Games Workshop & Online Sales Pt 2

The new GW online sales policy is getting a fair bit of coverage online. I blogged about it two days ago, and you can find details there if you missed it. (But you'll get a fair bit of them in the video below).

Bell Of Lost Souls has this video from the Canadian Miniwargaming, talking about their response to the new policy. It is also up on Beasts Of War.


The store is closing. Though this is not wholly due to the GW policy changes, it is a significant factor.

I think we're going to see more of this over the coming weeks and months, as stores do the accounts, and decide one way or another if they can stay open. Clearly the US/Canadian based web only stores are going to disappear come June, but for FLGS it's going to be a difficult equation.

The comments threads to the videos make interesting reading, with a mix of opinions on the matter. 

Pulling two sides of the story from the blogs I follow, there those advocating a boycott, such as Syko Wargamer, and others getting behind the policy (in part), such as Apocalpyse 40K.

The portion of the existing customer base that is aware of this (because I guess not everyone keeps up with the hobby news online, and GW aren't exactly going to shout about this in store), are possibly going to be pushed towards collecting other ranges.

It's interesting to note that no one really does the big games like GW does. The only real contender (although I'd be happy to be corrected) in the table filling stakes is Mantic, who are going to be the one to watch, to see how they handle this. PP will also see some people coming over to them. Malifaux and Infinity will no doubt also see players looking at their unusual rules systems. Kickstarter is also going to pull people away, with hobby income suddenly more freed up to go into projects, should the right one come along (although that said you'd need something really really big in terms of backers to really change the scenes in stores).

I wonder how much this will affect the meta game in some areas, with players unable/unwilling to fork out for GW's bigger kits, or new forces, and new gamers having a very limited armies in terms of selection and points to draw on.

Comments

  1. "Clearly the US/Canadian based web only stores are going to disappear come June"

    Not quite true. This is an existing policy in the US, so stores based in the US already have ways around this. The most common is the removal of their online shopping cart and forcing customers to order via phone or by email (i.e. the warstore). MWG is a Canadian business so they are getting a raw deal, and this was the final nail in the coffin for their online store. Most US stores will see a hit by losing international customers, but it won't cause online stores to completely disappear.

    That being said, this is a pretty stupid decision by GW, especially the timing of it when considering all the other bad press they've been getting since about last summer (poor handling of CH lawsuit, "Spots the Space Marine" fiasco, Ridiculous price jump for the for WoC Fantasy release, complete flop of the Hobbit release). If I were them I'd hold off on their annual price release in order to allow some of the heat to cool and the prices to catch up to inflation, but I'm not holding my breath.

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    1. The web only stores get in the neck, as you require a physical store to get a trade account with GW. There are going to be ways around this (buying through someone with a physical store, unless GW sets a maximum to trade accounts) but prices will go up, margins will go down, and GW will find another way to get at them. The same being true of bits stores.

      It does seem to be one thing after another, with GW seemingly changing direction after the shuffle at the top, which some people thought was going to see the aggressive side of things reigned in. The Hobbit does seem to be swept under the carpet, hopefully it's see more attention when they get a film that includes proper armies fighting it out (they made quite a fuss over the opening battle of the Fellowship, and had the epic fight in the mines to draw on, while with Unexpected Journey the Goblin fight wasn't brilliant, and they seem to be staying clear of the Dwarf vs Orc flashback). It'll be interesting to see what happens with price increases, fingers crossed on them not happening, but it does seem unlikely.

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