Tuesday, July 30, 2013

GW Financials 2013: The First Five Pages

by SandWyrm


There's been a lot of speculation this year about what's up with GW's sudden explosion of new products. Some folks thought that GW had finally woken up and seen the money that they were leaving on the table. Some others thought that GW must be setting itself up for a sale (or Kirby's retirement); by pumping its numbers up as high as possible. But I took a different view... That GW was just doing what it had to do to prop up flagging sales after the general disappointment of 6th Edition. Turns out, looking at their just-released financial report, I was right.

Games Workshop's 2012-2013 Financial report is available from their Investor Relations site.

Total Revenue


Total revenue went up 2.7%. Which is much less impressive than the 6.4% jump we saw in last year's report. Growth is growth though, certainly. It beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, after all.

But let's see what happens when we inflation-adjust the 2009-2011 numbers using the Bank of England Inflation Calculator. Since 2013 numbers aren't available yet, I assumed that the 2013 rate will be the same as the (official) 2012 rate of 3.2%.


The picture looks much less rosy then. Instead of a mild increase, we get a slight loss in revenue. Notice how high the (inflation adjusted) revenues were in 2009 though. That's not a positive long-term trend.


Operating Profit


A 1.1% increase in profit isn't much to write home about. But at least the trend is positive. They may have pulled in much more revenue in 2009, but GW is making more than double the profit now.

Let's look at the Inflation-Adjusted numbers:


The numbers are a bit closer, but the overall trend is still positive.

Note however, that the 2013 increase came amidst a very large (71%) drop in video game royalties. While GW's non-royalty profits made up the difference with a pretty good (29%) rise.


But What About Sales?

So what kind of boost did GW see in sales from all these new codices, digital books, and whatnot that they've been pushing out?
Answer: Three percent (or less than the previous year's inflation rate).
Here's what (GW Chairman/CEO) Tom Kirby had to say about it:
"That small increase in sales (3% or so) is a mix of strong performance in our more hobby oriented Forge World and Black Library businesses (our ‘Other businesses’) and the North American region and less good performances in Continental Europe and the UK."
So Forge World and the Black Library are doing good. The rest of the empire... not so much. About what I expected, honestly.


Other Interesting CEO Tidbits

Kirby mentions in his commentary that gross margins are in the 70-75% range. Wow. Apple would kill for that kind of margin. So why aren't you outperforming Apple Kirby?

If you do the math from his comments on royalties, the Fantasy Flight Games licenses were worth £180K this year. That seems a bit... small. But the same math says that FFG paid them £420K last year. Hmnnn... It's not just the video game royalties that are down this year. Though they get blamed for the decrease.

They're building a new online store. Oh goody! How about a new community website instead? The current store is fine guys!

Somebody on the board is really worried about sales growth (as they should be). Kirby spends an inordinate amount of time talking about how they're all for sales growth. Yeah... ok.

In case you were worried that GW's factory would burn down, rest assured. They're covered (with insurance) and "...could be back into full scale production within 12 months.". Um... ok. Who was worried about that again?

Then there's this:
"Recessions. Our customers are, on the whole, middle class and well placed in times of economic hardship. We cannot pretend that recessions (or booms) have no effect at all, but because we are a niche hobby they have less of an effect than for mass marketers. So long as we retain tight controls of our costs we can ride occasional rough weather."
This is actually pretty important. Kirby isn't directly blaming the recession (yet) for the lack of sales growth (again someone must be breathing down his neck). But he is admitting for the first time that most of GW's customers are middle class (non-elites), and that their business isn't as recession-proof, and inelastic in demand, as he has maintained in the past. Yay!


Conclusion


From a financial standpoint, GW is doing fine. At least in the short term. They've got challenges aplenty, but they've managed to do what they need to do to keep their numbers out of the dumper and generally where their investors will expect. Slightly up, but not exceptional. All things considered, it's something of a financial feat, and really shows where Kirby's true talents lie. I'm impressed.

Problem is, GW should be doing better (and somebody knows it). Profits are up, but just barely, and sales are essentially flat. Which means that all of the new product they've been pushing out is NOT adding significantly to their bottom line. The inescapable conclusion is that they're losing customers to widespread dissatisfaction with 6th Edition 40K and 8th Edition Fantasy (duh!). (Edit: And The new Hobbit/WoTR release) Which has been made up for with additional higher priced goods for those that remain loyal. Which is why every new book has a collector's edition and 2-3 expensive supplements now. Plus a large must-have model.

So... they're working harder than ever to tread water. I do like the working harder part. :)

Where do they go from here?

Kirby is anxious now to grow sales (because they've seen a large drop in customers), and that's a good thing. In addition to the non-price-increase this year, we've seen some small price decreases and customer-favorable re-boxings in the last few months. Which is GW dipping its toe in the water of lowering prices generally. Be patient everyone, it's hard for them. :)

I predict that their current product saturation tactics will stop giving them the numbers boosts they need around the beginning of 2014. When we'll see an honest-to-goodness across the board price reduction (and soft-cover books reappearing). If things continue to get worse after that, we may even start to see some shakeups at the design studio (and upper management). With leaks and White Dwarf 'exclusives' on the brand new game editions that they have in the works.

