Privateer Press announcement concerning new steps toward product fulfillment

By tgn_admin
In News
Jun 30th, 2011
40 Comments
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Privateer Press have posted an announcement regarding steps made to improve product shipments and delivery.

From their website:

Since the release of the second edition of its award-winning tabletop miniatures games WARMACHINE and HORDES, Privateer Press has seen explosive growth among its player communities worldwide. The excitement generated by our games has never been higher, and demand has quickly outpaced our production ability. In response, we have expanded our efforts to make our products as easily available as possible.

While Privateer has continued to supply new releases on time, fulfilling the high volume of back orders can require substantial wait times. In an attempt to produce and ship orders faster, over the last year we have more than doubled the size of our production staff, significantly expanded our manufacturing capabilities to include an all-new resin casting department, and converted more of our line to plastic. These efforts have significantly increased our production ability, and we are now shipping record-breaking amounts of product from our Bellevue facility.

Check out their website for full details.

  • Heble

    Fair enough, Gw commiting seppuku must have come as a supprise.

    • Nemesis

      Maybe not Seppuku but it’s gonna hurt… As far as I know there is an increasing demand for PP or Malifaux (and maybe Mercs and Infinity) in the gaming community either at my LGSs or on the web.
      It’s probably the first time there is such a reaction to GW’s policies. There had always be critics and complaints but this time it appears that a substantial part of gamers are really willing to explore alternatives.
      I don’t think GW will die from this but tomorrow’s gaming market may be less monolithic and that’s probably a good thing. ;o)

    • Zac

      This issue predates the latest GW drama

  • Twisted Victor

    Dear Games Workshop,

    Take note…

    • wittdooley

      Take note of what? They don’t have supply issues.

      People conveniently forget how crappy some of the Hordes warbeasts models are in terms of gaps needing to be filled.

      • Zac

        I think he is referring to how to talk to your customers about your production issues. GW never posts announcements like this to anyone. Even their distributors and other partners.

        People conveniently forget how crappy some of the Hordes warbeasts models are in terms of gaps needing to be filled.

        People are also conveniently forgetting how bad some of the larger GW models used to be in regards to the same issues. Its a common problem in casting large metal models. I have a metal GW Space Marine Dreadnought and Land Speeder that have gaps similar to the Skorne Warbeasts.

        GW just hasn’t done metal kits like that in a long time and people forget that plastic Dreads don’t have the same issues due to the different casting methods.

        • wittdooley

          Right, but by all accounts Privateer doesn’t plan on changing those crappy models to a different material. GW did. Problem solved.

          I’ve had to green stuff/milliput all of my Trollbloods Heavies. Some are worse than others. And the Trolls aren’t that bad. The Skorke Titans require a significant amount of green stuff to make them even playable without large gaps.

          • Twisted Victor

            The problem was not solved. GW took some cost issues and fixed it with inferior replacement(Finecast Resin) and have created inferior products plus a price increase. Also, as Zac suggested I was basically referring to the way PP communicates with it’s customers as opposed to how GW does(or basically doesn’t) communicate with their customers.

            GW thinks it can do what it wishes and their customers will continue to go along with it. As more and more companies are taking market share away from GW, communication like this by PP is going to give them a competitive advantage against GW, which has basically decided to give their customers the finger this year.

          • wittdooley

            Yeah, I’ll heartily disagree. Based on my experiences with it, Finecast is a vastly superior product to metal.

            As for fixing the big metal models; you’re wrong. They’ve fixed most of those by doing them in plastic. Privateer is trying do to that, but their plastics aren’t great at this point. My plastic Cynar jacks are a huge pain in the ass to clean, because the plastic is too soft to properly file and some of the mold lines go into detailing that make it hard to remove.

            People that bitch about the price increase need to get a grip. Prices increase on EVERYTHING on a yearly basis. It’s ignorant to think that GW shouldn’t be afforded that same ability to increase their prices. Further, they’re a luxury hobby item. Don’t buy them if you don’t want them.

            Finally, people pretend like those price increases price them out of the game, but conveniently ignore the prices of of other games like Warmahordes. Privateer has multiple boxed sets that outprice GW kits, where in many cases you get “less” material (not that the amount of material used should be a quantitative indicator of price in the first place).

          • Twisted Victor

            Right the quality is so great its lead to Wayland games returning their entire stock do to the bad casting issues.

            http://www.tabletopgamingnews.com/2011/06/24/47913/

            The issue with them switching to Resin over Pewter was the cost of the Pewter. However, when they switched to Resin the started charging more. Its a circular lack of logic.

          • wittdooley

            I’ll never buy from Wayland Games again because of that situation. It was completely unprofessional.

