Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Impact of Embargo?

This morning, like a lot of you, I got an email from Maelstrom Games. I have reproduced part of it below:

Here at Maelstrom Games we have decided to clear as much of our hard-earned stock as we possibly can over the next few days - and therefore generate some much-needed cashflow - in order to ensure we can fulfil the orders that you, our valued customers, have placed over the last few weeks. To that end, we have decided - in consultation with our trading partners - to sell our remaining stock of Battlefront Miniatures (at 25% off), Perry Miniatures, Victrix, Plastic Soldier Company, Artizan Designs, Gripping Beast and Great War Miniatures (all at 30% off). All other ranges' stock will now be sold at 40% off UK RRP - we hold good stocks of Gamezone Miniatures, Dark Age, Cool Mini or Not and Scibor Miniatures, and there's a fair bit of Privateer Press and Malifaux left too. As well as that, from this moment onwards we have decided to stop any customer from placing orders for items that are not in stock, simply so that we can clear the orders that have already been placed.


We have not made this decision lightly, and please note that we have absolutely no issues with any of the above manufacturers or suppliers; we are simply trying to sell off stock in order to clear older orders and ease any worries our customers may have regarding the speculation that is currently rife on the internet. As well as that, we believe that our retailing model must now change to selling products that are in stock at the time of purchase, and as such that will continue to be in place in the future, once our orders are cleared and our stock is sold.

I would ask all of our customers to remain as patient as they can with Maelstrom Games and, indeed, our staff, for we will use the money generated by the sale of our stock to ensure all of your orders are fulfilled in their entirety as quickly as possible. We remain committed to servicing our customers first and foremost and will continue to do so in the future.

These kind of sales do not occur very often and we would hope that you take advantage - and remember, our stock will be sold on a first come, first served basis so you will have to decide what you want very quickly as we suspect it will sell very quickly!

I wasn't aware of any internet speculation (can anyone elaborate?) but I know that the "Eye of the Storm" gaming centre model is now being replicated across the UK so an essential point of difference has been lost. We are now 16 months into GW's embargo on sales to the rest of the world and I wouldn't need to be Einstein to know that it must have impacted on Maelstrom's revenue, profitability and growth prospects. Whereas prior to the embargo I would have done at least GBP1000 a year with them now I do none. If that degree of loss revenue was replicated (to a greater or lesser extent) outside of Europe then their business model must now be dramatically different.

Cashflow is everything in that business.

Edit: There is an ongoing thread on Dakka Dakka here

The Eye of the Storm seems to be its own separate business - games centre and website - while Bane Legions have been shifted to a new company.

Personally I would be very wary of making any new orders with Maelstrom


  1. In terms on internet speculation I have a few of my gaming buddies email me saying not to order from Maelstrom as they are about to go into voluntary liquidation. As to where they got their information from I cannot say.

    I placed an order about a month ago with maelstrom and have just cancelled it due to a failure to complete the order, or in fact communicate with me beyond actioning my cancellation request.

  2. Looking through there site you can only purchase things that are in stock now. You can no longer order anything. The battlefront stuff says they will not be stocking it again once they run out of current stock. Not sure on some other ranges. Did they loose the battlefront account again?
    Looking at my crystal ball it sounds like they are on a stop order system from suppliers due to cashflow problems.

  3. The Dakka thread suggests a six figure amount is owed to one supplier and that also GW stopped supplying prior to the CSM release.

    If the thread is to be believed PayPal have stopped as a payment method and the EotS shop is devoid of stock.

    It is suggested that Maelstrom is now little more than shell holding debt with assets (EotS and Bane Legions spun out to new companies).

    1. The Banelegions being spun off was all of a sudden and no explanation was given, but they have had/do have CSM stuff in stock from the release... As everything the truth most likely lies somewhere in between...