The Iron Fist: How Games Workshop Put A Stranglehold On The Australian Market

The Iron Fist: How Games Workshop Put A Stranglehold On The Australian Market

Imagine the scenario: you are a large scale distributor of a product. For years you have been selling these products globally; you’ve shown a firm hand in dictating how much these products cost in these specific regions. Australia, for example, as an out-of-the-way market with a high cost of living, pays almost double compared to the US.

Then: the internet. A new global marketplace grows rapidly year-on-year. Independent retailers across the US and Europe begin shipping these products to regions like Australia, regions you once controlled with an iron fist. Your grip slips. The genie is out of the bottle. A more savvy consumer base becomes aware of just how badly they’ve been treated. They import from overseas. They buy less locally.

Do you…

A) Reduce the price of the products in response to a more competitive retail environment, growing your market, embracing the consumers who want to buy and use your products?

Or…

B) Do everything within your power to manipulate and control the global market, effectively shuttering the distribution model that helped build your company into the juggernaut it is today.

Games Workshop went with option B.

————– Globally, Games Workshop is probably the most recognisable brand in all of tabletop gaming, but in Australia consumers grow frustrated. Prices are overwhelmingly inflated, Australians pay almost twice what Americans do and that discrepancy has remained in spite of competition from online retailers.

Much like the price of video games, it’s an issue that has refused to disappear, and Games Workshop has decided to take action. But instead of changing its pricing structure, making prices fairer for Australians, its solution has been to close the net on all online sales, meaning that all Games Workshop retail partners can no longer sell products online, only in-store, effectively destroying the online independent Game Workshop market in one fell swoop.

In short: if you want to buy Games Workshop products online, you can only buy them from the corporate Games Workshop website.

“GAMES WORKSHOP believes that its best interests are served by reserving online retail sales of its products in North America to GAMES WORKSHOP’S own corporate website,” reads a new Games Workshop agreement, sent out to independent retailers on March 15.

“North American Retailers are not permitted to sell GAMES WORKSHOP products on any website, webportal, third-party web-portal or other Internet-based platform of any kind.”

In addition, retailers across the globe are now being strong-armed into selling only within their own region in what is essentially a region locking of physical table-top gaming products.

How is this possible? How can this be enforced? Simply put, it can’t. But as per this new agreement, Games Workshop will not deal with retailers unless they follow this new code of conduct. If you, as a retailer, want to buy Games Workshop products at cost price from official distributors you must follow these guidelines. If you don’t, you won’t get the product. Simple as that.

And that’s bad news for Australians who want to pay a fair price for Games Workshop products.

————

“In Australia it’s the worst I believe. Their prices are close to double what we have here in Canada.”

Matthew Glanfield runs MiniWarGaming, a site and store that works as a community hub for Games Workshop tabletop gaming. It provides information and is home for a massive community of readers interested in Games Workshop products, but as a business 80 per cent of its revenue comes from online sales.

Just under two weeks ago, as a result of the new policies put in place by Games Workshop, Matthew Glanfield announced they would be closing their store. What other choice do they have?

“Rather than trying to fix [price] fluctuations,” he explained, in a YouTube video discussing the closing of the stores, “they decided to not let you sell outside of [them].”

But just how bad are the price fluctuations?

Take The Island of Blood, a package that contains “everything you need to start playing Warhammer”. In the US, on the official Games Workshop site, this package costs $99. In Australia it costs $165. This is a regular discrepancy; in fact, it’s quite generous compared to other products sold. Chaos Space Marines, for example, cost $37.25 in the US, but $62 in Australia. The price difference tends to range from 60 to 90 per cent.

That’s a pretty big discrepancy.

Locally, Games Workshop have been reluctant to talk about the price differential, or discuss the new regulations. When we finally got in touch with someone in Australia we were told they were “too busy” to comment and, even if they did have time, they wouldn’t be able to comment on the price situation. Prices, we were informed, are set in the UK.

But with regards to online sales, Games Workshop’s retailer policy justifies its new rules as an attempt to build upon the customer relationship created by purchasing in brick-and-mortar retail stores. According to Games Workshop, this move is an attempt to stop online retailers from “free-riding on the significant investment made by in-store retailers in promoting the hobby”.

Simply put, Games Workshop is claiming these new changes are, in part, an attempt to protect local retailers, to help support that side of the industry. But, speaking to Australian independent retailers, these changes do not protect their sizeable investment. On the contrary, it undermines it.

———— “When the Aussie dollar got strong things became bad for us. Even with shipping costs it was still cheaper for players to order overseas. Our margins were already shit and now they’re worse.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one local independent retailer told us that new changes put in place by Games Workshop negatively impact business. Over the past three years, sales of Games Workshop products has dwindled, and these new regulations could make things worse.

“Games Workshop see this online sales thing as the solution to problems at retail,” the retailer explained, “but it actually just makes things worse. People don’t say, ‘oh now I’ll have to buy locally’, they just say, ‘I’m not going to buy this product anymore.'”

And this is precisely what’s been happening at retail in Australia over the past few years.

“Games Workshop used to be really good for us,” said the retailer, “but it’s been like this for years now and nothing has changed. Now we don’t sell anything.”

And the reduced sales of Games Workshop product are compounded by the fact that retailers must continually hold a minimum value of product in store if they are to be allowed to buy and sell the product.

“The current margins on Games Workshop products are very low and if we want to sell their products, we have to dedicate a set amount of product and space in our store. And space to a retailer is money.”

It’s strange that instead of embracing a growing market, it appears as though Games Workshop has hit the panic button and is now in the process of putting it in a chokehold. In Australia, at least, that appears to be having a negative impact. The market is changing; that’s indisputable and of course it is the prerogative of Games Workshop to respond to that change, but once again it appears as though the Australian consumer is being asked to bear the brunt of an evolving marketplace and that simply doesn’t seem fair.

Our anonymous retailer agrees.

“There’s an easy solution,” they explained. “Instead of charging us, say, $10 for a product, why not just charge $8. That way we can pass on the saving to consumers.”

Why not indeed?

Comments

  • Well that just plain sucks. I know my brother ordered 2 sets from America for literally the exact same cost as one set here. Aussie tax strikes again.

    • Let’s face it though. It’s definitely not all Aussie tax. It’s just the fact that Games Workshop are assholes who know that enough Australian consumers will pay the high price for they’re products that it’s a worthwhile price hike. Same sort of deal as to why an Xbox game is pushing $100 at launch, or why adobe can charge a crazy price for photoshop. Because there is enough people here stupid enough to pay that ridiculous price.

      • As Regal said it’s absolutely nothing to do with taxes. It’s entirely down to Games Workshop. For years they’ve had a free reign over the Australian market with minimal competitors and have seen fit to gouge the hell out of their customers because they had a virtual monopoly.

