I have been avoiding the negative side of these rumors and announcements like the plague. I do not like to over indulge in negative posts. I enjoy my hobby, do not believe that Games Workshop is actively working against the hobby, or hates us so. This often puts me into a place where I do not want to post a few things that I find, so I skip over them, or try and handle them in my end of the week editorial.

Lately we have seen Games Workshop stop Northern European companies from selling their reduced priced products to other countries. We have seen resin models with a price hike, and now the latest rumor control policy that limits GW managers from getting anything. All of this, and probably more, has led to quite a bit of frustration, and to be blunt, is pissing people off.

First the overseas ban on companies:
I am in the United States, in Oregon. So I do not know how the pricing works elsewhere, and I will not speak for the people in Australia or elsewhere. It seems from what I have read that their pricing atm is out of control. I do hope that a local plant in that region will help on pricing. I don't know enough to really comment more though.

In my neck of the woods. I see Games Workshops new policy helping local stores. Too many people purchase their product from companies like Wayland Games, and only show up at stores to play, and do so with shiny new models that were bought online (even bragging about it). Since the local stores are bound to the pricing GW gives them, they lose a ton of business, and I see the new policy levelling the playing field. I personally love my local game shops (Knightfall Games and Rivals), and see this as a positive. They after all should be making the money on the sales. They just cannot compete with a company like Wayland who has no overhead in this local area.

Once again, I am only commenting on a local perspective, I do not pretend to know all the workings or pricing in other countries.

Price Hikes and Resin:
The full announcement is not here yet on the resin. So I personally love rumors, but do not jump the gun on something I do not have enough information on.

As for the price hikes. People will not spend more or less on models. You spend what you spend. If things cost more, you will simply be more cautious what you are spending, and spend the same. I want Games Workshop to remain competitive, and remain on the top of  tabletop games. I do not like spending more than anyone else, but I also want to see the quality of 5th edition maintain. It is the best out there.

I am sure they know of the negative images this kind of stuff gives them and I am sure it pains them greatly, (even if no one believes me), even though they must watch the bottom line, and make sure they are profiting, they also love our hobby. Costs in our world have increased greatly. Inflation is out of control (another subject personal to me like the skyrocketing cost of food and fuel), and to reasonable think this doesn't effect our hobby is alarming.

Rumor Control
Rumors will come. GW Managers are the ones who are no longer allowed to know anything. This is the just of the new policy. Managers in any company are generally the worst source of info, and yet everyone turns to them. They know just enough to get them into trouble, and yet not the truth of what is really going on. Generally they know just enough to piss people off. This is why I would find it important to limit their knowledge of what is coming out. The upper echelons I am sure know this, and know that rumors are important. This way they can control the negative, and then keep up the current rumor releases. This is logical and makes sense.

Conclusion
These are sensitive subjects. They tend to piss people off. I am the kind of person that stays away from all the melodrama the world throws me. However, it is OK to get pissed off on these subjects, they are tough ones. I do not vilify Games Workshop. They might make some decisions I do not agree with, but I do believe they are trying to do the best they can.

I generally do not moderate comments. On this one, I will delete overzealous rants. Please keep it civil.

6 Comments:

  1. I live in sweden, i dident even know we had "reduced prices" :)

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. You are spot on about the ban of overseas sales. Even though my primary job is web developer, I still do work at my LGS when they need me. It really makes me sick when people show up to play on our boards that we spend days making with their models they bought online and bragging about it. At least when they are not painted or based we can send them packing.

    Sorry about the deleted post had a bad type error.

