Games Workshop – Circling the drain?

Maybe too dramatic a title, but Games Workshop has seen a drop recently, both in total profits and in share prices.

Let me explain; Games Workshop just released their 6 monthly financial report, which contained some not great figures. Pretty much everything was down across the board for the 6 month period ending 1st December 2013 when compared to the same period of 2012. Of course this is not good news for the shareholders. But wait, there’s more! Upon release of this news, the stock price of Games Workshops shares dropped by an astounding 24.34% all in one go. That is a phenomenal drop. You can have a look at the financial report here if you really want to. It looks to be about a 12% drop in sales, and isn’t restricted to any one zone, they all seem equally affected.

GW drop 2



From the above picture, you can see the scale of the drop, after having such a high in October 2013. I am now starting to understand the reason behind some of the unusual decisions that GW have been coming up with recently. Pushing their prices higher and higher all the time, coming up with these big packs at ridiculous prices, even the recent news of what is happening with White Dwarf are all signs that the company is trying to draw more and more money out of their customers, but at what price? I’ve been reading around and the general consensus seems to be that GW has been in decline for a while now, and that worse things will happen.

According to rumors I have come across, this decline in GW may lead to the ‘death’ of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (henceforth WHFB). Recently, GW all but dropped everything else they had previously produced and lumped it all under ‘Specialty Games’. None of these games receive any rules updates, any new or modified miniatures or anything else. This happened because those Specialty games were no longer financially viable. People think that WHFB will head down the same path, moving further into obscurity as 40k slowly takes over the entirety of GWs resources. Another rumor is that GW will combine the ForgeWorld site into the GW site, to further try and push more profits. Of course, as I said, these are rumors through and through, and must be taken with all appropriate levels of salt.

The next piece of interesting news is that GW are shutting down their Germany Headquarters. All the management they provided will default back to the main HQ in Nottingham, England. Here is translated info that comes from that area, via Brückenkopf-Online, a German Tabletop hobby portal.

Wie wir so eben erfahren haben, wird Games Workshop Deutschland geschlossen und die Leitung der deutschen Ladenlokale nach England verlagert.

We have been informed that Games Workshop Germany will be closed. Management of the German stores will be moved to the UK.

Von dieser Maßnahme sind außerdem Games Workshop Frankreich und USA betroffen. Nach unserer Quelle wurden als Folge auch die Arbeitsverhältnisse der Mitarbeiter in den HQs aufgelöst, wobei manchen wohl die Wahl gegegeben wurde nach UK umzuziehen oder zu kündigen.

According to our soruces, these changes will also affect Games Workshop France and U.S.A.. Employees in these locations have been let go, though some seem to have been given the choice to relocate to the UK or resign.

Die Ladenkette wird unter die Leitung von Games Workshop UK in Nottingham unterstellt. Hier werden sich wohl in der nächsten Woche die neuen Vorgesetzten in den Läden melden, da diese aktuell ohne Ansprechpartner sind.

The retail chain will be managed directly from Games Workshop UK in Nottingham. The new supervisors will presumably make themselves known to the store managers, which are currently lacking a go-to person.

Diese Änderung wurde anscheinend schon am 16. Januar 2014, zeitgleich mit der Bekanntgabe der Ergebnisse des Halbjahresberichtes umgesetzt.

These changes seem to have come into effect on January 16th, 2014, the same date the half-year financial report was published.

All these things I have written of do not bode well for GW, to me at least. But this is all an over time effect, it is not like they are going to fall over in the next month or anything, but it will have an effect on what GW will do in the coming year, and I shall report on that too.

I really enjoy miniatures of all sorts, the painting part of the hobby is very cathartic to me (in the mind cleansing sense, not the medical term), but what GW has started doing has driven me away, I’ve sold off all of my armies and so on, and I am about to move to different systems. Give us your views on this ongoing situation with GW. Do you still buy their merchandise, play their games, agree with their business moves? Tell us in the comments section below.

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