If I ran it…

So GW posted one doozy of a letter to investors.  I mean.  Wow.  Look at THIS whopper.  If he wasn’t leaving he should be thrown out anyway.

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.

W ell, sure.  If you ignore some other facts.  Successful, capable competition, stagnating internal ideas, technological advances threatening production.  Everything is lovely!

He also announces he’s stepping down.  Thank.  Almighty.  God.  For those not paying attention that’s their chief lawyer and their CEO.

So I thought of what I would do if they picked someone more capable.  I figure there’s got to be 4 to 5 billion people who could do a better job running GW than the buffoons right now, and for once that’s not hyperbole.  This company is still operating like the economy is going great, there’s no source of information on alternatives or their own activities, and that local brick and mortar stores are unnecessary to their operations.  None of these things are true, and their inability to realize this is leading them down a dark spiral, and they are even ignorant to this fact.

So what would I do?  Well first off the whole pricing structure needs a radical restructuring.  Prices for GW minis are absolutely ridiculous even granted their high quality.  The prices for the books are even worse.  I would operate on the theory that bringing new people in is absolutely essential to the game.  Books would receive between a 50 and 75% price slash.  If that meant selling them for a loss then so be it.  People without books are people not playing my game.  I want this to be the marketing scheme for next year:

The second thing I want to do is change how the boxed armies are done.  I think GW is inching in this way already (look at the dwarf one for example) but they need to really look at how things are being done outside the company.  They can outprice Privateer Press handily and still attract fans.  Their games are good and their fans are rabid, but they need to encourage more people to pick it up.  Here’s my ideas for their established products:

OVERALL

  1. Get rid of Finecast.  Yesterday.
  2. Reprice all books to 25-50% of their current cost.
  3. Better staff and stocking at GW stores.  These places should be destinations, palaces of GW hobbies with examples and demos going on every hour.  Not sad slovenly stores stocking the most basic material.
  4. Stop.  Suing.  Everyone.  It pisses people off and it is being done far in excess of what is necessary to preserve copyrights.

WARHAMMER FANTASY

  1. Every Box like the Dwarf Box!  Useful models, a good solid core and a little something extra tossed in.  Islands of Blood is another great example.  For $100 dollars you get at least 3-4x what you pay for AND the rulebooks.
  2. Box sizes should equate to regiments.  20 for elite infantry, 30 for line, 40 for swarms.  Pricing will also be going down.  3$ for elite minis, 2$ for the rank and file, 5-7 for cavalry.
  3. Army books brought up to date for legacy armies, Brets, Skaven, Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings, look there’s a lot that needs some love.

WH40k

  1. 1 Book for Marines.  3 Tops.  Not a dozen.  (Not counting CSM)
  2. Price reduction on boxes.  Box sizes are ok.  40 bucks for 10 basic tactical marines isn’t.
  3. Rebalance everything.  I mean a serious balance pass.  Fliers especially but every army needs a good hard look to avoid spamming of OP units.
  4. Encourage the “skirmish” aspect.  Too many games end up like WWI slugfests with neat weapons rather than fast sci fi games with Marines shrugging off loads of fire to desperately try to accomplish their objective.

Other Games

  1. Epic 40k will be back.  Armageddon was a great ruleset that rubbed people the wrong way.  That can be fixed.  Big battles in 40k have always been amazing and there’s no reason not to have this product out there.
  2. Blood Bowl is GW’s best game ever.  Seriously it’s fun, it’s fast paced and it needs to be out front.
  3. LotR… does anyone play this?  How much are we paying for the IP?  Create some fancy models and move on.
  4. Necromunda.  Am I showing my age yet?  This is a hoot of a game and should be re-release with gorkamorka as a twofer.  Maybe even a “big scale” 54mm model game.  Something to throw down once in a while to mix things up.

Finally attempts have to be made to reach out to the community.  A lot of the games biggest supporters have been turned off by GW’s litigious nature, and heavy handed treatment of the humble LGS.  This has got to end.  GW should be proud of each and every store and should offer incentives to high performing stores, not harsh quotas and minimums.  For example a store that runs a tourney every month with a minimum of 10 players gets free scenery packs.  X amount in total sales gets a discount on product, or more favorable payment terms.  Finally I would practically dismantle the GW website for orders.  Let the retailers handle the retail.  Every GW sale takes dollars out of the pockets of the brick and mortar stores that host most Fantasy or 40k games.  Treat these stores well and they will reward GW with higher sales.  Treat them badly and they will wither and it will be more and more difficult for gamers to find a place to play a game.  It will be more and more difficult to bring new people into the hobby, and it will be more and more difficult to increase the companies sales.

This was fun.  Next up:  Privateer Press, and then CCP Games!

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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on August 10, 2014, in Games Workshop, Things I think I think, Warhammer 40k. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. if I ran it, I would add MageKnight… I sorely miss that game…

  2. If the company was in whole or held by you in the majority, then fine But as with most large companies the shareholders have a large say. And the things you say although good in concept will cost money in planning, development and implementation. Not to mention diverted revenue loss off sets and alike. As an end goal its fair but the actual but getting there will be tough especially if you want to avoid a rapid income drop, as people wait for changes etc. They will have to do it in a piecemeal fashion which will quite frankly take serious organisation and effort as well as a lot of future conception realisation. The things they could do is want is happening anyway and they should be doing their books should be available soft cover as well as hard cover and pdf with appropriate costing. Back catalogue Models should be converting into 3D printable files which can be sold. Further development in to current and future figures the same depending upon the 3D printer market. Currently they will be Plastic based but in the future metal are not really that far away. Realistically the cost for such printing is still high but how long will that stay that way??? Imagine in stead of actually modelling you could decide the stance, weapons and many other possible things before printing the model. But just a few thoughts there

    • I agree with a lot of your points, but at least they HAVE to get moving in a more competitive direction. Right now they are the cow mooing on its way into the slaughterhouse thinking there’s good grass in there.

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