        Now the market has shifted and GW has failed to adapt, they’ve got genuine competition from games like Warmachine (www.privateerpress.com) Infinity (www.corvusbelli.com) Malifaux (www.malifaux.com) and Flames of War (www.flamesofwar.com) so they’re instead trying to stuff the Genie back into the bottle, pretend they don’t have competitors and they can go back in time to when the knowledge of how badly they were screwing everybody wasn’t as widely spread. It’s not working and they’re now just in it to pump the dollars from the die-hard fans who won’t swap systems.

        • I can confirm it has nothing to do with Aussie taxes.

          My brother used to work for the distribution warehouse that handled all of GW’s Australian stock. He could buy things direct from there for cost price + 10%. The cost price being what the warehouse was paying the overseas distributor (ie, minus their markup AND the retail store’s markup).

          He stopped buying from there when he realised he could get things from overseas, delivered to his door, for less.

          So whatever price GW is charging local distributors is already well above the retail price overseas (after store markups, taxes, etc), before any taxes or markups are added.

          • You, Hooligan Tuesday and @regal seem to have all misunderstood what jupiter was saying. by “Aussie tax” he was referring to the tendency for businesses to mark up prices for Australia simply because we are Australia. It isn’t a tax in the usual government sense, but it is still an arbitrary markup that has no relation to the real cost of the product.

        • This is Games Workshop. A company that sells inch-tall plastic figurines for $40 a tray and pewter ones for upwards of $15. Their profit margin must be absolutely criminal. There’s no reason they can’t sell their products at half, or even a quarter of the price except corporate greed. Let’s be frank here, everyone (even the Americans) are over-paying. Treating customers like milkable money bags is GW’s business model.

    • Hi. I’m not from Australia, but from Italy. We have the same problem. Prices doubled and the number of miniatures was cut by half ( collect Lord of the Rings and Warhammer miniatures). I am no more able to purchase the miniatures from the shop, so I try to buy them for cheaper prices on ebay. When I asked why the plastic miniatures, whose production should be less expensive than metal miniatures, I was told that this plastic was finecast, so it was more expensive beacuse of the better quality. I said that that was ok, but an increase of the double was out of the world.

  • I just noticed that the K in their logo is ridiculously wonky. And the A and M overlap!?

    Oh, and interesting/infuriating article I guess.

    • They’ll just come up with a new policy. That’ll work, right? EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY AS LONG AS THEY MAKE POLICIES, RIGHT!?

      • But everyone knows their new policy will be the same as before: “Let’s FREAK OUT and raise prices! Cause that’s all we know how to do”

      • sue the manufactures of 3D printers for enabling users to make copies of their products?
        put watermarks on all official models that stop forgeries from rolling anything over a 1?

        BAM. YOU’VE BEEN POLICIED!!!

        • Actually, in the case of thingiverse they’ve clamped down VERY hard on models that have even a suggestion of Warhammer 40K flavour to them… I acknowledge that it’s their IP, but as far as I’m aware there’s no law stating that someone else can’t reproduce the likeness of their IP. If I can print a PDF booklet of their artwork that I downloaded off their site, then why can’t I print a likeness of one of their models? As long as it’s for personal use…

    • Legal action against people who release data files that replicate their stuff, or that could potentially be confused with their stuff in any way (e.g. a guy in armour on a round base).

      I wish I was kidding.

      • it’ll go the same way as anything else on a torrent site.
        lots of huffing & puffing, but with the exception of a few cases, publishers havent been able to do much about it at all.

      • I think that with the way the technology is going when it finally comes to a head, the 3D printing legal battles are going make the ones over music/movie/tv piracy seem tame…

        • Whenever I see anti-piracy adds on movies, with the “You wouldn’t steal a car” line, I can’t help but say “But I would download one and copy it”. One step closer to a joke becoming reality I guess.

          Though I’d be more concerned about gun replication than IP infringement. Though I’d wager the US wouldn’t.

      • Yeah, I’ve read a couple stories about these legal actions.

        I find it funny that they support the customizing of models and even improvising of models that don’t exist. But creating models from scratch with a 3D printer and sharing this information is not acceptable.

    • As far as I know, they already fanatically police their IP and shut down sites that even mention anything to do with the game. I read (quite a while back) about them trying to shut down some guy who was making 3D printing designs that were close to their own designs (not sure how it turned out, think he ended up making his own designs), so I have no doubt that they will continue to threaten anyone that tries to do something like that.

    • My thoughts exactly. When that day arrives, the official product will be way more expensive and Games Workshop will live or die by those wanting to support them. And this stuff won’t help them. As soon as the designs are out, they’re out.

      Nice story Mark!

    • The whole time I was reading this article I thought, “they’re screwed when personal 3D printers hit a realistic purchase price.”

      STEP 1: Start a new tabletop gaming business.
      STEP 2: Sell your figurines as 3D printer files that includes cool, colour hard-copy sheets that are mailed out.
      STEP 3: PROFIT ?

      • Someone will do that and make mucho dinero. They’ll work out ways to send out customised 3d meshes to people etc, charging for it of course, or even plans that expire after a time and have to be repurchased I imagine (or after a set number of printings maybe?)

        • Well 3D printing aside, there has always been the issue of just getting moulding materials from any craft store and making duplicates of anything you have already.

          Print-wise though I expect it will be an extension of what sites like FatDragon do – they sell pdfs for papercraft D&D scenery which uses Acrobat layers to let you switch designs/colours/etc. (and I believe they have been working on a papercraft wargame) – I suspect 3D printing would be dealt with similarly whereby you probably pay for individual model blueprints that can be customised before printing, or bundle purchases for sets of scenery blueprints. In this case you have unrestricted use of the blueprints you’ve purchased, so they keep creating new designs rather than making you pay more for something you already have!

          • Agreed, most likely the way. Its like the music industry, they can either go by the old model (heh pun intended), where they’ll suffer and die, or move into the modern day (eventually, not now, but say, 5 – 10 years), where they’ll have to adapt or rot in hell (where GW belongs).

    • Simple; sue the fuck out of any business that uses a 3D printer to sell their IP on the market. They already did that to a company that was making plastic parts for their models (which weren’t the best quality which ended up damaging GW’s reputation when the things broke), and 3D printers are still too expensive for the layman to get one themselves.

      For when they do become worth it, GW will have found an even cheaper way to make models and drop their prices whilst retaining their profits.

        • They are a business at the end of the day. IF the market goes that way they’ll do what it takes to survive. If they need to drop their prices they’ll drop their prices because they’re not dumb enough to go bankrupt.

    • Im already doing this in small scale. My sister has a lot of friends who are obsessive players and collectorys, and we have been printing new units for them for the past 6 months. Them being able to actually make a unit with a different gun is a “oh wow” factor for them in a big way, even though it seems a bit silly to me 😛

    • by letting them… Downsize the company, produce official artwork that can be purchased. Sell the paints etc by postage.