            But if we want to look at that Wayland Situation, their “error %” was around 4% of their total product. 4%.

            I’m going to do the same with Hordes Warbeasts. I bet my “failure rating” is higher than 4%. Oh wait… all the models are like that, and they produced them anyways? So it’s not bad Quality Control, but a calculated decision to release a bad design? Oh, that’s fine then.

          • Zac

            This isn’t the place to argue the merits of GW v. PP. Lets keep on topic if possible please.

          • GrimDog

            Ok, who cast “summon GW fanboi”?

          • Zac

            Right, but by all accounts Privateer doesn’t plan on changing those crappy models to a different material. GW did. Problem solved.

            GW had very few models that have interior dead spaces in them like their Dreadnoughts. Almost all of the large metal models they did were solid. So its not really a fair comparison.

            My point wasn’t to critique GW but point out that the issue is typically the casting process.

          • wittdooley

            See, here’s the double standard I hate. It’s okay to blame the ‘casting process’ for Privateer, but not for Finecast.

            Ridiculous.

          • Twisted Victor

            It’s not a double standard. It is how PP communicates with its customers versus the lack of communication from GW.

            PP excels, GW is epic fail.

          • wittdooley

            Have you called GW about a poorly thrown Finecast?

            If you had, you’d retract your statment.

          • Ben Wafer

            But if we want to look at that Wayland Situation, their “error %” was around 4% of their total product. 4%.

            I’m loathe to continue such a totally off-topic discussion, but this is a complete misrepresentation of what happened with Wayland Games. Their error % was 55% of the sampled product. That’s a lot higher than the 4% that you claim. Or are you suggesting that of the entire product they received, somehow every single error happened to be in the random sampling of 60 blisters from 2 different shipments that they received?

  • Nemesis

    Right. The increasing interest for alternate games like PP or Malifaux is also due to the efforts this producers have made and the inherent quality and attractivity of their products.
    Many small gaming companies don’t benefit much from GW’s mistakes. Those who do benefit from their own success at least as much as from GW’s policies.

  • KelRiever

    It is good as long as they are ready to make cuts to their staff if demand ever drops. Sadly, in the game world, it seems that too many companies (out of the desire to work with like minded people) hang onto staff too long. Of course, the ultimate goal is to never have to cut staff.

    You know, I don’t think Warmachine/Hordes is even close to being the best game in the world, but you have to look at the mammoth screw ups GW has made of late and just take some satisfaction that this time around, their mistakes are giving business to companies like Privateer.

    • Ben Wafer

      This is actually why it took them so long to get their production up to the demand – because they didn’t want to just hire massive numbers of production people that they would then have to lay off later, they wanted to expand in a sustainable way. They’ve mentioned this on their forums – the way that they’ve expanded their production staff and facilities is not just to meet the immediate surge of demand (which they expect is bigger than what the sustained demand will be), but to position them for the expected future levels of demand. The real question is how they calculated what is sustainable, but they obviously put some thought into it.

  • begisle

    I don’t believe much of anything PP says.

  • Ghool

    Actually, at Lock n’ Load, PP previewed prototypes of the new plastic Warbeasts.
    So, saying they aren’t doing anything to solve the issues of casting their large metal beasts is quite off-base.

    This is a great company that are experiencing a serious amount of growth beyond all they have expected and forecast. Get the facts straight before making biased opinionated comments about their practices.

    These guys are just as passionate about gaming as any of you posting here, and their working hard to make sure any frustration felt by their player base is alleviated.
    Cut them some slack, as explosive growth is difficult for any manufacturer to deal with, especially when demand out-paces their supply.

    • wittdooley

      Then they should state that as opposed to answering questions with “We have no plans on doing that at this time.” I can find that email if you’re really concerned. I need the correct facts from them in order to do so. Perhaps they aren’t as forthcoming as the kool-aid drinkers would have you believe.

      Here’s my question: why does the “cut them some slack” sentiment work with Privateer, Mantic, and any other small company, but not with GW, who clearly has a great deal more logistical problems to work with than any of the smaller companies? If they can’t accurately assess demand, then it’s a good thing they’re still a private company, because that inability would drive an investor/shareholder crazy. Being able to accurately assess your future growth is a hallmark of running a successful business. They’re starting to do this, which is a must, but to not have done that in the past is really shortsighted.

      • Zac

        why does the “cut them some slack” sentiment work with Privateer, Mantic, and any other small company, but not with GW

        Because all of these companies make some effort to engage their fans and partners (as this message indicates) and therefore have built up some goodwill on the part of their fans.

        Its basic PR and Marketing. If you engage people, talk to them and make them feel as if they are being listened to (even if you don’t do what they want) then you reap some benefits.

