Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The People vs. Games Workshop

While everyone else was away playing at one of the two tournaments at either end of the country, I had the weekend for some hobby time. I managed to paint 8 Plague Censer Bearers and the Nurglitch figure.

This gave me a bit of time for rumination (perhaps even focused – see what I did there!) and I thought I’d give you the benefit of my machinations.

Like everyone I am disappointed with GW’s recent moves to limit sales from UK retailers and to mix that with a price rise. However I am also a realist. Over the past few weeks there have been people trying to form lynch mobs to storm Lenton. Actually they haven’t. They have been putting together online petitions, form letters people can cut and paste and most lately “An Open (Video) Letter to GW” where you are urged to distribute a You Tube video.

I can tell you that these will achieve absolutely nothing. I’m not sure if people feel embolden being part of the “Facebook Generation” but guys this is the real world and life’s not like that. The only thing that matters to corporations is the bottom line – the rest is just conversation.

So you can send your form letters, distribute your videos but it will achieve nothing.

If you want to bring about change you need to hit GW where it hurts….in the pocket. That means not buying their product. If sales dropped more than 20% they, or more likely their shareholders, would take notice. But you and I know that is not going to happen. Gamers have the attention span of a gnat and all the resolve of a goldfish. We all know that as soon as something new and shiny turns up the same people who have moaned and groaned will be lined up at 12.00am outside the store ready to sip the Kool-Aid.

So in the real world if you want to effect change you have two choices – Buy or Don’t Buy. It’s as simple as that. You can gripe all you want but it won’t achieve anything.

Yes, we are all unhappy but this is “Big Boy Pants” time. Either it has past your price point or it hasn’t. That’s up to the individual. For me it hasn’t but it has made me think as to whether I need more figures or whether I paint the mountain I currently have. I’ll buy their new books, magic cards etc but I’ll scale back new figure purchases until I see something that makes me want to open my wallet.

Real life is pretty simple. Stark choices. Facebook polls, online petitions and open letters aren’t choices.


  1. Agreed, all the wailing, gnashing and chest beating is getting theatrical, and there's a few in the NZ community who appear to have used it as a reason to puff up and perform like attention-craving chimp at a circus. It's a personal choice, as you say, buy or buy not. The greatest impact all this has had on me is that I like metal figureines because they feel good when I pick them up, as opposed to resin. That's how it has affected me. Chaoswolf.

  2. You are correct Peter, nothing will change but I for one am glad the protesters have done thier wailing and nashing of teeth. It has opened me as well as many others eyes to the utter fact that GW does not care about the hobby. Unless it's about making a buck of the hobbiest.
    For me and others, I believe, will now only be buying alternative minatures to play WHFB etc... and different games system. For that I would like to thank GW, as I would not have otherwise look to other fields.

  3. I don't know if anyone ever in the history of mankind has ever achieved anything with an online petition.

    For me, it has impacted my profit margin, and reinforced that I have to sell my armies at a profit when I'm done with them. As it's not a global change, I annoy able to suddenly demand a higher price, so instead it means I make less money off of it.

    Other than that, I can achieve nothing by being negative about it, so my options are either to stop being butthurt and get on with it, or move on. Too many friends in the scene to do the latter just yet :)

  4. Well Said! I share your opinion not just with GW but with businesses in general. If you don't like what they are doing, don't buy. It's the only message they care about. At the end of the day, no amount of bad PR or internet rage lists is going to amount to a hill of beans because a) it's a captive market b) their market share is 100%

    regional sales will show what the results are. I suspect there will not be the large increase in local sales they're hoping for and they will close down some retail stores in asia/Pac. The embargo will likely never be removed unless it's proven to be illegal, something that can take YEARs to resolve if ever.

  5. I'll admit I was upset for awhile, but that was because I had decided to vote with my dollars. It will be sad to not buy the very excellent products GW produce. The good thing is that there are a lot of excellent miniatures out there in the world that I do get to try now. So this works out as an opportunity. Me to get some different stuff and other companies to produce things for me to buy.

  6. I am certainly having a break from GW purchasing... with the current price rise, and enough armies in the cupboard to paint for a while, I dont think I will buy anything GW for quite a while.

    Also, checked out Dystopian Wars at all Pete? If you want to send your hard earned somewhere else, this is a really cool game that is growing FAST in Australia.