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[Games Workshop] Does it again...

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Asmodai

Warrior Kobold
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#1
http://investor.games-workshop.com/latest_results/Results2007/downloads/GW_year_end_07.pdf


Highlights: A loss of over 2 million pounds this year and continued borrowing of debt to operate.

Sales are flat. Growth in Australia is cancelled out by declines in Europe. (Actually down overall and the lowest in 5 years, flat is charitable.)

32 stores are slated to be closed.

The Canadian warehouse is being closed and Canadian sales are being routed through Memphis. (I hope this doesn't mean I'll have to start paying customs duties on GW orders.)

From the Chairman's Preamble (Tom Kirby):
We grew fat and lazy on the back of easy success. We forgot about customer service and forgot that hardwork2 is and always has been the route to success. We forgot that we are a company which pursues profit and likes paying surplus cash to its owners. What was not expected was that it would take two poor years and a management reorganisation to get the problems taken seriously. Somewhere along the line too many of us thought that selling, sweating and saving were someone else's job. Well they aren't. That's my job and the job of all of us here at Games Workshop.

I think more than just a management re-organization might be required here.

Hopefully Apocalypse, the long-awaited Orks release and High Elves (always a popular army) will help GW spring back up a bit.
 
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#2
Some inarticulate thoughts for GW before heading off for work:

I've posted before about how I want to see introductory WFB and 40k skirmish games that allows you to build your forces from a basic Battalion box to... Apocalypse! Stick a basic introductory rules pamphlet and some stats cards in the boxes (or put them out for free on the counter) to draw outside gamers into the system - it's what all your competition does these days...

GW, I buy hobby materials regularly. I never buy yours, it's just too damn pricey.

I want to buy your building sprues for Fantasy and 40k, but although they're beautiful, they're too world-specific. Make something equally characterful but less... skully, and more outside gamers will buy the stuff.

The prices on metal blisters have reached the point where it's a conscious effort to go in and buy them. Pricing out the new Dol Amroth pikemen, I see I can get 12 for £30/$60 (a very dinky phalanx...). For the same price, I can get 40 Macedonians from Vendel, 27 Mediaeval Scots from Ebob, or 24 Norman spear for conversion from The Foundry. No competition.

(The prices on the plastic are still excellent though, especially the Battalion boxes - find a way to get other systems' gamers interested in buying them casually).

So yeah, I think the price increases are starting to bite for me. And it's like this each time they do it - a few more folks go and look somewhere else. No single catastrophe for the marketing people to point at, but a steady drip...

Skull Pass was a stunningly good introductory deal, but a poor introduction to Warhammer. Macragge and Moria were much better - more scenarios to keep the new gamer interested.

In general, the GW marketing model worked when there was little competition. There are a lot more toy soldier games to spend our money on now though - now you have to work to make me want to come into a GW store and spend my money with YOU.
 

Durandal

Rampant Construct
Validated User
#3
I want to buy your building sprues for Fantasy and 40k, but although they're beautiful, they're too world-specific. Make something equally characterful but less... skully, and more outside gamers will buy the stuff.
I think this has been a bit of a problem with GW for a while now. A lot of their marketing strategy seems to be based around the assumption that people don't play other games. Just look at their use of the "Games Workshop Hobby" instead of simply admitting they are just another TTG company that makes games for wargamer hobbyists. So it is little wonder all of their stuff is so specific to what they make. I too would love some more generic terrain out of GW but I just can't see it happening unless they finally come to terms with the fact that they aren't the only kid on the block.

GW has been losing a lot of ground in my city as of late while PP has been a top seller almost every month. At this point 40k is only marginally out pacing Warmachine and Hordes in sales and that is only because we don't tend to have Warmachine tournies up here while we have a 40k tournament every few months.

I think that GW need to start focusing more on the game aspect of their business. They make great models and some of their less popular games are actually quite brilliant. However their flagship product (WH40k) has been fluctuating wildly in terms of quality. It is only recently that they seem to be getting their collective act together on that front. Once they finally start producing FAQs and errata again (any month now I hope) and designing armies like they have started doing (with an eye towards balance as well as background) I think they will start seeing a positive result.
 

inq101

The quiet one
#4
I used to work for the company, but left 2 1/2 years ago. They changed the whole management system about 4-5 years ago and everything seemed to changed from concentrating on customers to concentrating on sales. I feel the hobby just isn't much fun anymore.
 
#5
Workshop has been in decline for a while now (at least in the UK) the reason is very simple nobody wants to play there main games because they suck. 40K is i roll more dice than you i win.
Warhammer is a lot better but its lost a lot of its charm that it used to have they need to rehaul there systems (AoA is a perfect example its what i play insteaed of warhammer now). now there Other games are excellent there old west games a lot of fun blood bowl rocks and i can take or leave necro/mordhiem but there still very enjoable to play. This also explains a lot of thinking behind apocalypse. now im sure theres a lot of people that disagree with me but in coventry in the uk thers not a lot of gammers that say much diffrenet.
 

Silverback

The Simian Summoner
Validated User
#6
I pretty much stopped shopping at GW shops when they decided to drop the sales of everybodies products apart from their own. 'nuff said I think.
 

Killfalcon

Reasonably Phosphorous
Staff member
Moderator
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#8
Is the total size of the minitures/wargameing market in general growing, declineing or remaining level?
Most companies don't give numbers. The only people who do, the biggest player, and the normal barometer of the whole affair... is Games Workshop.

But there are a lot of other players now, we can't tell if they're taking GWs sales, just scrapeing by, or if the whole industry is in decline.


My gut feel is that they've finally been bitten by their two-year average customer life, their constant price raises, and their fucked up 'colonial' practices spreading back to their core markets (coupled with the US becoming a core market, yet still being treated like crap). It's taken a *lot* longer than most expected, mind, so perhaps I'm wrong.


With luck, this'll bomb thier stock prices, so I can afford a pile. Five years and they'll be making shitloads again, I'd bet. ;)
 

Big Dave

Growling 24/7
Validated User
#9
I pretty much stopped shopping at GW shops when they decided to drop the sales of everybodies products apart from their own. 'nuff said I think.
'nuff said I think, I think not.

Peoples attitude over this amazes me, a lot of gamers think that GW have some kind of morale of obligation to stock other peoples products, but you don't see the same thing in over retail shops. Orange mobile phone shops only sell orange products. Burger King don't sell the Big Mac. GW are not a generic wargames retailer, their shops are the retails outlests for their products.

This also goes into why their products are very specifically suited to their lines, maybe it would be better if they were more generic but it shouldn't come as a suprise that there not.

I do agree that the instore attitude has changed and in a key up GW shop I actually find it an effort to go in, because I don't want attacking by sales staff.

There metal prices are getting on the high side.
 

Big Dave

Growling 24/7
Validated User
#10
Most companies don't give numbers. The only people who do, the biggest player, and the normal barometer of the whole affair... is Games Workshop.

But there are a lot of other players now, we can't tell if they're taking GWs sales, just scrapeing by, or if the whole industry is in decline.


My gut feel is that they've finally been bitten by their two-year average customer life, their constant price raises, and their fucked up 'colonial' practices spreading back to their core markets (coupled with the US becoming a core market, yet still being treated like crap). It's taken a *lot* longer than most expected, mind, so perhaps I'm wrong.


With luck, this'll bomb thier stock prices, so I can afford a pile. Five years and they'll be making shitloads again, I'd bet. ;)
GW are obliged to give figures as a PLC, thats why others don't.
 
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