Games Workshop CEO annual report preamble leaked

By tgn_admin
In News
Jul 28th, 2014

Update: The preamble has been confirmed as genuine today with the release of GW’s 2014 annual report.

The forum readers over at Warseer have unearthed Tom Kirby’s preamble to the annual report ahead of its scheduled release tomorrow.

Games Workshop has had a really good year. If your measure of ‘good’ is the current financial year’s numbers, you may not agree. But if your measure is the long-term survivability of a great cash generating business that still has a lot of potential growth, then you will agree.

Full text available here from Games Workshop investor website.  Of note, Mr Kirby announces he is stepping down, and admits that they spent “far too much money for too little gain” suing “someone stealing [their] ideas and images” – presumably he is referring to Chapterhouse Studios.  He also comments at some length about 3D printing.

Even more interestingly, assuming this is the true preamble to the annual report there may be some complications with the London Stock Exchange tomorrow if these communications were released prematurely.

Originally Posted by frozenwastes
To find the preamble, I looked at the URL of previous reports and typed in the URL if it had this month and year as the date. The end result was a directory that had the preamble, an agenda for the annual meeting and a form for proxy voting at the annual meeting.

Source: Warseer

  • odinsgrandson

    Did Tom Kirby actually refer to himself in third person as “Kirby and his cronies?”

    It is possible that someone leaked a satire of a letter from Kirby before it was finished?

    • odinsgrandson

      It turns out that this is real. Yeah- and the full report is now on their website.

      Holy crap- I really didn’t believe this one.

  • My favourite part was where he bets against 3D printers getting to sufficient quality that people will be able to print good quality miniatures at home. The pattern of new technology is for it get smaller, better and cheaper.

  • 4tonmantis

    That idiot paid 4 million for a webstore?????

    • 4tonmantis

      This document is hilarious. This guy is clearly not a literary genius either. He was “deluged with two comments”… really?
      They hire people for attitude and not skill?
      “Pretty soon everyone will be printing their own miniatures” .. yeah this guy has a clear understanding of the market they’re in… Newsflash: There are over a dozen manufacturers already printing their own models and a few services that allow us at home to do the same. He goes on to say something about people printing miniatures for their army and it taking more than a year for them to print a poorly detailed army (paraphrasing). Does he even realize that people are printing sprues of multiple figures and the turnaround on them is getting better and better. He’s also basing his entire counterpoint to 3d printing around the idea of average people printing in their homes and missing the small startups printing and then casting alternative armies altogether.
      He goes on to say that people who believe making miniatures is easy are delusional. Well… I can think of at least 2 dozen companies that disagree with that statement… not even mentioning the smaller operations floating about.
      He addresses customers as grateful and talks about employees and personnel being cut in an almost Machiavellian sort of way, which is a strange and stark contrast to the poorly structured and comically inaccurate piece of literature (speaking loosely) that he has constructed.
      He has the nerve to compare himself to Steve Jobs, the audacity to presume that people on the whole are happy with the drivel coming from GW HQ, and the nerve to presume that anyone would buy overpriced printers from a company that should be spending their time making a better game system.
      I don’t purchase GW items regularly any more and I don’t even view the majority of their products as being nice enough sculpts to buy, especially not at the prices they charge.
      This guy talks about the rot in the corporate world.. but he is completely blind to the rot in the corporation that he has positioned to dry-hump itself into the ground.

      • I think he was drunk when he wrote this…. It’s the only logical explanation 😉

        • odinsgrandson

          No, the most logical explanation is that it is fake.

          I mean, it sounds like a ranting gamer who wants to talk about everything wrong with Kirby, and he’s not actually bringing up the things that went well this year (from earlier reports, 7th edition sold quite well).

          I generally believe GW leaks are true (except about the re-release of Blood Bowl) but this simply looks fake to me.

          • odinsgrandson

            Holy crap- I just went over to GW’s investor site. It’s real, and it’s also been posted live.

      • odinsgrandson

        While I think he’s wrong about a lot of things, to be fair, I think he has a point about 3D printing.

        What he said is basically that we aren’t going to see high quality 3D printers in homes any time very soon, and that even if we do, that won’t sink the miniatures industry or Games Workshop (they’ll evolve with the changes and start selling Citadel 3D printers and rights to print your minis at home).

        This kind of innovation often shakes up an industry, but the owners of valuable IP don’t have to worry- they won’t be the ones being cut our of the loop. It is like how top selling authors aren’t being sunk by eBooks (but Barns and Noble has to fight to remain relevant).

