GW Financials

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GW Financials

Post  Roland on Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:47 pm

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2014/01/some-thoughts-on-gw-financials.html

I'll try to keep things to simply my POV as to why their sales dropped.

In a very short period of time (2 years since 6th dropped?) GW has done the following:

Eliminated aftermarket bitz (which in effect, was simply 20 ppl splitting the cost of a tactical box)
Raised prices on Codexes (Codecii?) approx. 50%
Increase the release schedule by 100%
Released several supplements that either were extrenuous filler (Crusade of Fire and the Flyer compendium?), broke the game in unspeakable ways (Escalation/Stronghod Assault), were double releases of codexs (Wanna Farsight list? $60 codex and $40 supplement please), were overpriced DL content ($20 for a dataslate?) or were completely ignored by the sales team on release (no bundle deals with Apoc? Srsly?)

I used to buy every codex when they came out, what 4 a year at $30-40? It was less than $150. With the new HB system how much would the last year have cost? $300 for the core codexes, plus anothe $200 or so for codex supplements, plus $200+ for the apoc sutff, plus.... you get the idea.

Most people realize you basically have to buy a flyer to get any list up to snuff in 6th.

And yes I realize I don't HAVE to buy every codex release, thats the point. I am NOT buying as much as I used to.... because so much is coming out, and the prices have increased so much.... ($70 for sternguard, I still cannot get over that...) I have to pick and choose what I'm gonna spend on. Sure the Aquilla Strongpoint is a sweet looking set... but if Im not gonna get to use it, because noone want D-weapons/AV15 except in Apoc, whats the rush to buy it?

The article above pretty much says it all... if Kirby is still acting CEO in a month, this is going bad in a hurry. In and of itself, the drop isnt the end of the world, its just a wake up call. But GW is running their business like they have no idea to run a business.

-We have distributors and independant retailers that provide free advertising, and important word of mouth? Lets do as much as we can to piss them off.
-We have our own store, stocked to the gills with small, expensive, easily concealable merchandise? One employee should do.
-We update our rules every 4-5 years, and a decently treated softback will last 5-10, and cost half what a hardback does to print? We'll go with hardback.
-Most ebooks sell cheaper than print copy? Charge 20% more for epub.
-DLC models rely on multiple, small/cheap purchases? $7 for 4 pages of content.

I love this game and I love the hobby. But I have seen too many games do crap like this (TSR *TWICE*, FASA, WEG, Palladium....). Hopefully things will turn around, but only time will tell.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  Planes on Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:11 am

And that doesn't even touch on the fact that while GW may be the grand-dad of all collectable miniature war gaming companies, it has solid competition now from a wide variety of companies who do seem to have a grasp on how to have a game affordable for the consumer, profitable for the company, and sustainable for both.

Wow, phone typing leads to run on sentences.

Back to the topic. Privateer Press, seemingly a leader amongst others, took to the model of only needing to buy the core book, with unit rules bundled with the fig itself. Sure, the army books are still there, but as an option rather than requirement. Then you have games like Dust, where the models are not only reasonably priced (just ordered a model about the size of a land raider on clearance for $24 for a conversion) they come largely pre-assembled, modular, and PRIMED; ready to play straight out of the packaging if you don't care for all that hobby stuff. With all these alternate options out there that are consumer friendly, and GW's own practices shooting themselves in the foot, it should come as no surprise that their numbers are stumbling.


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Re: GW Financials

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:11 am

I part of it stems from GW need for "control". You can literally be in the hobby and get everything you need from GW... models, terrain, the table, all your rulebooks, army books and gaming accessories (templates, dice and whatnot), to even the paints, brushes, glue, and modeling tools. You can find out about it in their own hobby magizine, then buy it from your local GW, or online at the GW website. You can participate in the hobby and never EVER use anything not citadel.
At some point, someone got the idea that rather than making it POSSIBLE to do so, you should be REQUIRED to do so. I've never seen a GW ad outside of GW. They sell their product to distribuors and then put weird limits on how they can sell them (no online shopping carts, not bitz, etc).