      Or die off as they lose their artists to more livelihood friendly ways of doing business.

      Their stores are already pretty much show rooms, it would be super simpl… wait. Yeah. They’re dead.

  • Actually the margins on GW product are quite high, around 55%, which is why many online stores are able to sell at 25-30% off. The problem is, that still means the retailers here are paying more than consumers in other countries.

    In short, f&*# Games Workshop.

    • Me too. Still I’m a bit surprise the Article is only coming out now. I mean this has been in place for years. On the other hand, that bit about the store closing is a lot more recent.

      @Mark Good luck getting GW to care though 🙁 The people on Bell of Lost Souls (The kotaku of games workshop products in a way) can’t generally be convinced and apologise for GW so I can’t imagine the company is going to change their ways. I can’t remember what it was but GW had a massive dip in sales from Aus when they put in the trade embargo.

      • The thing is this trade policy is only recent in the US. The part that makes it noteworthy is the fact that it also dictates to Canadian retailers too, hence the MWG.com stuff.

        It seems really bizzare but it honestly appears to be that GW is trying to force Australians in particular (and other smaller countries like NZ) into paying their inflated prices.
        I know people that used to work for the company itself and all of them have left due to being completely disillusioned by the company’s practices.

        In my many talks with ex staff, all of them agree that the pricing policies are ridiculous. In almost every case, I’ve been informed that sales are down here in Aus, but profit is up due to price markups. Essentially they’re moving less stock, but at a higher price. The downer there is that you can only push the prices up so high before it stops being a sustainable hobby (even a premium one at that).

        I understand that our retail stores have a much higher overhead that elsewhere in the world, but you should be encouraging growth within a niche market, not shutting it down to drive initial profits up. GW is trying its hardest to make the game and product completely unattainable here in Aus.

        As an additional note, They also put the cost of their Digital Codices (Army rulebooks) up to $80, from around the $60 they were less than two months ago here in aus…The physical books are $83.

          • Haha if that was what I had to pay for gw stuff I’d actually be happy 😛 Yeah there are expensive products and then there are GW level expensive products. The only thing I’ve seen which is seems similar is some of the “mirco” transactions from some MMOs, but I don’t think even they are as bad.

      • I just wanna add that GW’s target customers are 11 year old boys who’s imaginations are fired by the imagery of fighting monsters and space dudes, and tug at mums arm begging for her to spend money on their products for them.
        The whole concept of dice games is a throwback to the eighties and earlier but WTF it’s fun to do. How much more fun to create your own tabletop game with your freinds or club members and develop it into a saleable product???? Am I going to be kidnapped now for thinking to much?

      • Haha, pretty much this. Also I don’t have space for it, but I’d surely have a lot more GW stuff packed away in boxes if it weren’t for the ridiculous prices.

    • If I could buy a box with a playable army in it and their codex for a decent price, I’d consider starting up again.

  • Whereabouts is “Cananda”, Mark? 😛

    EDIT: He edited the article 🙁
    My comment is no longer relevant.

  • It seems that Games Workshop is absolutely intent on shooting themselves in the foot.

    They’re overbearingly aggressive about copyright and this latest attempt to try and control the market is simply disgusting.

    Warhammer 40,000 is the Mario of tabletop games, it’s the one that everyone knows of and it probably the first one people would consider playing because of it. That’s pretty much the only reason that Games Workshop is still alive and able to try and pull this nonsense off.

    They desperately need a new business model.

  • Have they considered a new logo? Seriously, they should drop everything and make a new logo. That’s possibly the worst logo I’ve ever seen.

  • These products were always a massive rip off. They are essentially very, very expensive pieces of plastic (though I had a few pewter ones).

    3D printing is going to kill Games Workshop, and they deserve everything they get. I hope they remain a shell company to keep selling rule books though.

    • How long is it going to take before 3D printing actually becomes affordable enough for an individual to own one? Because any business that offered to use trademarked designs to sell to people will find themselves sued into oblivion over blatant copyright infringement.

      By the time 3D printing becomes afforadable enough GW will have found a cheaper method of making their models and thus can drop their prices down whilst retaining their profits, and most people will pay more for them to have made the models then to go through the hassle of buying a 3D printer, getting a good quality 3D model, and having to deal with the printer when it breaks.

      • If you’re willing to do some of the assembly, RepRap 3D printers are fairly affordable. The design is open source, and it is capable of printing most of the plastic parts needed to build another one.

        • That still seems like an invitation to a lawsuit, since Games Workshop are legally obligated to protect their trademarks or else they get voided. They have sued another company for something similar (selling models based and marketed on their IP).

      • Probably less than five years – the next gen grinds up plastic bottles and that instead of capsules . Even now you can get a 3D printer for around 1500, which would make it cost effective, although the detail isn’t necessarily there yet.

        And Gameworkshop prices are not based on the expense of producing the figures. It would cost next to nothing to produce them on mass already. They have a huge mark up.

  • Started about three or four years ago when they went after a few of the big online retailers who were stealing large chunks of the brick and mortar retail market, especially from cashed up adults who actually could put down $1000 for a full kitted army all at once. Because you know they had a job and worked unlike the school age teens you see crowding the stores. (Another reason to shop online). Looks like they’ve gone the whole hog now. This is the main reason why both myself and my friends have gone from I’ll be honest ‘fan boys’ to haters in about the same time. Consumers aren’t stupid. Tabletop gamers have been spoiled for choice in the last few years from a whole lot of new companies who appear to be doing alright as the GW monolith is slowly worn down.

  • Precisely the kind of practice that should be illegal, but isn’t and would be amazingly difficult to enforce.

    • Yeah it actually is quite illegal what they are doing – unfortunately they are taking advantage of grey areas in the laws themselves.

      • It’s illegal for an Australian company to do that, yes. The problem is it’s the US company setting these restrictions.

    • Not particularly.
      There are plenty of Skirmish type games which are as good, if not better, than any skirmish games GW has released before – but they are much much smaller scale, and it can be hard to find people to play with.
      The overwhelming majority of other game systems are small independent operations that don’t have the resources to take on GW.

      As i mentioned below – which there are alternatives, there is nothing out there at the present time that even comes close to comparing to Warhammer or Warhammer 40k.

      • The piracy (counterfeiting?) angle of 3D printing is where most of the focus is, but I’m really interested how it’ll play out with the stuff you mention. The skirmish games are popular because it’s impossible for most companies to meet the 40k level production requirements, but with 3D printing you and I could sit down and make a game that makes 40k look tiny without ever producing a single unit ourselves. As far as we would be concerned it’s just rules and 3D models. Adding another army would no longer require another two dozen production lines.
        It’ll create the opportunity for a company to come along and compete with Games Workshop by staying pure digital and dealing exclusively with rulebooks, novels and customisable model files. Like all digital ventures it’s ripe for piracy, so I’ve got to wonder how successful they’d be, but it’s interesting to think about.

