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"Open Letter to Games Workshop" Topic

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Action Log

18 Dec 2012 8:47 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from Warhammer board
  • Removed from Warhammer 40K board
  • Crossposted to The Industry board

2,134 hits since 18 Dec 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Blake Walker Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 8:40 p.m. PST


For the record, I am putting up my figures in storage for a year. And I am not working or buying any new GW product. I can no longer afford to keep with their codex creep and annual price increases. The way GW killed off Warhammer Historical Games also alienated me. I still play WAB 1.5 and Warhammer ECW, too.

I thought out selling my WH40K and WHFB armies. The problem is I own too much stuff and I'd take a bloodbath selling them right now in this economy.


Privateer4hire Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 8:51 p.m. PST

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your letter.

We are glad to hear of your continued interest in our product. We make the finest quality wargaming miniatures in the world. The 'Pastime' has given fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts the world over a rich gaming experience.

A complex back story, literally an entire universe, await you and your friends. Whether its computer games, game-based fiction, the tabletop pastime or painting and collecting your favorite models, we set the standard in collectible miniatures and hobby gaming.

Again, thanks for your continued interest in our shared hobby.


The Management

Privateer4hire Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 8:54 p.m. PST

BTW, that's not a shot at you or your completely justified position. Frankly, the company doesn't seem to give a hoot and also doesn't seem to listen to its customers any way.

Anthon Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 8:56 p.m. PST

I feel your pain Blake, I do not look on this as a rant but more as a grievance….Having spent the $$ you have, I personally believe you should have your say regardless. Good Luck to you..
Kind Regards

RudyNelson18 Dec 2012 9:02 p.m. PST

So how much money was spent or wasted on the products that you no longer want?
That is the only thing GW cares about and is smiling all the way to the bank.

Such decisions by single individuals will not have an effect on their policies.

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 9:04 p.m. PST

Why would a company's current retail prices make one no longer play with miniatures already purchased? I get not buying more stuff, but the "I'm not gonna buy more from you!!!" letters and shelving your games makes no sense at all to me.

"Dear Mazda,

I bought your 2010 model and really enjoy it. However, I've noticed your current vehicles are slightly different than mine. I've also noticed that to drive one of your new models, I'd be required to pay for it. This is unreasonable and I've decided to leave my vehicle in the driveway for a year unless you lower your prices."

HostileContact18 Dec 2012 9:08 p.m. PST


A shame to hear, as you are about my only 40K opponent.

Nevertheless I understand, and support, your decision. We'll just have to find opportunities to play some of the other stuff we (and the group) have been talking about.


Only Warlock18 Dec 2012 9:08 p.m. PST

I see his point. By playing their game he fosters the playing of GW products, whether he buys new or not.

I have entirely walked away from GW now. The only thing I still have is 1st Ed Space Hulk.

dsfrank18 Dec 2012 9:10 p.m. PST

Actually RudyNelson – they don't care about what you've already spent – like pretty much any for profit endeavor they only care about how to maximize what you will spend with them in the future – GW realized long ago that there is no way to stop or even slow down what they refer to as the machine – that is the period of time between when a customer spends his first $1 USD to the time he leaves "The Hobby" meaning stops buying GW product – since they consider your leaving inevitable – the focus is on recruiting your replacement

galvinm Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 9:28 p.m. PST

I gave up years ago when new codexes started coming out what seemed to be every other year. Another thing that drove me away was whichever book was being reworked would be the next unbeatable army. That is for a few months when a new updated book would be out. I never could see paying $10 USD or more for a character figure. The character may be worth a thousand points gamewise, but it's still a single figure. I used to have all the armies for WHFB, now I have only my Wood Elves left. Just can't seem to part with them. I don't even know what they carry anymore. I have never even bothered to check out the finecast, so have no idea what they look like.

I am a big fan of Warmaster, tho. So of course, they no longer support it.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 9:39 p.m. PST

Blake, you are assuming they care.
Since you have been playing since 1989, yo cannot possibly have purchased every single army or book since then. Even if you have, they have been purchased in the past. That's the past.
they are after the newly hooked player who WILL purchase anything and everything.

If you DO get a reply, it will be along the lines of "Send this SOB the Bedbug Letter."