Which is all good for us, as players, even if it's an uncomfortable place for GW to be.

Edit: Stelek has his thoughts up, and he caught some important things that I missed...

http://yesthetruthhurts.com/2013/07/gws-financials/ 

93 comments:

  1. What I want to know is, who actually buys these collector editions? It makes no sense why someone would buy them. It just makes you look extra dumb when the next edition come out and you have a worthless book you payed 250 bucks for. And in the meantime you still look dumb for having a slightly less than worthless book you payed 250 bucks for.

    Oh and $40 codex supplements...grumble...grumble.

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    1. I think that the reason you're seeing all these new (expensive) books and supplements is that they're still (begrudgingly) selling. My bet is that most guys still in the game are buying the books (at least for their own favorite army) and pulling a... um... YOU when buying models. Either they're buying from the flood of used models on eBay, or they're finding alternative kits/vendors that are cooler and/or less expensive.

      The miniatures though? I bet they're not selling well at all. Which is why we've seen the first steps toward lowering prices on them generally.

      Delete
    2. I have bought the Collectors Edition for Chaos Space Marines and for Apocalypse. I love both CSM (and I have for about 2 decades now), and I love a great house-ruled game of Apocalypse, so they catered to me. That is who they are looking towards. Not everyone, but those die hard fan boys who like the shinier stuff and have the money to blow on it. I can understand how it's not for everyone, but I don't understand knocking it if it isn't for you.

      Delete
    3. I've just happened to see more than a few sitting on the shelves at a half-price book store after a new edition comes out. So I know at least a few people made the wrong call when buying these.

      Plus it encourages GW into thinking the player base will pay the higher prices just because of fancy covers. I don't think it's coincidence that the standard editions cost about what the collectors editions did back when 5th came out.

      Delete
  2. "How about a new community website instead?"

    To GW, that's what they're doing, making a new online store. After all, wasn't it stated in the Chapterhouse trial, that in GW's mindset, their customers 'favorite' part of the hobby is buying more GW miniatures?

    "The inescapable conclusion is that they're losing customers to widespread dissatisfaction with 6th Edition 40K and 8th Edition Fantasy (duh!)"

    That may be a world wide assertion or something, but locally (east TN area) NOBODY is disappointed with 6th ed 40k or 8th ed WHFB. Though granted, we are only a small gaming community here. That said, Aside from codexes (and begrudgingly due to their stupid $50 prices), I can't really afford to buy anything new anymore. Either its second hand, or financed by selling off something else. Problem with that is, I don't have anything left to sell that I don't want.

    GW has already passed my tipping point meaning I can no longer afford to buy the new shinies and so-called 'must haves' (i.e.: flyers, gundam suits, etc, of which I have none). I'm sure I'm not alone or even in the minority, thus their flagging sales. Then again, people eat up these 'collector additions' despite their outrageous prices...

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    1. Well, Indy's 40K/Fantasy communities are all but dead, except for maybe the GW store itself. Tournaments can still draw guys out, but it's not like the old days (2009) at all.

      Regardless though, number-of-players is not the same as number-of-customers. If you're playing, but not buying, you don't exist in the way that's most important to Tom Kirby.

      Delete
    2. I feel exactly the same. Have to buy the codex but can't really afford anything else, though even if I could afford it would I buy it as no-one likes to feel they are being ripped off?

      I am very lucky to go to a club where no-one uses flyers or the new hotness. Unfortunately they have done such a bad job of balancing the codexes that my CSM really struggle against the new /tau and Eldar, and I may have to buy or proxie a Heldrake to have a chance of winning any games. I'm reluctant to do this in case I start an arms race in my club!

      Delete
    3. This article is full of confirmation bias (run, kiddies, go look it up) and lacks a whole lot of data to support spurious claims. I am starting to lose my respect for this blog more and more every time I come read it.

      Delete
    4. You do know that shouting "LOGICAL FALLACY!" and running away is not a valid argument? You have to show your work. Otherwise you just come off as a smug jerk.

      Delete
  3. TLDR;;; So Sandwyrm must be crying like a lil baby about the evil giant... One of the reasons why I don't think much of this blog . It's really fucked up .

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    1. I'm not the one crying in a measly 2-sentence post. One that does nothing but throw insult at the other guy's thoughtful commentary. If you have something substantive to add to what I've written here, then please do so. If not, then why are you bothering with such a fucked up blog? Except to whine and complain, which is exactly what you accuse me of doing.

      Delete
    2. Classic Blow Job Fly. (Not)missed You buddy.

      I wonder if he would cream his pants about GW doing great on his "blog".

      Delete
    3. I have a tactics posts a few days ago. Go check that out. No wait... this already has more intrest then that, gasp.

      Delete
    4. BBF, the total and complete kill joy to forums everywhere!

      Delete
    5. God, you are completely worthless BBF.

