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Games Workshop's Financial News


I generally dont like these, but they are news to a lot of people. We all have an investment into this game, and hobby, and I very much like to see Games Workshop succeed. So while I am not going to talk about these numbers, I will have a short link to where you can analyze the numbers yourself.


http://bloodofkittens.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/GW-2014-annual-report.pdf

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91 Comments

  1. interesting stuff. Iroinically I feel their "ego" and "private agendas" are rampant in his assessment (read the articel before responding to this).

    They don't get it - they are a game company that makes miniatures, not a miniature company that makes games - and until they admit this, they are doomed.

    A collector buys 1 wave serpent, or 1 night scythe or 1 termagant.
    A gamer buys enough to have to hide them from his wife....

    Then they flat out state they don't do market research, or even try to figure out what the customer actually wants - (again, read the article....to get the reference).

    To whomever takes over;
    * you need a $50 loss leader to get new people in the game - a starter to compete with warmachine and xwing. And sell it at target and walmart.
    * Don't complain about north american sales but then ignore they want a balanced game (i.e. more than beer and pretzels game).
    * there is this thing...its called the internet...its not just for selling things at full list.
    * when people frequently ask you questions, answer them.
    * dont persecute the 3rd party add on products - make them yourself, licensee them or buy them - being an ostrich about CUSTOMER DEMAND is egotistical.
    * You make a game - play test it - really. At least give people the perception you care.
    * Hire (fire yours if you have one - they are terrible) a marketing department - guys with business degrees who are wargamers - yes, you can find them.
    * Tighten your supply chain - if you are losing money on new kits that are $110 for $2 in production costs, something is wrong.
    * stop waging war on FLGS - they are your future, not your 1 man stores. The flags is where you steal from the competition (yes, you have competition, the sooner you realize it, the better). Its competiton for your market's dollars - a guy on a budget who goes to the flags does not care that you "dominate" he cares what game his friends are playing - and his friends are playing other games than GW, because you are choking the FLGS.


    They need some new blood - find a business leader from a strong company that is also a actual gamer - its stunningly clear they have lost their way.

    Unlearn kirby, you must unlearn...

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    1. No other comments? I think there may be a reason for that. I barely scratched the surface of the report and I already felt what you are getting at in your first sentence. As soon as I got to the part about no focus groups or asking the public what it wants I yelled "MAYBE YOU SHOULD!" at the screen. >_<

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    2. Yeah and they spent how much on that website? Its an off the shelf webstore, how? Why? And why axe the successful GW Digital Editions fb page, that was a seriously awesome outlet squandered. Uh guys...a direct social networking line to your customers from someone answering questions directly and visibly...that's what a lot of people want in a nutshell. Give them a line to the devs for faq style questions. Update faqs regularly as questions filter through. Seriously. Little things would go a long way and not cost much. And yeah, more bundles, more remaking expensive finecast models as cheaper boxed sets (which are also profitable).

      And advertise your product, its seriously worth it.

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    3. I'm just here to see how the fanboys twist this into some kind of success story in the making.

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    4. @ davethegamer

      You raise some very reasonable and valid points. Well said.

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    5. You give a good assessment but the problem with moving away from the beer and pretzels kind of game is that you then alienate those fans. It's a no-win situation since a huge chunk of gamers are going to be alienated and annoyed either way, losing GW sales.

      There's also the (imo) pretty reasonable question of "why does your need for a more balanced game trump our need for something casual, narrative-driven and a little OTT?"

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    6. I would add close your company stores. No one does that, no one in the gaming business (any format) that I can think of runs their own retail stores. I've been in the 'wargaming' hobby for over 40 years and I can't remember anyone ever having retail stores, although TSR may have tried it? Why is that? Maybe because it is a really bad idea.

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    7. I wouldn't close the retail stores tbh. In a lot of Europe, it's the only place we have to go game. Without my local GW, there'd be no clubs, no place to game and I'd probably quit or just buy the occasional model to paint. I know FLGS are a lot more prominent in the states but GW stores are vital in a lot of places.

