Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reading the Tea Leaves

I received an email yesterday from Maelstrom Games announcing that they were once again stocking Battlefront’s Flames of War range.

If you remember there was a rather public bust-up earlier in the year where a series of communications showed up on the net that demonstrated the acrimony between the parties.

Now a number of Battlefront’s senior managers are friends of mine so I’m not exactly an impartial observer. To be clear I haven’t communicated with them at all on this matter. However I thought the email from Maelstrom was magnanimous in that they indicated they had apologised and hoped that the whole incident could be put behind the parties.

This is great news for the hobby. Maelstrom are/were one of the biggest internet retailers in the world while Battlefront produce the premier WW2 game and models.

It did get me thinking though. I started wondering whether the change in attitude by Maelstrom was a consequence of the move by Games Workshop to prohibit export of their product by them (and others) outside the EU. They would have now had six months of the new regime and you can’t help but feel that their business has been significantly impacted by the change in their supply arrangements. Speak to any tournament gamer in the Southern Hemisphere and all were sourcing their GW minis from Maelstrom (or equivalent).

Having invested in a new venue, warehouse etc you can’t help but draw the conclusion that not stocking Battlefront followed by the introduction of GW’s “Prohibition Era” may have been a bridge too far for the company.

All supposition but I can’t help thinking that 2011 wasn’t as stellar on the sales front for Maelstrom as they had initially planned.

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