      Delete
    6. "40k is a changin! It appears that the meta has finally been deflowered at long last and will be more so as each new codex is released going by what we have seen so far in sixth edition."

      -actual quote from a BBF post, and one of the funniest things I've ever seen written on a hobby blog, ever.
      I make it my goal in life to deflower metas everywhere I go now.
      :)

      'I don't think much of this blog, but I show up and read it, then leave bitter lil' comments cuz I get personally butthurt when people talk bad 'bout GW.'
      ...typical GW fanboy.
      :P

      40k has dropped off a cliff as far as tournaments go in my neck of the woods, but that's just made room for Flames of War (bi-weekly now, 28 to 36 participants), Warmahordes to grow exponentially, and even an Infinity League I'm trying desperately to get in on, but lack of transportation options and working most weekends now will likely keep me from attending.
      Blah.
      Bottom line is that there's still plenty of gaming going on, just less of it has to do with GW. I don't think they're gonna go broke tomorrow, but it's pretty clear their domination of the mini games industry is over. No more being smug due to basically being the only game(s) around people are playing- now they're being forced to compete, and it's pretty clear that they're fairly awful at it.

      No one to blame but themselves. I waited like, what? Seven years for an update for my Tau? By the time they decided to get around to it, I didn't even care any more. I'd lost hope after about four years of getting my ass handed to me by various colors of space marines.
      Now I get new models, new scenarios and new fluff every MONTH, as well as an genuine forum where I can participate in some actual discourse with the game developers!
      Here's where it gets really funny- in case you're wondering what game I'm talking about, it DOESN'T MATTER.
      Every company EXCEPT GW offers these things nowadays.
      Like, y'know...army builder software you don't have to PAY FOR...little things like that...
      ;)

      My feelings about GW can be summed up thusly:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae83RfgdTc4

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    7. God... He did write that, didn't he?

      I'd blocked it out. :)

      Delete
    8. I'm the last guy to wsay anything good about GW. But saying 'the general disappointment of 6th Edition' is schlocky typical SandWyrm 40K-hate-spin. Everyone I know who plays/has played call it the best edition so far (far from perfect with Challenges and the like). WarmaHordes has died here. Flames Of War has a dedicated, steady following, but seems to have leveled off.

      Delete
    9. Cool. Explain GW's flat sales then, after all this new, expensive product was pushed out.

      40K may be up in your area, even as it's down in mine. But worldwide, 6th and the Hobbit aren't generating the sales that GW was expecting. In fact, sales went negative in the first half of this year, in clear contrast to the 4 years before it. Go look at the report, it's right there on page 6. Please explain how that's not what it looks like, in a year where 2 game system refreshes were pushed out.

      Then remember the mood in 2008, when 5th was released. There was criticism from fans of 4th, sure. But there was also an explosion of online community from those who were excited about the game. There was real growth and people coming back to the hobby, that you could see each week at the store.

      Well, where is that explosion of online interest now? The tactics posts? The list building posts? Those are few and far between. I still see hobby posts, but even those are down. BoLS still pushes out articles, but the number of comments is down, on average by 2/3rds to half of what it was before 6th hit.

      If 6th was such a runaway success as the lovers claim, we should be seeing that excitement everywhere. I'm not.

      Delete
    10. A blindman could see before the product was even released that The Hobbit was not going to sell well. If it were a viable game system, people would still be playing LoTR, so no surprises there. The enconomy is still in the crapper, so fair sales are expected. I'm pretty sure the initial sales were what was expected. That does not support your argument that people are disappointed with the game. It means people have more critical things to worry about. About the only peeps I've heard badmouth it were Space Wolf players, with the loss of their dominance.

      Delete
  4. My 2 cents. I think you missed a couple of key points.

    Oh and it's Stelek, and I don't know why Google can't figure that out, and I don't care. ;)

    http://yesthetruthhurts.com/2013/07/gws-financials/

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    1. Nice. Everyone should read that.

      Delete
    2. The youth unemployment point is a major major issue. I think that's probably the #1 problem GW has to think about right now. Cheaper game systems and more budget level box options would be a really good idea for them.

      Delete
    3. There is word that they're working on an Inquisition skirmish game. Though my bet is that it'll be a slightly modified version of the 54mm Inquisitor game that they flopped with in 2000-ish.

      Delete
    4. Stelek definitely missed out on a lucrative career in financial analysis...

      Delete
  5. Good post. Not too anti GW but good for you SW. Lol. But what you are missing is that if a company can still maintain positive comps (sales vs last year), in a time they expect to be down then it's s big win. And critical thinkers can say it's all about long term, but realistic thinkers and real life executives know it's the short term that pays the bills.

    And your picture is funny but should be of s dog treading water not drowning....

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    1. Except that I don't think they expected to be down. Go look at page 7. This is the first year in all the years shown that they posted negative sales growth (0.5%) in their 2nd half of the year. Last year saw a 9% positive bump in the same period, BEFORE 6th Edition hit.

      Also look at their regional sales numbers. Usually North America is down or slightly better than even, and Europe carries us. But now we're (for all our troubles finding players) the ones who are up. It's EUROPE and the UK that are down from last year, and that's SCARY for GW. Because that's traditionally their most loyal base.

