much product as possible at the highest price possible.

Today, they reach a point were even intrinsic great products like the Island of Blood, the new skaven and the fantastic new eldar can't make a diffenrence. There is a lot of work to do at GW HQ.

Grimstonefire
05-01-2011, 20:19
Something I have been wondering for many years is whether GW should significantly downsize to only be a manufacturer... It would be a colossal shift in strategy.

If they closed all their stores and switched their focus to simply shifting as many units as they could (as mantic do), they would save an amazing amount of money and (for a short-medium while) be a highly profitable company I believe (comparatively to their size). Whether this would actually work in the long term I don't know.

They would need to re-engage with the hobby community on many levels though, including actually advertising outside white dwarf. They'd also need to switch their pricing strategy accordingly.

enyoss
05-01-2011, 20:46
Back in the 90's, and even as late as the very early 2000's the idea was one of aspiration for the teens - adults playing the games - and it was a key factor for recruitment and retention.

I also agreed with just about all of your last post (and I hardly ever have the patience to read essay posts these days :D), apart from this bit.

When I hit 16 in 1997 I felt like a right Longbeard when visiting my local GW or going to gamesday. At 18-20 I practically felt like a living ancestor. I also felt embarrassed enough to never bring up GW in a social setting after turning 15, on fear of being ridiculed for playing with kids toys. So, in my experience at least, the game has seemed geared towards teens just as much as adults, if not more, for quite some time.

In all fairness I was never that heavily involved with the scene, but that is certainly how it felt at the time.

yabbadabba
05-01-2011, 20:47
Something I have been wondering for many years is whether GW should significantly downsize to only be a manufacturer... It would be a colossal shift in strategy.

You know, I can see GW doing something like that if it didn't sort its life out. I can see the company being split into 3ish sections - Design (Citadel), Manufacturing (GW) and possible a sales channel although I don't know too much on how that would look, as I would expect the retail business to go bust fairly quickly. But anyway, the IP would stay with Citadel, and all parts would be free to pursue profit as they saw fit, including doing outside work.

I can see possibilities and pitfalls in it, but its a thought.

Keravin
05-01-2011, 21:12
Found out earlier,

GW are dropping their White Dwarf distribution through WH Smiths. Again, less likely to affect grumpy old vets, but its another interesting facet to the bigger picture

Well that's me less likely to buy it as I only tend to get it when I'm bored waiting for a train.

Grimstonefire
05-01-2011, 21:23
the IP would stay with Citadel, and all parts would be free to pursue profit as they saw fit, including doing outside work.

As it is vaguely related to their profitability... I sometimes wonder why GW don't take on commission work to produce moulds for other companies.

Fair enough they're probably really busy now and it would need suitable investment, but their staff have the expertise to produce excellant moulds.

There are even tooling companies like renedra staffed by ex GW people.

neXus6
05-01-2011, 21:46
Naturally this all comes due to the recession or "difficult trading conditions" as they put it.

It has nothing to do with GW showing very little creativity or ingenuity of the last year...much...

Aside from Dark Elfdar which while being a really important release for those old time fans of the race was hardly pushed much, compared to say the Ultramarines movie. Even then they were just updated models and most of the years releases were various flavours of space marine.

Of course no doubt things like the recession and winter weather did have a slight effect, but I really don't think they could have had that much effect on what is essentially part of the entertainment industry, an industry generally sheltered a bit from recession as people turn to it to get away from difficult times.

Ruglud
05-01-2011, 21:48
Something I have been wondering for many years is whether GW should significantly downsize to only be a manufacturer... It would be a colossal shift in strategy.

If they closed all their stores and switched their focus to simply shifting as many units as they could (as mantic do), they would save an amazing amount of money and (for a short-medium while) be a highly profitable company I believe (comparatively to their size). Whether this would actually work in the long term I don't know.

They would need to re-engage with the hobby community on many levels though, including actually advertising outside white dwarf. They'd also need to switch their pricing strategy accordingly.


Funny that as I've recently read a letter sent to independant retailers where GW express themselevs as primarily a manufacturer. Perhaps this idea is not so far from the truth....

neXus6
05-01-2011, 21:52
In fairness my finger has been off the GW pulse a bit for the last few years so I may have missed some stuff, but what big things are on the horizon from GW?

There's no Lord of the Rings, no Apocalypse, no Space Hulk, like there had been in previous years to keep those with shares knowing there was going to be a draw in the next year or two. Really Forgeworlds Fantasy project is the only thing I can think of that is a niche within a niche within a niche not a big draw for anyone not already interested.

That is something shareholders would look at and be worried about.

static grass
05-01-2011, 21:59
A large set of new Dark Eldar releases? (Although, granted, these won't have impacted this set of figures).

The DE were nice but they were a niche army prior to this release. I just dont see them lifting a half years numbers no more than any other new army. No new supplement or apocalypse kit to generate interest in either 40K or WFB so I am not surprised that they have struggled.

rich1231
05-01-2011, 22:35
Something I have been wondering for many years is whether GW should significantly downsize to only be a manufacturer... It would be a colossal shift in strategy.

If they closed all their stores and switched their focus to simply shifting as many units as they could (as mantic do), they would save an amazing amount of money and (for a short-medium while) be a highly profitable company I believe (comparatively to their size). Whether this would actually work in the long term I don't know.

They would need to re-engage with the hobby community on many levels though, including actually advertising outside white dwarf. They'd also need to switch their pricing strategy accordingly.

I think retreat from retail is their only real option at moment. The keep expanding their retail presence in the UK.. it is biting them now.

Leveraged takeover time perhaps :)

spetswalshe
05-01-2011, 22:38
I just caught wind of this on the BBC website (buried at the bottom of an article on HMV's sales slump) and TBH I've got to laugh. I've pretty strong in my support of GW but there's a limit and frankly they've been sailing too close to the wind for too long now.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want them out of business or anything like that, but I'd like to see them get a good firm kick in the nuts this year.

I share this opinion, and it is odd that you can have a hobby almost entirely dominated by and focused upon the works of one company and yet still get a kick out of seeing them perform badly. It's like a huge KFC addict clapping their hands when they're fined for breeding mutant chicken chimeras.

Still I can't say I have a huge amount of sympathy for GW. I know it's standard retail practice to expect ever increasing sales until everyone in starving to death clutching the latest Imperial Armour and stroking their cat who is dressed in a GW CatMarine costume, but it still feels like a bunch of jerks who aren't content with just taking a bit of blood and who insist on intercepting donated blood for their own nefarious purposes.



Something I have been wondering for many years is whether GW should significantly downsize to only be a manufacturer... It would be a colossal shift in strategy.

The problem I would see with that is - where will they sell their stuff? They've been a pretty successful plague on independent stores, and GW stores are still probably the biggest draw for new entrants, even if the smart money is on mail-order. Without a high-street presence, I doubt I'd ever have heard of them. I mean if my childhood friend hadn't shown me his Bloodthirster back when we were kids (not a euphemism).

Brandir
05-01-2011, 22:50
From my understanding the likes of Mantic, PP and FOW are extremely small when compared to GW in terms of turnover worldwide. Yes, pockets may exist in localities where this is not the case. I don't see competition from other companies a major factor for GW.

Specialist Games are too small in the big scheme of things to have much impact on GW's sales either. Even at the peak the likes of BB and Epic were minor compared to 40K/WHFB/Paints.

LOTR is licensed to GW until Nov 2011 I believe. I understand that the deal means GW have to actively promote and develop the game until then. With The Hobbit out in Dec 2012 I am 100% certain GW will try and bid for the rights to those films. LOTR is still profitable and on a scale larger than SG/FW.

Do GW need to change? I am not sure they think they have to. They may actually believe that the snow caused a drop in sales!

Personally I think that changes are required but that these changes require different solutions for different territories. Mr Kirby is trying to tackle the 'US Problem'. From what I recall the only time GW was successful in the US was when a US guy ran the business there. Does that maybe suggest something? Different sales ideas are required for different territories? One size does not fit all etc etc?

I think that the deep discounters out there are having an effect on GW. Why get £60 for a product selling to discounters when one could get £100 selling direct?

GW have tried to put barriers in place such as different trade prices depending upon tiers retailer achieve and only one delivery per week.

I wonder if GW have considered as a solution stopping supplying independents? Only sell their product in their shops or online shop? Perhaps link this in with offering franchises in towns with no GW shop?

Anyway GW went into this financial year in quite good health so things won't be that bad. I also suspect investors don't actually understand what market GW is in and how niche it is. It has happened a number of times before ....

Marked_by_chaos
05-01-2011, 23:08
I think there are some major factors and some factors mentioned so far that are less significant.


Major

1. youth unemployment, job prospects and rent increases

Gamers or potential gamers in the 16-30 bracket are significantly affected and less inclined to spend money on a luxury item, especially if they already have existing armies etc.

2. parental perceptions regarding recession, government spending cuts and household spending

Considering that most of GW's income is surely from parents of gamers this is a major factor. I have seen plenty of parents in stores say how much is that item picked up by their kid and then look agast at the price. This is doubly true when they add up all the items required to start up as a hobbyist - models, glue, paints, rules, scenery etc.

3. Exceeding the perceived value threshold with the current pricing structure.

I am surely not alone amongst hobbyists who now consider a purchase in store or elsewhere before guilt sets in at the prospect of spending so much on a handful of miniatures (particularly true for the elite infantry pricing structure). I think this is probably even more pronounced with the current economic situation and media gloom.

Factors of less significance

1. competitors

I think sites like warseer are considerably misleading. The average potential gamer, particularly kids/young teenagers has rarely ever heard of the purported competitors before they are mentioned on here and I suspect that most GW sales are the result of the pester power of kids on their parents in stores. I doubt the increased level of purported competition has even registered by comparrison to gw sales . I accept that the position may be different for some of the vets on warseer. Sadly as demonstrated by GW's pricing and rules criticisms such individuals are a small financial consideration for GW.

2 Rules

This may cause a fair few gripes on here but this is in reality a smaller consideration than it is made out to be, the implications of rule changes on points values aside - when it becomes apparent that alongside price rises the basic start up cost for say a 2,000 point empire army has probably doubled inside a couple of years.

Rules may impact on the inclination of vets to collect their 3rd army but i doubt a keen new hobbyist has had a chance to even consider them before they or their parents have shelled out the best part of £200.

Finally a huge concern must be looming for GW

A point will be reached - particularly for 40k in around 2-3 years. All main armies will have released plastic and relatively recent models to cover pretty much the whole range. All the main systems will be becoming increasingly stagant in terms of innovation and popularity with new gamers may start to wane and/or there will be less scope for innovative marketing of the existing games systems without a risky and significant change to the core dynamics, background etc of the main games. What will games workshop do then. As highlighted by the LOTR sales bubble this point may have already been reached as sales of the main systems appear to have been declining (in unit sales) for a siginficant period.

plantagenet
05-01-2011, 23:09
I personally like th product GW has released this year. I agree that the second half of the year since the blood island box set has been low on content... But not from a figure point of view. We had elves, skaven various Lotr models the huge Dark Eldar range.

Has hobbyist though we like army books and codexs and new games as much if not more than individual models. Why? Because new rules and armies to fight help reinvigorate all of our models not just a few. This is why for me 8th has been a little disappointing. As yes it did huge amounts to reinvigorate my models but it will be nearly 8 months since that release before wenhave had any other stuff. So while GW say we are primarily a model company and they do in deed make fine models to me it is there worlds and systems that are more important. After all if it was just models they are plenty of other equally impressive ranges from other companies.

My other area of disappointment with GW is not price but value. Do I think 25 pounds for a box set is too much. The answer is not necessarily. If I got 20 phoenix guard or 40 night goblins or 30 empire halberdiers then the answer is no. When I get 10 models then the answer is that certainly don't think it's good value. GW makes army games it has to package and price appropriately. People often point at Privateer press and say that there models are more or less the same price. This is true but to field a force on Privateer you don't have to buy 4 or 5 or more of the se box set to make your core element of your force.

GW should be kicking everyones **** on value instead they are nowhere near. Mantic box sets are exactly the size and price point GW should be selling at. GW would have clear advantage. Due to the volumes they produce at there unit price is cheaper than Mantic. There quality is better than Mantic although Mantic Zombies are far nicer than current GW ones. The scary thing an ex head of GW runs Mantic. Imagine if he had been left in charge of GW.

People would still complain about GW I am sure if they increased value. But I personally think that they would have continued to buy GW instead of trying something new.

The other worrying thing for long term future is the Rick Priestly saga. Him leaving/kicked out is sad but what is worse is the truth that GW is no longer a great place for dreamers and creativity and long term that will hurt them more than price. Space hulk showed there is still a huge appatite for other games that surround GW worlds.

Also just a comment on results but to have a 4% decrease in profits in a period in which you had a reasonable price increase would suggest the amount of product sold has also dropped by a good amount more 10% as GW make such large mark ups on product I believ it is fair to say this would probably account to an almost equal decline in the customer base. As other have said times are tough and console gaming is considerably cheaper. As while the latest games are 40 pounds many titles of a tear or say age can be picked up for as little as 10 pounds more or less the price of a blister today....as I said before there is a real lack of value in GW product these days.

Tagis
05-01-2011, 23:24
Just to point out, its a 4% decrease in sales, not profit. Given how much revenue they have its going to be far more than 4% of profit.