        Finding people to play with shouldn’t be as hard either because when it costs $5 to make a squad of ten units without leaving the house I can afford a loaner army.

        • I find it interesting that people keep mentioning 3d printing.
          That idea won’t be reasonable for, i’d guess, another 5-10 years. 3D printers that most consumers can afford are very very low quality and still quite expensive.
          I am still yet to see even a high end 3d printer that is able to replicate the intricate detail needed for most wargames miniatures.
          So i think, for the time being, talking about 3d printers is a bit of a mute point. GW wouldn’t feel threatened by them in the slightest at this point in time – especially seeing as they seem most preoccupied with the short-term rather than the long-term.

          • Do you really need the high level of detail though? Surely a scrap of paper with the name of the unit written on it would work just as well, right?

            So even if a 3D printed version of a unit isn’t identical to the official one, surely it is still fit for the purpose. And being a bit different need not be a bad thing: it opens up the door to creativity.

          • Well for people who enjoy the products, and more specifically the painting of said products, yes – detail is a massive must.
            Detail is the main reason many people play these games – to see everything reflected so perfectly and completely customisable. Otherwise people would still be sticking to games like risk, which is a hell of a lot cheaper.
            Plus creativity has been embedded in tabletop gaming for decades already – people are constantly sculpting scratch-built items, warriors and even entire battlefields.

          • But if people enjoy modifying the official models, is it that different to paint and do a bit of custom sculpting on a printed model? Even if it has slightly lower detail to start with, there is nothing stopping you from improving it post-printing.

          • Do you really need the high level of detail though? Surely a scrap of paper with the name of the unit written on it would work just as well, right?

            I saw someone on YouTube who had taken what looked like Dawn of War II character models and printed them out. The result was a low detail, full colour Space Marine (sort of a LEGO Minifig level of detail). You could play the game with it, and for beginners it would be great, but I don’t think they’d ever be anything more than placeholders for anyone serious about playing.
            There’s a lot more than just playing the game that goes into the hobby. Even people who don’t like painting and modding generally enjoy assembling their army. For a lot of people the work that goes into physically building their army, scenery, etc and being creative with what they do is the biggest part of the game.
            Otherwise people would just be using bottle lids with names written on them to play.

          • You’re right that we’re not there yet, just look at that Leman Russ tank video someone posted earlier, but the core concept is so perfect for it when you’re talking about Games Workshop’s current business strategy and how it’s going to play out in the future it’s almost unavoidable that 3D printing is going to come up (plus it’s just a fun concept to think about).
            I think Games Workshop would be crazy not to be worried about it. It may take until 10th edition 40K but it’s definitely coming and it has the potential to shatter almost every aspect of what they do (could they survive as premium storytellers?). It may not be the Warhammer Apocalypse but if they’re still running 10 years from now their business is going to have to changed significantly.

            Personally I’m hoping we’re on the edge of a big development with 3D printing. We need to hit one of those cheap laser printer moments where the technology moves over a hump and serious money starts being made from it.

    • there are still plenty of E-Bay sellers that still sell GW products for upto 40% under Aussie prices. The changes to their policies only affect retailers with direct trade agreements with GW. So sellers who obtain their goods from other sources are not affected by these changes.

    • Problem being I don’t like ANY of the popular alternatives. Now maybe if I saw some of them in a retail store I might give it a go and see what I thought, but I haven’t liked any of the models.

  • Come on guys, play the game a bit harder.
    If they restrict online sales to Australia then just use mail forwarding services.

    • They’re restricting online sales full stop, to their own website only.

      Mail-forwarding would help but you’re still paying the full Games Workshop retail price for the US (instead of the cheaper rates many online sellers would give), plus the mail-forwarding fees seriously eat into the savings you would get.

      • Ok so, this is how it works.

        You order your product online and send it to your mail forwarding address who then send it to your address. They may charge you $10 for this service but your still coming out on top.

        If your complaining about $10 then I can’t help you (maybe make friends with someone in the USA?), but it’s a lot better then the jacked up prices you would find in Australian stores.

        • HH – your not getting how far they are taking it. There are NO online retailers except for gameswork shop. Yes, your advice will still allow people to get the product cheaper BUT it will be more expensive than the current situation AND it forces you to buy from one outlet.

    • Wow…. Look like everyone else here I hate GWs pricing policies… And I live in the EU so I can’t even imagine how bad being in Australia and paying those nonsense prices must be.

      Yours was a ridiculous comment, one that I hope was supposed to be made in jest. I personally don’t like the models by PP or infinity. I’m not saying they aren’t good models, objectively they are well sculpted, but I don’t LIKE them, astethically they just aren’t for me. My alternative of choice is warpath & kings of war by mantic and fire storm armada by spartan games.
      Moreover infinity is a skirmish game and some of us do actually like the larger scale Wargames. I still buy the odd GW model, but honestly their prices, even here in Ireland, have gone out of control. I never would have even looked at Mantic or Spartan if GW had kept a reign on their prices because fundamentally I prefer the aestethic and the setting more than any of the other games while still hating GW… It’s a conflict I play out in my mind every time I buy one of their products…

      http://www.manticgames.com/
      http://www.spartangames.co.uk/

  • I ordered a few sets for other people as presents from the UK a few years back… Went back last year to order some for myself and the new policy states “No shipping to Australia”… I emailed them and was disappointed to learn it was their new distribution contract with Games Workshop… No shipping to countries where GW are screwing consumers.

    • Yeah – up until now our only hope was the United States – but it seems they are clamping down there too.
      I don’t think it will really slow the ebay sellers though. Just have to wait and see, i guess.

  • QUICK!! everyone to facebook. Just the other day I was reading ‘Who cares wins” this seems like the perfect scenario to test the book hypothesis.

    I dont even play tabletop games and im outraged!!!

  • I started playing Warhammer 40k in 2000. In that time it was about $24 for a box of 20 plastic Catachan Imperial Guardsmen. Now it’s RRP $48 for 10. I’d love to get back in to collecting & playing it again but I can’t freaking afford that. Who the Hell can?!

    • $48 for 10 is insane, but even $24 for 20 Guardsmen was rough. Considering you had to buy the heavy weapon teams for them separately (and without them the Guardsmen just get chewed through). You also had to buy a whole lot more of them than other armies. It must have been a nightmare before the plastic Catachan box was released. I remember wanting to go Cadian but the price difference meant I had to go Catachan.

  • I stopped buying games workshop products years ago, for exactly the reasons stated. The product is just too expensive. I can’t wait until 3d printers come down in price so we can start distributing high quality models for next to nothing. Though, games workshop will probably sue for that too.