      And the dog is swimming down (temporarily) to look at us. Its not drowning. :P

      Delete
  6. If only they had done so, Spag. Shame they didn't actually do so.

    If you think the dog isn't drowning, well, not sure what to say.

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    1. It's not drowning.

      It's one of a series of photos from Seth Casteel's site;
      http://littlefriendsphoto.com/index2.php#!/home

      Lots of cool photos of dogs in pools, enjoying themselves.

      Delete
  7. They do see us folks. Maybe they didn't before but if you really think that Gw isn't doing 'something' to balance the extremes of the game you aren't really looking.

    Any coincidence that grey knights we're too powerful them crons and hell chicken came out to much them. Cron air for big, and tau came out to hurt them, then Eldar came out to hurt tau. I see it as genius, but I guess. I'm the minority. This cool guy named Joe from Madison said to me a few weeks ago after a hard fought round 1 at a tournament, "They make something good then make the antidote for it". And I was like cool. I like that.

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    1. That was Fantasy back in 3rd Edition. Skaven Screaming Bell comes out, then after you've had your face beat in, they offer you the Steam Tank, or the Anvil of Doom a month later.

      That crap doesn't fly when nobody has the money or the interest to buy the new hotness every month. In fact, it's the opposite of what drew us all to 5th. When they temporarily stopped relying on gimmicks to sell stuff.

      Delete
    2. Also no-one wants bad matchups where your army auto-loses to another. Thats not genius, its bad games design. A well designed game lets each army have a unique play style yet always have a chance against any other army.

      Delete
    3. I agree, and I think it's a wonderful way to break up the One True Army culture that dominated 5th edition. When presented with a hard counter players are forced to re-evaluate both their strategy (material) and tactics (application within time and space available on the table). Plus it sticks it to bandwagon jumpers, which is always nice to see.

      Delete
  8. What the leadership tells the design team is so far from that reality, I'm astonished to hear you actually think that.

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  9. They released a ton of stuff and raised prices by a significantly above inflation rate again and sales were barely up. Interesting thing I noticed was the Product and Supply internal sales were up from like 62M to 67M so they moved more value of product inside the company but could not get the same amount of increase percentage or even straight 5M increase. This pretty much means a significant shift to Independent Store Sales

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    1. Well, they incurred a bunch of extra Dev costs pushing out all those books and models. I'm sure the digital publishing group isn't making any money yet either.

      Delete
  10. I also see in the report that they appear to have shutdown production in the US as of March 2013 (Page 31 in Product and Supply). While you might claim that this is an overhead cut but probably indicates that you used to manufacture significantly higher quanties of product in the past.

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    1. That's very interesting, as they just set that up a few years back. They also moved their US HQ to Tennessee to be closer to the manufacturing/warehousing facilities.

      They've also opened 46 stores, but closed 40, worldwide. So much waste and disorganization...

      Delete
  11. The US manufacturing center can't be upgraded to make the new large kits efficiently is my guesstimate.

    Or of course, the wheels have fallen off the wagon...

    -Stelek

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    1. They're a bunch of cowboys Ted!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGo8zXLg_8Y

      Delete
    2. Sometimes the Japanese make more sense to me than the English. ;)

      Delete
    3. Or they're desperate to cut 'overhead', and closing down the Memphis facility was a way to goose the books. Wonder if the increased cost of shipping from England is getting pushed over to 'sales' too.

      They seem deep into the "work the numbers" phase of company decline. I doubt anyone in upper management is even considering the possibility that they have a product quality problem.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I would absolutely still be playing 40k and fantasy were it not for the massive increase in prices.

      I have been beyond thrilled with all their new releases, and have wanted to buy plenty if them.

      When I consider the sheer cost of them compared to how it used to be... I just can't. I haven bought GW miniatures in over a year. :(

      Delete
  13. This is a nice read but I really don't know how you came to this conclusion:

    "The inescapable conclusion is that they're losing customers to widespread dissatisfaction with 6th Edition 40K and 8th Edition Fantasy (duh!)."

    You actually don't present any evidence so it's not an "inescapable conclusion." For it to be inescapable you need to present some evidence for the widespread dissatisfaction that exists, then link it to the financials. It seems instead that you assume this dissatisfaction as a given - when it isn't.

    There is no evidence that established vets who already have jobs and have played 40k for years are dropping out of the hobby in huge numbers.

    What's probably happening overall is that the middle class buyers are tightening their belts and cutting back on purchases while there is a lower influx of new players to the hobby due to a weak economy, which is much harder on young people. Combine those economic forces with 50 dollar codices and insane prices on new kits and well, that translates to lower sales regardless of the ruleset.

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    1. My evidence is every story on this blog (and others) for the last 2-3 years. It's how many people used to shout me down, vs. how many are silent or supportive now. It the mood over on BoLS and YTTH.