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    8. Do you think that FLGS would open in Europe if GW didn't have a store in every village? Serious question. We certainly don't need them here in the states at all. There is one in Denver and I have never been there and very few of my gaming friends have either. We go to local guys to game and buy stuff.

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    9. In response to Quin, although GW retail stores seem to be a waste of money, I feel that the battle bunkers and their equivalents at least seemed to be good. I remember lots of events at those stores that made me want to expand my hobby. These new stores make me want to stop

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    10. I just think if they put that money into FLGS support for events, like they used to, and in all the other things Dave mentioned they would get more bang for their buck with a lot less overhead, at least here in the states. They closed the Bunkers which were real game stores, these other things are glorified kiosks imo.

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    11. Rasoylo: Given that the entity, Games Workshop, had $25.20 in earnings per share, yes that is successful. No company wants to see income go down like it has over the last year, but this is far from a bad financial report. If I were investing in Games Workshop it would be because they have a track record of good returns on my investment and I would try to keep in long term. But if I were a speculator, the reduction in profits will cause falling share prices, so that would keep me away.

      Overall, although the profits decreased this was another fairly good year for GW.

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    12. Isn't it 25.2p per share down from 51.5p per share last year? I think its pence per share not dollars.

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    13. I would reply fully, but the part about selling at Walmart and Target... Do you really think they'd take a risk at selling somewhere that there would be a VERY good chance the product could be stolen?

      I've thought about it before, but I honestly doubt they would. Too much of a risk.

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    14. Quinn, Wizards of the Coast had shops for a time during the 1990's and 2000's but they closed down.

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    15. An excellent assessment, just put that in an application for the new job opening letter.
      I always wonder if its just a case of noone telling the bigwigs at GW these things, it seems simple but if it never crosses their minds...
      Seriously, you never know.

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    16. I always find it hysterically funny reading comments by non-financial people interpreting financial reports. Profits and sales is but one component, there are liquidity, ratios, break-even points, sensitivity to change in sales to consider. 2014 is a much healthier financial report than 2013, despite the lower revenues.

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    17. Shemp: if I were an investor, I would be worried that in the same year that the company has released:
      - 7th Edition
      - Space Marines
      - Astra Militarum
      - Tyranids
      - Eldar
      - Imperial Knights
      (among other supplements), that profits have actually fallen below that of the previous year, of which 40k releases were:
      - 6th Edition
      - Tau
      - Chaos Space Marines
      - Dark Angels
      - Daemons

      Let me ask you: Which year is supposed to be making more money?

      And let's not even pretend that Fantasy is raking in the money, here.

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    18. How could GW producing a more balanced more concise rule set possibly hurt casual gamers or their bottom line?

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    19. @rasolyo: We are comparing first half of 2013 with first half of 2014 as far as I know. (correct me if I am wrong)
      In either case Eldar was in June last year, so it's counted for that year. (And was afaik very popular)
      Marines won't be counted yet, as it was in September last year. (but will obviously tilt the scale to 2013)

      Oh and if it's a July to July counting, you need to add Necrons to that list, as they came out November 2012.

      Looking at what actually came out this year I am not surprised this year was slower.
      With Astra Militarum and Orks being the two big release, both of whom have vocal but small fanbases from what I can tell.
      Knights was cool but most people bought just one, if any.

      As an investor though I doubt I would look at what was released with the same eyes as you and me do.

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    20. I completely agree and would add, 'stick Jervis somewhere FAR from game rules. Please.'

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    21. @TheAurgelmir, Its actually a June to June accounting, it says its a annual accounting to June 1 2014 and I think it is from June 2 2013. So the end was right after 7th dropped so Most of 7th and Orks won't show on this report.

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    22. RAysalo: I agree that profits should be going up. However most of Europe and for the first quarter the United States had negative GDP. That equates to essentially a recession. When you invest in a company do you invest in the short term or the long term? I invest in the long term and this amount of profit is outstanding, regardless of how the company has done historically. If I can get my shares at a good price, or a price I feel is a good investment, then I don't care as much what any 1 year does.

