Monday, May 23, 2011

Taking a cue from Dethtron...GW's pricing response snowmobiled

So we all know by now that the world ended last week.  I'm not talking about some religious nut-job's idiotic predictions, but GW's latest move toward bankruptcy.  That is, their idea that it's OK to jack up prices despite a switch to cheaper materials and the decision that people living in different parts of the world can pay 70% more then other parts just because GW feels it's fair.  Everyone's complained and surprisingly the company that doesn't acknolowedge that they have customers decided to post a response of sorts to their wallets with eyes.  In the spirit of Deth Tron of Dick Move, I have taken it upon myself to provide adequate snowmobiling to this obvious pandering.  If you don't know what that means, go read his Friday Night Internet Fights...funny as hell,

Well here goes...GW's response is white on my black background and my color comentary is...well in color.

Dear Hobbyists, Read "wallets"

Thanks for contacting Games Workshop about the change in our trading terms for European accounts. I know this has frustrated No you dont.  You'd have to acknowledge there's an internet first and a gaming community second before you can know how it feels. you and for that I am truly sorry that we didn't think of gouging you when sales were better. As a long standing customer, you deserve to know why we made this decision GREED!!.

As you know, we introduce people to the Games Workshop hobby of collecting, painting and gaming with Citadel miniatures through our Hobby Centres not really...and local independent trade accounts yeah "you" introduce people through independant retailers.  Those retailers that work countless hours to build their customer base are just there for show.  I was a retailer, but I don't remember you ever standing behind my counter or explaining what those models are. Games Workshop Hobby Centres run introductory games and painting sessions, beginner lessons, hobby activities and events and the one person you pay to be there does this how now? . We provide all these services free of charge well...i wouldn't consider hearing a constant sales pitch exactly "free"  Remember the South Park when they went to Aspen for a "free" weekend to hear a time-share sales pitch for 2 days straight?. We only recover this investment if customers then buy products from us.

Where we don't have a Games Workshop Hobby Centre ie. most places.  I live in the most desnsely populated region on my continent and the nearest GW is 3 hours away, we support local independent trade accounts. These businesses provide a convenient place for customers to buy our products close to where they live and we thank them by banning them from having sales to increase theirs and by extension our sales. We support these businesses with local customer service teams and warehouses to ensure customers have immediate access to our best selling products and new releases except all Specialist games and now the entire Finecast line that's all direct only. Many customers discover the hobby this way through the blood and sweat of small retail companies.

In addition we invest millions of pounds every year in our design studio and factory to ensure that each month we release more new products for armies we like...this has meant Dark Eldar for the last 6 months or so.  Sorry tyranids, warriors of Chaos, Beastmen and Space don't deserve a second wave until DE get their 352nd wave. This makes the Games Workshop Hobby more exciting for existing customers, helping them stay in the hobby longer until they get sick of our business practices and realize they can make an army to play our game with models that are nicer or cheaper...and occasionally both. We can only afford to do this because of the volume of customers we have recruited and developed through our local Hobby Centres and trade accounts and with the recent decisions, it's clear we don't want to recruit any more.

It is for this reason GREED!!! that we have changed our European Trade terms. Over recent years, a number of currencies have moved a long way from their historical relative values but we haven't noticed way back here in 1994, and this has opened the door for some traders to try to take advantage of these currency movements where we should be taking advantage of them and offer deep discounts to overseas hobbyists so they can actually afford to buy our products..oh yeah we still make money when we sell to these retailers, but we can make so much more by working a broken system. This has been the case with European internet traders selling to some of our customers overseas and we'd rather not sell any products overseas then have another company deal with the customers and shipping while we just rake it in.

While this may seem great in the short term and the long-term.  More sales=more customers=more profit, the simple fact is that European internet traders will not invest any money in growing the hobby in your country we don't either, but the simple fact that they sell to your country shows there already is a market. Their model is to minimise their costs and free-ride on the investment do these investments come out of your $0 marketing budget?  How do you manage? of Games Workshop and local independent shops in creating a customer base.

The inevitable consequence if this was allowed to continue is that Games Workshop would not be able to operate Hobby Centres which is bad why now?  How about you shutter those moneypits and put the wasted revenue towards supporting the community?  That was a nice booth you had at Adepticon...and warstore weekend...and all the other gaming events that your competators made the time for..oh wait you weren't there, nor to support local trade accounts. And if this happened in more territories outside Europe, the loss of volume would leave Games Workshop no choice but to scale back our investment in new product development as opposed to the loss in volume from our independant retailers losing their customers.  And since it costs so much more to buy from you they just won't buy at all.  Good business plan., further eroding our customer base see above. Not something that we or our customers would want us to do.

That is why we took the decision to take legitimate stupid, short-sighted action to restrict European trade accounts from selling the goods they purchase from Games Workshop outside Europe because we'd rather those goods just not sell at all.

While I understand that you may still be unhappy with our decision we don't care because we are the only game company on this planet...oh wait..., it was taken to ensure we can continue on the road to bankruptcy to support the Games Workshop hobby communities around the world because the next time we do it will be the first through our Games Workshop Hobby Centres and local trade accounts. And to ensure we continue to invest in developing the best possible new product releases every month that you won't buy because we've priced ourselves out of our own market. I hope therefore that over time you will see the benefits of this decision for you and your hobby and explore all the other companies that actually give a damn about their customers and the community at large.  Or at least find affordable alternate models to play our games with.  You won't be able to use them at our official events though...both of them.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Wells
Chief Executive
18 May 2011
soon-to-be unemployed but still rich when the company goes out of business in 2015.

So there you have it.  Deth Tron probably could do better, but it was fun to vent and I hope you liked it.  As for me, I have a pile of models I bought a long time ago.  I did plan on a Warriors of Chaos army, but that's on hold.  My next project after the Empire army will be an IG army with as few GW models as possible.  I have a chimera, 10 old ratlings and a command squad.  I have one old box of troops (back when you got 20).  Everything else will be alternate models.  I fully encourage others to do this as well.  Deep Strike Radio said it best,  don't be a GW fan, be a 40K fan.  I love the game and won't stop playing it, but I'll do everything I can to play it affordably and frankly GW does not provide that anymore.  Any GW products I get will be from tournament victories only.  This will be done slowly over time as I get something of a gaming budget so stay tuned.


  1. Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful wide world of counts as. The water's fine.

    I came into tabletop from BattleTech, where counts as is the norm, not the exception. I was surprised that no one did it here to speak of, now it seems like more people are receptive to the idea.

  2. Well played my man, well played.

    It's a cunty policy and the global disctimination stings like a bitch, especially when 'we've' been loyal fans/players since 1994 and all you ever do is get stung by these sons of bitches.

    I've luckily bought two armies in advance similar to yourself and since getting into a few other systems and like you said, being a fan of the game, not the company, I doubt I will be buying any more for a long while.

    I'll head to GW HQ in the UK for the 2015 fire sale for my next purchases.