      It's every store I go into where I see guys who used to be 40K players shifting over to MTG, click games, and board games. It's both casual and competitive players alike telling me over and over again that they hate 6th with a passion. That they aren't buying GW's crap anymore. Only a small few of these players were teens. Most had been into the game 5 years or more. Many were highly competitive. Now they refuse to play.

      We have 5 non-GW stores in this town. There used to be strong 8-10 person 40K groups at 3 of them, and the rest had a few players each. Now 2 stores have a few players each, and the rest have NONE. Zero. Nada.

      At the store Spag frequents, Flames(!) has overtaken 40K as the #1 selling game. A game by a company with roughly 1/10 of GW's worldwide market. Not because Flames grew at that store (it didn't), but because 40K sank like a stone in comparison.

      And yes, its middle-class players tightening their belts and expensive GW products. But all of that is part of the Edition. The economy is bad, sure. But its GW's job to anticipate the effects of that and adjust their strategy to match reality.

      To succeed in the current climate, 6th Edition needed to be cheaper, faster, and less complicated. It needed easier, cheaper ways to attract new players older than 16. GW needed to ease off on the gimmicks, game size, and the compulsory upgrades. Making it easier (in bad times) to stay in the game and attract new players. But they didn't.

      Instead, they've done the opposite. They doubled down on the gimmicks, price, complexity, and time commitment. Then they doubled down again. And when that didn't work they started pushing out more product, all loaded with gimmicks and cash grabs.

      That's why their sales are flat, and if they don't wake up and realize what's happening, their sales will start going negative here real soon. In fact, they already have gone negative in the first half of this year. If things don't pick up again this fall, they're in deep trouble.

      Delete
    2. As gravy stated. A few doesn't mean all. Where you at G2D4 on saturday when there were 3 games at open? Did you see the 4 young players when i stopped back by? Your finger 'on the pulse' isn't completely accurate. Someone with your intelligence level can surely see that just because playing is down in Indy stores doesn't mean no one is playing. More people playing 'at home' isn't a bad thing. And just an Fyi, flames of war night at G2D4 is down to 1 maybe 2 games. I haven't seen a tournament in a while. ... guess it's going downhill also. NOT really. Yes the west side has dropped off. Life has changed for many. I stopped getting Saturdays of four half a year, people move away.

      Delete
    3. Sandwyrm,
      The evidence you provide is purely circumstantial and local. What's going on could be a local trend and you can't make inferences about global trends from purely local data or information. Additionally, your evidence still doesn't point to 6th and fantasy as being the cause of the supposed drop in players. The old adage - correlation is not correlation applies here. Sorry, I know you want 6th and fliers to be the cause but you don't have enough evidence.

      Delete
    4. The evidence is in GW sales figures. With the increase in prices the sales levels have remained flat. Meaning they are selling less units. So either there are less gamers buying 40K or all the players are buying less. Either is not very good for the game.

      You can reasonably infer that 6th is at least partially to blame. With the addition of a whole new element to the game(flyers) and the drop in effectiveness of mech, most players where looking at pretty substantial changes to their armies to maintain competitiveness. While quality may not be the ultimate reason, you are looking at a perfect storm of increased cost, compulsory purchase requirements, and your standard "They changed it, now it sucks" new edition mentality. Eventually you reach the end of price elasticity.

      This all at a time where the hobby gaming industry has a whole has grown 15-25% per year for the past 5 years(according to IVC2). GW is treading water in a growing market. GW might not be doomed because of it, but it does say something important about their business model.

      Delete
    5. Nice reply. I believe the drop was pre 6th anyways.

      Delete
    6. I think that was edition fatigue and players saving up for the inevitable 6th. 6th edition didn't reverse the trend on the whole like it should have.

      5th did require you to buy a lot more mech when it came out, but that was a wanted change. People wanted to play all kinds of tanks, and 4th punished you for it for a variety of reasons. 6th tried to do the same with flyers, but the problem was that only half the armies had them or could deal with them. Had 6th shipped with a flyer and an AA unit for everybody, I think 6th would have been much more successful initially. As it was, I think a lot of people got frustrated with the lopsided and rapidly shifting meta.

      Also remember that there was little to know rumors coming out about GW's release schedule at the time. I know personally I didn't want to spend $200+ updating an army and then getting a surprise release a month later requiring me to spend $200+ more.

      They didn't start righting the ship until early this year with the rapid fire codex releases. I think by then the damage was done.

      Delete
    7. Spag...

      I have it directly from the staff at G2D4 that Flames is their top-selling wargame right now. I have no idea how many play each week, but there is a well attended tournament every 1-2 months there.

      I see the old 40K vets at G2D4, but very rarely do I see them playing 40K. Just you and some teenagers. I know CaulynDarr plays you there from time to time, but he's hardly a GW fanboy these days.

      I have it from the manager of the south store that 40K has fallen off a cliff. They don't have a 40K game night anymore, because the only 40K games they see are arranged on Facebook before anyone shows up, and happen at odd hours.

      I had it from the owner of Gamerz last year that the only 40K scene they had were large team Apoc games. Maybe that changed with their relocation. I don't know.

      Saltire never had more than a couple of 40K players, and those have (last I heard) switched over to Dust.