IJW
05-01-2011, 23:54
From my understanding the likes of Mantic, PP and FOW are extremely small when compared to GW in terms of turnover worldwide.
That's putting it mildly. As those aren't public companies it's hard to tell, but Rackham at their peak had 4-5% of GW's turnover.

As much as I like the idea of GW consolidating and concentrating on manufacturing etc. without a big retail chain, I doubt they'd survive the massive changes and huge cut in size that it would require.

It's still my opinion that a lot of GW's current customers (UK bias here!) wouldn't be wargaming at all if it weren't for GW's retail chain. GW are a big fish (comparatively speaking) in a small pond, but if the retail chain wasn't there then the small pond would be even smaller...

rodmillard
05-01-2011, 23:59
Factors of less significance

1. competitors

I think sites like warseer are considerably misleading. The average potential gamer, particularly kids/young teenagers has rarely ever heard of the purported competitors before they are mentioned on here and I suspect that most GW sales are the result of the pester power of kids on their parents in stores. I doubt the increased level of purported competition has even registered by comparrison to gw sales . I accept that the position may be different for some of the vets on warseer. Sadly as demonstrated by GW's pricing and rules criticisms such individuals are a small financial consideration for GW.

I think you are right at the moment. However, by this time next year I wouldn't be too sure - and I suspect some of the senior staff at GW are noticing the same trends. Firstly, many independent stores stock other ranges as well as GW - I don't know about general trends, but my FLGS certainly shifts more Privateer and Mantic sets than GW (it's probably telling that they have events lined up for Mantic, Warmachine, Flames of War and Black Powder, but their last 40K event had to be postponed due to lack of interest). As these ranges expand (Mantic has plans to release another 5 armies in 2011) this will become even more noticeable. Secondly, historical gaming is enjoying a spectacular renaissance (no pun intended) at the expense of fantasy gaming. Not only are historical sets better value for money (even in metal, I can get 24 Saxon Huscarls for the price of 10 plastic Goldswords), they can also be "justified" as educational toys. With independent stockists and clubs taking the lead, I think more and more parents will be steering their offspring towards the cheaper and more acceptable historical market, rather than fantasy.


2 Rules

This may cause a fair few gripes on here but this is in reality a smaller consideration than it is made out to be, the implications of rule changes on points values aside - when it becomes apparent that alongside price rises the basic start up cost for say a 2,000 point empire army has probably doubled inside a couple of years.

Rules may impact on the inclination of vets to collect their 3rd army but i doubt a keen new hobbyist has had a chance to even consider them before they or their parents have shelled out the best part of £200.

I think you underestimate parents (or possibly overestimate the influence of their children). An increasing trend that I have observed is that parents look at the 3 core systems and "encourage" their children towards LotR or 40K (with their comparatively low entry costs) rather than WFB. If GW were relying on the damp squib that was the launch of 8th edition, its not surprising that their profits are not hitting target.


Finally a huge concern must be looming for GW

A point will be reached - particularly for 40k in around 2-3 years. All main armies will have released plastic and relatively recent models to cover pretty much the whole range. All the main systems will be becoming increasingly stagant in terms of innovation and popularity with new gamers may start to wane and/or there will be less scope for innovative marketing of the existing games systems without a risky and significant change to the core dynamics, background etc of the main games. What will games workshop do then. As highlighted by the LOTR sales bubble this point may have already been reached as sales of the main systems appear to have been declining (in unit sales) for a siginficant period.

I think we have a very good idea of what GW will try to do, based on the launch of 8th ed Warhammer. If 8th had been to 7th as 7th was to 6th, basically refining the rules and addressing some of the balance issues then that (combined with a series of army book updates to bring power levels into line) would have eventually led to a system which did not *need* any further rules updates. Instead, they radically shifted the goalposts, forcing players to invest in large numbers of cheap core infantry which they would have ignored in previous editions and (in theory at least) reinvigorating the game. In practise it has failed somewhat, but perhaps it will pick up when 8th ed army books start hitting the shelves.

A fundamental element of GWs business model has always been to build redundancy into the core rules, so that they require a new edition every 4-6 years. The steady "codex-creep" and balance issues which we spend so much time on here objecting to from the perspective of the gamer are an integral part of this, and essential for GW to survive as a company. LotR has its own "redundancy point" fast approaching with the forthcoming Hobbit Movies, but even here we can see signs of unit creep in the latest rules for the SBG. While it may be something we as gamers long for, GW neither needs nor wants a perfect ruleset - quite the opposite in fact, since their business model depends on people buying the newer, "better" edition of the game in a few years time.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 00:02
GW should be kicking everyones **** on value instead they are nowhere near. Mantic box sets are exactly the size and price point GW should be selling at. GW would have clear advantage. Due to the volumes they produce at there unit price is cheaper than Mantic. There quality is better than Mantic although Mantic Zombies are far nicer than current GW ones. The scary thing an ex head of GW runs Mantic. Imagine if he had been left in charge of GW.Sorry but I think this is a red herring. If GW were a pure manufacturing business I agree, but we really need to examine companied of a similar size, structure and position to GW to get a better idea of whether they could sell things cheaper.

As for Ronnie, the bloke's a legend.

Ben
06-01-2011, 00:25
The purpose of the retail chain is a child/teen friendly environment to introduce kids to the GW hobby without the risk of them wandering over and picking up Mantic/PP/etc etc instead.
If GW retreated from the retail sector and the independent retailers staged a comeback GW product would be next to product that was much cheaper, and often with a lower entry point for price.
The place would also probably be full of crusty bearded veterans that parents wouldn't want their kids hanging around with.

On the video games front, I bought Fable II today for a fiver. Gamestation has a whole series of shelves of games for a fiver and some for £8 or £10. It'll be hours of game play, no prep time etc.

Can you even buy a GW model for a fiver anymore? I bought Njal at Christmas and he was £13.50 for a single metal miniature. If people have less to spend they'll limit themselves to £5/10 on luxuries, and while you can get a DVD for a fiver, a console game for a fiver, etc if GW don't have a low price point product that fits into that niche, then people will stick to painting their lead pile. £23 for a tactical squad is retarded in and of itself, let alone comparing it to a Mantic 110 model undead army for £45, or a Victrix 48 model set for £20.

Ozorik
06-01-2011, 00:58
I have often wondered as well what they will do when their armies stagnate (there's only so many times they can re-release models), by the end of 8th I anticipate they will have newish models for probably 80-90% of the most popular armies.

They will just start inventing new units, or rather old units with a USR or stat adjustment. That doesnt really matter though if they stick to their high turnover strategy as their ideal customer won't play long enough to notice.

It could be argued that GW has already stagnated with most of their new releases little more than slightly modifed, sometimes even inferior, versions of old releases. As their moulding technology now produces plastics with detail nearly on a par with metal this can only continue for so long.


I think you are right at the moment.

Indeed. GW currently has no serious competitors but it is only a question of time. PP, Mantic et al have been expanding rapidly while GW has been shrinking and they all (Mantic and PP anyway) have better buisness models than GW with less overheads so this is a trend that I cant see reversing for a while yet.

It will take a while, probably several years, but eventually GW will be forced to react.

Reinholt
06-01-2011, 01:06
Would it be rude to say "I told you so" now?

Rhamag
06-01-2011, 01:34
Can you even buy a GW model for a fiver anymore? I bought Njal at Christmas and he was £13.50 for a single metal miniature.

The cheapest models on sale in the shops currently are the £5.10 boxes of 3 Marines, 4 Orcs etc. Next cheapest is a handful of blisters like Techpriests or some Fantasy characters or the SM/Scout/Eldar single bikes at £7.20.

PsyberWolf
06-01-2011, 01:36
Would it be rude to say "I told you so" now?

Reinholt,

You have been right on target with your analysis of GW! Their confused business model/strategy and the network effect of gaming.

They have traded long-term growth (think protein) for a short-term (think sugar high) boost - now its coming back to bite them.

BTW - has anyone heard from Kirby lately? I wonder how he is enjoying his American holiday? I say that because its been a little while since he was supposed to have come over to the states to fix everything but as far as I can tell the only thing that's happened is that they closed a bunch of stores and then... well... nothing.

Crazy Harborc
06-01-2011, 01:42
Well....I am not surprised and not pleased either. Still and all.....considering GW's record of the last 5 years it is a wonder the company is still on it's same old previously selected track....Sales are down again....RAISE the prices again. That'll teach them not to buy.

ted1138
06-01-2011, 01:52
Is the LOTR range really doing that much for them these days? Maybe they should look to pick up another license, or support their Ancients/Historical rules with some models/minis...

Crazy Harborc
06-01-2011, 02:07
Actually, when GW started up, there were some ancient minies in the companies selections. The owners of GW saw a much better chance of the company growing making "different minies". Hence the WHFB and 40K minies ranges....Sorry I don't remember which line was the first.

With all the growing number of companies making good metal and now plastic 28mm historical minies, I doubt GW can compete because of the level of it's prices.

Hellebore
06-01-2011, 02:25
It seems to me that they've got themselves into a circular rut. They have huge overheads that require lots of sales and therefore have a lot of staff and infrastructure. If they removed the cause of their excessive expenditures, they would also probably lose the money they need to support the structure they built to support those overheads.

They are a niche market trying to be a mainstream one and spending a lot to do it. But they seem to refuse to accept that they can't be a mainstream market and just keep stubbornly ploughing the same ground.

Because they've built the business on the back of their retail, now that it's less profitable, they can't simply drop it because the entire business is designed around it.

Thus the cycle continues.

Hellebore

Crazy Harborc
06-01-2011, 03:08
You got it right.

Actually, the GW structure and it's problems are helping the other companies who are making inroads into GW's target market and the now older graduates of that market. GW has built it's empire, including the prices that appear to no longer be able to keep GW growing. Now that the LoTRs movies aren't helping with recruiting more newbies/sales.

The other companies making minies do have lower overhead, smaller corporate structures....no retail outlets sucking away the profits because of retail outlet's expenses.

THAT said....it's GREAT for us wargamers who are customers of those other companies. Everytime I buy minies they cost less, much less than if made by GW. I can always tell my wife I am saving money.:D Compared to if "made by GW", I AM.:D:D

Bael
06-01-2011, 04:13
Found out earlier,

GW are dropping their White Dwarf distribution through WH Smiths. Again, less likely to affect grumpy old vets, but its another interesting facet to the bigger picture

I'm quite shocked to hear that WH Smiths is still around. I thought they went bankrupt years ago.

Torpedo Vegas
06-01-2011, 06:07
I wonder how much money GW stands to lose in the long run if support for WFB stays the way it is. I mean, I love Warhammer, no doubt about it, but when we get a new edition, a new starter set and then nothing it feels like we are being left out.

Not to mention how unfeasibly expensive it is becoming to run big games of Fantasy for some armies. While I don't really buy into the "GW made 8th infantry focused to sell more infantry" theory, pricing has become absurd. $25 dollars for ten state troops? Forget about have $100 armies, I have to spend $100 on a single unit. I've started buying form other manufacturers, though GW is still my main source of little plastic men,I have to wonder how much GW stands to lose from people being fed up with their pricing.

eldargal
06-01-2011, 07:16
I would be more convinced that this is a result of bad GW policy if the entire UK retail industry hadn't experienced the same thing.

Still, lets hope for a price decrease.:shifty:

Re an earlier comment about Dark Eldar, I know three GW stores that have had 'the same number of restocks (of Dark Eldar) we have in a year for Space Marines in two months ' to paraphrase one of their managers. Purely anecdotal evidence, obviously, so make of it what you will.

uona
06-01-2011, 07:33
im actual curios. How bad is a profit warning? Im not too familiar with stock exhange details like some people here are. Is it something that no company will ever do unless forced? or is it something that happens on a regular basis?

Is this gws first one? Again im not sure on stock market details but dont you need 2-3 successive profit warnings or something to conclusively say a company is doing badly?

Chaos and Evil
06-01-2011, 09:47
im actual curios. How bad is a profit warning? Im not too familiar with stock exhange details like some people here are. Is it something that no company will ever do unless forced? or is it something that happens on a regular basis?
It's not terrible, especially in the present financial climate, but it is an indication that the company is not doing as well as expected by professional analysts (And expectations would already have taken the recession into account).


Is this gws first one? Again im not sure on stock market details but dont you need 2-3 successive profit warnings or something to conclusively say a company is doing badly?

A rough bit of history:

GW was created in the 1980's, and it did quite well, steadily expanding.

Eventually, in 1994 it was floated on the stock market, which raised lots of cash, allowing the company to expand even faster. It continued to do well.

In the early 2000's, sales of its main games (Warhammer & Warhammer 40,000) were starting to lessen, and the company really should have paid attention to this and done something about it.

However, at about that time, GW got the license to produce a Lord of the Rings game, which, for 4 years, was a huge success. GW raked in the cash from LOTR sales, and, in the words of GW's own chief executive, grew "fat and lazy", ignoring the problems with their main games' falling popularity as LOTR was compensating for the fall in sales.

By 2005, the LOTR movies were over, and the sales of LOTR had tanked, dropping to a fraction of their previous level of sales. This was the end of the so called "Lord of the Rings bubble".

The company lost half its value on the stock market, as it was realised by the city that GW was in trouble.

Two years of losses followed. Not just profit warnings, but actual losses.

In response, GW fired half their staff, to cut costs.
They also shut quite a few of their retail stores.