        GW has, for reasons I can’t understand, been almost totally uncommunicative with their fans to the point that they shut down all of their official forums and don’t try to issue these sorts of communiques.

        Mantic, PP and other small companies don’t (typically because they can’t piss their fans off the way GW does) and so they consequently get more flexibility from their fans.

        • KelRiever

          @Ghool. Fanboi much? 🙂

          • Ghool

            Fanboi? no.
            I just attended their ‘con, and found they are a good bunch of people that engage their customers, and are quite honest to their player base.
            And seriously, they’re a great bunch of down-to-earth folks, as I talked to quite a number of them personally, and they honestly can’t believe how much growth they’ve had since the launch of MK2.
            It’s caught everyone off-guard, and it’s become difficult to keep pace with demand.
            No one’s perfect.
            But, at least they’re communicating to their customers about what’s happening. I find it much easier to swallow bad news when I’m not kept in the dark, and a company is doing what it can to alleviate any problems, and to build a rapport with their customer base. It’s a rare thing in this day and age of monolithic juggernaut companies, and mass marketing.

            I don’t hate GW, or any other company that makes things that we all enjoy. Sure, they’ve made some pretty stupid mistakes, as have many game companies, past and present.

            All that I’m trying to point out is that PP is still a relatively small company, and forecasting your sales and growth is not a easy thing to do, especially when so many gamers have ‘jumped ship’ of late.

          • Zac

            Fanboi much? 🙂

            No personal comments please.

            In any case I’m closing this as the discussion is getting tedious and sectarian.

        • wittdooley

          So, I’ll assume the small company aspect of it all makes no difference to you.

          I think GW does a lot wrong with their Marketing, but you can’t confuse that with customer service. Their customer service is top notch.

          Only in this industry do you see this kind of ridiculous outcry. And it all stems from the sense of entitlement so many feel. It’s absurd.

          • GrimDog

            Up next: wittdooley defends big oil

          • Ghool

            I don’t think it was a ridiculous outcry.
            I was simply stating that being a smaller company going through growing pains can produce a host of problems; like demand out-stripping supply.

            These sorts of things happen in every industry, and it’s definitely not something that’s easily predicted. Ever hear of Cabbage Patch Kids? Tickle Me Elmo? I’m sure there’s a lot more situations and industries where this has happened.

            If there’s any sort of ridiculous outcry happening here, I certainly don’t think it’s coming from myself….

  • Morf

    “My PP is better than your GW” and vice versa are becoming one of the reasons I am dreading to click any GW/PP topics.

    • Ben Wafer

      No kidding… Based on my personal gaming-related purchasing experiences, I’ve been much happier with PP than with GW (and I stopped buying anything from GW years ago as a result), but I hate all of the overblown generalizations and hyperbole thrown around by the rabid anti-GW crowd and the rabid anti-PP crowd. Get over it people. Neither company is perfect. Both do some things right and some things wrong. I personally feel PP does fewer things wrong than GW, but I also recognize that that’s just my personal opinion, and I’m not going to try to shove it down anyone’s throat.

    • Zac

      Its surprising how all it takes is the hint of a “offensive” comment towards one or the other and the conversation degrades.

      • KelRiever

        It is because it isn’t just okay to like or dislike a company. In the age of internet hyperbole, you have to LOVE or LOATH a company. And by the way, given the amateurish way most game companies operate (yes, including Privateer and Games Workshop), it is easy to pick on them. But really, it is as if people need to feel personal about these businesses. Which is silly. It should all be taken in stride, probably, though. How long have people argued irrationally whether they loved or hated a Camaro or Mustang? (or Porsche or Ferrari, or Volkswagon or Subaru, zzzzz…)

        • wittdooley

          It isn’t about that for me. I like both companies. What bothers me is the ignorant, blind hate that goes out that shuts out any reasonable arguments on GWs behalf, or refuses to acknowledge that fact that, if we’re looking at comparative size, Privateer is a piss in a shotglass compared to the Keg that is GW, and thus has far less to be concerned with.

          • KelRiever

            Funny, I dislike both companies. But readily recognize that each does certain things right.

          • Ben Wafer

            Um, which is why you randomly attack PP over something completely unrelated to the topic, and then start ranting on and on about how superior GW is? OK… How about next time you try to actually keep things on topic instead of stirring the pot?

  • I gotta agree. It’s becoming like Democrats vs. Republicans, Apple vs. Android. Now it’s PP vs. GW. Sigh.

  • Starfury

    I don’t play GW-Games anymore because of the real bad play system and the crazy idea that a new codex means I can’t play my armee without buy the new stuff or the stuff that was in the past worse and unplayebal.

    PP has a nice system and so I play it.