      So that leaves the Games Workshop store, and the north store.

      I have no idea how the GW store is doing these days, though the rumored Battle Bunker conversion never happened. The north store did have a busy 40K night (3 40K games, and one Fantasy Game) about a month back, but that was mostly teenagers. In terms of the old guard, it was the same 3-4 guys it's been for a year now.

      And yes, I though maybe that it was only the competitive community that was down on 40K. Maybe everyone is buying like crazy and playing in their basement? But GW's numbers say otherwise. Sales grew, but not in proportion to their prices and number of releases.

      And yes, Justin moved away. But Scott and Jim were also part of the core G2D4 40K group. And... Jim quit, and Scott 'took a break'.

      Delete
    8. Tim...

      Yes, my experience is local and may not reflect things globally. That's why I wanted to see what GW's actual numbers were. I know the limits of my personal experience.

      But Indy is not some gaming backwater either. We have 6 stores in town at which you can play wargames, and at least 3 more within an reasonable drive. Think about that for a second. How many other cities have that kind of gaming infrastructure? How many can boast of a 50K+ gaming convention (Gencon) every year? San Francisco, Columbus OH, and Louisville KY have nothing like that in terms of general gaming interest/community.

      I do believe that Indy may be more '40K dead' than most places, and North America as a whole did grow in GW sales (for whatever reason) last year. There are islands of interest left too (DC Area, Michigan). But we're not as far off the mark as you make out either, or else folks in other territories wouldn't be agreeing with me so much. GW's numbers also show sales declines in Europe/UK, which is VERY unusual for them, and indicates that this IS a worldwide phenominon.

      Delete
    9. Sandwyrm,

      You misunderstand me. I'm not saying that global sales aren't down, I'm saying this widespread dissatisfaction with 6th isn't supported. Sure, if you look at your local area it might seem that way - especially if you no longer play 40k. It's not about Indy but any place. If you only look at your local area, thats not a representative sample.

      In turn I also cannot claim that there isn't widespread dissatisfaction with 6th because I don't have any evidence to back it up. In my area, 40k is alive and well but that doesn't mean the same for the global scale.

      Simply because sales go down while 6th is new on the scene isn't evidence enough. Especially when there are wider economic issues going on that have a more powerful effect on spending habits.

      Delete
    10. It's evidence enough that GW is selling fewer, but higher priced, products to fewer individual customers. Which means that fewer gamers see GW products as a good value for their money. At a time when, normally, they'd be buying up new edition stuff as fast as possible.

      You can imagine, if you want to, that the economy/culture is somehow 'different' from GW and its business. But it's not. GW has to do business in the real world. Just like Apple, Microsoft, Ford, Coca-Cola, and Nike do. Which means adapting to the current culture AND economy. If your customers don't have as much money to spend on toys, or want something different now than they used to, then you make damn sure that you offer them better values and a product designed to appeal to their changing tastes. Leaving the expensive gimmicks for better times.

      Delete
  14. Sandwyrm, I don't think it's very true what you are saying about 40k dying in our area. I know just in the stores around me Game Preserve greenwod and Bloomington they run monthly events and have greet turn out and games played weekly. Gamerz has people every Thursday and has been that way since they moved. Every other week with just the play group I'm with they have 20 + people. I honestly think you don't get around as much as you think or as much as me. Plus every couple of months or so there is a decent size event with a good amount of people showing up. Indy open, Tippcon, Civil war etc etc. I don't maybe I just know lot of people that play and I'm just living in a bubble who knows.

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    1. And as far as the moods for places like YTTH. I and a whole lot of other people could care less.

      Delete
    2. Ok, but BoLS is a good measure of the general 40K population, and YTTH is, or used to be, a major competitive blog and a center of that community. When the mood on both goes sour, you know that something is up. Hell, just look at the number of comments on BoLS these days. They're easily 1/4 of what they were before 6th hit.

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    3. That's probably true, but as I look around I find no shortage of podcast, blogs, or forums about 40k.

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    4. True. But 40K is still the single biggest wargame on the planet. Folks are going to talk about it.

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  15. Tournaments are still drawing players, but those aren't happening nearly as often than they used to. You have to drive further and further outside Indy if you want to hit one every month. Whereas we used to have an Indy-area tournament every 2 months back at the height of 5th.

    I also know what the general mood was at the Indy Open (not happy with GW). Where the local store sponsor had to offer discounts on the (released that weekend) Daemons codex in order to move it. Because most of his pre-orders flaked when they got to actually see the book. The sponsor was floored by that.

    Gamerz, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't have a 40K crowd. It has a very loyal Apocalypse crowd. One which also shows up every couple of months at Games 2Die4. But that's not really 40K, and it doesn't have much, if any, crossover with the old competitive crowd that I'm talking about. As its more about the collecting and spectacle than the game itself.

    If I'm mistaken on that, let me know.