As a consequence, GW has returned to making a profit in the last couple of years, even paying off the debts they took on when they were making losses.

But this was purely down to cutting costs, and getting lucky with international currency fluctuations... the core problem of the business (Falling sales, every year selling slightly less than the year before) had not been fixed.

And that leads us to where we are now, where sales have continued to fall, leading GW to warn that it is not going to make a lot of money this year.

If the trend of falling sales is not changed, GW will not just be making profit warnings, but will dip once again into making losses. If that happens, it will be forced to find more areas to cut costs (Fire more staff, close more retail stores), or increase sales.

In the last week, GW has lost 14% of its value on the stock market.

Brandir
06-01-2011, 09:51
GW was started in the 1970s - 1974????

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 09:53
Not entirely historical or critical C+E.

Maybe I should do my dissertation on the history or wargaming.....

Chaos and Evil
06-01-2011, 09:54
GW was started in the 1970s - 1974????
Technically, yes, but it was a very different company then (It sold D&D books by mail order, mostly).

It wouldn't really become anything resembling the current Games Workshop (A company that makes miniatures and rules for tabletop wargames) until the early 80's.



I have often wondered as well what they will do when their armies stagnate (there's only so many times they can re-release models)...

...Their only option really is to expand each books with 2-3 new units (without models) to create gaps to fill later. That or create entirely new armies (again, at great expense).

I'd expect to see more of what happened with the Tyranid Codex last time around: They'll take a book that is functionally complete (Already has a very extensive model range), and add lots of extra model types on top. :rolleyes:


Not entirely historical or critical C+E.

It's more a cliff notes that hits the highs and lows, rather than an in-depth analysis. :-)

Creamster
06-01-2011, 10:42
Great post Chaos and Evil, never knew the main games were struggling....

I wonder if this is a combination of the prices, dumbing down rules, stale races/enviroments, lack of gateway games, competition.

I wonder what direction the business will take. I also am interested in knowing how the DE release went down - Success or not? If a success then I wonder if this is because of the new models / rules or because they haven't been updated in 10+ years.

Sai-Lauren
06-01-2011, 11:20
To all the doom-mongers - I've bolded the relevant words:


Quote Following the update, house broker KBC Peel Hunt slashed its forecasts, reducing its profit expectations from £17 million to £12 million in 2011, and from £18 million to £15 million in 2012. In addition it has downgraded its EPS forecasts 29.5% for 2011, from 37.6p to 26.5p and from 40.5p to 33.7p for the following year.
from here: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/news...-warning.thtml

Yes folks, GW's still expected to make a profit - just not as large a profit as they originally expected to.

Bad news maybe, and GW certainly do have some problems that they need to sort out asap, but it's not the end of the company - no matter what some people may hope.



I would be more convinced that this is a result of bad GW policy if the entire UK retail industry hadn't experienced the same thing.

Agreed, Mothercare announced a similar percentage loss for the last quarter this morning (and despite the recession, I don't think people are having that many less children), Next were £22M down on Christmas sales, and even Clintons Cards were down about 2%.



Technically, yes, but it was a very different company then (It sold D&D books by mail order, mostly).

Actually, it started as three guys making traditional board games in a bedsit in Hammersmith. ;)



It wouldn't really become anything resembling the current Games Workshop (A company that makes miniatures and rules for tabletop wargames) until the early 80's.

Personally, I don't really think of it as Games Workshop anymore anyway, pretty much since the launch of WFB 3rd/Rogue Trader, it's been Citadel Miniatures with a rules production department.

viking657
06-01-2011, 11:28
Prior to the release of the guard dex 20 guardsmen cost £18 now they cost £15.50 for 10!! An extreme example I'll admit but it makes the point, this is what is wrong at GW.

They have taken everything away that allows a large range of people to stay in the hobby. Slow battleforce releases, the removal of army deals - hell at this point any deal! People have been priced out, its too hard for newbies to afford and its less likely vets like me will go off on a tangent and just for the hell of it buy a stack of catachans to convert to ghosts for example.
In the new era of prices I spend far too much time thinking about what I want (for tournements, casual, just for fun) and in the end I'm more reserved than ever before and often come away with less models.
I'm far less likely to experiment with new units/formations as its a massive investment.

They stopped army deals because the independents were just breaking them down and selling sprue - simple GW direct only.

I love the GW worlds BUT I personally think the company needs to be brought to its knees in order to improve, I hope these losses continue for several more years then maybe they will review who they aim their games at and at what price.
Wishful thinking though, with the Hobbit round the corner I'm willing to bet my left arm they will hang on till then and whilst wiping the sweat from their brows continue as normal thnaks to the second (if slightly smaller) LOTR bubble.

Crube
06-01-2011, 11:35
Please keep the discussion of Pricing to the Pricing thread. Keep the discussion here on the subject of the Profit Warning


Crube
The Warseer Inquisition

rich1231
06-01-2011, 11:36
From my understanding the likes of Mantic, PP and FOW are extremely small when compared to GW in terms of turnover worldwide. Yes, pockets may exist in localities where this is not the case. I don't see competition from other companies a major factor for GW.

Specialist Games are too small in the big scheme of things to have much impact on GW's sales either. Even at the peak the likes of BB and Epic were minor compared to 40K/WHFB/Paints.

LOTR is licensed to GW until Nov 2011 I believe. I understand that the deal means GW have to actively promote and develop the game until then. With The Hobbit out in Dec 2012 I am 100% certain GW will try and bid for the rights to those films. LOTR is still profitable and on a scale larger than SG/FW.

Do GW need to change? I am not sure they think they have to. They may actually believe that the snow caused a drop in sales!

Personally I think that changes are required but that these changes require different solutions for different territories. Mr Kirby is trying to tackle the 'US Problem'. From what I recall the only time GW was successful in the US was when a US guy ran the business there. Does that maybe suggest something? Different sales ideas are required for different territories? One size does not fit all etc etc?

I think that the deep discounters out there are having an effect on GW. Why get £60 for a product selling to discounters when one could get £100 selling direct?

GW have tried to put barriers in place such as different trade prices depending upon tiers retailer achieve and only one delivery per week.

I wonder if GW have considered as a solution stopping supplying independents? Only sell their product in their shops or online shop? Perhaps link this in with offering franchises in towns with no GW shop?

Anyway GW went into this financial year in quite good health so things won't be that bad. I also suspect investors don't actually understand what market GW is in and how niche it is. It has happened a number of times before ....

Yes we are having an effect. We are generating them income, profit with far fewer costs.

Sorrow Seer
06-01-2011, 11:52
So what does this mean for us? More price rises I would assume.

Ozorik
06-01-2011, 12:04
Agreed, Mothercare announced a similar percentage loss for the last quarter this morning (and despite the recession, I don't think people are having that many less children), Next were £22M down on Christmas sales, and even Clintons Cards were down about 2%.


The 4% is up until the 28 November 2010, so it only covered the edge of the christmas shopping period. Granted other companies are also down on sales but the big problem with GW is that this is a long term trend. Its not enough to sink GW on its own but the leak just got a little bit bigger.

Hopefully GW will finally take a good long look at how they do buisness;, their real (not imagined) strengths and weaknesses, who actually buys their products, examines some alternative strategies and basically gets its house in order. I wouldn't be surpised if all we see is another round of price increases though.

Osbad
06-01-2011, 12:07
The 4% is up until the 28 November 2010, so it only covered the edge of the christmas shopping period. Granted other comapnies are also down on sales but the big problem with GW is that this is a long term trend. Its not enough to sink GW on its own but the leak just got a little bit bigger.

I agree with your general sentiments, but I would go further - I believe the September - November quarter for GW actually includes pretty much most of their Christmas sales. At least it will likely include most of their sales to distributors and 3rd parties.

TheLionReturns
06-01-2011, 12:29
The lower sales volume is not a massive surprise to me and is something that I think GW have to wake up to and do something about. Yes as customer we are price insensitive but everybody has their limit and more of us reach that limit with each price increase.

I think one of the key problems GW faces is the ease of entry into its core games, and this may explain the disappointing performance of Warhammer 8th edition. I remember returning after a long haitus to 4th edition 40K and being truly shocked at how many models were on the table compared to 2nd edition. This trend of ever bigger armies has continued in both core game systems even as prices of individual models have climbed as well. It takes a huge amount of money to get started in this game, let alone the time investment in learning the rules, getting terrain and a board and painting the models.

I really think GW need to look seriously at smaller intro games from which a new player can play as he collects and progress into the core games. Either that or there has to be some kind of deal to get the bare bones of an army cheaply, as the battleforces/battalions really don't get you far now.

One idea I had was to sell cheap infantry sets that would be very basic and not overly detailed (ie cheaper and easy to paint). Alongside this they could release a load of upgrade sprues compatible with these basic kits. That way a cheaper army can be started and customised as time goes on. I haven't thought this through fully yet and am not sure how viable it would be but I really think GW needs to innovate rather than stick to their current business strategy.

I think they key problem for the GW management is the burden of their store network, which necessitates the high prices we see. The stores must impose a huge cost on the business, but they do act as its advertising and recruitment centres and as such are very important.

I am not sure GW can shoulder the cost of the stores in the long term. As such I think again they have to look towards an exit strategy from this current business model. I don't think it can be done quickly, but perhaps removing some of the smaller stores and replacing their presence with more active support for school wargaming clubs and other gaming groups may be a useful experiment. GW will need to replace the advertising and recruitment function of stores but surely must be able to do it cheaper.

I think in the long term GW could maintain a smaller number of larger stores in big urban areas, whilst also selling their core products (ie rulesets and army deals) in major retailers. Independent gaming stores could fill in the gaps. The promotion of the hobby meanwhile could be done through enhanced support of school and adult gaming clubs. A team dedicated to helping set up school clubs and train the staff shouldn't be hard to set up.

viking657
06-01-2011, 12:30
I agree with your general sentiments, but I would go further - I believe the September - November quarter for GW actually includes pretty much most of their Christmas sales. At least it will likely include most of their sales to distributors and 3rd parties.

Traditionally, speaking as an ex-stockist, September heralds the unleashing of the regional reps to the independent stores were they offer very attractive 3 - 4 month periods of massive one off xmas credit to ensure everyone is stocked to the ceiling with products.
Imagine the yearly selling power/lust of one instore sales guy concentrated into a half to one hour vist.
Usually they leave after you agree to the min order (£2000 I think) but its all good as you usually shift that well before xmas its the pressure to go over thats unbearable.

Brandir
06-01-2011, 12:37
Yes we are having an effect. We are generating them income, profit with far fewer costs.

I should have been more explicit. I think that discounters affect the mentality of some staff at GW HQ. Decisions about things such as terms and conditions to independents are, I think, not always aligned to income generation and sometimes belong to perceptions rather than realities.

But as a GW shareholder I have to say that even if I sell today I will still be in profit from what I purchased them for - 115p at their initial share offering in 1994!

eldargal
06-01-2011, 12:38
All we know is that sales were down on what was expected. We do not know that WFB sales were dissapointing, we don't know if the decline is localised to Europe and Britain (which seems likely), we don't know whether sales were affected uniformly or some products didn't do well, we don't know if the sales decline is related to price rises or industry-wide issues, we don't know how it will play out for the rest of the financial year, etc.

I really feel people are reading far, far too much into a profits warning when GW is far from the only company issuing one at the moment.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 12:44
I agree with your general sentiments, but I would go further - I believe the September - November quarter for GW actually includes pretty much most of their Christmas sales. At least it will likely include most of their sales to distributors and 3rd parties. December will be their biggest month in Retail, but yes the thrid party stuff will have been sorted out by the end of September.


I really feel people are reading far, far too much into a profits warning when GW is far from the only company issuing one at the moment. Its the fact that the proft margin expectations have been downgraded, as have the sales. The UK was most affected by snow during December, and if this has had a major negative impact on those retail sales then that could mean no hope of recouperating the last sales over the first year half plus December. In fact a poor December could knacker the entire year for the retail businesses.

Chaos and Evil
06-01-2011, 12:55
All we know is that sales were down on what was expected. We do not know that WFB sales were dissapointing...
I think we can at least speculate that it was WFB / WFB 8th that has under performed, as the other big release of the period (Dark Eldar) has supposedly done quite well...

...well enough that its 2nd wave has supposedly been bumped up to capitalise on that interest, displacing Grey Knights in the 2011 release schedules (See the rumours forum).

toonboy78
06-01-2011, 12:59
i'm not too sure what i am missing, but why do GW use independant stockists in the UK?

surely that is in direct competition with the stores they have or their own website?

granted they would need more staff to deal with the extra internet orders (back to the good old days of the mail order trolls), but surely this would be better than offering 40% off to independants

Tatters
06-01-2011, 12:59
Dark eldar, through advance orders and initial sales, came to nearly £800,000 and may have exceeded Tyranids in being one of the most successful release ever.

WFB however... financially the difference between 7th and 8th might not have been the same, but the book was £15 more expensive and so unit sales needed to be alot less to reach similar numbers. Unit sales of the new book and box compared to their 7th ed versions were on the whole, abyssmal.

Chaos and Evil
06-01-2011, 13:04
Dark eldar, through advance orders and initial sales, came to nearly £800,000 and may have exceeded Tyranids in being one of the most successful release ever.

