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Some say WD has and GW has lost touch with its fans.
Yet others say GW models/products are better than ever.
But others GW is recording consecutive losses.
Others think the new competition: ie "Privateer Press" might eventually erode GW's market control.
If GW has little or no future, then there is no point here. Sad, I know. GW has SO much potential if run correctly.
What do you guys think.
GW still holds a vast majority of the gaming market - companies like Privatree Press have gained popularity in the recent few years, but whilst they are strong competators, they have a long way to go to capture the wargamers and modelers market.
As for the popularity - new players don't tend to see as many problems as the older fans, mostly because the older ones remember the "golden years" (this tends to vary from fan to fan ). Though myself, I think part of the problem is that they simply do not inform the consumer as to changes occuring with good timeing - such as the bits removal or the inks removal - these changes were hinted on warseer and in WD - but no notice as to the changes was mentioned on the website and store staff were equally uninformed and also unevenly informed.
As for the losses this is a fact that GW are not doing as well as they could be, and recently the gamble with Lord of the Rings has hit them rather hard - along with many other problems along the way.
Do I think they are crashing and burning? I don't think they are doing as well as they were, but I don't think they are ended yet - though the recent financial troubles in the world could be the death bells! Some times hobbies survive well - on the fan base - but in the great scheme of things its a hobby, which can (though painfully) be dropped for more important things like food and heating (winter)
member of LO JCHAT
Legion Of Jaffa Consuming Hatters and Terribly Superfluous
The current speculation that GW is in trouble is just "someone said that" and "someone said this"
With videos games and mmo's dominating the entertainment market sure most people wont turn to a 'nerdy' table top game. But there will always be a core group of people that realize the oppertunities and massive amounts of enjoyment (more than any video game ever will)
Maybe Games Workshop has lost touched with they're fans cause every time they reach out everyone whines and complains about every little thing they do without giving any civil critism, people in this world are always quick to reject new and un-familiar ideas I've seen this everywhere and everyday time and time again.
In all honesty GW is'nt going anywhere for quite some time.
GW may be getting hit with financial losses, but that (like many cases of company's losing money) is probably more a result of poor management and bad deciscions in the upper ranks rather than a lack of interest in the game or sales. (As Gauss said - over extending themselves with new products rather than focusing on their core).
Most people I talk to talk about the price of GW products - which is far outstripped natural inflation. This could be for any number of reasons, but punk rocker in mean assumes its because executive salaries are going up, although it probably has more to do with the price of oil.
I firmly believe that he models are the best they have ever been, and if the latest trends continue, we will see even better stuff in the future.
GW exists to sell miniatures. Period. That's it. All the rest of it -- rules, fluff, etc... it exists so you want to go out and buy more miniatures. This is ok - the up side for us (the consumer) is we get a company that makes such incredibly cool miniatures to buy.
GW is struggling in the marketplace. They had a few amazing years and then rest on their laurels. They are in the process of changing/fixing this - the proof is the new range of miniatures, which are great, and the investment they have made in tooling for said new miniatures. If you asked me 2 years ago if i preferred metal or plastic, I would have immediately said metal. Now the range of plastics is so much better and of quality that I know that I would answer "plastic" today, and (if the miniatures were offered in plastic instead of metal) RE-purchase at least $200 worth of miniatures tomorrow. Why? They are soooooo much easier to convert and build.
GW has made the monumentally bad decision of licensing LOTR. The costs of said license must be a huge drain on the company. The miniatures, however well detailed, sculpted, and produced just DONT fit in with the rest of the GW range. I firmly believe that the reason Citadel/GW miniatures have done so well over the years is the exaggeration of scale. Because some things are just a bit too big, they look great, and have made it easier to get the 'look' out of your miniatures. They have considerable style because of it.. The LOTR range is phenomenally boring to me. The game mechanics are quite good. Go figure.
If GW gets rid of the cranial-rectal inversion that they have had for awhile, focuses on making the best miniatures they can, organizes and promotes the social and fun aspects of the hobby, and keeps the new fluff and rules interesting and helpful, They will be fine.
Some supply-side pricing changes to help boost sales would be welcome, but that will never happen.
The changes in Bitz sales is extremely annoying, and downright stupid, if you ask me. Hopefully there will be more bitz packs in the future, and hopefully they won't suck sour lemons like the current range.
The way I understand it, the money that GW made from the massive sales of LotR back when it was a massive craze was then invested in improving their methods of plastic production. If this is the case, then it is certainly showing now in the form of highly detailed plastic kits with an amazing degree of flexibility in terms of equipment and posing, and extra bits left over to convert other models. In Fantasy, basic infantry units from the newer army books actually rank up properly when put together, instead of forcing me to spend hours planning and re-gluing models that don't actually fit on the movement trays properly. Speaking of LotR, I've noticed that GW is now attempting to create its own brand of fluff in the form of background for unexplored areas of Middle Earth, for example, the recent books on Harad and the Corsairs, which include a lot of characters that weren't ever mentioned in Tolkien's original novels. I can't imagine that the Tolkien estate would ever let GW do this if the franchise wasn't reasonably successful. I believe the licensing restrictions from New Line have been relaxed as well, allowing people to use LotR bits in conversions for Fantasy and 40k as well (assuming that you actually wanted to, though I did see a really good Treeman based on the plastic Balrog). Judging by the previews of the Mordor stuff in the recent White Dwarf, I'm quite excited by the prospect of starting the game soon, if only for the models (which is how I started Fantasy and 40k, to be fair).