  • I’ve always been an avid fan of 40k. Just recently i even got back into the game and picked up the Dark Vengeance starter set on launch figuring now was as good a time as any to give it another bash.
    I am still questioning that descision. Over the last year I have been noticing more and more shonky “cash grab” types of things coming up.
    The Best example is in the 40k Codex books – the suplementary rules based on specific armies. When i last played 40K these books were between $30-$50 depending on how broad the content was and all came with a standard soft-back cover.
    Flash forward to now and the new codexs to go along with the 6th edition rule book ($120 here on it’s own) and the codex are now $83, also available in collectors editions for $150 (which is basically the same thing with a different cover,really). The reasoning they gave for this? They are now hardback books.
    You can actually see the price difference in the flesh on their own site!
    http://search.games-workshop.com/search?locale=au&keywords=codex

    There is no way i can afford to play 40k with Australian prices – in fact all my buying since i got back into the hobby, aside from the starter set, has been online – US sites such as Spikeybits and various ebay stores and even gumtree.
    I have even resorted to buying models that other people have already painted on ebay just to strip the paint off so i can customise them to my armies.

    Oh – and as for their webstore – they still charge for shipping on top of their already over-inflated prices.

    Listen, i could rant on all day. But i won’t.
    As a commerce student i know that GW are just acting as any company in their position would – maximising profits with constant roll-outs, upgrades, expansions etc. Hell, it’s the exact same thing main-stream companies do, such as Apple and Microsoft for something more relevant to the people here.

    But as a consumer – i don’t know how i feel. Warhammer 40k is a WONDERFUL game with a deep and vivid background. You could spend weeks reading through the stories surrounding it and still only be scratching the surface. Their products, in most cases, are second to none due to the huge amount of experience they have, along with some of the best sculptors in the business. Yet at the same time, i can’t help but feel screwed every time I browse through their site or visit a store.

    Wrapping it up – GW have to tread VERY carefully. They seem to forget they aren’t the only players in the field now. Games like Infinity, Hordes and Malifaux are already clawing up as acceptable replacements for a much lower cost. Their recent PR disasters could very well end up spelling the end for them – i mean they already had to close their Facebook page because it became flooded with hate mail…

    The only question to ask now is “what’s next?”

      • Infinitiy is a gorgeous looking game. It really looks quite brilliant. Only downside is it needs LOTS of terrain. Unfortunately it’s also only a skirmish game – as is Malifaux (but the minis are STUNNING!).
        Warmachine and Hordes do get closer – but still lacks the turnover of new items and the backstories.
        It’s the backstories that has screwed me – i’m a sucker for a good story lol.
        I am keen to try all of these games, though. Just time and money…

        • Agreed, the biggest issue with finding an alternative is finding one that actually appeals to me.

          Infinity is great, but it’s a skirmish game. Warmachine and Hordes have some pretty lame kits (admittedly getting better), still smaller scale than 40K and has one of the most generically boring settings I’ve read. It doesn’t inspire me at all.

          It’s not about finding an alternative so much for me, I love Warhammer and 40k. They’re great games with amazing product lines. I am just baffled why the company seems so intent on making it so difficult for customers like me to enjoy the world they’ve spent decades creating.

    • add in the declining quality of plastic sprue molds of late. I’ve had a few kits where parts have not been fully molded or have come out warped and bent. Poor form for such a high priced hobby.

      • Admittedly, if you have issues like this you can take it up with the stores themselves (or helpdesk) and they more often than not will replace the defective parts or just send a new box.

      • I’ve actually found the opposite – whenever I get a new plastics kit, I’m always amazed by the detail, quality and amount of customisation options they cram in the box. The executives running the GW show might not make the smartest decisions, but there is no denying that GW strive to make the best quality product, at least as far as their models go.

  • While I sympathise with people here, the article above is very one sided. Every store owner has to face the challenges of online sales killing there instore sales. It is obviously a problem for retailers world wide and thats why these changes have come about. They are protecting their resellers. Your un-named source is interesting, they must be doing online sales as well I guess. Not surprising Games Workshop wont talk to you. You would put ‘your’ spin on it regardless so what’s the point?

    • Mark often gives people a fair chance to express their side in his articles, even if he doesn’t agree with them. The fact is that Games Workshop is trying to utilise the fact that they are the biggest name in the market to try and strongarm retailers in a way that negatively impacts consumers.

      They’re not protecting their resellers, they’re protecting themselves. One of their resellers, MiniWarGaming, has gone out of business because of these changes.

    • The problem is, partially, that Games Workshop refuse to talk to anyone.
      They release as statement and then don’t take any questions. It’s the way they have been for a while. As Mark said, he gave them the oppertunity to talk.
      Also, it is hardly one-sided due to the fact that it includes stuff for both online retailers and brick and mortar with the underlining issue being that the cost of GW products here need to be cheaper rather than forcing what is effectively an embargo on sellers.

    • Hey man, I think you have a fair concern, but I was very stubborn about getting the Games Workshop point of view, I tried to explain to them that getting their view on this situation was important, but the line was the same. They didn’t want to talk, they wanted to pass the buck overseas, which is a very standard line from all local reps in Australia no matter what the product being distributed is.

      And this is the first time I have ever written a story about Games Workshop, so they couldn’t possibly know that I would put my ‘spin on it regardless’.

      • Don’t take it personally. GW have a global “no comment” policy, the last time someone talked to the BBC in the UK the company felt the resulting article was unfair so they just plain stopped interacting with the media in the same way they stopped interacting with their customers.

        Fundamentally for a company that produces a game that relies on people getting together to actually make us of their products they are doing their best to price people out of their products. And just so you know, while prices in the US and Australia are ridiculous, they have also been upping their uk prices to stupid levels with yearly increases. On top of that they seem to set prices in a weird arbitrary way, there isn’t a set exchange rate. Take the latest tau releases – all set initially for release on 6th April- from sterling to euro their products range from an exchange rate of 1.25 euro per pound to 1.40 euro per pound. And those are for products released on the same day. The codex is £30 and €39 but their broadside battle suit is £30 and €40! There is no consistency at all.
        https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-SAdC7oJ6yaSnJYX29TeHZ5N0U/edit?usp=sharing

        The above link is to a comparison of prices just for the tau line of models. All information taken directly from GWs web store by going from their UK site to their Irish site using the selector in the bottom right corner.

    • The people losing out here are the distributors. In this case there’s only 1 distributor of Games Workshop products, Game Workshop itself.

      Retailers are at the complete mercy of distributors when it comes to setting prices. Aside from the draconian rules they put in place at time (minimum stock value on hand for example), margin requirements alone mean their price is always going to be x% over whatever the distributor is selling it for. Retailers would LOVE to compete with online and international sources, but when there’s a distributor monopoly like this they simply can’t.

  • I was a big fan of the 40K franchise but often found it far too expensive in comparison to other similar games. I ended up moving on to Flames of War and a few others because of the price. Even the official small paint pots were a joke. I can see local retailers simply dropping 40K and moving to other brands instead.

