Friday, 15 August 2014

Games Workshop is Really Not Your Friend

For many reader's their response to the title of this post will be "Thank you captain obvious", however GWs most recent anti consumer move (the one that inspired this post) should really hammer that line home. Let me make it clear: Games Workshop doesn't like you, it doesn't value you as a customer, it doesn't care about you and it certainly doesn't respect you, all we (the legions of people who buy things from GW) are revenue flow to Games Workshop. Revenue flow that can be condensed to at will, talked to as if we were stupid and above all we are the kind of revenue flow  whose reactions to GW's moves are completely ignored.

No doubt many of you will be wondering what sparked that decidedly dark and grim opening paragraph, allow me to explain. Today i was linked to an in depth article that did a excellent job of explaining GW's recent move to try and limit the sale of its products to only Games Workshop stores. If they succeeded then, in Australia, stores similar to Mighty Ape, Slave to Painting and The Hobby Store would not be able to sell GW products any more meaning no more discounted GW product, and considering that GW already has raised the Aus (and NZ) price of its product to ridiculous heights already it will only make things worse for Australian GW hobbyists .

The aforementioned article comes from a blog called the Ten Copper and i advise anyone who has yet to read that article go and read it before continuing to read this post as it does a fantastic job of explaining what is going on and from this point on this post will be written assuming that you have read it.

For the longest while now i have been seesawing on my view about GW, at times i disliked them for what they did and at other points in time i started to warm to them. Now i think i truly do despise them and not just because they charge so god damm much for hunks of over priced plastic (which, lets be fair, is exactly what GW sells) but because this control freak urge they feel the need to act upon, and the manner in which the act upon it, angers me on a ethical level to the point where i am half considering abandoning GW games and finding a cheaper wargame to invest time and loyalty into.

I apologize if this post has come off as anger fueled and ranty, its the night before a tournament that i have been looking forward to playing in and reporting on for some time now and i want to make it clear that my anger and frustration is directed 100% at GW, and any offense i may have caused you is purely accidental and i apologize deeply for it.  But somewhere there must be a line, and once that line is crossed we must say enough is enough and start pushing back and for me that line has almost been crossed.

Before i finish i just wanted to bring up two final points, 1) The case is being heard in Aus and i assume that if GW wins then it will only apply to Aus until they try it here and 2) There is something that we all (Australians and Kiwis alike) can do. At the end of the Ten Copper post there is the following paragraph:

What can you do about this?

We spoke to the case officer at the ACCC in charge of Games Workshop’s application, and he informed us that while the case was still ongoing — and may not be resolved for months, potentially — the Commission was very keen to hear submissions from interested parties and members of the public.
Submissions to the ACCC can be made by emailing and quoting the notification number N97404 in your submission. According to the case officer, the ACCC is particularly looking for information that will help them make an evidence-based decision, and not for form letters or emotional pleas.
According to the ACCC petitions can be useful as they help to demonstrate “broad public concern” — so here’s one that you can sign (please share it around). Even if Games Workshop does succeed, however, the ACCC can overturn the arrangement at any time under review, and the case officer in charge stressed to us that such a thing is quite possible.

So my dear reader i implore you sign the petition (i believe they accept NZ signature so go, go,go) make submissions to the ACCC (i am not sure if they will count submissions from NZ but there is no harm trying), lets not stay silent, lets fight this tooth and nail and let GW know that their customers (the ones who keep them in business) are fed up with money grubbing ploys and are ready to fight back. Until next time.

(One final note, there wont be a day one tournament post tomorrow as i want to give this post time at the top)


  1. Well said Rex. The Ten Copper article was well worth the read (and elicited little surprise from me frankly) and I will be recommended others to read it also.

    I am struck by the irony of GW's comments in places in regards to "supporting and growing the hobby" when they actually have very little to do with the hobby other than selling models/games. Certainly the last time GW actively sponsored something anywhere in world (that I am aware of) run by the "community" was... umm... errr.... (and no, Games Day/Golden Daemon doesn't count).

    I've been playing their games for nearly 25 years now, and even worked as a "red-shirt" at one stage as well. Tom Kirby's recent words in his Annual Report are amusingly at odds with the little handbook I received when they were training me (written by the man himself) in regards tot he hobby, and its enthusiasts. Yes he is largely seen as the man who made GW as successful as it has been as a business for many years - when others and their games, have fallen by the wayside... but it seems he has become rather much the dinosaur in a modern world. The trending business mentality of the company, particularly in regards to the internet, certainly seems to indicate this. Most, if not all of their "excuses" and their reasoning does not hold up under light in comparison with other companies in a similar genre.
    It is often touted by GW that their core business is not "hard core wargamers", ut rather "hobbyists" .. and that same argument is often heard from their fanboys... I have always been curious as to exactly HOW they can know this given (as Kirby even states in the annual report) they do NO market research whatsoever of any kind. Figures of this kind would be difficult to guess, let alone track, and as such making comments such as they do in that regard seem ludicrous at best.

    It sounds like the ACCC are an open minded crowd, and I sincerely hope GW come away with this with nothing more than a proverbial gumboot to the face and a healthy lawyers bill frankly (the latter which of course will be passed onto the ever-gullible "hobbyist"). It certainly has become clearer this past couple of years why we saw such an exodus of long-serving staff from GW (Alessio and co.) over a seeming short space of time.

    Do I like the models? Yes. Do I enjoy the game/s? Yes. But we all have a line in the sand.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post. Truth be told i wondered if i had let too much of my frustration come through my writing but it seems that this is not the case.

      I was on a U.S Political Forum for a year a few years back and regularly got into debates that required both sides to adhere to logical augment and use evidence to support their claims, GW do not do this. They make a statement and leave it out there devoid of anything to back it up (like the laughable claim that WoW was a competitor of theirs), this kind of thing should not be taken seriously by the community and should be met with the derision it deserves.

      It does sound like the ACCC are without bias in this case and can be swayed by evidence, which gives me a great deal of hope that this will be defeated. I hope that GW comes out of this with a understanding that 1) In the real world you need to make a evidence supported case to win a issue and 2) That we as a community are tried of their nonsense.

      I am 100% with you, i love the models an the games but am feed up with there business dealings.

    2. I did wonder also if one of the drivers of them doing this was their acknowledged falling sales in the Australasian market, and also perhaps a test-case down-under to see if they can get away with doing it in Europe and the US as well. I would not be surprised.

      I note Ten Copper also made mention of a survey done in the US of 8000 "wargamers"... some interesting results.

  2. Thanks for that, i think i may give that survey a look

  3. Good post Rex, I've signed the Petition, and pinged it off to other Facebook mates.

  4. Unfortunately my last attempt to convince the ACCC of GWs actions (blocking overseas stores selling here and their labelling of products as "produced in Australia") were unsuccessful as they found both of these to not be anti-competitive.

    However this will not deter me from supporting the above in trying to get rid of the Australia and the kiwi tax they impose on us.

    It is no wonder recasters are doing such a roaring trade.