PDA

View Full Version : Games Workshops Success in Australia



nanktank
03-05-2007, 13:28
I am putting this hypothesis of mine up for discussion.

Games Workshop in Australia seems to be very successfull at the moment. I think that this due to the fact that competing miniature game systems aren't selling anywhere nearly as well. I believe there are a number of reasons for this:

Marketing - GW markets their product really well almost every school kid now has heard of warhammer even if they dont play it. Where as nobody but the ultra nerds have ever heard of Battletech, Confrontation, Warmachine or Flames of War.

Availability - Again GW products will generally get released when they say they will. Also in almost every capital city (sorry Darwin & Hobart) there is at least one GW store and a swathe of indie retailers. Using Battletech again as an example for the small cult community out here that actually plays it, availabilty is crap many a store owner I have spoken to complains about the wholesaler being very unreliable for this product. This is true for a lot of alternative companies games that compete well in other countries.

Anybody have anything to add or comment?

Crube
03-05-2007, 14:06
Seems to me, that Australia is in a stage that UK GW was in a while ago, and where it would like to be now.

I dont know the numbers behind GW presence in Oz, but I think you're right about the main reasons behind their apparant success.

Bear in mind though, that other miniture wargames will probably go for the US, or UK market first, and leave Oz to flounder a little at first.

Not too long ago, obtaining FoW and Battle tech stuff over here in the UK was a hit and miss affair, and still is for stuff like Wargods.

Eventually. these other companies will expand properly into Oz, and then GW will have a fight on its hands.

Ross
03-05-2007, 14:17
I was at a Union Delagates conference a month ago, we did one of those "tell us something about yourself no one would know" dealies. I said I collected and modeled small soldiers, the instructor (40+ years old) said "like warhammer" and I was then amazed that 5 out of the 14 of us knew what warhammer was or had a vague idea. Now most were parents whose kids (10-15 years) did it or friends did, and the other dabbled in high school (3 years ago).
Back when I was at school (say 14 or so) only probably 10 people out of 500 or so knew about warhammer.

Two weeks ago in the People magazine (a girlie magazine, nudes, center folds, reviews ect.) had a review about BFSP and a side article about further interest in the game and directing people to games workshop stores. The report was informative (for someone who knew nothing about the stuff) and very accurate (IMO).

I'd say, especially with the new computer games GW have done an amazing job of marketing their stuff.

(Yes I'm in Australia, Victoria, near Ballarat)

Delicious Soy
03-05-2007, 14:32
I think GW have had a bit of an expansion lately, opening a couple of new stores and establsihning a presence where they never used to be. I think its one place where GW's bricks and mortar aaproach works simply because Indy stockists just aren't present in any powerful way out in the 'burbs.

Osbad
03-05-2007, 14:49
Yeah. "Doing well in Australia" while worthy, is sort of like a minor prize when they are losing out in major markets like Northern Europe. The population of OZ is around 21million, the population of France and Germany alone combined is over 140million, leaving out other Northern European countries in that sales grouping like Belgium, Holland etc. They are "doing well" in a market place that is 1/7 or less the size of the one they are "doing badly" in!

I'm not decrying this success, and God-forbid meaning any disrespect to Australians. Just putting up some context and pointing out that the potential market in Australia isn't likely to pull GW's fat out of the fire. No more than results that said "we are doing well in Scotland" or somesuch...

It is also of note that while they mentioned "encouraging signs" in America, they didn't go so far as to say there were any increases in previous years profits (well losses actually...)

Adept
03-05-2007, 16:49
Yeah. "Doing well in Australia" while worthy, is sort of like a minor prize when they are losing out in major markets like Northern Europe. The population of OZ is around 21million, the population of France and Germany alone combined is over 140million, leaving out other Northern European countries in that sales grouping like Belgium, Holland etc. They are "doing well" in a market place that is 1/7 or less the size of the one they are "doing badly" in!

I'm not decrying this success, and God-forbid meaning any disrespect to Australians. Just putting up some context and pointing out that the potential market in Australia isn't likely to pull GW's fat out of the fire. No more than results that said "we are doing well in Scotland" or somesuch...

I think it's more of a 'Gee, we seem to be doing allright here, why can't we do allright elsewhere?' thread than a 'Hah, GW are doing well in Australia, what a success!' thread.


GW markets their product really well almost every school kid now has heard of warhammer even if they dont play it.