    Also 3D printing may not be viable at a mass scale yet, but in time people will be printing this stuff like an aussie downloads a Game of Thrones torrent. :P. Games Workshop would be better off embracing it’s market rather than suffocating it.

    If it was cheaper, my Ultramarines army that has long since been collecting dust locked away in a cabinet might resurface…

  • I used to be able to buy Gamesworkshop from the UK for 30% to 40% of the Australian retail. Gamesworkshop then prohibited the sale to Australia. Australian prices are an utter ripoff.

  • Their policies suck, but luckily ebay remains a decent source of cheaper models, even with postage.
    Got a dark vengeance set (new) for $100. That included postage.

  • Can you push a bit harder on this? I would love them to actual try and explain their pricing structure.

    There are so many great new wargames out there that these days I don’t get time to play Warhammer or 40k. And the pricing just puts me off expanding. I have a couple of armies, I can’t justify the cost of adding another, if I get bored I just trade it to someone else.

  • Finecast is crap anyway.

    Can’t wait for 3D printing to hit home, I’ll just model and print my own armies.

    I’ll even give the space marines little hats~~

    • I think that’s a big statement.
      Finecast is pretty good, the detail on the models is fantastic, far outstripping anything we saw on the pewter models and it is also far easier to work with.

      That said…3D printing will rock my world.

      • I agree with the finer detail, but my mangler squigs was full of holes and required heaps of cleaning. You also need to make sure they are packed right for traveling or your models\parts will bend.

  • So what’s stopping someone from setting up shop in the US, buying kits at retail and then selling them “2nd hand” to overseas markets for a small profit (which will still be way cheaper than the Aussie price).

    I don’t even play warhammer and have never been to Games Workshop, but I just found a giant hole in their evil plan.

  • Yeah I bought a bunch of brand new 40k stuff off ebay last year, was soo much cheaper. Also the seller made a mistake and gave me more than what I ordered ;D.

    (dw i gave him some extra $$ lol)

  • Just play Mantic Games instead: Kings of War, Warpath, Project Pandora and Dreadball. All games created by ex GW staff that jumped ship when GW became an evil entity. The minis are of great quality to rival GW and they don’t do stupid things like region locking prices and embargoing the online market. The rules are even better and more streamlined that GW games. Rulebooks and army lists are free to download online! Better family fun and you don’t have to sell a kidney.

  • The are trying to push their share price up with all sorts of dodgy dealings in the hopes of getting bought out. The Hobbit line of models failed miserably. THQ failing also made them take a hit which is why they’re giving everyone and their mother licenses for the IP. Sales have been decreasing but they hide this by charging more so revenues are flat or increasing.

    It’s an unsustainable train wreck. GW don’t even support their own tournaments so there is no reason to buy GW models – even if you did want to play the shitty 6th edition (YAY RANDOM IS FUN LOLOLLOL>LL).

  • GW has my favourite Tabletop IP ever and that is WH40k it is just awesome. I play GW games for almost 20yrs so I watched go from popular game to global dominance. They are a public company so they have to look after shareholder interests now more than ever. I no longer purchase GW products since I now have to go local it is just to expensive. You know it’s not right when you can go to thier “premium” resin model company Forgeworld and those products are cheap than the plastic kits. If you can no longer ask your parents for handouts to buy toys then GW does not care about you.
    If you love tabletop gaming I suggest trying Warmachine/Hordes, Malifaux, Hell Da Rado, Bushido, Flames of War or Infinity.

  • I used to dabble with painting, years ago. Got a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of it too. Got out of it for a bit, mostly due to lack of time and space to paint. Went to get back in again last year, and realised in order to get fresh paint (with enough color variety to get started – perhaps 15-20 pots of differenet colors) plus a single commander, a squad of 4-5 Terminators to go with was literally going to set me back well over $200.

    To clarify, that’s for a few tiny pots of paint, a few brushes to start with, and literally 6 odd plastic models. Normal Spesh Maureen size, not even vehicles or Dreadnoughts.

    That’s fucking insane. Batshit insane.

    I gave up and continued to happily read 40K fiction from the black library.

  • As someone who has given thousands upon thousands of dollars to Games Workshop over the years (I have in excess of 500 individual models, including around 50 vehicles…) I want to say “thank you”, Mark, for writing this – and doing such a damned good job of it.

    I’ve not given GW a cent for about three years.

    Here’s a fun fact you might not be aware of:

    Forgeworld is considered the ‘prestige’ or ‘hardcore’ division of Games Workshop. They are the subsidiary company that sells the obscenely large and expensive Titans and Thunderhawk Gunships. At the same time, Forgeworld also sell a range of extremely fine infantry models for more ‘specific’ and special-interest armies, such as the Death Korps of Krieg. For anyone overseas, Forgeworld is considered out of reach because their prices are so much higher than those of Games Workshop’s ‘Citadel’ Miniatures. (that is; their standard, off-the-shelf plastic kits.)

    Here’s where it gets insane:

    A ‘Standard’ Leman Russ battle tank model from Games Workshop retail costs $83 AUD. This is a bare-bones kit. No accessories, only basic detailing on the turret and hull.

    A ‘Ryza Mars-Alpha’ Leman Russ battle tank (functionally identical in terms of game rules) from Forgeworld, their prestige division, comes with not only the above tank, but also a range of Forgeworld’s specialist conversion parts, including a bigger, more finely detailed hull and turret, AND they throw in the accessory sprue (which GW will charge you $22 for) for a grand total of… 42 British Pounds. After conversion, Google tells me that is a comparatively meagre $61 AUD.

    Granted there is a shipping component… But Forgeworld, as part of their more gamer-centric customer relations (and I do not have a bad word to say about them, their after-sales support is freaking amazing, even from half way around the world) offer free, express shipping, globally, for orders over 250 Pounds.

    It doesn’t take a genius to pitch in with a few buddies to make that figure, and you can suddenly get access to models that by GW’s own admission and marketing, make Citadel Fine Cast look like utter crap (which some might argue, it already is.)

    TL:DR – In Australia? Buy from Forgeworld. It’s actually cheaper than GW retail, and they’re sending it from the UK, express post, with the guarantee of replacing any sub-standard parts on request. They won’t even ask you to send the original back.

  • It’s been my belief that there has been backlash in relation to sale of Second Hand Games Workshop products. I can’t remember if I read this or if someone was telling me.
    My latest purchases have mostly been via Second Hand Sales via a forum, is there focus on this as part of their latest move, do Games Workshop have a stance on Second Hand sales?

      • Space Marine Combat Squad from the US is $25 + postage, Phoenix forge is $32 and I don’t think there’s any postage (I could be wrong tho). So it’s probably a similar price in the end and it’s an Aussie company. If I still painted I’d get mine from there.

  • A few years ago I tried to get back into warhammer, within two months of getting back into the game I was already looking for an alternative-It become that expensive that quickly.