      As a player of the game I am upset about how GW has treated their game. WH40k is one of the greatest tabletop games. The sculpts are amazing. The information and lore are great. But GW has priced out a generation of players. That upsets me as a fan boy of the game.

      However, financial statements should be read by people who understand the numbers. I don't know your background but based on your posts you seem to dislike GW (or maybe what GW has done in the same way I have), and use any method to say "see how much GW sucks".

      Yes, the numbers are down. But as someone who knows how to read financials and works with numbers every day I will throw some amazing stats out to you.

      $25.2 EPS - Amazing. That is almost unheard of.
      42% Return on Capital. That is downright ridiculous. That is a well managed company who turns an amazing profit for their shareholders investments.

      12MM return on 72MM in assets. That is a 6 year recovery time which is simply amazing.

      They only have 11MM in capital that does not include retained earnings. This company is very strong. I am thinking that GW cannot find a buyer because their company is probably trying to sell itself for 2 to 3x book value. Why? Because the investment will be recovered in 3 years.

      So yes, GW is financially very successful. Do I like the direction they have gone? No. 7th Ed is the worst as far as I am concerned. I don't even play under their current rules because I dislike them.

      But to claim that GW is somehow hurting is a bit perfunctory.

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    23. I think GW is hurting, but I dont think they are the only ones. Living in the middle of the US, I can already say that I rarely go to a GW store because they arent around. The FLGS in my area do what they can, most don't carry any miniatures, instead holding League of Legends tournments and selling MtG hand over fist with gaming space for the occasional roleplaying group. Some will order them for you. There is only one store in 60 miles that has a decent amount of minatures in stock, and the only way they can do that is because they double as a screen printer for t-shirts. The next nearest store with a good supply of minatures is 3.5 hours away, and after that I think probably the next nearest store is the World of Battle in Memphis if you want a good supply of GW stuff. Minatures as a hobby is small in the United States, and unless you are in a big city the movement of minatures off shelves is slow for any system. I think that the fact that they are even making a profit is a good thing because that is one more system that will stay alive a little longer. If I was going to look at the profits I would like to compare their yearly earnings to the yearly earnings of the other minatures companies to see if they are in the same ballpark even. I think looking at things from my perspective the hobby as a whole is probably not doing great in the US and there isnt that much one can do about it.

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    24. I'm currently writing my bachelors thesis "Luxury product marketing strategies in an international market". When I get my degree just hire me to your bloody marketing departament and let me fix the bloody game for you!

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    25. Fantastic assessment. Just fantastic.

      To the commenter about narrative trumping balance. That is absolute nonsense. A land raider taking on 5 Gretchin is narrative. It also isn't fun. At all. The best games are both balanced AND narratively driven. There is no excuse to not have both. You can apply a story to anything. Balance requires work, and is something this game sorely needs.

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    26. Dave - great post. I'm a wargamer with a business degree, and I would be seriously excited to work for GW if I had any faith in the strategy that the company is pursuing (I don't).

      I think Kirby deserves some praise for running such tight financials. As people have pointed out, he keeps a really close eye on costs, and outside of this year's revenue and profits GW still has some insanely good financials. If he just had the right person to run the game's creative department, GW could be massively successful.

      He leaves the "creative" aspects of the business to other people, probably because he realizes he doesn't know anything about the game or have any idea what the right decisions are. This has been hit or miss... the models are still amazing, but the game design is still awful. I honestly don't think Kirby knows any better. This is probably also the reason that he wrote such an insulting and offensive letter at the start of this year's financial report. My guess is that he thought it would come across as witty and clever.

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    27. @Barret Musselman: Oh if that is the case then I find it interesting sales went down, considering Space Marines would have been in this years accounts.
      That said, if you look at the investments they have been making into restructuring + the drop in sales that mean's their profit might have been quite good.

