Games Workshop closes global HQs, discontinues whole armies & more

By Polar_Bear
In Games Workshop
Jan 20th, 2014
21 Comments
500 Views

Games Workshop has a lot changes in the works since their stock drop the other day. Masterminis.net gives us some more insight into what they’ve announced.

Source

From the article:

Following the recent announcement of their half-year shareholder report, we reported about the dramatic loss of 24% of Games Workshop’s market value.

Sources from within GW now confirm that at the same time, GW UK has apparently announced the closing of their international Headquarters with the intention to centralize these functions in the UK.
Letters of termination have been issued to HQ staff worldwide, some were allegedly offered a position in the UK.

Amidst these developments, new details seem to emerge regarding rumors of GW discontinuing whole armies (esp. in WHFB). Some rumors even talk about store closures on a large scale.
More and more details emerge from within GW and the next days will continue to proof exciting.

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  • PanzerKraken

    Aren’t these all just rumors? That article for some reason nearly crashes my computer when I try to open it.

    • 4tonmantis

      Sources within from the first bit of info and rumors from the second certainly make it seem like none of this is confirmed. C’mon Polar Bear… I’ve got your back but you can’t keep running rumor pieces before they’re confirmed.

    • GreenJello

      Yes, just rumors, but a cap off to a long series about the problems with GW by somebody who has managed a large company. They’re also pretty clearly marked as rumors. Finally, I think people have been seeing this coming for some time. The 25% drop is just the most startling sign. Personally I can tell you that the Warmachine/Hordes players at one local store routinely outnumber the 40K/WFB people, sometimes during tournaments. YMMV, but there was a time when anybody challenging GW was unthinkable, now it’s routine.

      • 4tonmantis

        People have been wanting this to happen for a while to teach GW a lesson is more like it. They are often perceived as the schoolyard bully that needs to be put in his place.

        For me, I see it a little differently.. I think of them as an old friend who lost his way and needs an intervention and a whole lot of soul searching (and a new business model).

        • GreenJello

          I think that’s fair. Like a lot of people I have fond memories of playing 40K with friends when growing up. I think the game universe is fundamentally sound, if the rules and prices could use some work. I don’t think anybody is served by having them go under.

  • beshkno

    ‘prove’ exciting

    • Ghool

      The writer is a native German. Small mistakes in grammar can be forgiven since the point itself is articulated, and comes across intelligently.

      • Haibane

        Nope. Forgiving the Germans only leads to problems in the future.

  • thetang22

    It will be interesting to see if this turns out to be more than just rumors. The stock prices alone have shown that fans are now speaking with their wallets…which is about time.

    I’ll be curious how they adjust their business plan to compensate. Will they continue trying to get away with charging what they currently do, and just trim the fat internally to make up the difference, or will they make adjustments the customers can appreciate and lower prices into a more reasonable range? My money is on the former, unfortunately. I’d like to be proven wrong, though.

  • ravensworth

    I rarely post in the comments section but this time I feel I should. This site is Tabletop gaming NEWS. Not Tabletop Gaming Rumors that someone thinks might be true from his highly speculative but informed position in Germany,

    I come to this site because of the news! Not the polarizing type of unconfirmed reporting I can get at other sites. Please take this post down. Lest you think I am a GW fanboy I would like nothing better than to see them close down and sell the I.P. to Warlord or Spartan games.

  • phoenixman

    with so many alternative suppliers for figures you can potentially use in their main 2 systems their wild pricing has finally caught up with them it seems.

    they could of course drop down their prices to more realistic levels and compete with their counterparts but to do so would only confirm what a lot of gamers have thought for years, and that is that GW prices are way over the top, and that their feeling of being ripped blind for years was justified and that GW’s price rise justification each year was as good a work of fiction as the stories in their book and rule-sets.

    also, to admit this by doing such a move could further anger gamers and make them steer even more clear of their products, so they are ‘stuck between the devil and the deep blue’ it seems!

    trouble is, now second hand prices may start to drop on some lines and go way too high on some armies, if the truth about certain armies being canned is real.

    we will see what transpires over the coming days and weeks but the signs aint good….

  • ferk

    GW has carried the mini business through some pretty dark times. sadly thier minis have decreased in relevance, and thier games have all become swollen plastic eye candy for tweens. Let the market speak.

  • Hexenjaeger

    Rumors as fact reported by Germans got us into trouble a couple times last century.

    • Haibane

      Dammit – at least my horribly racist anti-German joke MADE SENSE!