More than that, I've met girls, real girls, in nightclubs who knew what warhammer was. In addition, it turns out that the bar manager at another venue in town also plays, and one of the current bar staff at my venue used to be a redshirt!

It's certainly spreading. Just about everyone seems to know of it, at least.

Cypher
03-05-2007, 19:20
Few things spring to mind:

The location of the stores actually makes them easy to find. There are three GW stores in Adelaide, and all three are in locally central shopping arcades, and one in particular is on an extremely high traffic. In other words, the simple exposure is high. Having been to a few GW stores in Europe (including Lenton) this isnt always the case. The Oxford Street store in London is a great (bad) example: it's in an arcade, about as far away from the entrance as possible.

The staff in Oz are all really good. Not that Im bagging anyone else, but the people who work for GW in Oz really are a credit to the company. I have heard stories that the customer service in some parts of the world leaves a lot to be desired. Moreover, the "focus on the kiddies, ignore the oldies" approach that I've heard about certainly isnt in effect here.

The Oz community is very strong too. There are a lot of community run events (mainly tournaments) in every major city, which, along with the GW events, do wonders to bring people in and keep them on board.

Id also suggest Dawn of War would have helped no end. It's hugely popular around here, and video games are something you can talk about without sounding like a nerd :D

The game is afoot
03-05-2007, 21:42
GW are doing alright in New Zealand too but i'm not sure thats going to offset the losses they are currently incurring.

Raggie
03-05-2007, 23:14
Yeah. "Doing well in Australia" while worthy, is sort of like a minor prize when they are losing out in major markets like Northern Europe. The population of OZ is around 21million, the population of France and Germany alone combined is over 140million, leaving out other Northern European countries in that sales grouping like Belgium, Holland etc. They are "doing well" in a market place that is 1/7 or less the size of the one they are "doing badly" in!

I'm not decrying this success, and God-forbid meaning any disrespect to Australians. Just putting up some context and pointing out that the potential market in Australia isn't likely to pull GW's fat out of the fire. No more than results that said "we are doing well in Scotland" or somesuch...
Agreed. It's not just wargaming, but plenty of industries etc that have the same view. Comes down to things like population size & transport costs (hey, even a former Prime Minister described us as living in the "Ar$e-end of the world").

Badgertronic
03-05-2007, 23:28
how true about dawn of war.. all of my friends have a copy and started playing warhammer.thats what got me into it as well with the first one.if only baneblades werent forge world.....

the_dark_sarge
04-05-2007, 07:20
yer my local GW seems to be going well too
although the next step would be for forgeworld to come to our golden demons so we can buy the models
unlikely but we can only hope

kieran

Cypher
04-05-2007, 09:49
yer my local GW seems to be going well too
although the next step would be for forgeworld to come to our golden demons so we can buy the models
unlikely but we can only hope

kieran

Without a centralised Games Day, it wouldnt be viable for them to ship stock over here on the off chance someone buys it. They actually did try a FW ordering week type thing many years ago (back when it was even more expensive than it is today), but it didnt get much of a response.

Id much rather the long-awaited bits service: with a base shipping cost of nearly $20 from the UK regardless of what you order, there is no easy way to get bits here.

lorelorn
04-05-2007, 11:48
Shipping costs have changed. The base cost is now 8 pounds.

I ordered Blood Bowl and a Chaos Dwarf team, plus some other sundry miniatures a few weeks ago. Total shipping was 15 pounds. In fact the total plus shipping and minus VAT was less than the cost of the good before tax was removed!

Varath- Lord Impaler
04-05-2007, 12:47
Well i'd say its due to the friendlyness of GW staffers aswell, ive only ever met one dick and he only lasted like 2 weeks.

Yeah Warhammer is doing well in the Oz. Im looking forward to the day i can get my female interest (to put it politely) back into the game*

*Notice...i said BACK into the game

Cypher
04-05-2007, 12:55
Shipping costs have changed. The base cost is now 8 pounds.
8 pound is roughly AU$20 :)

lorelorn
05-05-2007, 01:23
Sorry - for some reason I read the dollar sign in your post as a pounds sign! :o

Delicious Soy
05-05-2007, 09:56
The staff in Oz are all really good. Not that Im bagging anyone else, but the people who work for GW in Oz really are a credit to the company. I have heard stories that the customer service in some parts of the world leaves a lot to be desired. Moreover, the "focus on the kiddies, ignore the oldies" approach that I've heard about certainly isnt in effect here.I'd debate that. In Sydney, I've been to 4 different GWs for the most part (CBD, Parramatta, Liverpool and Macarthur) and there is a significant difference between the established stores (Parra and the CBD) and the new stores (Mac and L'pool). Established stores have friendlier staff while in the newer ones all I've recieved is the hard sell, to the point that someone berated me about not buying White Dwarf despite voicing my disinterest. Personally I think its becuase they seem to have a prioirity in establishing a new market, it certainly seems that the new stores are geared heavily towards the younger end of the market. Don't get me wrong, I find the service in Parra and the CBD nigh on impeccable, but I think some stores struggle to cater to everyone.