WFB however... financially the difference between 7th and 8th might not have been the same, but the book was £15 more expensive and so unit sales needed to be alot less to reach similar numbers. Unit sales of the new book and box compared to their 7th ed versions were on the whole, abyssmal.

This info, if true, does not surprise me at all... as I've outlined previously in this thread, the 8th ed. rulebook is the best gaming resource GW have ever made... and it's also the worst product they've ever made.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 13:08
i'm not too sure what i am missing, but why do GW use independant stockists in the UK?

surely that is in direct competition with the stores they have or their own website? Yes in part but you have to consider three things here. The first is that it allows them access to areas which couldn't support a dedicated GW store. Second is that Trade is far more profitable per sale than Retail. Final one is that under EU law, provided a potential stockist passes the relevant credit and contractual checks, GW have to sell to them and can't be seen to be favouring their own stores over indies. So it makes good sense, and shifts the problems onto Retail and Direct to sort out.


granted they would need more staff to deal with the extra internet orders (back to the good old days of the mail order trolls), but surely this would be better than offering 40% off to independants Debateable really. I think GW would be mad not to stock Indies.

eldargal
06-01-2011, 13:10
Of course we can speculate, I just object to people taking the speculation as outright fact. It could easily be that sales accross the board have been affected, and that WFB is not underperforming in any significant way. We just don't know. Even with Dark Eldar we only have anecdotal evidence of their phenomenal success (I've provided some of said anecdotal evidence, too)



I think we can at least speculate that it was WFB / WFB 8th that has under performed, as the other big release of the period (Dark Eldar) has supposedly done quite well...

...well enough that its 2nd wave has supposedly been bumped up to capitalise on that interest, displacing Grey Knights in the 2011 release schedules (See the rumours forum).

Bloodknight
06-01-2011, 13:10
Well, I dropped out of WFB because my main army got invalidated (and the other is crap and has been so for a while - Tomb Kings), there was no good deal to be had for a rulebook (that huge book is impractical, too big, too heavy, and not interesting enough for a veteran player and costs too much and the starter box is nowhere as good as Skull Pass was) and, from what I see, their game design and box contents don't match. With 40K I can buy a box and get a unit at a sort of reasonable price.

Now I magine I want to start an Empire army - I have to buy 4 boxes of state troops for a basic 200 point Halberdier unit when the level most people play on is 10 to 15 times that many points. That just doesn't look good and I think it puts people off.

They also don't really sell anything in a price range that lends itself to spontaneous purchases, IMHO.

frozenwastes
06-01-2011, 13:20
Back in the 90's, and even as late as the very early 2000's the idea was one of aspiration for the teens - adults playing the games - and it was a key factor for recruitment and retention.

This is such a good point. I don't think GW has the slightly older veterans around providing that free recruiting and retention anymore. At the local stores here, the adults are playing Warmachine and Flames of War. The D&D release of a new red box has gotten a bunch of 30 somethings back into RPGs and Wednesday night is now packed with teenagers hanging out with adults playing D&D Encounters.

frozenwastes
06-01-2011, 13:28
From my understanding the likes of Mantic, PP and FOW are extremely small when compared to GW in terms of turnover worldwide. Yes, pockets may exist in localities where this is not the case. I don't see competition from other companies a major factor for GW.

Warmachine MKII came out and PP have been describing their sales as "record level" and "unprecedented." Distributors and production are having trouble keeping up with surging demand. For example:

http://www.thewarstore.com/PrivateerPressOrderDelays.html


At the moment there is an unprecedented shortage of Privateer Press products at distributors as demand has far outstripped supply. In response, Privateer Press has ramped up production but we are still having trouble sourcing Privateer Press products.

People keep saying "those other companies are tiny" but year over year, they succeed and grow, and more and more pop up and GW loses more and more of it's market dominance. How many years need to go by with GW having bad years and the smaller companies succeeding, growing and multiplying until GW is no longer a dominator of the market? Have we reached that point already?

I bet GW would love to have the problem of their stuff selling so fast they're having trouble keeping up.

Brandir
06-01-2011, 13:38
Warmachine MKII came out and PP have been describing their sales as "record level" and "unprecedented." Distributors and production are having trouble keeping up with surging demand. For example:

http://www.thewarstore.com/PrivateerPressOrderDelays.html



People keep saying "those other companies are tiny" but year over year, they succeed and grow, and more and more pop up and GW loses more and more of it's market dominance. How many years need to go by with GW having bad years and the smaller companies succeeding, growing and multiplying until GW is no longer a dominator of the market? Have we reached that point already?

I bet GW would love to have the problem of their stuff selling so fast they're having trouble keeping up.

These companies are tiny compared to GW. 2009 - 2010 GW had a turnover of £126.5 million.

At their height Rackham had a €5,226,984 turnover with a profit of €186,548. This was 2005 - 2006 when GW had £115 million with a £4.2 million profit.

I won't mention other companies as they are private. The above Rackham figures were made public as it was trading on the paris Stock Exchange thus had to be published.

But be assured sales volumes for PP/BF/Mantic are similarly small compared to GW.

That they run out of stock is not an issue. PP may publish 4,000 copies of NQ for the entire world; GW publish 60,000 copies of WD just for the UK market.

toonboy78
06-01-2011, 13:45
Yes in part but you have to consider three things here. The first is that it allows them access to areas which couldn't support a dedicated GW store. Second is that Trade is far more profitable per sale than Retail. Final one is that under EU law, provided a potential stockist passes the relevant credit and contractual checks, GW have to sell to them and can't be seen to be favouring their own stores over indies. So it makes good sense, and shifts the problems onto Retail and Direct to sort out.

Debateable really. I think GW would be mad not to stock Indies.

1. the uk is not that big that areas aren't accessable. most indys are in towns/citys that a GW store is
2. agree
3. sell yes, discount? why? maybe just sell (with discount) to B+M indies and reduce they own online selling costs

frozenwastes
06-01-2011, 13:51
The image is always put forward that GW might have 99.9% of the miniature market and all the other companies are tiny little guys crammed into that last tenth of one percent.

It could actually be that non-GW miniature sales are pushing up into the multiple percent of GW's sales.

The real failure of GW is GW's inability to capitalize on the US market. Even with the recession, it's such an enormous market and GW just keeps failing at making inroads.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 13:56
1. the uk is not that big that areas aren't accessable. most indys are in towns/citys that a GW store is There are three times as many Indies as UK GW stores, and many are in areas GW would never consider going to. Places in Wales, Scotland, NI, Devon, Norfolk etc are sprinkled with towns too small for a GW, but with sales channel opportunities for GW. Places with GW store(s) and Indies are complex, with not only direct competition going on, but with different markets, population volume etc etc. Its not just as simple as if there are two stockists in an area they are in competition.


3. sell yes, discount? why? maybe just sell (with discount) to B+M indies and reduce they own online selling costsGW online also allows them to sell models that would not be otherwise profitable for them to do so. Plus for a few people shopping direct from GW Mail Order is what they prefer to do. So if you are going to sell product online, why not the whole package.
Not sure about your "discount?" comment, could you expand?

IJW
06-01-2011, 13:58
I'd think that it's more like 75% GW/25% for the entire rest of the SF&F field, but with PP etc. being private companies there's really no way to ever find out for sure.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 13:58
The real failure of GW is GW's inability to capitalize on the US market. Even with the recession, it's such an enormous market and GW just keeps failing at making inroads. Agreed that GW have done a terrible job in the US. I am not sure the US is that important to GW. I would be looking East, not West for proper expansion now. Just leave the US to the bare minimum.

Osbad
06-01-2011, 13:59
I (along with anyone else outside the company) have no data on PP financials. However, consider this. GW's US turnover in 2009/10 was £35m, roughly 28% of their total sales. Anecdotally we hear that PP is spanking GW in US indie store sales. While it has less of a foothold in Europe, Oz and the UK, it still has a significant presence. I would therefore be prepared to make a bet that PP's global turnover was at least in the order of £40m ($60m)or so, possibly much higher. I would say with certainty that it is bound to be multiples of the £5m that Rackham took at its peak.

Just my guess of course.

I'd also add in to the issue around GW needing Indie stores in the UK that GW sells its stock via many independent stockists that aren't really "gaming" stores - such as the Hobbycraft and Toymaster chains which are craft and toy stores respectively. These (and others) can be seen to be supplementing GW's main offering rather than competing with it. They do however still sell to the traditional indie stores in the UK as even GW isn't arrogant enough not to admit that there are gamers who buy their product who really don't want to or won't go into a GW store. In fact in many cases they encourage "vets" to go elsewhere, preferring GW stores to focus on sales to new customers, seeing "vets" needs as being better served by indie stores where they won't infect the impressionable youngsters with their cynicism. Also of course as has been said before, indie stores are more profitable for GW than direct stores as the independent stockist takes all the risk of carrying excess stock, and managing staff and property in return for a relatively small margin.

Commandojimbob
06-01-2011, 14:00
Yes in part but you have to consider three things here. The first is that it allows them access to areas which couldn't support a dedicated GW store. Second is that Trade is far more profitable per sale than Retail. Final one is that under EU law, provided a potential stockist passes the relevant credit and contractual checks, GW have to sell to them and can't be seen to be favouring their own stores over indies. So it makes good sense, and shifts the problems onto Retail and Direct to sort out.

Debateable really. I think GW would be mad not to stock Indies.

The issue here is really the vast fixed cost base that GW has to service, and that is its retail network. I have discussed at length with Toonboy and others on other sites that there continued push to have retail outlets everywhere is the wrong way to go .

For the UK it makes no sense to sell to Internet ONLY independents - they do cannabilise GWs margins, while independent stores, that actively promote the hobby through facilities, would be the preferred option as they are essentially doing what a GW store does but GW does not have the large fixed cost base to do it - it is about getting the mix right. I spent probably £1000 last year on GW products, and about £100 of that was direct from GW as it was hobby supplies. The rest from the Internet - they lost a lot of margin from me and it makes no sense.

Im not sure about the EU law comment - GW would not be obligated to open up a wholesale trade channel if they did not wish to use independents. There are plenty of companies that put strong conditions on trade through franchise or whole sale trading - GW could easily say if you had no retail outlet then no trade account. Similarly I know companies that will not allow a trade account if they already have an agent within a given distance.

Ultimately for GW to become more sustainable, I strongly believe that they need to completely cut back their retail presence in the UK (28% of its business) and maybe look to have say 30 Flagship stores only in the country, positioning these based on location / catchment / local disposable income and existing store profitability.

Stop Internet only stockists but actively promote independent stores involvement.

Beef up its own Internet operations and marketing campaigns.

All of which must incorporate a price REDUCTION ! Unfortunately GW are starting to position themselves at the wrong end of the price / demand curve and actually if you addressed the above, in theory (with no numbers mind - all theory) they could reduce Price's to increase volume sales - which all would be on a lower cost base.

The rise of mantic and privateer press shows that you don't need retail outlets - you need the product (GW has), you need to distribute through a mix of Internet and independent channels and you need to listen to your customers. The only reason why I think GW should retain any flagship stores is because of nostalgia really but also it would be a differentiating factor that GW can utilise, but at the moment its a hindrance IMO !

As with any company until GW deals with its fixed cost base, it will struggle and not be able to have any mobility in the market place - we see it now where their main tactic seems to be price rises .

IJW
06-01-2011, 14:03
Just my guess of course.
Sure would be nice to have some hard data on this. :(

Mart007
06-01-2011, 14:06
A lot of what you said makes a lot of sense and I agree, but


The rise of mantic and privateer press shows that you don't need retail outlets

They need to GW to be doing well to hijack there customers... without GW these companies would be nothing and its GW retails stores that have brought people into the hobby that then go on to buy the other makes...

But yeah I think they should be stricter on online stores, and give better mark up for independants and use there own website to promote better online sales with offers/discounts...

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 14:06
Sorry Commandojimbob but there are some assumptions in your post. I am not sure aqddressing them would take this off topic though. Suffice to say you would need a hell of a lot of evidence to convince me that you were right for GW to carry on as a PLC. As a privately owned, wargames focussed business then you might have a point.

Avian
06-01-2011, 14:23
...well enough that its 2nd wave has supposedly been bumped up to capitalise on that interest, displacing Grey Knights in the 2011 release schedules (See the rumours forum).
That's not true.

Chaos and Evil
06-01-2011, 14:37
That's not true.

SM is normally very accurate on these things. (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5221136&postcount=1)

rodmillard
06-01-2011, 14:37
1. the uk is not that big that areas aren't accessable. most indys are in towns/citys that a GW store is


Really? That must be why there are 5 independent stockists in my immediate area, while the nearest GW (which downsized last year from one of their flagship "gaming rooms" to a shoebox that my wife can't get into in her wheelchair ... there's a law-suit waiting to happen) is over an hour away by bus. Given that 100% of GW's target market are too young to drive, that issue of accessibility really hurts.


3. sell yes, discount? why? maybe just sell (with discount) to B+M indies and reduce they own online selling costs

Because the Office of Fair Trading would take any further measures against online stockists as an attempt to drive those stockists out of business, and prosecute GW accordingly. Its only because the miniature wargaming market is such a niche industry that GW isn't being investigated already over their treatment of online dealers (assuming they aren't). The potential fines would make a 4% drop in profits look like small change.