      • Hexenjaeger

        You know, I tried to edit, but it was too late. But you get the idea. 🙂

  • The Beast Rampant

    Blockquote
    …and thier games have all become swollen plastic eye candy for tweens. Let the market speak.
    Blockquote

    Seconded!

  • Muskie

    The big problem they have is LotR increased revenue by approximately 50%. They kept papering over declining sales with price increases. GW was never going to see revenue like they did for the first Lord of the Rings movie. They also have failed to develop another hit game. The Pirate game used the same mechanics as LotR but nothing has sold as well as 40K, with the exception of 40K novels. Margins remain high but demand isn’t there. I haven’t bought a model or played a GW game in years. It is an expensive hobby and online gaming is just easier to coordinate, cheaper too for the player. I’d like to play 40K, I have armies but I lack time, space, and opponents. Skirmish miniature games with an RPG element make more sense to me, but it is the figs and big armies that make the money. People are willing to pay and play with less detailed minis too…

    • tryvor

      We’re seeing more and more people turn away from miniatures and toward cards. There are even RPG’s made with cards. If GW just fired there Mini sculptors. they could take a different tack on games. But the core of there problem is there dedication to selling miniatures not games. As a miniatures manufacturer you open your self up to competition. When you make a game that is much harder to break into. I’m sorry to have to call this one but the business model is broken.

      • KelRiever

        That’s pretty speculative.

        If that were true, card games would have done miniature games in about 10 years ago.

        I’m going to chalk that up to pure perspective. While I’ll agree that miniatures receive competition from other sources, surely video games take as much away from miniature games as card games. Since we’re just talking without stats.

        And, frankly, I wouldn’t waste my time with cards if I was worried about format. I would go straight to video games. Of course, Games Workshop has had business ventures in both card and video games, so your point already is questionable.

        But even all that aside, Games Workshop rules blow. If it weren’t for awesome miniatures, I ‘speculate’ their sales would be even worse.

        • 4tonmantis

          GW is pretty bad about missing the boat on video games. Dawn of War was a great series and I enjoyed the Space Marine game pretty well.. I enjoyed WAR but the design for the game requires a stronger player base than what it has. Not having a 40k MMO is a boneheaded move on their part.

          Games Workshop is present in the CCG and Boardgame arena in various forms. I think I even have some of the WHFB CCG stuff somewhere.. The problem is, they have stopped building hype. Look at M:TG.. comic book ads, banners on video game sites, sponsored tournaments.. even MTGO and Duel of the Planeswalkers (video games) are tied in to their hype building machine. Instead GW treats their CCG properties like a failed idea (IMHO).

          Another area where GW seems to make ridiculous decisions is merchandising. People would buy up GW T-Shirts like crazy if they were in popular clothing outlets (Wal-Mart, Target, Hot Topic, etc).. but instead you might see a GW event T-Shirt every now and then or a shirt for one of their video games or whatever.. but not their flagship products. This is beyond dumb. Once upon a time you could special order shirts from Forgeworld and Black Library. They were a bit expensive and not necessarily well printed but I loved my Caiphas Caine and Elyssian shirts..

          Lastly, they claim that if you make fan art of their stuff, they own it and have the right to use it without even notifying you. This stops a LOT of people from making fan art. You still see it here and there.. but if artists were allowed to post up fan art without worrying about getting a C&D, you’d see GW all over DeviantArt and social media. Controlling fan art is not the same thing as controlling IP and GW can’t seem to grasp this concept.

          Anything past this is more into their business practices that have impacted them but the above have been things I have noticed and not really been able to understand since I really got into the hobby.

  • small_robot_painting

    GW are going the way of all the large High street retailers in the UK. They have not adapted to the changing climate, they continue to think they are immune and will always have people buying their product..

    When you compare GW to someone like Privateer press, Wyrd or even someone like coolminiornot their doomed. PP embrace the whole community, (although prices are creeping up) and Coolminiornot cannot make their games quick enough, high quality minis and good games.

    I haven’t bought a GW product since the Dark vengeance set, I bought it to paint, not to play. Each time I go into a GW store I end up leaving flabbergasted at the prices they are charging for their models, I then go online and buy a decent model for a decent price with the support of the manufacturers.

    GW have pretty much killed all miniature gaming shops in Bristol and Bath (UK), they will go down like Woolworths, blockbuster, Comet etc. all massive companies that were to slow to adapt to the changing world markets. I look forward to the time when GW close all stores and become a manufacturer again, supporting FLGS.