Thursday, 28 July 2011

Financial fortunes of GW

Storm of Money: I don't know who this guy is, but he looks happy...
Today I have added myself as a new follower of an apparently exclusively 40K blog. Why would I do such a thing? Well really, it's because I found the following post very interesting: Financial Analysis of GW.

Like many people (I suspect), I find annual financial reports very dull and less than completely informative. My interest has never been great enough to bother working out exactly what everything means, so I remain secure in my ignorance. The run-down given by Duke in the link above is given in simple English and should be understandable to anyone who cares enough to look at it.

I am not a Games Workshop shareholder, and frankly nowadays I am glad of this. The decisions I see them making and the way these decisions seem to invariably fly in the face of customer satisfaction and affordability of the hobby make me want no part in the company. They also make me wonder whether GW will be heading for a pothole in the near future, given decisions like this (Finecast, price increases and the "Rest of the World" embargo) don't feel sustainable. I would be very nervous if I was a shareholder right now.

Duke's analysis is clearly not entirely unbiased, however he paints the current GW Chairman Tom Kirby in a very unflattering light. I guess someone is making these unpopular decisions, and when he sits there at the head of the chain, claiming 20% pay increases as the company appears to stagnate financially, he can be expected to cop his share of the blame.

I have not yet purchased a Citadel Finecast model, and I know I am not alone in this. In same cases it would even have been difficult to do so, in light of a number of resellers cutting back on stock, or in the case of Wayland, sending back their stock due to quality concerns. In my case, it is the combination of quality concerns, price increases and the loss of convenient cut-price international suppliers that have resulted in my not even considering any new purchases. I do have a lot of models still needing my attention, so this means I am not that eager to buy anything at the moment anyway. 

I would probably have purchased Storm of Magic by now, were it not for the price being so unpalatable. This, combined with my general bitterness at GW at the moment and their utter failure thus far to sell the product to me as something I really want in order to enhance my games, means it may be some time before I pick it up. If it were half the price I would probably have grabbed it by now, just so that I could have a proper read of it for myself. But at $83 (Australian RRP), I am inclined to leave it alone.

It is not that long ago that I would have found it impossible to leave a Warhammer expansion untouched. It goes against the grain for me to be playing what I feel to be an incomplete game (which is how it would feel as soon as I knew there was an expansion and I didn't have it). 

If my attitude is in any way indicative of the general sentiment amongst the gaming community towards GW, the next annual report could make for very grim reading indeed.

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