Commandojimbob
06-01-2011, 14:54
Sorry Commandojimbob but there are some assumptions in your post. I am not sure aqddressing them would take this off topic though. Suffice to say you would need a hell of a lot of evidence to convince me that you were right for GW to carry on as a PLC. As a privately owned, wargames focussed business then you might have a point.

Oh my post has a hell of a lot of assumptions I agree - but without me trawling through their accounts in great detail and ripping it into pieces and gathering analyst data, then what I know and what i think is all I have to write my musings.

I think that your right to raise their Plc status as a limiting factor - my suggestion would mean a huge strategic shift from where they have been heading - hence why GW seem to be one track minded. I think the one man stores is a sort of half way house to my idea - a cheaper retail offering, to reduce costs. Its prominent in their accounts and clearly they wish to show investors that they are serious in reducing costs. However I dont believe it goes far enough and being a Plc, it all comes down to communication. If GW went about a radical restructure, they could do it as long as it had a well thought out and communicated strategic direction. Lets not forget GW are reasonably cash sound and have quite a strong balance sheet - they financially could do a major restructure if they wanted too. All that being a PLc means is that they have a lot of red tape to deal with first to action any sort of strategic restructure - if they sell it as the future, to build value, to secure the financial stability of the company - and the markets like it - they could do it. (easier said than done with my assumptions thrown in).

I will still maintain that, like many retail outlets, the days of the huge chain stores are coming close to an end. I know its not the same but look at recent announcements on HMV - a company that has worked actively to address the changes in its market yet they are still on a downward spiral. One of the main reasons - expensive retail network - a huge fixed cost burden. Until GW really sort that out, they will struggle to grow and have financial flexibility - chuck in new competition - they wont be able to rely on price rises.

Tatters
06-01-2011, 15:13
Attempt two, just clicked back and deleted my post, doh.

thing is, the UK may be GW's biggest income, but performance wise Austrailia outstrips them by a long way as the most profitable section of the buisness.

Current strategy was to use the 1 man store program to get the name out there, with much lower costs and therefore better profit margins. However, recruitment of good managers who stay in these stores is stalling, and alot of managers have gone in recent times.

The other thing is the age of these new 1 man managers is dropping, so whereas before you had managers who were late 20's/early 30's, now youve got much younger folks who in general, arent ready/leave for other jobs because the lifestyle/pay/experiance isnt for them.

Look at what happened pre Christmas, big new GW hartlepool was to open, 3 months later, GW has scaled down its expansion because the staff werent their to keep up with demand.

There was another point to this, but i'll add it when I remember

frozenwastes
06-01-2011, 15:17
Agreed that GW have done a terrible job in the US. I am not sure the US is that important to GW. I would be looking East, not West for proper expansion now. Just leave the US to the bare minimum.

China is probably the future. GW put a lot of resources into expanding their US market with pie in the sky projections based on the millions they'd rake in if they achieved the same market penetration in the US as they have in the UK. They failed to make it materialize.

Dan_Lee
06-01-2011, 15:41
China isn't very feasible. I believe they have strict laws regarding products with demons and the undead (etc.), in that they aren't allowed. GW would have to significantly alter WHFB and LoTR before they could sell them over there. This is already a problem for magic: the gathering, which has to change lots of its artwork. (See this guys article: http://www.redkemp.com/?p=344).

Lars Porsenna
06-01-2011, 16:01
If GW is having trouble establishing themselves in the US, what makes you think they'll have even a fraction of that success in China? The benefit with expanding into the US is a shared language and (mostly) cultural assumptions. In China they have neither of those IMHO.

Damon.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 16:28
If GW is having trouble establishing themselves in the US, what makes you think they'll have even a fraction of that success in China? The benefit with expanding into the US is a shared language and (mostly) cultural assumptions. In China they have neither of those IMHO.
Damon. There are benefits and traps in both circumstances, but there are opportunities in the East which a right inded GW could probably exploit better than in the US.

TonyFlow
06-01-2011, 16:29
If GW is having trouble establishing themselves in the US, what makes you think they'll have even a fraction of that success in China? The benefit with expanding into the US is a shared language and (mostly) cultural assumptions. In China they have neither of those IMHO.

QFT!

It seems many people think that it is somehow easy to achieve succes in China, and that it is just a question of making goods available and then Chinese will buy them. There are countless obtacles to GW becoming big in China.

Steam_Giant
06-01-2011, 17:06
This should probably be in another thread. *shrug*

The Chinese are quite taken with Western luxury products, however I believe GW are too protective over their IP to put too much into the Chinese market.

I believe gamers are the same all over the world and dont see why GW couldn't make it in China if they wanted to. I do not believe language or cultural assumptions could stand in the way of their success.

They are already in Japan http://jp.games-workshop.com/

TonyFlow
06-01-2011, 17:35
This should probably be in another thread. *shrug*

The Chinese are quite taken with Western luxury products, however I believe GW are too protective over their IP to put too much into the Chinese market.

I believe gamers are the same all over the world and dont see why GW couldn't make it in China if they wanted to. I do not believe language or cultural assumptions could stand in the way of their success.

They are already in Japan http://jp.games-workshop.com/

In this connection, GW cannot be considered a luxury product. When Chinese buy western luxury products, they are buying brands, to show that they have money to buy this stuff. Image, or face, is extremely important in China. GW does not fall into this category of luxury items.

Japan already has nerdy subcultures. Manga, cartoon, sci-fi, scale models are all very popular. But GW doesnt sell very well in Japan as far as I know. China does not have these subcultures, although the Japanese trends are becoming increasingly popular here.
Wargaming has been a part of European/American cultures for decades. Gamers are indeed the same all over the world, but there are close to none in China. Here in Beijing there were as many as 8 shops selling warhammer at one point. Now there are three (after 2 years). GW's target segment is schoolkids. In China, very few school kids have the time to play with warhammer. The middle class children are paced through school and fun is seen as an unnecessary distraction.

And then there is the issue of prices. Maybe 5% og China's population are potential target customers.

More on topic:
I think this fall in profits simply show how wrong the GW strategy is. I very much agree with Yabbadabba on this.
On another note, I also think that a reason that veterans are increasingly quitting warhammer/40k is the release schedule. (th just came out, and there were still FOUR armies not even updated for 7th edition. Also we have to wait 6 months (?) after 8th to even have the first armybook. Can we expect only 2-3 armybooks a year? People are tired of having their armies outdated.

Steam_Giant
06-01-2011, 17:49
I dont really understand what classifies as a luxury product, but GWs pricing is getting toward a luxury brand status (pow!)

Its a small step between wargamming, computer gaming, reading comics and other nerdy culture. SO just because their aren't any gamers currently, doesn't mean they couldn't be, given the right marketing.

The Chinese have a wargaming history, they invented a form of chess ?

I agree that the lack of army books is commercial suicide.

warhammergrimace
06-01-2011, 19:38
I have to agree with a lot of the comments regarding who GW market thier products at. When you start marketing a products at kids and teenagers, it immediately is associated as a "Kiddie" product. This means that once teenagers reach a certain age they no longer want to be assocaiated with it, and adults feel ashamed to tell people they play what is regarded as a kids game.

Computer games used to be targeted at kids and sales were good but not great, then they marketed the product at adults and it became cool. Everyone wanted to own a games console, it wasn't considered and still isn't childish to play computer/console games.

On top of that there is no push by GW for brand loyalty on customers past a particular age. Customers reach vet status and feel ignored and uncatered for, meaning they start looking for alternatives, and its this core group (18-25) who have more disposable income, cause they generally don't have the responsibilities of mortgage and family. Then as those disinchanted gamers become parents, they are unlikely to introduce thier kids to GW products, they will probably look more towards other brands such as Mantic.

It seems that GW has no long term plan in regards to customers, and it all about the here and now, sell quick and big to new hobbyists. Where in retrospect building brand loyalty and catering for them as they get older, with more money to spend on the product makes more sense. When I was able to spend on a monthly basis a few years ago I wouldn't worry about spending £50+ per month every month, now I don't spend anything in GW these days, its just too pricey and I no longer rave about the games. I now play more historical games, and still spend a reasonable amount each month, its just elsewhere.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 20:04
@warhammergrimace - in most you are right except people who work with toys do not aim to encourage long term brand loyalty. And that is what, in essence, GW has reduced its products to in pursuit of this strategy.

warhammergrimace
06-01-2011, 20:33
The difference is that a company like Hasbro has a far greater market share of the toy market than someone like GW, so they can get away with only marketing at kids and thier respective parents. GW claim to be a niche product, so marketing at this target audience just dosen't make sense, long term for them, but I agree with what you're saying Yabba, marketing themselves as a toy company dosen't require long term brand loyalty.

Ludaman
06-01-2011, 21:37
(so i wrote a flipping essay on what GW could do to improve sales, but then decided it was too long, so here's my closing statement which pretty much sums it up anyway =)

so anyway in conclusion: step one:
sell to an older audience and kids will like it more not less.

step two, more releases: I have lot's of money to spend on new brets and new dwarfs I don't give a rats ass about space marines. I'll probably be buying GAMEZONE hammerers pretty soon as the GW models are like 20 years old and terrible. A smart salesman finds out what a customer wants and then sells it to him, they don't try to convince you to want something else... this is like sales 101...

step three balance the rules, everyone has the internet, just faq the books/lists when they need updates/faqs. nobody minds looking up the rules online if it means that they're going to gain an advantage, my friends and I all loved the stupid DBZ cardgame when we were teenagers, one of the things that made it great was that the company that produced it was always online balancing the rules for tourney play (this card is no longer valid, this one has it's rules changed slightly, etc.) we bought boxes and boxes of that stupid crap because playing was actually fun! I have not had fun playing warhammer in a tourney setting since 1998 during 6th edition...

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 21:51
@Ludaman then don't play tournaments :) (the game was never designed for it anyway, so you won't be losing much).

Steam_Giant
06-01-2011, 22:04
step three balance the rules,

I agreed with all that you said until this. Power creep is necessary evil to sell more toys. However leaving some unpopular armies without a PDF update come 8th edition was a disgrace.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 22:06
I agreed with all that you said until this. Power creep is necessary evil to sell more toys. However leaving some unpopular armies without a PDF update come 8th edition was a disgrace. Which ones did they miss?

IJW
06-01-2011, 22:09
I'll probably be buying GAMEZONE hammerers pretty soon as the GW models are like 20 years old and terrible.
No, the current ones are only a decade or so old. The 20 year old ones are far superior. :(

http://solegends.com/marauder/mm16dwfhammers.htm

Meanwhile, back on-topic...

lanrak
06-01-2011, 22:35
Hi Steam_Giant.
Power creep is not a 'necissary evil' to sell minatures.
Good value for money, and an interesting and engaging game play seem to work well for eveyone else.;)

Eg ,
Release the basic game, all balanced and populated with a good range of interesting armies and units.

Then relase new units for ALL armies ,along with expansions for the game.
A forever expanding balanced game system that grows with the players...

As GW do not provide good value for money (in comparison to other products.)And the rule sets of 40k and WHFB have been targeted at a very small demoghraphic.

So GW is ony left with isolationist marketing in expensive B&M stores.And reducing the codex -army books to short term marketing pamphlets...

GW is now a small toy company trying to sell 'expensive self assembly toys' to a demoghraphic that is naturaly unreliable , and pre desposed to play on games consoles over 'toy soldiers' at the slightest provocation...:D

Games Workshop used to be the market leader in ths non historical wargames market.
Its a shame they forgot how to be a good wargames company after they became a PLC.

TTFN

TimLeeson
06-01-2011, 22:48
Speaking for myself and my friends who think alike, with "real life" matters, the recession ect - I cut down my money on things like GW. But more so, they dont release anything I am really into - The things I find I like in the backround dont have models or rules at all, so find I go to other companies like RAFM and convert from those (perfect example is my new flying polyp army!). They do not cater to my current tastes, and thus do not get my money. My friends feel the same as me, we want a certain type of visual-niche and there are things like that in the backround but the product(s) simply dont exist in GW's line. I think we represent a "silent" part of the hobby - whether we are significant enough to make a decent profit from is impossible to say however.

yabbadabba
06-01-2011, 23:01
Its a shame they forgot how to be a good wargames company after they became a PLC. They didn't, they changed what they saw themselves as being. If they want to be a wargames company they would do things differently. I challenge Mark wells to prove me otherwise.

plantagenet
06-01-2011, 23:24
I still love the GW warhammer universes. Both 40k and in particular fantasy for me.

I think many people still feel the same way. But as I stated before value is missing. Whether that be in the the way you feel GW treat you or in the product you purchase. GW could raise value as in more product for the same cost. But if it doesn't produce enough additional customers then it would actually increase there problem. However if they continue the way they are the. I feel they will end up in the same place.

I know others will think I am crazy but for me GWs best year in the last 10 years was the year the Demons were released. We had 5 admit books on one year with a 6th right at the beginning of the next. It created such a buzz in the game that it caused me to get back heavily into the fantasy side of the hobby. They need more of that again and more value.

Gazak Blacktoof
07-01-2011, 00:03
I know that a lot of people have speculated in and this and other threads about the overarching reasons why GW doesn't get the profits they expect, I'm not going to do that. What I will say is that our group has bought a lot of miniatures from other companies in recent years because GW don't give us what we want a lot of the time.

We were all very excited about 8th edition WHFB, but after playing it for a couple of games and getting a small number of additional models we haven't played it in 5 months. The new rules weren't what we hoped and GW haven't maintained a momentum of releases that have seen us continue to buy.