They want a monopoly on your hobby, from start to finish, and since its a hobby they think you will pay whatever they charge. The problem is:

White Dwarf is horribly overpriced. As more and more content has been removed, the price has gone up and up. Getting rid of White Dwarf was putting a once great magazine out of its misery. Bringing it back as digital only and having twice the crappy articles is just a lousy way to do business. The reason I'm not buying WD isn't that I want it digital, I'm not buying it because I no longer see previews of sprues or units, no conversion or painting tutorial, no new rules, no rules corrections, no new lists like Tau mercs. Bring that stuff back if you want sales to increase.

Why even have GW stores? Places like the Den do what they are TRYING to do there (bring ppl into the hobby) for FREE. Yes GW makes straight profit, but they dont have to pay rent, power, payroll, there is no shrink, lost time to sickness, injury, etc.

Models and paint are worth the cost. All the tools are overpriced, including brushes. Other companies like GF9, PP, Army Painter, and testors provide all that stuff at half the cost. GW paints are good.... but you can get similar colors from lord know how many companies and they all cost less.

Bitz sales and online selling..... I get saying "You have to charge at least X for a tactical box." but getting rid of bitz sales just makes no sense to me. Same with trying to stop 3rd party bitz. If I buy a combi melta from BWB or a 3rd party one from chapterhouse.... I still need a tactical marine to put it on.

Lastly, not listening to their customer base. What GW fails to realize is we can vote with our feet and have. We wanted a tight ruleset, suitable to narritive, frieldly games or no holds barred tournaments, we wanted a more balanced codexs, we wanted WD to offer some options like sub-lists, new units or formations at a reasonable cost. Instead they gave us a lose ruleset that made a long game take longer, codexes full of typos and alternating broken and useless units, and made all the stuff they could have put in WD for $10 (that everyone would buy) they charge out the wazoo for codex supplements, units like Belakor and Cypher, or the formations like the Tau XV suits o doom.

Thats why sales are down. When you can download the codex and rulebook from the internet, get your supplies from other manufacturers, and even get 3rd party models from places like Puppetswar, Scibor or Anvil Industries...... you have absolutely no need to actually BUY anything from GW to continue in the hobby or play the game. Yes its a hobby and its expensive but I think they've tipped the scale amd overestimated what ppl were willing to pay.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  judchic on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:45 am

So the real question is how long before they look at other companies who are gaining players (based on a combination of frustration with GW and more cometitive/balanced rulesets) and realize they need to change their game?

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Re: GW Financials

Post  Matthew G on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:12 am

judchic wrote:So the real question is how long before they look at other companies who are gaining players (based on a combination of frustration with GW and more cometitive/balanced rulesets) and realize they need to change their game?

That is the ultimate goal I hope happens Jesse.
I am one of those guys now who will not buy *most* GW stuff now. All I buy from them are paints because I like their new paint line. But that is all. I think in the last year I gave them maybe 30 bucks of my money. If I run out of paint, I'll buy a new pot.
I understand that what GW is trying to do is earn money, but like everyone else I feel they took the wrong path in the road to do it.
If it wasn't for the absurd price increases and the need to try and Monopoly on the game trade by changing their vendor rules for selling. Oh, not to mention the (what I call) bully antics against even the smallest not-even-close to IP infringements. Its just sad.
Perhaps if GW can rise from the ashes and repair the stupid damage they have done, I may buy another product from them...
Until that time they can keep running with the meager 30 bucks a year I am giving them for their paints....

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Re: GW Financials

Post  Lore Weaver on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:22 am

Or Hasbro could buy them....