        GW’s distribution might have something to worry about (although I’m personally skeptical that we’re going to see high enough quality 3D printing at home for a very long time).

        Now, much of the rest of what he has said is trying to make a very bad situation look good- for example, that sales performed this poorly on a year when they launched a new edition of their flagship game.

        • 4tonmantis

          I believe that a huge part of their current problem, is that they’ve priced themselves out of the reach of the average gamer. I refuse to pay the prices they’re asking for pretty much everything they have on offer. They compound that with thumbing their nose at the fanbase, giving the finger to independent retailers, and apparently making extremely bad decisions (the cost of the webstore for example).

    • estrus

      4 million POUNDS, so like 6 million USD!
      Hey it costs mad moolah to make a website look that droll.

  • miniguy

    Holy @%^#!

    What a @#^&*$% knob! Absolutely incredible, the cavalier disregard for any sort of diligence, paired with the buried resignation notice! And the fact that this %@$dog takes pride in not reading the CVs of his potential successors? Remember that time Bush went off about seeing Putin’s “soul”? Even the Ukraine agrees this is dumber than that %@$#!

    Seriously. He wants to talk about Steve Jobs, he can go right ahead. Apple is neck-and-neck for the world’s highest market cap and pays out like a ^%@$#&$ slot machine. Meanwhile, if Games Workshop had a ticker symbol, it would probably be BROKE #%$HOLES, but they don’t, because what legitimate exchange would have them? They trade exclusively on pink slips that you need to buy out the back of a van in Birmingham or at the merch table at a Goblin concerts.

    p.s. Please consider this as my application for that ^#%$knocker’s job. His board obviously loves colorful prose and couldn’t give a &^#%chode about a CV, so this probably makes me overqualified. I can start on Wednesday.

    • tgn_admin

      Games Workshop is listed on the London Stock Exchange:

      • Killraven

        And their dividend history is rather decent.

        ^^ kinda reads like a Rush Limbaugh script.

  • miniguy

    In all seriousness. If this report is legitimate and it posts tomorrow, the shareholders should clean house. Not just this clown, but the whole board.

    However, I expect that the shareholders are likely people who care more about the hobby than the financials and bought shares as though they were troops on a sprue. In short, precisely the audience he thinks he’s talking to with this self-important hokum.

    So good luck and godspeed, lil proxies. If you can read a prospectus as well as you can read a codex, you will go far.

    • KelRiever

      Their shareholders are people like Fidelity, and if you know anything about Fidelity, it treats your financials like Oscar Meyer treats your hot dog….in other words, they don’t know jack *t about what they are buying most of the time, and carpet bomb invest in broad categories when it comes to companies like Games Workshop. Well, even they were smart enough to sell, apparently.

      But make no mistake, a lot of the companies who bought into GW have as much working knowledge of what they bought as Kirby has knowledge of running this (or any) company.

  • estrus

    Thank you Games Workshop. Your shenanigans and the resulting commentary will be far funnier than any summer blockbuster comedy.
    I’m really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy, but even it won’t be this entertaining.

  • StygianBeach

    Looks more fake than real.

    After reading this I have more sympathy for GW’s policy on not releasing a release schedule.

    This is quite the impressive Troll attack (IMHO).

    • blackfang

      Please explain to me how this is a fake when the link points directly at GW’s server.

      • StygianBeach

        Wow.. it IS real!

  • elril

    OMG, this guy isn’t even good at BS’ing. I have gotten entirely too capable at dissecting corp-speak, but it is pretty easy to see what that first paragraph says. “We’ve had a “good” year, not in the sense of making money, but in so far as we haven’t dealt a unrecoverable death blow to our own company”. Either he is selling this to a bunch of fools, or, hell I don’t have an or even for this.

  • odinsgrandson

    Last time they posted a report with these kinds of loses, the stock showed it right away.

    He’s trying to do damage control, while releasing true information (he’s legally obligated to let them know that they made ten million pounds less this year, for example).

  • elril

    He is trying to not say “We’re in a tail spin and we don’t know why”. That is a hard job to do. Not the not knowing why part, all us internet trolls know why, but the trying to spin it positively.

  • Gallahad

    Hilarious. The pre-ramble made me laugh out loud. GW corporate culture must be quite the ride with Kirby presiding and hiring for attitude, not skills.