Hellebore
05-05-2007, 10:47
I'm wondering whether the success has to do with the Australian mentality and population demographics.

Australia is supposed to have the most urbanised populace in the world (percentage wise) with something like 90+% of the population living in cities. GW stores are put in those cities, which means they are in the densest populations, giving them greater visibility.

Also, driving down to the shopping centre is seen as no big thing, despite them being upwards of half an hour away or more. Driving long distances is just what we do, so the idea that the local GW is too far away only applies to a minority of people.

I don't know, that's just some conclusions based on Australian populations. As to staff, I've never met non-Australian staff, and I have met some prats here. Generally though, when I went to the local GW (which for me is a 30 minute drive from home - 45 by bus) once a week, it was to sit at the painting table and muck around with the staff - who after putting up with me or years became friends.

So my opinion of them is a little biased, considering I know them all outside work.

Fun, relaxed, with a sense of (sometimes inappropriate and thus hilarious) humour.

They like to bait me with new stuff, not expecting me to buy anything....


Hellebore

nanktank
05-05-2007, 11:49
The staff are another factor I hadn't thought about. I'd agree that generally they are pretty good with a few exceptions. The Aussie mentality is a good point as well, I have noticed that people here have a thing against haggling (not that you could ever haggle the price down at GW) but what I mean is that they are very accepting of prices even if we are getting ripped off by the exchange rate. I guess its just the young age of the majority of the customers who dont think to source their minis secondhand or off the internet.

GideonRavenor
05-05-2007, 12:25
Where as nobody but the ultra nerds have ever heard of Battletech, Confrontation, Warmachine or Flames of War.




Exactly the same as the UK.

Varath- Lord Impaler
05-05-2007, 13:31
The aussie mentality is a big thing, but its hard to pin down what aspect of the mentality it is.

There is the general friendliness to everyone.

There is the laid back approach, you walk in "hello, looking for anything in particular? No? ok" *leaves to own devices but still talks to them so they are felt welcome*

There is also the 'fair go' approach where i see it that Aussies are alot less tight fisted and close minded to high prices and changes in rules and background. Sure, its an expensive hobby. But we enjoy it, we meet good people and we make friends.

Also i like GW parra (my regular haunt) because its right around from the Roxy (a local dispenser of drinks with an alcoholic nature)

Jezza
06-05-2007, 20:57
Probably another reason is that we don't have hobby shops with different gaming systems in them, only Toyworld which stocks Games Workshop only which has a store in every large town (roughly +20000 people).

If I want to play a different system I have to order it online or drive 600kms (I live in Central Queensland) to get it. This stops impulse buying and getting new kids playing different games on a whim. When we break out our Rackham or Warmachine gear all the kids go ooh ahh where can i get it, but since it is not readily available they never bother following it up.

It isn't GW having a wonderful game and Aussies not caring about price for we surely do, it is a matter of logistics and unless you live in a Capital city your only choice is GW or mail order.

Varath- Lord Impaler
07-05-2007, 02:39
Whats stopping you from starting your own club? Get a few tables and order the models from mail order. Not too tough

the_dark_sarge
07-05-2007, 10:33
another reason (apart from aussies being generally cool people) is the good strong economy at the moment
that probably helps

kieran

Jezza
07-05-2007, 10:46
Whats stopping you from starting your own club? Get a few tables and order the models from mail order. Not too tough

We do have our own club and permanent club house about 30 members (about 65% teenagers). Though it doesn't change the fact that there is only GW stuff for 600kms and try getting money out of teenagers to order out of a catalogue and in sufficient $ worth is pretty hard. I do it for senior members at about $500 a hit mainly via the warstore, but they have the money, for teenagers their parents have the money.

And the club has been going for about 20 years. Gladstone WARG for those that are curious.