      @Shemp: Thanks for the run through, I do disagree with you on 7th, but hey to each it's own I guess :)

      @Alexander Kowalski: Last I checked the marketing department don't make the games. You could fix their marketing strategy... but with your attitude I doubt they'd hire you. :P

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    28. Shemp, I am not happy with the direction that GW has decided to take in the past couple of years. And I have yet to see any indication that they are about to change this.

      I do not have any financial background nor do I claim to know how the economies in the US or Europe factor into GW's profits for this year, but I find it disturbing that:

      - A number of their historically best-selling armies have already been released (Space Marines is at least one of them. I would say IG, Nids, and Eldar are close behind) and have not helped in raising sales. Also, you have to think why they're releasing a new edition hardly two years into the previous one.
      - They have already been closing down stores to minimize their operating costs.
      - They have been emphasizing too much on their web store and their shift to digital editions of their books.
      - THQ is gone and all the effort I've seen on putting their IP to good use and attract potential customers are crappy mobile games like Storm of Vengeance, Carnage, and that buggy Space Hulk remake.
      - Maybe it's the buy-in cost, but people have still been spending money on games like X-wing and Magic: the Gathering, video games even. And somehow, GW insists that they should be the Apple of gaming, when it clearly isn't doing them any favors.

      So yes, they are making money now. But will they continue to make money by going down this road? Clearly something has to change, because I see this new edition and release schedule as nothing more than a cynical cash-grab.

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    29. Rasolyo, I do also think it is important to note that you are looking (or we are looking) at revenues in the aggregate. Thus we have no idea how the past sales of any army did vs current sales. You might look at the numbers and see, hey sales are down, it must be worse. Well not necessarily. Sales could actually be up. How do I get this crazy information. Revenues are the first line in the financial statement and include sales. But they also include other things. In the past GW had contracted with THQ to develop games that gave GW line item revenue in the past. THQ went under and now GW has farmed out the IP to anyone able to make a good game. The problem is, in the short run, no one built any games. They are in the process of working on them. So how does that effect the revenue from 2014 compared to say, 2013 or 2012. In 2014 you will see that there is virtually no royalties coming in from gaming. But in other years there might have been multiple releases boosting sales.

      How do we know how to compare the table top sales to this years then? Unfortunately I don't. I am not very knowledgeable about reading European financial statements but there is some information that I will quote from their recent release. Keep in mind that this Financial Report will be audited and must be verified for accuracy. Thus, I am assuming everything found within the document is factual.

      On page 12 you can see where profit fell the most. It was from Britain and Europe. I don't know why.

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  2. The falling profits can be explained by the re-origination and the 4mil website but not the falling sales. Once again sales have dropped even with a accelerated release schedule. If sales were as amazing as some have said they would not be dropping like this. While I don't feel they are in any immediate danger there is a problem despite what some say.

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  3. I enjoyed the sales by region and love that even though the US is only succeeded by the entire European continent, there is absolutely no large scale support of GW in the states.

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    1. You do realize the breakdown says "North America" which does not, strictly speaking, only encompass the United States (US)

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    2. Yep, includes Canada however since we have fairly open borders to our neighbors up North I still am disappointed there is no large format support in the US.

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    3. Oh there is a border. That border is a 30% or more price increase.

      An IK is what $130 US? It's $170 Canadian. That is the border. Again and GW wonders why sales are down.

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    4. :/ really? You aren't paying $170 American. That is like me complaining that a box of marines isn't $20 like the British ones.

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  4. "... the business ought to be able to increase sales (single digit growth, not more) for many years and to provide owners with a steady flow of dividends. I say ‘ought to’ because no plan survives contact with the enemy..."
    Wait... are we (the customers) the enemy?

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    1. I'd not read too much into that quote faust, he's just quoting a well known quote.