Anthon Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 10:02 p.m. PST

It's pretty much irrelevant if GW cares or not, I think. A depenable customer has said nuts to it, and is letting them know it. They have formulas to let them know the % of complaints they get to the number of actual customers that have split. More power to the people that speak up to them for what ever reason…your're spending your money, have a say. I would not let nay-sayers put me off…that's just defeatism…
Kind Regards

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 10:22 p.m. PST

I am of two minds on GW. One is that they produce the LOTR line, which I just love.
Beautiful sculpts and fantastic variety. Hooray for GW.
What's great about this is that I have over 2,000 LOTR figures and I didn't buy a single one of them from GW. I bought up collection after collection when the craze petered out and they were selling for a song.

Full disclaimer here: I am not a gamer, so I don't care about codex's or rules or even what games they sell. None of that stuff applies to me, so I may be looking at things from a different point of view than the people who game.

I just collect the figures. So, GW has lots of people in my situation. Let the kids buy their stuff. They get bored with it and it ends up going for around 40% of their initial investment. Good for me, who buys the stuff for half price and good for the original owner who got back a portion of his purchase price.
And a whole new secondary market has sprung up on Bartertown, Ebay and various trading sites. GW is the only maker that I know of that gets re-sold on the level that they do. So, in theory everyone should be happy. GW shareholders, the original owner who got to use them until he got tired of them and then managed to recover about half his money back. And the more serious collector who buys them at half price.

A win-win-win.

But, on the other hand, their heavy handed business tactics and their ridiculous prices just makes you naturally despise them.

And that's why I am of two minds.

tauwarlord196 Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 10:24 p.m. PST

Meanwhile someone like this just "canceled out" I'd say 5-7 people quiting GW…..

Bit sad to say that money talks for geedubs

and boy do they still get a nice chunk of it

Anthon Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 10:37 p.m. PST

I don't think so, they get no chunk of this(GW that is). It's been bought and paid for already. And is sold at a loss I suspect. The buyer will not be purchasing these things from GW. But honestly, I do not know this for sure, just suspect…
Kind Regards

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 10:42 p.m. PST

Glad I walked away years ago and only got burned once. I've had much more fun writing my own rules and now branching out with number three son into producing our own miniatures for our wargames.

Much more fun, much less stress and great for the father son thing.

Walk away from the "hobby" and enter an entire universe of gaming where you can do what you like.

My first adventure after leaving the "hobby" was HOTT.

RudyNelson18 Dec 2012 11:04 p.m. PST

My piont exactly dsfrank

That is why I have not carried GW to shows or in my store since 1985. I jumped ship at the beginning because of the constant changes to systems and mandatory levels of buying for stores.

Only ever did it special order and from distributors who pieced it out or if I found a store dumping their stock so I would sell it for them at shows.
It was never more than 1% of my stock sales fro a year at best.
And i am still in Business despite the "How can you stay in busness without selling GW (or FoW now too)!" comments.

basileus66 Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 11:40 p.m. PST

I jumped ship at the beginning because of the constant changes to systems and mandatory levels of buying for stores.

That's exactly what we are doing in our shop. We have sold GW products for one year now, but the returns are so low that it doesn't worth the effort (economic and otherwise). Moreover, with on-line shops making huge discounts, we are no competitive.

I will continue gaming W40K, just because I like the game. However, I won't buy more miniatures. At least, not as many as in the past.

Problem with GW is management. The current GW CEO is a guy that doesn't know a crap about gaming or gamers. He came from pharma industry, and his only goal is making the company profitable in the short term. After all, he won't stay on the job for too long. He will milk the cow until it's dry, and then will move on to other business. That's how 'modern' capitalism is understood. If in the process, he destroys the company is of no relevance for him or for other short-term investors.

Fortunately for me, GW is not our principal product line. Actually, we are selling more action figures (Marvel, Star Wars and GI Joe) than any miniatures (BTW, if anyone has GI Joe figures that want to sale, send me a line… We are desperate for finding 25th Anniversary and POC ranges!And in Spain is difficult to get them!)


Mick A Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 12:27 a.m. PST

Blake, you might of had more chance of a response from GW if you started you letter with 'as a GW share holder…' they're the ones the worry about, not the 'loyal' customers…


Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 2:55 a.m. PST

The real question is at what point will GW reach the point of diminishing returns.

Buff Orpington Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 3:37 a.m. PST

Probably some way off, remember that GW are like Disney, they get a whole new market every 7 years.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 6:05 a.m. PST

Bought a few figs over 20 years…a couple of old issues of WD (back when it did RPG stuff), and that was about it…never really got into it. Their Gardens of Morrn cemetery set does look nice and if I get it, it will be the first and only piece of GW terrain/stuff that I have bought in almost 20 years.