    I do know that the south side has a private club now, which I've been to a couple of times. That's where most of the old south-side die-hards have retreated to. But you have to know those guys in order to get an invite. They specifically don't invite those that they think are too WAAC, to avoid arms races and keep things casual. But even they tell me that they're not very happy with 6th. Mostly because of how long games take to play now. More and more they're drifting over to supporting new kickstarters instead of pouring all their money into GW products.

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    1. Perhaps at this time the crowds are not as big as they had been, but they are a long shot from being dead. Playing this game as long as I have the number of player has and will always a be in flux.

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    2. Yeah you are mistaken. On the gamerz crowd, on the southside 'private club', on the information you posted about the sponsor, and especially on pulse of The Indy Open.

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    3. Am I wrong on Gamerz? Present some solid info.

      Am I wrong on the club? Nope. They don't all care about the same things we do as competitive players. But they hate the lack of variety now (everyone brings the new hotness as allies), and they hate how long the game takes to play.

      What I heard over and over at the Indy Open was: "GREAT EVENT! Lousy edition...". It wasn't universal by any means, but it was the majority opinion. I also know that the Daemon books did have to be discounted, because I talked to the sponsor about it and watched him make the announcement to everyone before I left.

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    4. I'm not the one that has to prove an article I didn't write.

      So here you go:

      The sponsor and I already had an agreed discount to sell any of his items. I allowed him to make announcements to help support him . I also gave him 5 daemon codex pre orders from players that asked if he would have it. So therefore the prices weren't lowered due to any other reason. All 5 of those people paid for their copies.. Now maybe he ordered too many. But then we would both be speculating.

      The secret gaming group from the south is not just for invite only. In fact I've been told by the owner that anyone is welcome. So there is only 1 waac player in indiana I am aware of . Unless some think I am. And if that's true then I can attend. Yes they are more fun based but that doesn't diminish they are helping to grow 40k. So its not a secret society that shuns competitive players.

      I have played numerous 40k games at Gamerz. They have always been a card store primarily but have a 40k crowd. In addition two of the guys that play there monthly play muliple times weekly at G2D4.

      So you said tell you if you were mistaken. .....

      Its funny people would tell you something and me something different. But then if you are talking about a select few I could understand it.


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    5. Come on Spag. I've laid out my info. You're asserting that I'm wrong. So it's you that has to prove what you say. You don't get to yell "not true!" and just walk away.

      I talked to the sponser that day for some time. He had pre-sold 40 Daemon books, but only 7 had been picked up by 4pm on the 2nd day. The rest had flaked or canceled on him. Which was HIGHLY unusual and prompted a long conversation about it. So I watched as he made the decision to sell them at a 20% discount, and he asked me to go tell you to leave time for an announcement. Which I did, and I watched him make that announcement right before I left that day. I know that he had arranged a discount on other items at the tournament, but the books were not going to be included in that, as he thought he had already sold them.

      It's not a secret gaming group, but it is invite-only. The owner and a couple of the regulars made that clear to me. They also made it clear why they don't want to play in the stores any longer, and it was to avoid certain un-named people that they no longer felt comfortable playing with. I honestly don't know if you're on that list or not. I was never told who they're avoiding. Though they were characterized as 'competitive types'. Which I've always considered myself to be (and told them this), but somehow I'm 'different'. (shrug)

      I'll take your word on Gamerz/G2D4.

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    6. Our gaming group down south is pretty much open to anyone. Yes you kinda had to be invited only because you wouldn't know about it, it's not a store or anything advertised down the road. That's about the only reason. Plus it's a mixed bag of players, not everyone there is casual, and everyone has their own reasons for being there. I practice there with a few other competitive players. I don't know maybe I'm not good enough to be considered competitive. Plus I'm best friends with the owner and know him well. Hell I use his stuff at events. So I know for a fact it's not exclusive to who we deem "worthy" to come and have a great time and play some 40k. I think you might be stretching it.

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    7. Sandwyrm,

      You seem to have lots of information from 'the horses mouth' that isn't accurate. I'm pretty much done discussing facts with you. I showed you where you were incorrect as you asked. Gravy is best friends with the owner of the south location, but he is wrong, I ran my own event and gave Jerry 5 personally pre orders but im wrong, and I'm good friends with Scott but I'm wrong. You have a perspective that seems to work for you and your agenda.

      Delete
    8. I don't play games with the truth Spag. Anyone who knows me knows this. I don't put up false fronts, and I admit when I'm wrong.

      Maybe you're misremembering, and maybe the people involved told us different things at the time. No single perspective is perfect. But I call them like I hear and see them. If that ruffles your feathers, so be it.

      Delete
  16. I didn't get the same vibe about the game at the Indy open, Tippcon, or any event I've been to. I'm sure when even a few people express what they don't like about 6th that doesn't account for everyone or everything about the edition. Even I have complaints about this edition, but I don't hate it or think its trash. Most everyone I play with do have a complaint or two but we still like it and still have a good time.

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    1. I was a painting judge. I talked to just about everyone there. Believe me, there was widespread dissatisfaction with 6th. Only a couple were at the "I quit" point. But only about a third of the room was happy.