Hey Hasbro, please buy GW.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:52 am

i can get what your saying overall, but i also see some points your making that are wrong. WD digital does in fact give you what you're demanding. there's previews of WIP models coming out, showing how the designers create the models themselves before they go to sprue form for the molding process. there's an entire section of the book dedicated to showing conversions called Kit Bash, another whole section for painting tutorials called Paint Splatter, and even a whole section dedicated to showcasing a set of player's armies, Army of the Month, which is chosen from pictures submitted to their Flickr page, usually being armies that not only have a clear theme and nice paint job, but went above and beyond and made a full 2'x2' display board for that army.

also, there's some give and take to asking for all these new codices that are being rapidly updated. how long have we bitched about how we wished they'd update some of the older books that were as old as 3rd and 2nd edition? now they're doing it. but at a pace that is hard to take the time and do quality control with so few people working on the projects. its easy to just sit here and focus on the 40k books, but go pick up the books released in the last 12 months in the fantasy, LotR, the digital project team; you'll see alot of names cross over into each when it comes to the credits page inside the cover. they do try to fix the errors as they catch them after the fact if you buy digital. usually fixing them before the digital copy goes on sale on iTunes. the hardbacks arent so easy to fix.

and while some of us locally might not have asked for things like escalation or stronghold, i have seen a large movement of people asking for this kind of stuff the last few years on various forums. they are listening to what the gamerbase wants. but sometimes what they focus in on wont always be what Saskatoon wants.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:05 am

Good points with the GW and digital codexes, but the two big issues for those and 3rd for WD:

1) you get none of those features on epub, or they don't offer in epub.

2) their digital products are wildly over priced. $60 for a digital codex is highway robbery.

3) regarding WD, maybe the digital is better than print. But stuff like formations and Belakor and the black legion list should be in there, not an additional $60 of DLC.

Basically one step forward, 2 back.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  Rhaevyn on Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:53 am

Mike. some people may have been asking to be able to play their baneblade more often, i agree with that,
But if they are going to do it, they need to make it so that games against it can actually be fun. They do make the rules...

as far as the financials and costs and other stuff? i think we discuss it too much and just need to stat voting with our wallets, i know i do.
there is zero chance of me starting any new armies in the foreseeable future. cost of entry is just too high for a game i play maybe once every two weeks.

$92 for un-painted un-assembled, still-on-the-sprue Crone, really? really really?
They know that for that price i can buy a remote control transformer that shoots little missiles, lights up and Talks? ... assembled and painted.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  judchic on Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:42 pm

Lots of people want to use super heavies. But with d weapons basically just erasing squads what's the point of playing? One person uses strategy whereas the other just puts down a template and says "take it off the table". It's dipping into the comment made earlier about balance.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  System Commander on Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:50 pm

GW has lost their mind.

I work in pricing; different strategies, market research, parity, etc. etc.. exciting stuff.

GW has no semblance of a pricing strategy. Its beyond infuriating. Bundling, offering discounts(lIke 50% of digital if you bought the paper), decreasing the retail price of slow movers, and on and on. They do nothing at all except shoot for what i assume is something like a 60% margin on some items and 70% on others. It is so bizarre it hurts my brain. They did offer great deals and some logic on prices about 5-6 years ago.

This last year has been exciting for the releases.. but has also been one of the most irritating in trying to tolerate GW the business. They are making alot of people mad.. and at a time of increased competition. Its really weird.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  System Commander on Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:54 pm

Id love to use my super heavy.. but definitely not in a regular game of 40k.

I frequent alot of the forums around as well and not a single one had a majority of people wanting that. The odd voice.. sure but majority definitely not. That was 100% a move to get people buying the massive build up of inventory they had leftover from the bomb apocalypse was. It was sickeningly blatant.

More fortifications was definitely a demand. And ita a great addition .. save for one little D gun.

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Re: GW Financials

Post  judchic on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:37 pm

Back when I started I remember getting 2 tyranid battle forces around 120$. The good one that had a carnifex. Now it's that much for 2 carnifex...
And speaking of fortifications...
So do only imperials have fortifications? Not orks, tau, tyranids, eldar or anyone else? Where are their fortifications?
On a side note, forgeworld why do you hate every non imperial army except orks and tau!?!?!
Vented enough for now. Too hard to text wall on a phone.

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Re: GW Financials

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