One of my former best friends though…he's been treated like the drunk girl at the frat party by GW… Invested heavily in Man O' War…then BF Gothic….then their historicals…after they screwed him over three times he then went to work for them as a store manager…and they closed his store… So now he's back at Radio Shack…and GW so turned him off of minis that he plays board games now…

forrester19 Dec 2012 6:30 a.m. PST

As stated above, I think GW has long accepted that most of their customers are not in it for life, and that new recruits are sought in preference to keeping longer term fans happy.This applies whether you have decided you can't afford to keep up, or have just found other things to do. The concept of an individual choosing to pack it in will neither surprise nor alarm them. It's expected and factored in.

It is actually difficult to be a long term customer…I got left behind ages ago by all the LOTR rule changes and supplements. I've got what I need and am not expecting to be swept up anew by The Hobbit.
But there will be plenty of new collectors this year to replace me.

Silurian19 Dec 2012 8:26 a.m. PST

It's just very disappointing, and dare I be so wimpy sounding to say, sad, to have this powerhouse in our midst which surely has to be the only company that doesn't care about the hobby or us gamers.
That's why I only collect their older stuff. It's not so much the price (ok, yes, it's that as well!), but that buying their current miniatures leaves a sour taste in the mouth. I'd rather buy from a company that is passionate about our hobby.

I've observed the complete GW 'cycle'. My two nephews discovered them at about age 10, bought a horrendous amount of 40K stuff, got seriously into sports and the fairer sex at about 15, and (before I realized and managed to grab it) sold it all on Ebay.

PygmaelionAgain Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 8:48 a.m. PST

I'm trying to remember "that feeling"…

You know the one… when you used to walk into your FLGS and pluck a blister pack or box of minis off the shelf and take it to the register, and be excited all the way home about your new game pieces.

Somewhere along the way, We The Customers got to the point where we found ourselves advocating for certain business practices, or watching for trends in the gaming market. Our toys became our armchair business (and for some, a real business).

You're completely within your rights to call out a company on how it does business, and to let them know you won't be spending with them anymore. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you play the game, which was the original point.

You've pointed up some excellent truths about the direction the company has gone, and it's up to them if they listen or not. Meanwhile, pick up some dice, pull out some armies, and get back to the fun part. You'll be glad you did.

Anthon Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 11:43 a.m. PST

Sorry, I thought that picture was an eBay post, yeah, it does cancel out a few people quiting…

Kind regards

Warwick1319 Dec 2012 12:27 p.m. PST

I have strong feelings about games and the conduct of their company. So yes, I could see someone shelving a game after being treated poorly by the company.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member19 Dec 2012 7:03 p.m. PST

A pox upon G W!

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2012 4:44 a.m. PST

Blake – have you heard the expression "cutting off your nose to spite your face" ? GW already have all your money from past purchases – and to punish them you are going to stop playing the games that you play and that you enjoy the most ?

GW lose nothing – their marketing is based on the idea that "kids grow up and eventually drift away". In a way you are confirming that they are correct and have the right strategy (i.e. always aim to recruit at the bottom – and keep them for 5 years, then reinvent the game again).

I do understand your resentment – but I don't think your protest will register with GW.

On the other hand, maybe at the end of 2013 you'll be ready to sell everything. It's that or buy back into whatever GW release over 2013 (mostly The Hobbit skirmish game I imagine).

Marshal Mark20 Dec 2012 1:11 p.m. PST

Why are you putting them away for a year ? How is that going to benefit you ?
If you think you are not going to play again you are better off selling them now (or over the next year), whilst they are still current models.
You could even convince yourself that this would be getting back at GW, because everyone who buys from you is not giving money to GW.

Chortle Fezian Inactive Member23 Dec 2012 11:19 p.m. PST

Let the kids buy their stuff. They get bored with it and it ends up going for around 40% of their initial investment. Good for me, who buys the stuff for half price and good for the original owner who got back a portion of his purchase price.

A win-win-win.

Good thinking. I always bought mine in the bargain boxed sets and second hand for peanuts.

I love the GW "fluff", which isn't for everyone, and would love a fan maintained sub set of the rules which allowed us grumpy old gamers to continue to play GW without the aforementioned headaches of imbalance and codex creep.

Perhaps one day a gamer multi-millionaire will buy up a failing GW and turn it into the company we like. I believe that happened for Advanced Squad Leader.

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