Monday, 16 May 2011

Dear Games Workshop

Dear Games Workshop,

I have been a big fan of your work for many years. I have spent thousands of dollars and untold hours on my Warhammer hobby, as well as having at least dabbled in a dozen other games you have offered over the years. My house is so cluttered with GW products that it resembles a particularly well-stocked one of your stores, or perhaps a shrine to all things Warhammer.

Having collected GW models for so long, I am well aware of how prices have increased over time. I realise prices for other things have increased over the same period, however the only thing I have really noticed is the price of my models increasing. Perhaps this is symptomatic of my tunnel vision when it comes to my hobby, which has consumed so much of my time and passion over the years.

So, I have to ask: why do you hate me? Recently I had been taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate and excellent service of Maelstrom Games over in the UK. Today I have received an email saying, “Games Workshop won’t let us sell you anything anymore.” I am surprised that such a stance on your part is even legal, but apparently in these situations the supplier has complete control. I can’t tell you how disappointing that is.

I should note that I received this information from Maelstrom – not from you, who as far as I know are yet to announce anything. As such, I have been provided with no justification for your actions. In some ways I feel this is entirely appropriate, since I seriously doubt that anything you say will come across as anything other than whining and making excuses.

Behaviour like this does not simply affect my bank balance – it makes me not want to support the company that treats me this way. I actually feel bad handing over money for products from the company that is so happy to say, “We will rip you off as hard and as often as we can, without apology.” Why do you treat me this way? And why do I put up with it?

I should point at here that Games Workshop are not the only company in the world that produces high quality miniatures. You are not even the only ones that produce rules systems that are worth playing with, although I admit that I am unlikely to change my habits so wildly as to change games. But of all the companies out there offering me models, few are as expensive, and none try to treat me so badly as a matter of course. In the past I have largely ignored other model ranges, however I can no longer afford to do this. Apparently these companies are more interested in my money than you are.

This is the thing I truly do not understand. What do you hope to achieve by telling me where I can and can’t buy my models from? Do you think you can force me to pay the outrageous Australian retail prices? Am I really that stupid? Or are you going to gradually clamp down on every avenue for procuring your products at reasonable prices until all that is left is GW stores? I can guarantee you that it will be the death of your company and the game that I have enjoyed for so long.

For the moment, if I simply have to have a new model that you make, I will buy it from EBay. Or second-hand. Or from the US, despite the horrendous cost of shipping from there. Hell, I may pay for it to ship via the moon, as that would still be cheaper than walking around the corner to the nearest Games Workshop store and buying it off the shelf.

I can’t help but feel that those of us who bother collecting your models are becoming a laughing stock for the rest of the gaming community. And I feel I have no defence. I am indeed stupid to continue supporting you and your business model of screwing your customers at every opportunity. Well apparently this business model is working for you, but it doesn’t work for me. If I can’t find ways to buy your products at a reasonable price, then I won’t buy them at all.

And you won’t get a cent.


  1. good point well said blow me gw, this is the straw

  2. Will someone do an evil dead Vampire army now using Mantic stuff?

  3. Mantic stuff just got a lot more appealing, I have to say. Maybe if I didn't have such a backlog...

  4. I like the look of dystopian wars myself or even a return to historicals.

    Either way well said sir!

  5. That's the thing, isn't it? We all know there are hundreds of games out there, but sometimes it takes a shove like this to make us take a look. GW, you have noone to blame but yourself.

  6. its not just that there's hundreds of games WE can get into, its also getting the people around you into them, i like building and painting shit, but ultimately i build stuff to play with it.. and if theres no one else playing a game system.. i probably wont either.. even if its the best thing ever

  7. I remember a group of us back in school days working out that about 20 people we knew played GW games directly because of us. It's at times like this that I feel rather guilty about that.