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    2. I don't know man I knew a lot of people in that room and talked to people that I didn't know( yes, because I am that friendly). So yes people did have complaints as stated before but no one just out right hated it. I don't take that criticism towards a game as out right free fall. It's over man it's over! Nah, you're just over reacting. I get it, you and some others don't like this edition for whatever reason. However, you do not speak for me and many many others.

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    3. Well I didn't say 'hated', though a couple there did. What I said was dissatisfaction. Which ran the gamut from 'not as good as I'd hoped' to 'Flyers/Necrons are BS'. Quite a few (like Broderick) were saying they were going to go casual and not try to keep up competitively anymore.

      And no, at that point it wasn't in free fall. But that was at the beginning of the year. At that point I still saw guys playing in the stores and things seemed fine for the most part. But afterwards I saw long time players, like Jim & Scott, up and quit. That's when the real decline began.

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    4. Scott didn't quit because our 6th edition. More speculation.

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    5. He had other, private, reasons that contributed to that decision. But I have it straight from his mouth that his dislike of 6th Edition was a big part of it.

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  17. I agree with GravyGhost on the moods at YTTH and other places. If you stop putting out meaningful updates and just put out rants at GW, I'm going to be less interested in what you have to say. Really, if I'm choosing to spend some of my time browsing 40k thoughts on the internet, I don't want to spend time reading a bunch of people bashing it, and anyone who likes playing it.

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    1. This isn't a rant. Critical, yes. But not a rant. I went out of my way to praise the things that deserved it.

      Delete
  18. Im just a simple veteran in a chimera with a 25MM auto cannon. Matters of finance and economy are not of my concern. Perhaps the lords of Terra can tarry on that. Meanwhile this here hill needs to be taken. ;)

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    1. I am definitely bringing that shirt to nova. Love that shirt now! Might even have some chips and salsa lying around. Makes for a good snack given the allotment of alcoholic beverages at the event.

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    2. Can you get me a shirt? When me and 5 others are going to nova. FROM INDY. Dont tell anyone.

      Delete
  19. I have to wonder how much affect the move to Finecast had on the lower revenue, higher profit that seems to be popping up. It was supposedly a cheaper method of production, afterall.

    And there's more to consider than just "oh noes, prices are higher, less people are buying shinies!!"
    What did I buy for my DE for 6th?

    ... nothing. A whole big bag of nadda. Why? I just didn't need to. I've been in the game long enough that I have a couple of armies, not just a couple of army lists. Unit X became awesome? Cool, I've had that for 5 years. Now I can put it in my list without laughing at myself.

    I even already had 3 fliers.

    Same is true for the Nids. I picked up a Tervigon, which due to a mistaken sprue turned into 2 Tervigons quite easily, but that was before 6th hit.

    Do I agree with the prices? Not at all. Do I believe for a second that GW's products are as inelastic as GW (generally) claims they are? Nope. But would I be buying more if they were cheaper? If a store had a 50% off sale? Probably not. Maybe some bits, if I could... but I just don't need more. Even if I wanted to get into Apoc heavily, I can easily field 3-4k of either army... maybe even a bit more, I haven't tallied up in a while.

    But that's where my hobby is - at this point, it's basically free. And as prices go up, my ability to sell off (if I ever decide to) at something like "half value" and still get my money back is only increasing. So that's hilarious.

    But, I'm effectively a "null customer" now. I "don't count" because I'm not emptying my wallet for new toys. Would I pick up a third force, even a small one, if it weren't such a hefty investment? Maybe. I don't have a huge desire to, and any urges I ever feel are quickly quenched by the pricetag.
    Do I think a different pricing strategy would yield better overall results? Yeah... because Tau are pretty, and a small "rebel imperial" force of some sort would be fun to paint up and pull out once in a while. And I can hardly imagine trying to talk any of my friends into picking up the hobby now, without a nudge in the direction of second-hand mini's.

    But... hopefully GW will notice, and see that while they're still making money, and even making more as they go (albeit a small percentage more) that there's a better, more profitable, and probably more customer-friendly way to do it.

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    1. I don't think that GW will sit up and take notice until they stop making more money. Their sales went negative in the first half of the year. So we've reached the point where they may finally be willing to change their strategies. Not because of enlightenment, but rather desperation.

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    2. Eh, who cares where enlightenment comes from, so long as it comes.

      Although, its worth being said that while the margins aren't huge, they're still there... I wouldn't be surprised to learn (if by some chance I ever did) that GW was simply riding the wave up until the crash point before it jumps to another.

      From a business standpoint, it makes some amount of sense to get as many people as possible (even with diminishing returns, so long as those returns are positive) to buy in at the high prices before dropping down drastically.

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    3. A lot will depend on how the new Marines sell. If nobody buys the Termietubbies, there will be blood at HQ.

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    4. I'll have to see the models in person... some of those pics look absolutely awful, but I've seen pics that don't do the model justice before.

      The rules had better be stellar for those things... I can almost see the justice in a mass-arms fire in terms of HB's and the super-bolter chest piece... but will it outperform a tac squad? Or a Steel Rain dev squad? Or a predator?

      Time will tell...

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