Our group lost a lot interest in 40K a long long time ago. The models are great, but without rules that everybody enjoys (I don't think they're terrible but my friends hate it with a passion) we can't sustain momentum. We've been working on our own rules, but unsurprisingly that's taking a long time to get right. Most of my GW purchases have been 40K related in recent years- eldar, dark eldar, forge world avatar and some source books and novels. Even though as a group we aren't buying en-mass I like the models enough to continue buying and building if we're not playing.

In recent years our group has found a lot more of our hobby time devoted to gaming in other systems and with other companies' miniatures. Our weekly gaming sessions now revolve around board games or dabbling with skirmish level games that use a small number of miniatures.

Pricing has been an issue on occasion (perry miniatures over GW, expanding into skirmish games like those from spartan games, and board games for more variety) but really its the rule sets that keep us from playing GW games these days and only a damn site more time and effort from us is going to fix that. I'm not even sure that's GW's fault, its simply that we want something quite specific in our war gaming and the WHFB and 40K rule sets don't provide that and GW determined that they'd rather not support anything else (that last bit is probably their fault).

snottlebocket
07-01-2011, 00:09
Somewhat of topic but those are some old models in that article picture. I haven't seen that particular pegasus in over 15 years. It still is my fave flying horse.

sigur
07-01-2011, 01:02
This is of course completely unfounded but I don't think that GW's future lies in the far east. Apart from that, thinking of expanding and more or less digging for gold somewhere else and hoping for the best is not the way to go for GW now.

And especially for China, as TonyFlow said, there are quite some hurdles to overcome for GW there.

I think that an adaption of strategies probably is the way to stabilize things (or just throw out another SM book along with the storm raven and slap a price increase on as soon as possible for slight short-term increases in profit :rolleyes: ) but actually.... I don't know how. Sure, work the rules over, actually allow points values not to be either 5, 10 or 20 for 40k again and make everything clever and enjoyable, etc., etc. --> what I as a gamer want but that's of course not what helps GW increase sales.

Personally, I can't justify buying stuff at full price at GW any more. Too many price increases that make me think twice if the game's worth it.

Anyhoo, I guess the snow probably was kind of a reason but the overall thing (apart from the UK economy, which still seems to be in a bit of problems), as most said, is probably more grave.

Crazy Harborc
07-01-2011, 02:11
Well, I know my lack of buying "anything" made by GW in this past year, did not/wil not break the back of GW world.

THAT said, world wide, just how many wargamers, how many GW customers, how many GW systems users....how many parents, grandparents and other relatives have done what I have?? Heck, how many younger players with money to spend have also walked away.

Heck, for a couple of years, GW has alluded to having approx. 750,000 customers, players etc. GW also has said they expect about an 80% customer loss....yearly(?). Sooooo just how many tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of customers have gone away from GW world wide?

Haev those people been replaced AND are they out numbered by the numbers of newbies? According to the numbers of sales for the last 5 years...I do doubt it.;)

Ozorik
07-01-2011, 02:21
what I as a gamer want but that's of course not what helps GW increase sales.

It might, given that GW sell games I would have thought that pleasing gamers was what they should be focusing on.

As it is they can't reduce prices, in the short term at least. All that is left is to entice people to buy again by increasing the perceived value of their products, gate way games all the other things that they should be doing anyway. The other option is with alternative sources of revenue such as licensing. The former is the only way that will actually sustain GW, its IP simply isn't valuable enough and they don't really have much in the way of transferable skills to do anything more than make miniatures.

Crazy Harborc
07-01-2011, 03:11
Well, for me/myself.........plastic IS better than metal. THAT said, GW's plastic minies are not worth what Kirby said they are. Not the metal ones either. The value is not there at the current prices.

Considering how GW has performed since oh...2005, a lot of people agree with my statement.;)

Londinium
07-01-2011, 04:26
I don't think China is particularly important to GW nor will it be in the immediate future due to cultural reasons. If anything America and Canada should be the main target. Aggressively target the region and put in control Americans managers with a knowledge of both niche markets and the American market. The American retail market is rather different to the British one, Tesco can tell you that with the troubles they're having with their Fresh 'n' Easy subsidiary.

If GW could ever realistically gain even half the market penetration they have in Britain, in the United States and Canada, their financial issues would be a thing of the past. Instead their American stategy has been god awful for most of the past decade and achieved little to nothing. It's not like the Americans are adverse to geeky things, look at the massive penetration of D&D in the past, Magic and DC/Marvel Comics in the country. Tolkein is also hugely popular in America as are many other fantasy universes.

Other English speaking nations such as New Zealand and South Africa (where the whites both Anglo and Afrikaaner tend to be fairly prosperous) should be given more attention aswell. Same with Ireland, once it gets over it's financial meltdown, it has a massive two GW shops both in the Dublin area and nothing else in sizable towns such as Cork, Galway and Limerick which could maintain shops based on their population.

redbaron998
07-01-2011, 04:34
I know that noone of my previous group of gamers (there was about 6 of us that played in a group at a Hobby Town) have all quit the table top game (although almost all of us still read Bl and/or play video games like DOW)

Ultimately we couldnt afford to play anymore (or should I say buy anymore) sure we played with what we had but the realization that none of us could/would invest invest the money to get anything new meant that it kinda died in us :(

Fact is I just cant afford to spend 350-600$ on little plastic men. I would love to play if I could get a full sized army for abou 200$. Lower the price and Ill buy more, its that simple.

Pharolyx
07-01-2011, 05:09
Lower the price and Ill buy more, its that simple.

As true as this statement is (I can't tell you how many newbs I've tried to recruit that really wanted to, but just "couldn't afford it"), GW simply can't lower prices. Atleast not by the amount that people are talking about. It really sucks. If me and my friends hadn't made a blood pact when we were like 12 that we'd play Warhammer until we're old together, I'd have quit about a year and a half ago. However, I'm stuck with this hobby for life, so I have to sneak my wife's tip money and deposit half of my checks from work (while keeping the other half in cash) until models get cheaper, to support my filthy addiction.

I'll sell my kids when I have them.

Ludaman
07-01-2011, 05:13
Hi Steam_Giant.
Power creep is not a 'necissary evil' to sell minatures.
Good value for money, and an interesting and engaging game play seem to work well for eveyone else.;)

Eg ,
Release the basic game, all balanced and populated with a good range of interesting armies and units.

Then relase new units for ALL armies ,along with expansions for the game.
A forever expanding balanced game system that grows with the players...

As GW do not provide good value for money (in comparison to other products.)And the rule sets of 40k and WHFB have been targeted at a very small demoghraphic.

So GW is ony left with isolationist marketing in expensive B&M stores.And reducing the codex -army books to short term marketing pamphlets...

GW is now a small toy company trying to sell 'expensive self assembly toys' to a demoghraphic that is naturaly unreliable , and pre desposed to play on games consoles over 'toy soldiers' at the slightest provocation...:D

Games Workshop used to be the market leader in ths non historical wargames market.
Its a shame they forgot how to be a good wargames company after they became a PLC.

TTFN


This was pretty much part of my 4 paragraph essay on GW =), I guess simplifying it in my conclusion didn't get my point across the right way. Games like Magic the Gathering and hell, pokemon, have made a fortune off of a balanced tourney environment. I don't have any idea at all what the UK is like, but I was practically raised in a comics and collectibles store in the US, and Ill tell you this, competition is what fuels the whole gaming industry, whether it be with cards or mini's. When I felt like I just couldn't ever win playing a game against a friend because his cards or army were better than mine, I didn't go buy his same cards or army, I played a different game. As a clerk at the same store, I watched Warhammer go from being a game played by about 20-40 kids regularly (and one of our largest money-makers) to being played by just about no-one as the few chaos players converted to demons and started trouncing everyone mid 7th edition. Once the rich kids followed suit and bought new demon armies pretty much everyone else dropped warhammer in favor of Magic again.

Oh and Yabba, here's my gripe with tournies, back in 98' I played at the very first Los Angeles Grand Tourny, It was AWESOME! I played Vamps, Lizards, Orcs, Chaos, Dwarfs, and skaven with my brets, I won 2 drew 2 lost 2. Everyone I played was a great sport, we gamed, we chatted, we had a blast! I played again at the 2007-8 Las Vegas Grand Tourney (can't remeber which year off the top of my head) I played Dark Elves, Demons, Vampires, Vampires, and Demons. Drew 1 Lost 4. Over 50% of the armies there were demons. Completely derailed me on the whole game for quite a while. So yeah obviously I don't play tournies anymore, but I sure would like to again, is that really a lot to ask out of a company that makes it's livelhood of the game?

yabbadabba
07-01-2011, 08:03
Oh and Yabba, here's my gripe with tournies, back in 98' I played at the very first Los Angeles Grand Tourny, It was AWESOME! I played Vamps, Lizards, Orcs, Chaos, Dwarfs, and skaven with my brets, I won 2 drew 2 lost 2. Everyone I played was a great sport, we gamed, we chatted, we had a blast! I played again at the 2007-8 Las Vegas Grand Tourney (can't remeber which year off the top of my head) I played Dark Elves, Demons, Vampires, Vampires, and Demons. Drew 1 Lost 4. Over 50% of the armies there were demons. Completely derailed me on the whole game for quite a while. So yeah obviously I don't play tournies anymore, but I sure would like to again, is that really a lot to ask out of a company that makes it's livelhood of the game?Yes if they don't make tournament games, which 40K and WFB are not. They are lousy tournament games and would need a major rewrite to become someting worth pushing as one. I question whether that is viable. The Daemon WFB Army book proved that the market desire on tournaments wasn't as pervasive as it seemed. While they did dominate tournaments in terms of results (alongside DE and VC) the whole system didn't flip over into just these three armies (or even dominated in terms of numbers).

GW do have two potentially excellent tournament rules sets in Epic and Warmaster. Of course the problem here was GW didn't see them as such, and for some daft reason people don't like 6mm and 10mm as much as 15mm and 28mm (despite all the advatages these ranges bring). I could see these two systems, promoted properly and backed up with the range well priced, being far more successful on the circuit than the two big games. Hell LotR would be better than 40K or WFB!

Problems with the tournament circuit have, for me, also caused the demise of the rpg/fluff/experimental nature of GWs old design philosophy. Thats why there are no more crazy but fun armies, no more WD army lists, no more Chapter Approved.

Again this leads back to strategy. If GW saw themselves as purely a wargames company then there would have been far better approach to these games and their relationship to 40K and WFB. The latter would have been seen as the fun games, campaign, and fluff driven, whereas the former would have been the natural step for those who wanted the IP and the competition. Marketed properly, we might have seen a strong, vibrant and stupidly money generating Epic and WM tournament scene blossoming in the US, supporting the rest of the SGs and allowing more creativity and experimentation in the 40K and WFB lines.

Mart007
07-01-2011, 09:01
A lot of people really like spending to much time thinking about a company they think sucks.

What has GW done to you Yabba Dabba, its like you live on the pricing and business boards writing essays. You should spend your time thinking more about your own career or ventures than worrying about a company that you think is so intrinsically wrong. I'm not bothered if its your hobby and you feel passionate about it. Very sad. There are others as well.

I personally hope they pull something out of the bag and finally do something because the competition is slowly catching them up no matter how much the competition needs them.

I'm not ment to be being insulting, but come on guys look at yourselves! I'm guesing your not young people.

Mahwell Skel
07-01-2011, 09:20
Just a bit of idle speculation in a tongue in cheek referring back to previous historical threads over the years about GW profits and share prices.

Lets take a GW shareholder. Lets call him Tim Kirkly.

Knowing a bit about the business and being a keen follower of the stock market he has wisely disposed of a good number of his shares prior to bad financial reports when their price was ok. A bit of doom mongering won't necessarily be a bad thing for said investor. Shares fall further on the profits warning. Tim Kirkly buys up lots at the low price.

Somewhere far away the 2 Hobbit films are green light for December 2012 and 2013 release.

Tim Kirkly waits (I imagine rather like gollum) stroking his share certificatesand muttering something about preciouses. If The Hobbit = LOTR then one could assume share price rockets. Sell again.

Thats what I would do if I hadn't spent all my hard earned on little plastic men.:rolleyes:

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 10:22
I don't think China is particularly important to GW nor will it be in the immediate future due to cultural reasons.

When I first mentioned China, I was thinking really long term. Economic strength follows production. It can take decades and major catastrophes/war, but global power and economic strength generally grows after a nation's manufacturing grows. But it can take a long, long time.

GW might want to think about China for a long term strategy. Not a short term one.

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 10:32
A lot of people really like spending to much time thinking about a company they think sucks.

This again. :rolleyes:

Maybe people talk about GW's less than wonderful features and business results because they actually like something about it. I think the 40k universe is awesome and the plastic kits GW make can be really impressive. Having an accounting background, company and business goings on interest me.


What has GW done to you Yabba Dabba,

Yabba Dabba is generally a defender of GW.



its like you live on the pricing and business boards writing essays. You should spend your time thinking more about your own career or ventures than worrying about a company that you think is so intrinsically wrong. I'm not bothered if its your hobby and you feel passionate about it. Very sad. There are others as well.

And what, your hobby of being judgement of how others spend their time is a better one?

Mart007
07-01-2011, 10:51
And what, your hobby of being judgement of how others spend their time is a better one?