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  5. I disagree with nearly everything you said because it is either incorrect or misleading. You are comparing collectors vs gamers, which is really not representative of the hobby. It is more like modeler/painter/collector vs gamer. No one side purchases more than the other necessarily, and the two types are not mutually exclusive. You also state that GW does no market research, however if you read the report it says "Our market is a niche market made up of people who want to collect our miniatures. They tend to be male, middle-class, discerning teenagers and adults. We do no demographic research, we have no focus groups, we do not ask the market what it wants. These things are otiose in a niche." Since you obviously did not know or bother to look up what the word otiose means, you missed that GW is familiar with a niche market, and has learned that research is not effective. On so many points it is ridiculous that you think you know their business better than they do. For instance, they already have loss leaders (I'm not sure you know what that word means, either); they already tightened their supply chain (the basis of the current debate); they openly state that they are a miniature company foremost (not a gaming company); and they can't "steal" from their competition because that makes no sense at all. Most importantly, a company must almost always defend its intellectual property because that is its foundation, and if they were to fail to defend their IP and prosecute (not persecute, that's something else entirely), they would lose what makes them unique and then any entity could make their products using their material and knock them out of business. Finally, they spent a ton of money for their future and made serious sacrifices (akin to spending $ to invest in a college education), which is often for the better. It is yet to be seen whether it will pay off.

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    1. @davethegamer, not Natfka

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    2. Or they could have put out 'models' for all of their rules and they would not have had to worry about people copying their IP without being prosecuted successfully. If they are a miniature company primarily and not a games company then why did they write rules for miniatures they didn't even produce? It makes zero sense.

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    3. Also, this is a letter for stockholders that probably know little about this hobby, it is designed to BS the people who hold the stock. I've read hundreds of these things and they always say little and are spun to make any decisions the board made look good. Granted, this one of the weirdest ones I ever read, but it's propaganda..plain and simple.

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    4. If that is what you believe bud that is great. Though look at what they have released in the last year and the quantity of different products they have released. Their profits should be much higher even with the restructure. They have been restructuring for years actually. Sinking money into their infrastructure. I believe Dave made some really valid points. Just my opinion just like yours.

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    5. Research and asking the consumer what they want is not effective? Look at the rise in successful companies doing JUST THAT: asking the players for input and acting on it. Maybe there was a time when the standpoint expressed in the report was true, but that time is changing.

      I also don't think Dave was suggesting they NOT protect their IP. He was suggesting they take a lesson from those 3rd party suppliers' actions and do it themselves, license some of them, or buy them out.

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    6. But the Design Studio DO ask what their customers want, just attend any Open Day and Games Day/Warhammerfest seminar and you'll get the question asked to your face by the guys who design the models and write the books.

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    7. And what a difference those Games Day sessions have made. I wonder if they feel déjà vu from making the same amount as they did three years ago for all the stuff they put out this year. 40k will never die; Games Workshop, despite what they think, is not 40k...

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    8. Where are our plastic sisters Mauler?

      They get asked for by someone every seminar, so much so that its now a GW joke to pre-empt the question

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    9. "I want to dedicate a full project to them like the Dark Eldar had, so when the time is available I'll consider doing them. We're also considering releasing them in parts as datalsates as our increased production schedule allows, which wasn't an option previously." - Jes Goodwin, last weekend.

      Your plastic Sisters are where they always have been - on the drawing board.

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    10. It not just that, the whole community bar a few stragglers wants some form of balance yet GW deliberately don't try. I've seen plenty of comments by several different people in white dwarf weekly that gently insinuate that a balanced game isn't needed and it's up to the players to fix it.
      This is fine for us who play in a regular group with a general 'social contract' and agreements between us but the vast majority of players play pickup games in stores and clubs, without that luxury as the easiest way to play is straight by the rules.
      They then deliberately ignore the tournament scene which makes up thousands of players and a huge portion of the NA market.

      It's not like having someone who's job is to review new rules and produce FAQs is going to cost that much, 30k a year max yet would win so many players back to easily cover the cost.
      Not only that but having balance and FAQs/Errata will never chase away anyone as the more casual beer and pretzels players will either ignore them or be happy to use them as it helps with rules arguments and enjoyable games.

