Wargaming Tradecraft: A Great Explanation of Games Workshop's Policy Changes (and some of my thoughts)


A Great Explanation of Games Workshop's Policy Changes (and some of my thoughts)

The 'net is buzzing with news about Games Workshop's new policy changes, how it affects online retailers and how it affects local retailers. Matt over at MiniWarGaming has an excellent video talking in depth and with a level head about these changes. Unfortunately, with it is the news that the MiniWarGaming Store will be closing.

On a personal note, I'll be sad to see them go. Chatting on those forums were what sparked me to start blogging all those years ago. While I haven't bought from them recently, (supporting local instead) I did get a good chunk of my current Hordebloods from them and they were kind enough to help sponsor the models I painted for last years Headshots from the Heart campaign where we raised $2500 for sick kids.

And in the meantime, they're having a sale to clear out their product...

Essentially, the issues can be summed up as:

a) Retailers are no longer allowed to break open boxes and sell bits separately.
b) No more sales of their products online. AT ALL. (except from GW)
c) No selling outside of your country even if someone calls you for an order
d) Retailers are limited to spending $500 /month on products in GW's standard line (1800-ish of the slower selling items, but still the bulk of the products available... and some new items go directly in to this category.)

Online retailers are obviously screwed. For many people who aren't used to buying local, this will mean a rather significant price increase to their hobby. Add this on to recent years price hikes and failcast and there will be a fair amount of grumpy customers. It will be interesting to see how local retailers are affected by this. While it'll hurt GW sales, those that deal in other mini games like Privateer Press, Malifaux, Battletech, Dark Potential, Mantic, Spartan and so on may actually do better - I wonder this because online retailers probably get most of their sales from GW and might not be an affordable business without, thus pushing sales to back local.

Now here's another interesting point that many of you might not be aware of. I've personally (face to face) talked to a few different retailers in both Canada and the US who've told me that they were contacted by GW and offered a large shipment of free product on the basis that they sell it at full retail price.

Great deal right?

Well the retailer I spoke to in the US took the deal and was surprised to see product fly off the shelves. So naturally, he started carrying it. A few months later, GW announced they were opening their own store about 15 minutes away from him.

Sure, it'll probably be one of those single-employee stores that are popping up all over, where they're closed for bathroom breaks and sick days... but I can't help but wonder how many other local retailers they've done this to, and how it will affect sales - both short and long term.

You do the math.

Start gaming outside the box, people.

Creating an Artistic Army - The Creative Process


  1. Hard to disagree. Interesting anecdote there too. I feel sorry it had to end like his, rather than with some bold new move. It's a bit of a whimper and they could have done so much better. Maybe they still will, but it seems to be getting less easy.

  2. Y'know, that's an excellent point. I stopped playing 40k because we couldn't get games in as life got in the way.. then I moved, and picked up Hordes as that's what people played down here. I continued playing Hordes and converted friends because it was fun. Nothing wrong if the story ended there... there'd still be the possibility of going back to 40k at some point. But when the dev starts making moves like this, it creates animosity and a reason not to go back to them.

    Where I live, GW already tried some of these underhanded tacts a while ago. They made it difficult for FLGS' to carry their product, so they switched to PP. Then, the local GW closed because we're a border city and their product was 20% cheaper in the US. Now, the only FLGS was carrying PP and things shifted away from 40k. Some people still play, but it's certainly not primary.

  3. Something similar used to happen in the UK.

  4. That is some really aggressive competitive tactics there from GW. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, as I'm sure it does for many others.

    I'm worried for a friend of mine, the proprietor of an online bitz store. He's the largest bitz seller in Australia and his wife even quit her office job last year to help him out; that's how well they were doing. If he can't buy from discount retailers any more then... well, that's going to make it hard. The retail prices here are beyond what most people are wiling to pay.

  5. I really gotta stop believing in GW, and hoping this is all just some misunderstanding, and that any day now they're gonna turn into an actual GOOD company...

    Dave- next time you leave a link on one of my posts, can it be something cheerful?
    That would be awesome, thanks

    1. Sorry Sin... guess it needed more Megan Fox?


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