The growing fears of recession might also have something to do with the situation as well. I'm not an economist so I couldn't tell you what's going on.
If any of us knew for certain the future of the company, we'd all be wealthy stock brokers. GW had some rough years in the mid 90s and shut down the entire north american retail operation, if no one remembers, and they came back and now they're scaling back again. Such is life. Just think, if they go belly up now, your great-grandkids will be on Antiques Roadshow one day hearing that your Squat on Trike with Graviton Gun vs Zoat diorama is worth $50,000.
I have played GW for years and as a game store owner for more then four years now I can give what I believe is valid insight here.
In the mid 80's Gamers Workshop was a small unheard of company in the US which was dominated by the likes of Ral Partha which had been in the market from 1975. RP grew under licenses of D&D, Battle tech and ogre game systems. But with the very things that gave them rise was also their doom. As D&D waned and the license lost and with FASA buying them up then going out of business their fate was sealed.
Unlike RP, Gamers workshop built it's own game system and looked for a license as well that would be popular. One of the biggest rise to Games Workshop was in the 80's and 90's few people had the models so most people had to buy to play.
The irony of the game is the selling point of it, you can spend five or six hundred dollars and play for life. This is the problem too as it means that many people never have to re-invest in the game unlike CCG's like magic where you always have to buy more and more 500 dollars is what the average tournament player drops a quarter in magic.
So for GW to continue it needs to always have new people joining the game or older players getting new armies. Let's face it this is a hard thing to do unless tournament play in the area is new.
When I first started my store we didn't push Warhammer because several shops around us had for years and the people in the area already had their armies just wanted a place to play. Without the sales this is lose/lose for a store. We pay for the space, lights, A/C, tables terrian etc so others can play for "free" without supporting the very store they are in OR we charge them to use the area which scares away many people too thinking the store is money grubbing etc. So we took the easy road until all the old players faded then "launched" the game anew so that people coming into the game would support the area devoted to it.
Now back to if GW is fading. I have read all their statements which you can find online. They are a 100+ million a year company and in places like asia they are expanding (new player base) while their personal stores in the US are shrinking. Yet STG a part of GW is exploding in the CCG market. Let's not forget the licences for Video games and RPGs out there.
While AT-43 and the privateer press lines might be making inroads fast they will soon face the same problem as GW is now.
But what several other games do by getting new people into model mini's is to grow the base of players and future GW Gamers.
Funny to that each time a new edition comes out player grumble about buying it. Like many othe games RPGs, CCGs, and CMGs this is the only steady stream of income from several of the older players in a game system like this.
Do I think that it will last, yes I do and for some time to come at that. Do I think that there is room for improvement, oh heck yes. I am on the luckier side as I know more then most people because of my position and the fact I talk to the GW people a few times a week every week.
Alot of bashing on LoTR from players, but they fail to relise LoTR wont be dropped until it starts making less money than Fantasy. As it is right now, LoTR sells ALOT more than WHFB.
As much as i bitch and complain bout GW, i will never quit their games until they do something beyond stupid.
Like staying on the current path and changing the fluff to black and white/ good and evil. Star Wars with Orks, SM, and Elves.
I remember when the fluff had grey areas in the good and evil area, and characters wern't 2 dimensional
Number of posts backed with factual citations: zero.
Neither myself, nor anyone I've spoken with, has seen local LotR sales that are even close to 1/3.
But, what if it was possible to poll a virtual club of 1,778 non-GW sales reps to get at the truth?
2008 Silicon Dragons Miniatures Survey - Results - Reaper Message Board
What games systems do you use?
Warhammer 40K 38.39%
Warhammer FB 29.72%
Epic 40K 2.63%
It's unsurprising that sales reps are telling stores to stock 1/3 LotR to support its massive sales.
But, the numbers suggest that @ 1 in 23 "big three" GW players have actually bought LotR.
Yet LotR seems to account for @ 1/3 of GW's advertising and production budgets.I'll bet when you're not playing LotR, you're not playing Squats or Chaos Marines, either . . .i will never quit their games until they do something beyond stupidYou haven't yet noticed how BL's low standards result in a disturbing level of canon background retcon?changing the fluff to black and white/ good and evil. Star Wars with Orks, SM, and ElvesMore importantly, fluff had three anchor points: Unification, Heresy and "Present Day".fluff had grey areas in the good and evil area, and characters wern't 2 dimensional
Three centuries out of four hundred. That left three hundred ninety-six centuries of "grey".
Perversely, 99% of new fiction concerns that 1% of the "history", and people accept this tripe as canon.
A "No one percenters!" policy adopted at Black Library's inception would have gone a long way toward averting disaster.
But, it's too late to take such sensible steps now.
Printing a Chaos Codex that directly harmed the sales of models, new and old, was a masterstroke.
BL's whoring-out of 40k fluff to unemployed comic book authors was just another nail in the coffin.
Wasn't it the 2005 report where Tom Kirby blamed profit shortfalls on the LotR sales plummet?
Did another New Line LotR film get released since then to rally those flagging game sales?
Don't worry. None of that will sink GW as long as they can continue to attract thousands of new players annually.
It won't die out until their fluff becomes weak, their rules unsupported with errata and their sculpts become dire.