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    11. @Daniel Grundy:
      Sure GW can tighten up the rules, but what I find interesting is the kids that complain about the rules also don't play them to their full extent.
      They are the ones to cry about balance while playing NOVA rules rather than no holds barred 7th edition. Because they think imbalance is in the freedom, when a lot of reports I have heard is that games where everything is allowed have been more balanced in what armies win.

      So even though GW has had issues with how their rules are written (but mind you not as bad as people think, and becoming better with each release) the issues of balance still lay with us players fearing the new.

      And in any case any game with staggared releases/updates like 40k will have issues with rules and balance issues.
      Will having a better QA department, and tighter rules really increase sales though? Or will it just increase cost?

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    12. @OP: A gamer purchases product for it's rules, or, perceived power and aesthetics whereas a collector is less likely to purchase more than one of the same. A gamer will outspend a painter, and a hobbyist unless said painter or hobbyist is a gamer as well. The point is, there is very little reason for a painter, a modeller, or a collector to purchase more than one of a given kit. Even less likely would it be that a painter, modeller, or collector to purchase kits that are not aesthetically pleasing to them.


      Knowing what the majority of your customers want, or need- even in a niche is not otiose. Tom Kirby is otiose to GW and this hobby overall. Understanding your customer base is absolutely necessary in order to succeed. Absolutely. Kirby and his minions clearly do not understand their customers, and his statement clearly shows that- the state of GW since he wrapped his sausage fingers around the reigns shows that, in my opinion.


      I'm going to limit my comments to this subject, as I believe the Company's disconnect with the people that purchase its product is the largest contributing factor to health and performance. Somebody, above, commented that designers do listen to fans at gamesday events (which are now gone). That doesn't mean that their bosses (Jervis and Tom) are listening to them. NONE of the team wants to discuss rules, which is at the top of the list of complaints. Fans that bring up rules, or rules issues, get dismissed or blown off. As long as you treat customers like that, you will never meet your full potential.

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  6. That report paints a pretty bleak picture. It's a deteriorating situation that won't be easy to reverse. Sadly, I don't think the leadership in place is capable of recognizing what needs to be done. Big changes are coming, that much is clear. Whether or not GW is the architect, or the victim of those changes, we'll have to wait and see.

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    1. Um, did you not read what he said? They are working on reversing it, and they still made a hell of a lot of money.

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  7. I agree with Dave 100%. Come on GW fanboys let's hear your fantasy spin on this latest financial...

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  8. The next two years will be the kicker; whoever (if anyone does) is chosen as the new CEO will have a stellar opportunity to pick up a company which is still making a profit, has a rich background to draw from and has spanky-new production & e-commerce infrastructure which has already been heavily invested in. All they need to do is get the marketing and critically the communication with the fans right.

    And Dave, close their high-street shops? LOL no. I'm 98% sure that you're American and having a "FLGS" is deffo an American thing, we don't really have that many in the UK. Some chains carry GW stock but I suspect that the fast majority of their custom here in the UK comes from people who walk into their own shops, socialise & play. I live just north of London, in my immediate area I know of *one* indie shop and gaming centre (Wayland Games/TTN themselves) and in comparison I have one new GW shop in the town where I work, and at least four more within 20 mins driving distance. No, closing physical locations is not the way forward in GW's home ground and they are well aware of this.

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    1. Do you live anywhere near Harlow? Come down to Marquee Models for a game some night if you're free.

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    2. Thanks for the invite, man! I would if I was closer but I'm more over in the costal side of Essex. Boo!!

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    3. Could be a mixed strategy where they close US based shops, and keep european shops open. But I think otherwise Dave is very spot on with his comments

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    4. I completely agree, here in the UK GW stores are the way to go. However I think that if they would make their stores a little bigger and have more tables in their shops and painting bases they could attract more people..

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  9. I'd still be fucking ecstatic if my business made a pre tax profit of £12.4 million.

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  10. The only sure fire way to get a new audience to buy their product is go all George Lucas and get someone to make a film, a life action film telling the story of the heresy! Simples

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    1. Historically GW have never been cool with this due to the way that royalties work and no major studio (who are the only chaps who have the resources to do a decent film in the usual time-frame) will ever agree to having less control over their project than the original IP holder.

