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GW Annual Report 
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Generalissimo
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Today's GW spam to my email inbox, this time regarding Space Hulk:

"Many of you have contacted us to say how frustrated you were that our European webstores sold out so quickly. We listened, and we have good news!

We have a small number of copies left in other warehouses across the world, and we’ve decided to ship them back to the UK and make them available again through our European webstores for those of you who missed out.

These copies are currently on the high seas, and we expect them back in stock early December. We don’t know for certain when they’ll get here, so keep watching your inbox. We’ll send you an email notification as soon as they arrive, but you’ll need to act fast. Once these ones are gone, that’s it. The warehouses really will be bare!

If you don’t want to wait, there are a few copies on store shelves across Europe. Use our online Store Finder to search for stores near you, and contact them to see if they have one."


---
The response I would like to give:


Dear GW,

Or you could just manufacture some new ones. You own both the copyright and manufacturing process for the product. Oh wait, that would mean moving on from your ridiculous new policy of stoking demand through "limited editions" and "limited stock" merchandise. I refuse to buy into it - and besides, I still have my original edition from the early 1990s...

*sigh*

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Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:33 pm
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Corsair
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Wasn't Space Hulk a vintage reedition not meant to last?

For complementary games, I understand that they don't want to face same issue than for DreadFleet, which did not sell well (OK, that's because awful rules and despite superb models) and remains on many a store's shelves.

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Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:07 am
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Lost in the Chaos Wastes
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Their trick worked on me for Dreadfleet. "Wow, limited release! Gotta get it now, or I'll be paying through the nose on Ebay down the road!"

Got the whole thing painted up nice before we ever had a game, too. And then we tried to play it...

"Okay, your giant supreme capital ship has to make it to my little island there and save that other ship before my guys show up and catch you..."

Bottom of turn one, crappy island garrison fires its two crappy cannons. Super Ship magazine detonates, draws literally half of the stack of damage cards one after the other, goes up in a mushroom cloud and sinks. Game over.

We restart the mission. Turn four, the wind has shifted 90 degrees for no discernible reason once again, and everyone's ships are stuck against rocks/islands/each other.

Dreadfleet goes back in its custom cut foam carrying case and never comes out again.


Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:48 pm
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Who cares for rules when you have these awesome models?

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Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:31 pm
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Lost in the Chaos Wastes
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Yes, a functional rule set is otiose when you have the small, jewel-like objects of magic and wonder that we call Citadel miniatures.


Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:16 pm
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Half Year Statement:

http://investor.games-workshop.com/2015/01/13/half-yearly-report-2014/

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:10 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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Shame there is no preamble, as per the annual statements.
Interesting titbit is the new visitor centre is being revamped and its open seems to coincide with the 2nd May 9th Ed release date.

Nothing else unusual in the statement. Slightly down overall versus this time last year, but not significantly once fx rates etc are calculated in.
Still a decline is a decline and it is year on year currently, so they really do not to look at the systematic actions required to rectify the situation, but engagement with their customer base seems still to be a foreign concept to them.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:43 pm
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Losses across the board. Quite alarming really. So many times in economics, a trickle causes a panic, which leads to a flood. Then the board and shareholders flail around desperately trying to fix the problem, usually by hiring and firing chief executives and other senior staff in rapid succession, causing the influx of a panoply of fancy sounding - but ultimately half baked - ideas, each of which get only part implemented before their creator gets fired and a new idea is thrown into the mix instead.

We've already seen quite a few changes by GW recently - the introduction of one man stores, the rebranding of many of its products to increase its intellectual property position, the transition from cheapish soft-cover army books to expensive hardbound books, the adoption of a restricted supply model to fuel demand, the release of End of Times and potential overhaul of warhammer in 9th edition into an entirely alien fluff world, the adoption (and then withdrawal away from) of finecast as a dominant material for models, the transformation of white dwarf into two separate magazines, and so on. This seems to speak to a corporation that is desperately trying to reverse a rot, which is seeping gradually through its monolithic shell (forgive the mixed metaphors). None of it looks like a bright future for GW to me. Right now, we only see the cracks. But like a damn bursting - when enough little cracks appear, the entire facade will rip apart and the flood will truly begin.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:18 pm
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There's an interesting thread on Warseer where several years worth of GW figures are analysed, and it's a series of losses.

I've worked for companies trading at a loss before ...and they don't last long.

Is GW publically listed? If so, it'd be vulnerable to takeovers and either revamp or butchery.

Also, if sales are down despite almost month to month sell-outs because of the End Times, something is wrong.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:41 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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They are not actually trading at a loss. They have just seen a decrease in operating profits.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:00 pm
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Amboadine wrote:
They are not actually trading at a loss. They have just seen a decrease in operating profits.


Good news :D

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:33 pm
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No, but decreased profits are often a warning bell. It means that they are trading at lower figures than in previous years, which is a negative trend.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:58 pm
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I mean comparative good news :)

...and yes apologies for the earlier misinfo; it was falling profits rather than losses.

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Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:32 am
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Red... wrote:
We've already seen quite a few changes by GW recently - the introduction of one man stores, the rebranding of many of its products to increase its intellectual property position, the transition from cheapish soft-cover army books to expensive hardbound books, the adoption of a restricted supply model to fuel demand, the release of End of Times and potential overhaul of warhammer in 9th edition into an entirely alien fluff world, the adoption (and then withdrawal away from) of finecast as a dominant material for models, the transformation of white dwarf into two separate magazines, and so on. This seems to speak to a corporation that is desperately trying to reverse a rot, which is seeping gradually through its monolithic shell (forgive the mixed metaphors). None of it looks like a bright future for GW to me. Right now, we only see the cracks. But like a damn bursting - when enough little cracks appear, the entire facade will rip apart and the flood will truly begin.


I fail to see any link between these events or that they are the result of flailing managers, desperate measures and bad forecasts.
- Finecast is easy enough to explain: tin got expensive.
- Rebranding ishardly a desperate move, and probably well planned ahead.
- The hard cover bound book is a marketing move, that doesn't reek desperation at all. Either that, or half the DnD publications, fantasy books and story based games are desperate on the brink of madness. I've seen a carved wooden deluxe edition box for Cathan once. Madness you say? This is fantasy! By your logic, would it be sane if they'd hand out army books in black&white printouts for 5 bucks?
- The End Times doesn't sound like an idea that was the result of a panic meeting. There's some gaps and faults in the execution which I attribute to the pace of the book releases (which is incredibly steep, considering the content) rather than the nature of it.
- The White Dwarf move was an attempt to revive something that was dying. It doesn't seem to have worked. There's no magical alternative. (YEah, everyone claims there is. I'd like to see them try though.)

GW dipped in the stock market, probably because they cut their dividents. Imagine your bank telling you "sorry, no intrest this year". The bank would drop in value quickly.
GW is paying back the dividents, so if this report shows anything it's that they are getting back on track.

They are trying to fix a rot: the 'good old' days apparently had a creep-in of costs and insufficient investment of effort in cost effective structures. They were paying the price for that, but it seems they are fixing it. If you want to point at a time of failure, point at the good old days (I know, sacrilege). If you want to point at positive news, point at the work they are doing now. That's what the report is saying.

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Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:21 am
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