Im sick of these threads being spammed by the same people. Seriously have you guys got nothing better to do. And yes I do generally ignore such threads - but with GW having a bad time I was interested, and interested in the majority of response. Instead we get the same crew taking over with a warped sense of there own business knowledge making judgements that does not in anyway represent the reality OR opinion of the average gamer.

I say again, its ok to have an opinion and air it on the forums, but come on I think you need to fill your lives up with something more positive. Use your expertise to better your lives, not have pointless debates on a wargaming forum about a company that run so badly (in your opinions - I do think there is room for a lot of improvement GW wise also, but as a big spender not spending much anymore, I have made my point to GW and I shall get on with my hobby and life happily!). Get over it.

If you cant see how pathetic some of this tripe is, then carry on. I know when I get old and on my death bed, one of my final words would not be I wish I could have spent more time explaining the wrong doings of GW over aforum!

Osbad
07-01-2011, 11:04
If you cant see how pathetic some of this tripe is, then carry on. I know when I get old and on my death bed, one of my final words would not be I wish I could have spent more time explaining the wrong doings of GW over aforum!

But clearly you regret the lack of time you have spent criticising other folks for their point of view on a forum specifically set up and titled to discuss GW's General business affairs?

Pot, kettle, black....:rolleyes:

Mart007
07-01-2011, 11:08
Instead of having a pop at me, I dont spend anytime on here, ask yourselves what are you doing with your lives?

Your all to wrapped up in this, I have made my point and hope that some of you listen, so please carry on, Im sure you will!

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 11:30
Im sick of these threads being spammed by the same people.

How dare they enjoy having a conversation about something! Those bastards! Spending their time the way they want to rather than the way you want them to-- how rude of them! :rolleyes:


... how pathetic some of this tripe is, then carry on. I know when I get old and on my death bed, one of my final words would not be I wish I could have spent more time explaining the wrong doings of GW over aforum!

At least you'll be able to die satisfied that you did your best to complain on the internet about other people complaining on the internet. Now that's a life free of regrets! :rolleyes:

Mart007
07-01-2011, 11:31
Oh well I tried...

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 11:39
Oh well I tried...

Tried what? Being self righteous? And a hypocrite? You have a blog dedicated to painting toy soldiers and playing little games with them.

The next time you feel like judging how other people enjoy spending their time, you may want to remember that our hobby choices are considered a waste of time and pointless by a large segment of the population.

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 12:05
Back on topic:

GW's current position: Not in immediate danger. They have good debt levels and can weather a long period of less than ideal sales. Given how rapidly they paid off their debt and their use of it in the past, I bet they have an excellent relationship with any lenders they might need to borrow from to get through any rough patch.

GW's product: Excellent in terms of models. The kits themselves are excellent, a pleasure to work with and a joy to paint.

GW's rules: Things break down a bit here. I remember Jervis saying that the majority (I think he said two thirds) of the customers GW has don't actually ever play their game. He called them "craft hobbyists." If the majority of GW's customers don't play their game, then all they really need to market to those people is an idea of a game that they might play some day, but that the real hobby is the purchasing, building and painting of toy soldiers.

The solution: Have every part of what you offer be excellent. GW got big offering a complete package of hobby games. Their name is Games Workshop, but they themselves have acknowledged that the rules of their game are not their priority given what they believe about their customer base.

How could the rules be excellent? Concentrate on game play throughout a variety of army sizes. If I buy a box of Glade Riders at 11 points each, they're relatively valueless as part of a 3000 point WFB army. As it stand, the rules are actively devaluing their own product. The same can be said for 40k which has increased it's model count and game size to drive model sales as well.

If the average GW customer is though to leave within two years, how many people can actually collect, assemble, paint and play in order to get the full experience of their product at the size it's designed to be played at? They're planning for failure from the word go. They're planning for their customers to stop being their customers before they can truly experience their product.

In conclusion, I think GW could turn things around by revisiting what they want the customer experience to be and work on how to have a new customer have the full and rewarding experience of their product as soon as possible. They should abandon the business model of planned failure where the full/normal size of their game is larger than they expect an average customer to purchase before they quit. The customer experience should be positive, fully engaging and tactically deep in terms of wargame quality from the earliest foray into the hobby. It should also scale well and encourage the growth of customer armies or the starting of new ones.

Chaos and Evil
07-01-2011, 12:09
How could the rules be excellent?
For WFB: Delete every single Army Book, Rulebook, and Supplement. Replace it with something that's very similar to Mantic's Kings of War game system.

For 40k: Delete every single Codex, Rulebook, and Supplement. Write a new game system. Base large chunks of it on Epic.

For LOTR: It's actually not all that bad, considering the target audience. WOTR could really do with a 2nd edition that treats things like tactical complexity as more important than throwing 500 dice, mind you.

Easy to say, not easy to throw away millions of pounds' worth of rulebooks in order to actually do it...

...and there's always the old problem, that GW's customers often don't actually want excellent rules.
They often want byzantine, over-stuffed, slow-to-play, tactically brain-dead, dumbed down rules.

Baragash
07-01-2011, 12:20
For LOTR: It's actually not all that bad, considering the target audience. WOTR could really do with a 2nd edition that treats things like tactical complexity as more important than throwing 500 dice, mind you.

I think LotR actually addresses one of the regular criticisms here (at least in part). You can start with the SBG, which can be played with a small number of models. As you get into it you can progress game size and add in Legions of Middle Earth. From there you can build to WotR.

I don't think WFB and 40k have quite so natural a progression.

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 12:22
...and there's always the old problem, that GW's customers often don't actually want excellent rules.
They often want byzantine, over-stuffed, slow-to-play, tactically brain-dead, dumbed down rules.

Well, according to Jervis, two thirds of them don't ever even play the game at all. So it might be a matter of selection that those who remain either don't have experience with superior games (miniatures, board games, RPGs, whatever) or are simply willing to play GW's games because good rules are not a priority for them.

Given that GW's profits warning is about lower than expected sales, I think that if their approach has selected them customers that either a) don't care about rules or b) don't care about rules quality, that means there's a lot of potential customers who do enjoy quality rules. Game designers that don't have the hobby aspect of a miniatures game can only worry the actual player experience being enjoyable and rewarding.

GW's negligence in that department has created the current state of affairs where two thirds of the customers of a game company don't even play their games and the average customer quits before giving a full size game a try.

A return to quality game design where the participant's experience of play itself is prioritized could recapture a large amount of business.

eldargal
07-01-2011, 12:28
I have 50,000 points of Eldar (almost), I spend thousands of pounds a year on Games Workshop products. If you take away my fluff filled codices, I will quit. Simple as that. I don't want my army reduced to a chapter in some rip off of Mantics system, however good the rules may be.

Ozorik
07-01-2011, 12:45
They would still keep the fluff, in fact if they do a rule overhaul they will be able to fit more fluff in the same number of pages.

Not that GW will do a rule overhaul.

Satan
07-01-2011, 12:48
They would still keep the fluff, in fact if they do a rule overhaul they will be able to fit more fluff in the same number of pages.

Not that GW will do a rule overhaul.

Or just, y'know. Release the COMPLETE army rules and basic background in the big version of the main rulebook, then focus on models, scenarios, campaign books (like FW) after that.

The new fantasy books contains the profiles and background for all the armies in it anyway so...

Ozorik
07-01-2011, 12:54
Or just, y'know. Release the COMPLETE army rules and basic background in the big version of the main rulebook, then focus on models, scenarios, campaign books (like FW) after that.

The new fantasy books contains the profiles and background for all the armies in it anyway so...

Actually they should release all the complete army lists, with a minimum of fluff, in a single army book sized volume and then release mini army books containing fluff, special characters and minor (but very well tested) list editions (and extra unit or something). This would make the game far more balanced while allowing people to concentrate on the armies that they like.

Not going to happen though :)

Chaos and Evil
07-01-2011, 12:55
Well, according to Jervis, two thirds of them don't ever even play the game at all.
Jervis might well be right.


So it might be a matter of selection that those who remain either don't have experience with superior games (miniatures, board games, RPGs, whatever) or are simply willing to play GW's games because good rules are not a priority for them.
I don't disagree.




I have 50,000 points of Eldar (almost), I spend thousands of pounds a year on Games Workshop products. If you take away my fluff filled codices, I will quit. Simple as that. I don't want my army reduced to a chapter in some rip off of Mantics system, however good the rules may be.

Firstly, Mantic don't have a SciFi rules system (yet).

Secondly, I was talking about rules, not "fluff".

You can keep all the background texts etc., just you'd have a rules system that delivers 10x the in-game gameplay with 10% of the rules text.

Of course, lots of people don't want a fast flowing, elegant, tactically complex wargame, they want an inefficient (Slow to play), tactically simple, strategy-based wargame that is primarily designed for children... in other words, they want Warhammer 40,000!

Satan
07-01-2011, 13:04
Of course, lots of people don't want a fast flowing, elegant, tactically complex wargame, they want an inefficient (Slow to play), tactically simple, strategy-based wargame that is primarily designed for children... in other words, they want Warhammer 40,000!

I want Warhammer Fantasy. 40k is just a mess of dice-rolling to me ATM. But what I would want would be a self-contained game which doesn't let me wait 10 years in between army updates. Army additions would be welcome, but having to wait several years for your army to get into line with the new rules and other armies just isn't sustainable.

But I have to object about Warhammer 40k being designed for children: I definitively don't think it's a suitable product for children at all. Especially not for those who aren't native english speakers. It's far too complex - and yes, I remember Rick Priestley's comment about the complexity actually being more suitable for young minds but I don't share his conclusion in that regard. If the target group is to encompass young teens in Europe then they've got a seriously flawed products on their hands with 40k and WFB. The transition from the basic sets to the main rules is not coherent nor easy to grasp at all.

eldargal
07-01-2011, 13:09
So, if you want a game that isn't 40k, why are you on a forum about 40k complaining about it? Go play Kings of War (which is a splendid ruleset) and be happy. Leave 40k to the people who like it and let GW stand or fail on the strength of that.

Chaos and Evil
07-01-2011, 13:11
I want Warhammer Fantasy. 40k is just a mess of dice-rolling to me ATM. But what I would want would be a self-contained game which doesn't let me wait 10 years in between army updates. Army additions would be welcome, but having to wait several years for your army to get into line with the new rules and other armies just isn't sustainable.
I'd get into Mantic's Kings of War, if I were you... then again, I already did that myself. :rolleyes:

f2k
07-01-2011, 13:11
Back on topic:

GW's current position: Not in immediate danger. They have good debt levels and can weather a long period of less than ideal sales. Given how rapidly they paid off their debt and their use of it in the past, I bet they have an excellent relationship with any lenders they might need to borrow from to get through any rough patch.

This one had me wondering...

Yes, they might be able to weather a long period of bad sales (and I would argue that they’re several years into just such a period), but what will they do to turn it around?
Without a way to turn a bad period to a good period all that will happen is a long slow decline, slipping further and further into dept to avoid the inevitable end. Games Workshop has been on a crash diet lately and that seems to have been helping – a bit. But I’m seriously afraid that it will harm them in the long term. The reason to have your own stores is to be able to provide a Complete Games Workshop Experience (TM). You have Games Workshop models, glued together with Games Workshop glue, painted with Games Workshop paints at a Games Workshop painting station and then played with on a Games Workshop gaming table using Games Workshop rules – all supervised by your friendly Games Workshop redshirt. How can small one-man stores provide this?

And furthermore, how much more can be cut away without critically damaging Games Workshops’ ability to recover? And for how long will the investors allow Games Workshop to be underperforming – particularly since they don’t seem to have any plans as to how they’re going to turn the current slump into a long-term steady growth...


I have 50,000 points of Eldar (almost), I spend thousands of pounds a year on Games Workshop products. If you take away my fluff filled codices, I will quit. Simple as that. I don't want my army reduced to a chapter in some rip off of Mantics system, however good the rules may be.

I would rather have good solid rules than fluff that has been rehashed since 2. edition. But that's just personal opinion...

In any case, why not have both? In truth, I would prefer a return to the early slim-line 3. edition codices, to be used when gaming, and, at the same time, have several large, hardbound fluff-books for reading in the comfort of my own home.
But then again, Games Workshop seems to not care at all about the fuff, or the rules for that matter, these days. Many of the Black Library books are so poorly written as to be cringeworthy and the rules... Well... The less said...

eldargal
07-01-2011, 13:15
God, even GW have acknowledged that the 3rd edition codices were incredibly unpopular, let those abominations stay dead, please.

Chaos and Evil
07-01-2011, 13:17
God, even GW have acknowledged that the 3rd edition codices were incredibly unpopular, let those abominations stay dead, please.
They were unpopular with the hardcore fans, sure... but 3rd edition also saw one of GW's biggest periods of growth in popularity...

toonboy78
07-01-2011, 13:25
They were unpopular with the hardcore fans, sure... but 3rd edition also saw one of GW's biggest periods of growth in popularity...

wasn't 3rd edition released around the time of LotR?

Sai-Lauren
07-01-2011, 13:25
GW's current position: Not in immediate danger. They have good debt levels and can weather a long period of less than ideal sales. Given how rapidly they paid off their debt and their use of it in the past, I bet they have an excellent relationship with any lenders they might need to borrow from to get through any rough patch.