      However, with GW's recent spaffing of licenses, their dabbling with Ultramarines and the incoming Lord Inquisitor it's more likely now than before...?

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    2. Because Lucas did such a great job on Episode 1-3 *sage nod*

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  11. Soooo many people have no idea what they are reading.

    -GW still turned a good profit.
    -They are still way ahead of any other table top gaming company.
    -They had more expenses this year than in any year prior.
    -Fantasy isn't selling, which means they are basically moving 40k and still turning $15.4million in profits.

    Some of those numbers are down compared to last year, but they aren't in the hole; or even losing money. Someone using "-" to compare between years is the same thing as the media spinning a story to push an agenda.

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    1. So your argument is that:
      - GW still made some profits (although a lot less than last year)
      - GW is big (but so were Kodak, Blackberry, and a long list of other companies that kept their heads in the sand and paid the price eventually)
      - There were a lot of one-time expenses this year which reduced profits( in addition to the reduction in profits from reduction in sales)
      - Their second most profitable line has died, leaving them with one game line generating significant revenue (that is somehow good news?)

      No spin in your post.....

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    2. No Mcdoogle their not losing money, yet, but their numbers are down 2 years straight even tho according to you in just a few posts ago everyone is crazy and GW has more customers than ever and is making money hand over fist.

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    3. Prospective investors may not be as optimistic as Mcdoogle when looking at a company with over 2 years of falling revenue.

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    4. Sales down, profit down. Theres no need to spin it...

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    5. McDoogle doesnt understand the report. Fixed costs + declining sales = eventually operating in the red. They're running out of road.

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    6. I am with McDoogle on this. 42% return on equity is amazing. I see a lot of people who don't know how to read financials opining on financials.

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    7. Is 42% good? Yes. Is it better than the previous reports, which were all consistently higher? NO! Noting a trend is not the same thing as doom saying. They ARE sinking. Is it as fast as some? No. It is a slow sink. "There are areas that need to be improved, here are some suggestions." Is not the same as "u suk, go die." Stop equating them. Noting a negative trend is noting a negative trend. Being a doom sayer is being a doom sayer. There isn't always a silver lining, folks. They are not doing as well as they have been historically, and yes, it is appropriate to consider downsizing and store closing to be negative.

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  12. In the report it said that they will only produce products where they own the licences, Erm what about lord of the rings and the hobbit?

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  13. I won't claim to know anything about business stuff (because I don't) but it seems GW doesn't either. It seems like their money grabbing ways will catch up with them soon. I understand that they want to make a profit, but the young kids who get the parents to buy stuff for them is only part of their core audience, as for the rest, they just seem to alienate them more and more. Maybe they should listen to people and they might draw back in some of that core audience that previously left the hobby.

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  14. No matter how much downsizing GW does (and they have done a lot!) or how much new product they push out, they still can not make their profits go up.

    This is a concerning position to be in long term.

    GW will hopefully try something ground breaking like interacting with their customers or putting some actual effort into playtesting... I live in hope.

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  15. It looks like we will finally get a change of leadership at GW - although it sounds like he will be kicking and screaming on his way out. He is quite the megalomaniac - comparing himself to Steve Jobs. Problem is, I am not sure what of the many, many GW products I own bears the Tom Kirby creative stamp. I tend to associate him with those aspects of GW that drive everyone crazy.

    Hopefully we will see a more intelligent, customer friendly business model moving forward. The product is great (maybe not the rules), the rest of the staff are great, the company really needs a new direction. Too bad it's a publicly traded company.

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    1. Nah. Kirby is way too arrogant to concede. Expect a yes man to assume the position of CEO. Arrogant he may be, he is not stupid. He's squeezing as much as he can out of GW before it sinks. I don't see GW as it currently exists lasting a day over 3 years from now.