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  4. A small thought on pricing: i live in Hungary, Budapest, and we have a local store here that is an independent reseller only, we do not have a GW store in Hungary sadly. It uses prices with the RRP from GW with a GBP-HUF exchange rate of 1:360. Officially, 1 GBP is 312 HUF right now so they are making hell of a lot extra profit on it. I ask myself: should I order stuff from Maelstrom or Wayland with a 10%-25% discount, or should I pay RRP+15% to support mí local store? 40k is not a cheap hoppy (considering Hungarian salaries, it is definitely expensive), so I'd rather buy more for my money. Am I to be blamed about this? I don't think so.
    Sure, LGSs are suffering because they have to sell stuff at the RRP but hell, who sells those products to online resellers? GW does. Who sells them on a price that these resellers can offer 10-25% discount on them? GW does.
    Let's take an example. A model costs 4 GBP for GW, it sells it at 10 GBP in their store. Yet, they sell it for let's say 6 GBP to independent resellers who can then sell it at 8 GBP and everyone makes a profit. (Online stores are not charity institutes after all, they live from profit as well.)

    The solution is not denying outside EU customers (who already pay much higher prices for their stuff - and the extra profit is lost on tolls and dows NOT go to GW I think) from getting the miniatures on normal price, but to
    * make reseller prices higher, thus denying the 10-25% discount, online stores can give
    * make some value added services az local game stores, eg. discount vouchers, promotions, etc.
    * let people buy new things in LGS first with a discount price
    * make it possible that if you buy online at GW's own store and want to pick up your package in a LGS, you have a few % discount (like many online stores do)
    * rethink logistics, work with smaller LGSs that are only for exhibition, gaming with no stock at all, and only used for ordering and delivery (hell we live in the 2011, it's so convinient to order things on the Internet, go down to your store in a few days and get them after they arrive)
    * actually, try to make gamers believe that GW CARES about them

    On the other hand: if I personally calculate that "hell a new 1850 pts army would cost me let's say 300 GBP" I say ok, let's do it, I might even get another army in 1-2 years. But if I see that "hell, an 1850 points army costs 500 GBP" than I might not even start the hobby alltogether.

    So although I do understand concerns for LGSs, it is not really the gamers' concern to save them I think - it's a company policy issue to make them efficient and to persuade gamers that it is good for them to go there and buy stuff there. Everyone uses money for living, and smart people try to save as much as possible, given the opportunity. If for nothing else, then to buy more GW stuff on that saved money :)

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  5. Bragging about playing in a store with models bought online is certainly poor etiquette.

    However, when the models bought online cost 30-40% less than the models available at the store, it is completely understandable that the consumer will buy online.

    I am in Canada, and typically save between 25-30% by buying online from the UK (online discount plus exchange rate). Consumers in Australia save 30% at least, from I have heard from Australian podcasts.

    GW is reducing the extent to which people can afford to engage in this hobby. This embargo will not have people buying in a FLGS tomorrow what they bought online from the UK yesterday. It will have people buying less from local online stores, or less still from the FLGS.

    Personally, I will not be starting a Grey Knights army anymore. My plan was purchase a 1500 point GKs army, and then an 1850 point Necron army when that faction is updated later this year.

    Now, I will just be purchasing the Necrons, and still from an online store (albeit a Canadian online store for a 10% discount as opposed to the 25 I used to get from Maelstrom with the exchange rate). I do not claim to represent everyone; however, I suspect that GW has just hurt their bottom line without helping the local FLGS.

    When there is even a 10% online savings to be made on a product as expensive as GW, the average consumer will, I think, take the savings. The FLGS will still lose out.

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  6. there are multiple reasons for the high prices at GW, none of which bother me, GW in the uk are trying for i think 3% growth, and in an attempt to raise that extra 3% they actually took on board the 'spend money to make money', as such we've got much nicer models recently due to all the funky new tech they've invested in.
    another point is you guys talking about gw's profit, gw aren't in profit, outside of the aussie side of the company.

    they actually work really hard to give us what we want/what they want to see above what is cost effective for them, it's surprising how much leeway the board give the design team.

    or should i say how much the design team manipulate the board with sales figures.

    and in the end it makes no difference as 86% of the money they make comes from copyright then 12% i think is from mail-order meaning just 2% comes from stores, but stores aren't there for profit, if that was their job they'd have all closed, they are there for walk-in's and thats all.

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