    The fact that Games Workshop now has an “annual price rise” should be ringing alarms inside the head of every wargamer.

    The fact that Games Workshop deleted their facebook account and forums because of people complaining about their prices should also be ringing alarms.

    But yet no one cares. You can get the same quality paints if not better for half the price of a pot of GW paint, you can get the same quality miniature if not better for half the price of a GW miniature.

    I now play historic wargames, (bolt action, hail ceaser and black powder) I have nearly two armies from each period which probably cost me half of what a GW army would cost.

    I wish wargamers would stand up to GW and their ridiculous prices, you cannot justify charging someone $95 for three 28mm miniatures!

    I would love to see a follow up on this, lets see them try and explain their prices!

  • It’s not that they’re stupid, It’s just that they don’t have a choice. There should be laws against this kind of market manipulation. Laws which preference consumers above company mega-profits.

  • I don’t think this is unfair at all.

    How is this any different to the prices we pay for cars over here? You go to America and cars are half the price. It’s called “Economy of scale” – there are hardly any people here, so they need to make more profit or why bother?

    And they have the right to shut down online retailers, that have almost no overheads, don’t have to pay staff, and probably fudge their figures when it comes to tax time.

    This in turn will ensure that the brick and mortar retailers can actually survive, which is a good thing right??

    Otherwise where will everyone congregate to play with their toys?

    • Except its much harder to buy a car from the US. Little plastic soldiers are no different than a game or movie or clothes.
      We live in the 21st century, in a global economy. Their business model has to adapt.
      Is one thing to save your retail stores… But prices have been too high for many many years.

    • Actually, that’s not true @Xxryan.

      Part of GW’s trade policies prior to this shutdown required ANY store that wanted to sell their products online to actually have a physical store as well. And that Physical location HAD to dedicate a specific amount of shelf space exclusively to GW miniatures.

      So no, they aren’t protecting brick and mortar stores, they’re actually cutting the largest ones down…See Miniwargaming as the example in this article.

    • BS, GW Aus was making MORE then enough money 10 yrs ago. They still decided to push their prices up by ludicrous percentages. That isn’t survival it’s profiteering.

  • The price has always put me off buying into this so called “hobby.”

    I would have gotten into it years ago if they charged what the plastics were actually worth. It’s highway robbery and I see all who are willing to pay the Australian RRP as fools.

  • From my facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/325386634230202/

    Heres when i run the numbers on Black Library (GW’s book division with same GW pricing matrix).

    Offers its customers online purchases with free shipping on orders over a certain amount. What this group is about is the unfair and unjustified overcharging that the Black Library provides to its Australian customers. To better illustrate this, I think its time we run the numbers.

    For a standard Black Library paperback;
    UK customers —> £7.99 (GBP)
    Euro customers —> ¢10.50 (EUR)
    US customers —> $8.99 (USD)
    Australian customers —> $18.00 (AUD)

    This all seems fair until you delve a little deeper, please let me elaborate;

    If I use current exchange rates then this is what happens;
    What you pay —> What you WOULD pay if you were Australian —> Ripoff amount
    £7.99 —> £12.00 —> £4.01 (GBP)
    €10.50 —> €14.28 —> €3.78 (EUR)
    $8.99 —> $19.00 —> $10.01 (USD)

    This gets even worse for more expensive titles, take a premium novella ($80 AUS) for example;
    What you pay —> What you WOULD pay if you were Australian —> Ripoff amount
    £35.00 —> £53.00 —> £18.00 (GBP)
    ¢50.00 —> ¢63.00 —> ¢13.00 (EUR)
    $60.00 —> $84.00 —> $24.00 (USD)

    So what exchange rates are the Black Library using? I have contacted the Black Library numerous times and always get the same response. The Black Library does not use standard exchange rates (like 99.95% of other online sellers) but their own exchange rates set down in their “Regional Pricing Matrix’. Which is just a nice way of saying we are happy to rip off our Australian customers and use this simple 3 word statement to justify ourselves. Under the Black Library Regional Pricing Matrix;

    $1 (AUS) Buys —> Current exchange rate —> Black Library exchange rate

    $1 (AUS) —> 0.667 (GBP) —> 0.437 (GBP)
    $1 (AUS) —> 0.793 (EUR) —> 0.625 (EUR)
    $1 (AUS) —> 1.056 (USD) —> 0.75 (USD)

    So as you can see, Australians are getting blindly ripped off by the Black Library. What we want (and the point of this group) is simply to let the Black Library know we are aware of this unfair pricing system and to let then know it is not good enough. The Black Library has many fiercely loyal Australian customers, so why do they punish us when compared to the rest of the world? It’s time the Black Library re-assess their pricing structure for international customers (particularly Australians!) and come up with a fairer and more balanced system. Standard currency exchange rates come to mind!

    Show your support! SAY NO TO THE BLACK LIBRARY AUSTRALIAN PRICING MATRIX!

  • I must thank GW for stimulating my interest in other wargames and board games, there really is a rich, fun universe of stuff out there that isn’t unethically priced.

    I mean, it’s too bad they won’t directly see any more of my money. If the keep licensing vidya games, I’ll probably buy those though (imported to avoid Australia tax, of course)

  • Honestly… if you’ve been paying attention to the mini scene especially the various successes of other companies like CMoN, SPM, Studio McVey and the like on KS it won’t be long before GWS as we know it just goes kaput.

    There are so many options now for tabletop and miniatures that its not funny. While GWS has to be given props for starting the genre and interest they are literally shooting themselves in the foot w/ so many other miniature companies out there. Sure they may not have as much history and fluff but at the end of the game its still a game and why would anyone subject themselves to bankruptcy for one game when you can grab the equivalent of 2 other games for the same price!

  • Warmachine and Infinity, play those instead.

    Can get Warmachine minis online for good prices still. Privateer Press aren’t shooting themselves in the foot by cutting that sale stream off.

    Not sure about Infinity stuff, but possibly. It isn’t too expensive in stores anyway in my opinion though.

  • People need to stop talking about Forge World, before GW comes up with the awesome idea of charging local prices for those pieces, too… I’ve just been browsing the website, and have noticed so many crazy comparisons that I want to cry. I don’t want to list them, as I don’t want to get in trouble or anything. I don’t know if there are rules against it here?

  • For someone who spent a bit over a thousand dollars getting into GW over the past few months, this is really disappointing. Might look at War Machine/Hordes.

  • I used to play Warhammer 40k quite a bit, stopped after seeing the price disparity between the US and Aus but also because the quality of the minis were starting to fall and it seemed like every six months new rules were being churned out that were ‘must haves’.

    I still paint miniatures regularly – just not GW minis.

  • i order my Warhammer from England.

    You can’t stop it, people can still put Warhammer on ebay.

    Even if they DO manage to get rid of all online competition, I’ll just get my family in England to buy it AND post it for less than the cost here.