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  16. Declining revenue and profit isn't good, but they're still made a profit over the year, despite the overhead costs of corporate reorganization and the new web page, and despite the lawsuit debacle. Considering how many businesses out there aren't making any profit these days, this news, while not good, really isn't all that damning, either.

    If they've learned their lesson on stupid lawsuits, and learned their lesson on releasing rules without models, then there's a good chance their margin will bounce back.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love for them to ease up on pricing a bit - if not on individual models then at least on entry cost - maybe via supporting some sort of skirmish level gateway version of their primary games; to take their game rules and the support there of more seriously with more regular and better considered FAQs and maybe an extra round of testing, close reading, and copy editing before release; to at least make a show of communicating with their player base by establishing some sort of social networking presence; to put at least some effort into supporting local gaming retailers with some sort of official event organization support - if they don't see their products as competitive games so be it, but they could do some sort of campaign or league support instead of tournament support.

    But I'm not under any illusion that the above would improve their bottom line, and I don't for a moment think that the painful (though again hardly damning) numbers from the current financial report would force them to undertake any such measures.

    But while I'd love to see them

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    1. *disregard last line. Isn't that just the way, complain about lack of copy editing and you're doomed to have a copy editing error in your complaint. doop. :p

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    2. Call off the Ordo Gramaticus Inquisitor, civilian has accepted his sins, and the God-Emperor will judge him.

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  17. Interesting comment made by Kirby about GW's organization:

    GW cut out a complete layer of management and as a result both employee satisfaction and sales are up.

    That's a pretty damning statement about the performance of those managers.

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  18. This company is dying . Loosing money all the time by trying to sue anyone who uses the words space and marine in the same sentence? It's a sad business practise indeed...

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    1. Losing revenue, not money. Losing money means you get in less that you put out. Loss in revenue is that you get less money back on your investment.
      Loss of money. I give you 2 dollars, you give me 1. I lost a dollar.
      Loss in Revenue: I give you a dollar, you give me 2, last year you gave me 3 dollars, so I earned one less dollar than last year, but mu total this year is that I have 1 more dollar than I started with.

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  19. Does this cover the time period that they switched to weekly releases?

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  20. I thought the results are pretty good. Looking at the financial markets today there share price has increased by 5.57%, the Financial Times have forecast small growth over the next few years. Don't forget we are still coming out of the longest recession since the war and family disposable incomes and wages have fallen, in real terms by at least 9% nationally here in the UK. That is a huge drop in the spending power of individuals and that will always be reflected in the purchase of luxury products. The fact they have made any profit at all is better than nothing!

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  21. previous comment seems to have been eaten :-( in essence

    1) Gw listens more than you think i.e. rules in WD, slow release rates, price increases.

    2) balance - top trumps/MTG vs D&D/RPG influence. Both have their merits but D&D influenced games are much harder to "balance" (personally I would miss the flexibility/variety)

    3) the biggest spenders i know are all "collectors" (i.e. entire chapters etc) as opposed to gamers (maybe 3000 - 5000 pts heavily magnetised) though i appreciate my little corner of the hobby could be the exception rather than rule.

    4) context - Average over last 9 financial years turnover = circa £122 million pre tax profit = £10.4 million so GW has had an above average year! (in 06 - 07 they actually made a loss)

    5) no matter what you do you canty please all the people all the time!

    Interesting reading is the breakdown by region and sales stream i.e. store vs trade vs internet the net is fairly constant yet in us vs uk they are complete opposites on the trade/store ratios.

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  22. In addition there is an interesting comment from kirby re LOTR/Hobbit i.e. rapidly declining could this mean its on the out? At least after the "last" film (i swear jackson is going to find a way to stretch it out further)?

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    1. I think so. If GW is going to sell out a portion of their company it'll be LotR, what does that game really add to their product chain?
      With Fantasy and 40k there are a lot of options for cross game conversions, as they are aesthetically similar.

      LotR sits as the odd man out. If you don't play it you have no reason to buy the models... at all. They are not the same scale, and aesthetically so different from Warhammer.

      I predict it will be sold off like all the other GW specialist games.

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