Assuming they can actually persaude someone to lend them money - most of the quantitative easing banks got to lend to people to keep the country ticking over, seems to be sitting in their coffers because they also got told to have significant liquid reserves to cover potential short-term issues in their finances (and it shows up on their financial reports, which boosts their share price and makes the chief executives look good :rolleyes: ).

But even so, at the moment, they're still expected to make a profit this year, and next, so it shouldn't be an issue.



In conclusion, I think GW could turn things around by revisiting what they want the customer experience to be and work on how to have a new customer have the full and rewarding experience of their product as soon as possible. They should abandon the business model of planned failure where the full/normal size of their game is larger than they expect an average customer to purchase before they quit. The customer experience should be positive, fully engaging and tactically deep in terms of wargame quality from the earliest foray into the hobby. It should also scale well and encourage the growth of customer armies or the starting of new ones.

Basically, specialist games. ;)

More seriously, you're looking at 2-3 unit, 400-500 point games with junior officers (for those around in 3rd edition WFB, level 5 heroes), that run maybe half an hour to an hour, and can then act as a starting point, with the 2-3000 point armies led by the uber-powerful legendary heroes as the ultimate aspiration.

The problem is that the games don't really scale down to that level - you really want a decent level of detail down there, whilst they're designed for roughly 2,000 points, where having that detail really slows things down.

And IMO, GW really does miss a trick by insisting on the individual army books that take years to process around - having a core army book shipping with the rule book would not only ensure that all armies are balanced against each other for those rules, it would also lead to cross selling as people browse through it and start getting ideas for new armies.

Ok, you would lose the opportunity for fluff, but you could have subsequent army book releases of variants to build on the core (more for 40k where a lot of armies are variants on a core theme, for WFB, you might be able to do Empire, Brettonia, Kislev and the Border Princes, the three Elven armies, Chaos, Daemons and Beastmen and Undead together, but the rest would be more difficult), where you get an army list book and a fluff book in a slipcase.

Osbad
07-01-2011, 13:52
If the target group is to encompass young teens in Europe then they've got a seriously flawed products on their hands with 40k and WFB. The transition from the basic sets to the main rules is not coherent nor easy to grasp at all.

My 2 boys (aged 9 and 7) would disagree. The eldest got (after much nagging) the Ork codex for Christmas and has devoured it from cover to cover. He struggles with a lot of the words, sure, but he gets by.

He's a bright kid, but no supra-genius, just barely average when it comes to reading and writing for his age.

So my conclusion is that most kids 10-15 would have no real problem picking up the game at all. Its not too complex for them.

Also, I totally concur with Rick Priestley's assessment of the way folks appreciation of detail varies with age. My lad has virtually memorised the stat lines for all his models, but tactically he's clueless and is just interested in fielding the biggest baddest model on the table for maximum pwnage! The idea that he has to manoeuvre and take calculated risks is still a little beyond him at this stage. He just wants to plonk his stuff down and let the dice win the game for him. He's 9. That'll change. But I think the point that there is a vast difference between tactical subtelty of gameplay (preferred by stereotypical "older" guys) and multitudinous options for army choices (preferred by stereotypical "younger" guys) I think is very valid as it has been born out in my own experience with my own preferences and seeing my boys preferences in gaming develop.

Of course, just because 40k is suited to my kids, doesn't mean I think the product is not fatally flawed. I do tend to concur with Yabbadabba's opinion that aiming their product directly at pre-/early-teenagers is a mistake and that they would do better aiming it at a more mature age group, and sweeping up the kiddie-dollar as a collateral effect. Were they to do that, I daresay my boys would still find it "cool", but whereas nowadays I tend to play it as something to do with my kids, if it were aimed at a more "mature" audience (yeah, right... like playing toy soldiers can ever be considered "mature"! But you know what I mean!) I might actually enjoy playing it more for my own reasons. As it is, when I get to choose the game I am going to play, it tends to be something along the lines of Uncharted Seas or Kings of War these days, rather than WFB or 40k as I simply can't be bothered with all the detail - its just a tedious detail that I can do without.

Osbad
07-01-2011, 13:57
wasn't 3rd edition released around the time of LotR?

3rd ed came out in 1998. LotR was released December 2001. 4th ed came out in 2004.

Satan
07-01-2011, 13:58
Osbad - I mean if you're not a native english speaker, which I take it you and your boys are?

And I'm not saying it's more suited for adults either (other than the fluff), just that I can't conceive of how they'd expect to win over non-native english speakers in their early teens with the current sets?

madden
07-01-2011, 14:02
I almost quit totaly from war games when 40k snd fantsy completly redid the books (3rd ed 40k and 4th fantasy I think) as I had just got all the books I needed then they were all voided that's a lot of cash down the drain, but I kept going. As to the profit warning it's not that bad as on the news mothercare is expected to be down 9% hmv down even more so 4% isn't that bad considering wargaming is a luxury but baby goods are essential (I know from experiance). As to competitors befor I found warseer I had never herd of any one so gw stores were my entry and I still use them and now my son dose to so yes they cost a lot to run but the exposure they give out weighs it(in most cases).

Osbad
07-01-2011, 14:15
Osbad - I mean if you're not a native english speaker, which I take it you and your boys are?

And I'm not saying it's more suited for adults either (other than the fluff), just that I can't conceive of how they'd expect to win over non-native english speakers in their early teens with the current sets?

Sorry! My bad!

But they do translate their stuff into most major European languages though don't they?

IJW
07-01-2011, 14:16
Non-native English speakers would surely be reading a copy that has been translated into the local language?

Satan
07-01-2011, 14:18
Sorry! My bad!

But they do translate their stuff into most major European languages though don't they?

Right. Forgot that.

f2k
07-01-2011, 14:35
God, even GW have acknowledged that the 3rd edition codices were incredibly unpopular, let those abominations stay dead, please.

Well, perhaps because we old-school 2. edition players still wanted a lot of fluff - as we were used to...? Why, they even released a completely new army without bothering to write more than a few pages of fluff for it. And then promtly forgot about it for a decade...

That's why I'm suggesting that the rules be seperated from the fluff. Make a small rulebook that's easy to carry with you. No fluff, just the rules. And then release a big book with all the fluff that you could ever want...

blongbling
07-01-2011, 14:56
Found out earlier,

GW are dropping their White Dwarf distribution through WH Smiths. Again, less likely to affect grumpy old vets, but its another interesting facet to the bigger picture

quite true however you have heard one thing but don't know the reasons why....lets just say that I agree with GW on this one to a point

Brandir
07-01-2011, 15:00
I am slightly confused about this. Presumably that means WD will no longer be in newsagents? Or are GW using another distributor to get WD into newsagents?

blongbling
07-01-2011, 15:01
I am slightly confused about this. Presumably that means WD will no longer be in newsagents? Or are GW using another distributor to get WD into newsagents?

time will tell i guess

Hermanesq
07-01-2011, 15:06
WD will still be in news agents. The official release for this info is on their website as of today

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=14800008a

Brandir
07-01-2011, 15:07
Why are they doing this? Is it to do with the t&cs from WHS?

Hermanesq
07-01-2011, 15:11
Off the back on their recent 'where do you buy your WD from' survey

And that they can make up those sales instore, which gives the added benefit of potentially selling you some toy solidiers to go with that copy of WD


Add_ Oh, and because the biggest pain in the **** for selling WD for a staffer, is 'oh, I bought it in Smiths the other day, cos they sell it earlier' lol

Sai-Lauren
07-01-2011, 15:18
Non-native English speakers would surely be reading a copy that has been translated into the local language?
Nope, translation is very expensive - you're looking at thousands of pounds per language for an army book.

IIRC, GW only translate to French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese - anywhere else is likely to get the English version (such as Scandanavia and Netherlands - where English as a second language may even be better than UK English as a first language ;) ), or something regionally close (Portugal gets Spanish IIRC).

IJW
07-01-2011, 15:29
I didn't mean every local language, but as you've pointed out much of Europe get the stuff in local language or at least one that is widely spoken/read in that country.

I have translator friends so have an idea how many tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds GW must spend on translation each year.

SlaughterSun
07-01-2011, 15:29
Sai Lauren:
(Portugal gets Spanish IIRC).


Portugal mostly gets English except in some very few cases. For a time GW tried to push us the Spanish books but the stores returned them.

To my knowledge there have been a few atempts at translating the books to portuguese, but if i recall, these were made in Spain and the quality was lets just say...less than desirable.

Your Portuguese forumite:

SlaughterSun

toonboy78
07-01-2011, 15:31
.....is just interested in fielding the biggest baddest model on the table for maximum pwnage!

thats correct, how else does one play this game??

aa.logan
07-01-2011, 15:39
As to the profit warning it's not that bad as on the news mothercare is expected to be down 9% hmv down even more so 4% isn't that bad considering wargaming is a luxury but baby goods are essential (I know from experiance).

But surely those two make more significantly more profit than GW anyway so a comparison is less useful.

To give a very broad example- would you rather own a company whose profits had dropped from £100 million to £75 million, or one whose profits had fallen from £10 million to £8 million? It'd be the first, even though they'd suffered a bigger percentage drop...

Bombot
07-01-2011, 15:40
Why are they doing this? Is it to do with the t&cs from WHS?

If they're going to continue selling it through other newsagents then it must be. If it was a more significant change in strategy then GW would only sell it in their own stores or online.

yabbadabba
07-01-2011, 15:43
A lot of people really like spending to much time thinking about a company they think sucks.
What has GW done to you Yabba Dabba, its like you live on the pricing and business boards writing essays. You should spend your time thinking more about your own career or ventures than worrying about a company that you think is so intrinsically wrong. I'm not bothered if its your hobby and you feel passionate about it. Very sad. There are others as well.
I personally hope they pull something out of the bag and finally do something because the competition is slowly catching them up no matter how much the competition needs them.
I'm not ment to be being insulting, but come on guys look at yourselves! I'm guesing your not young people. Quiet day? Thanks your post will be reported.


Yabba Dabba is generally a defender of GW. Not sure I agree about this at all.

Chaos and Evil
07-01-2011, 15:45
thats correct, how else does one play this game??

Using tactics and stuff.

Not that the core audience gives a damn about that kind of thing...

frozenwastes
07-01-2011, 15:54
Not sure I agree about this at all.

How about "yabbadabba is often quick to point out the flaws in people's arguments when they bash GW if he thinks their arguments don't hold water or that they're going too far."?

sigur
07-01-2011, 16:00
Hooray, we're at the point of discussion where everybody gets tired and just hurls vague accusations at each other. :)

IJW
07-01-2011, 16:12
How about "yabbadabba is often quick to point out the flaws in people's arguments when they bash GW if he thinks their arguments don't hold water or that they're going too far."?
Sounds about right to me, and a stance that I tend to hold myself. ;)

yabbadabba
07-01-2011, 16:12
How about "yabbadabba is often quick to point out the flaws in people's arguments when they bash GW if he thinks their arguments don't hold water or that they're going too far."?Hmmm better. I try to do two things on forums like this - present the other side for a balanced argument and where I believe I have been told a fact, present it as such.

Tbh while I would like GW to become a big part of my wargaming life again, I can't see them making the effort so I am fairly ambivalent should they fail or succeed. What I can't really accept is balatant one sided, anecdotal or false opinion presented as fact. Plus its a form of fun putting together posts like that. I'd rather spend my time on the Rules Dev forums but they haven't been that challenging or exciting recently.

blongbling
07-01-2011, 16:13
Nope, translation is very expensive - you're looking at thousands of pounds per language for an army book.

IIRC, GW only translate to French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese - anywhere else is likely to get the English version (such as Scandanavia and Netherlands - where English as a second language may even be better than UK English as a first language ;) ), or something regionally close (Portugal gets Spanish IIRC).

no point in translating into any of the Scandinavian languages as their English is so good. Some stuff has been done in Dutch, there are also translations in Polish and Russian (under licence)

Havarel
07-01-2011, 16:18
Hooray, we're at the point of discussion where everybody gets tired and just hurls vague accusations at each other. :)

But that's the most fun part :P

Been an interesting discussion, but doesn't bode well for GW over the longer term.

Sent from my HTC Desire using Tapatalk

Bloodknight
07-01-2011, 17:06
no point in translating into any of the Scandinavian languages as their English is so good.

Yep. I also have the feeling that GW don't actually spend a lot on translators. The translations into German are done by the WD team and as to the quality of their translations: I doubt any of the WD guys is a real translator. ;). That said, translation is one of the most underpaid jobs you can do with a degree, at least in Germany. Translating non -best-selling novels is basically a work of love.

warhammergrimace
07-01-2011, 17:58
Decided to be nosey at GW's share price at the begining of the week it was trading at 420.00p its now down to 345.00pp, though it was this low last January, but they did reach a high of 440.00p at the begining of November, so not a bright start to the year for them. Having returned to the same status as last year, will be interesting to see how they fair this year, and if they have any big releases that may pull them back up again. They release the sales data in a couple of weeks, so will be interesting to see how that affects the share price.

I also wondered if GW had a bad year, would everyone else also have a bad year, or would companies like Mantic do better due to lower prices. Its going to be an interesting year for the hobby in the UK. Warlord have released a WW2 skirmish rule set, but I hadn't heard or read much about it until I saw it the other day on thier website.

Hermanesq
07-01-2011, 18:30
new limited ed. Game in september should give financials in sept/oct. But we shall see