    • I go to one of their shops in Sydney whenever I’m there, they are really good! What is Warmachine like?

      • @unholyjew
        The game system is pretty solid (It’s a skirmish game, so smaller battles than 40K).
        The problem I have with it is that their models are currently pretty lame, not just from an aesthetic perspective but from a modeling one as well.

        That and I find the lore and setting totally boring compared to GW’s established IPs.

        It depends, if you’re after a good game, warmachine could work for you, but i wouldn’t recommend it beyond that.

        I personally much prefer infinity.

  • 3D printers are going to kill Games Workshop and I won’t shed a single tear when they die. Overpriced overpriced overpriced hobby. I gave up on Warhammer and 40k years ago when I realised that computers were a much cheaper way to spend my time. I wanted to do a mass import, would have spent upto $2k on Warhammer but GW wouldn’t let Wayland games in the UK sell to Australia. It’s their loss. I won’t pay stupid prices when I can import another 60+ PS3 games for the same $2000 spend.

    • Yeah games cover my gaming needs now. After discovering Rome Total war many years ago, there was really no need to go back to the table top.

  • For those hoping that Games Workshop will see the error of their ways, let me quote Warhammer 40K for you:

    “Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.”

  • Old news is old. GW Aus pricing structure has been broken for a decade now. I was a GW fanboy for 15 yrs and worked for them for 5. I’ve seen the numbers, I protested against the price rises. I feel srry for a generation of young gamers who WONT grow up with Warhammer due to ludicrous decisions made by GW Aus Senior Management.

  • I don’t know what the big kafuffle is ? All shops in Australia have been screwing their customers, its pretty much a national pastime in fact just last week I went to a pub and paid $50 for 4 drinks !

  • Sorry for resurrecting the discussion. Just to bring new intel :
    Total War producers bought the rights for Warhammer Fantasy. End 2014 we will see a game from them. Isn’t that awesome??

    Plus, try Dystopian Legions or wars. Great company, gorgeous minis and some potentially great background (steampunk).

  • Joining in on ressurecting the discussion. Also new info. Their Armies Books and Codexes (giving you the rules you need to actually play with any force in Warhammer or Warhammer 40k) are now $83 AUD. Up from $43 for the previous edition. I can’t ethically support that kind of insane greed. I love the settings, love the figures (except Dark Elves and Dark Eldar which can be pornographic), but I’m not buying anything until they price themselves back into the market. It’s become beyond a joke now. They’re setting fantasy prices; no one I know can afford it. *I* can’t, and for a while there I was even abandoning my other hobbies to be able to afford GW’s stuff. Now even that won’t work. I’ll be the first in line to buy their stuff, in costume, as and when GW starts treating me and everyone else like people again and charging what the products are worth. Sorry GW, this loyal fan of seventeen years will wait until you out (or buy as much 2nd hand as possible if you go bankrupt- I want to preserve what you’ve made). Note that I’ve been reading their magazine for all these years, but have bought only (roughly) three things in the last thirteen years. I don’t even know how much I spent before that, but no more. It’s really sad.

  • 3d printers have gotten extremely cheap in the past 6months, the reprap Morgan printer atm can be built for under $500AU rolls of plastic are 1kg each and cost around $50AU. They aren’t to hard to assemble and the creator of the Morgan is hoping to get the price down to $100. Gamesworkshops days are numbered

  • Games workshop prices are a joke.
    I stopped warhammer in 2003 when the regiment boxes shrunk to 16 models and now to 10 and the price went up ???
    I remeber i brought the black coach for £15-20. I looked other day its £36…..omfg 🙁

    Im now getting back into the scene, but im looking towards – kings of war, perry minitures, and element games.

    Finally good models at decent prices, brushes are cheap on ebay, and the vallejo paints, coat d`arms paints are cheaper then GW paints.

  • I wonder though, how do you handle “massive” currency fluctuations, without shafting independent stores.

    I’m sure the problem is not new, and there have been solutions in the past, bu it’s not as easy as it seems.

    Imagine the following scenario:

    Aussie dealer buys stuff for 500 pounds, retail price 1000 pounds (for simple math), GW gets 500 pounds, they get a lot of plastic.

    AU$ goes up 30%, GW keeps their 500 pounds, Aussie dealer’s stuff now costs 1300 pounds, but costs only 1000 pounds on a UK website.

    Are all the official stores (including GW’s own .au webstore) to drop to 1000 pounds retail like everyone on the planet ?

    If so, who is going to reimburse them for the 24% loss on all their stock ?

    And when you add the 20 to 30 % off that web retailers make, you end up with an unrealistic situation, where they would have to sell it for 700 pounds although it cost them 650 today-pounds to acquire it.

    Considering most brick and mortar do not in fact get 50% off from GW, and everyone expects at the very least 10% off from their store, there is a real problem that needs solving.

    GW is surely not going to give them back 150 pounds, because they only got 500 to begin with, and the stores can’t really afford those currency changes.

    Because of that, the choice of a local currency fixed price looks like a better proposition to brick and mortar stores (GW couldn’t care less in fact), and lowering the prices would mean shooting their partners in the back, so they can’t really do it commercially.

    The best thing they could have done is to make an agreement with brick & mortar stores to follow the currency exchange rate with some rules to limit variation over time (i.e. AUD may drop 20% but GW price will only drop 3% a month maximum, to help stores with the value of their stocks), in the interest of both parties.

    • The answer is surprisngly simple – Focus on your local markets and look at also doing localized manufacture.

      Ironically, this is a key part of what’s fuelled the major ‘Chinaforge’ drive in Australia in recent years. The Chinese recasters have noticed what Aussie wargamers have, and now, after two years, what GW themselves have – resin crack is valuable here. Forge World’s prices are actually fairer to an extent on Australians for a basic, solid core army than it is for Australians to buy the same amount of plastic locally. Chinese recasters know this, and they offer their products online in US dollars.

      Before we go on here, I want to make this clear – I love War hammer as a whole, and have been more or less doing the work of a GW Store Manager in a volunteer capacity for my local gaming club in answering rules venues and sourcing product for them for the past 18 months. One of my best mates only now – that he had to pay for a product himself – realized how hard that really was.

      The quality of their models is still great, but GW forget that they’re an international company trying to get their pounds Sterling for every product. Especially given that most of their plastic products which enter the country are not UK made. If GW were to localize the mass-production and fuel jobs in the communities, they’d have a much larger profit margin without having to charge prices requiring people to bankrupt themselves over enjoying the hobby.

      But the likelihood of this happening is about as likely as the board members at Nottingham actually reading this article or my reply to their freelance author team that protested the shitty treatment I received which felt ore like I’d been handled by a machine than a person. Ironically, 40k fluff makes too much sense when you view the Imperium as GW customers, the Chaos factions as the recaters and rippers-off of their IP, and the xenos as other gaming systems people could buy instead…

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