Games Workshop’s increased prices on both their models and paints are causing modelers and retailers to be more cautious.
Last year, Games Workshop announced they would increase their prices world-wide. Then in June of 2013 they announced a price increase on their paint pots. Since the initial price increases, independent retailers of Games Workshop and hobbyists are still feeling the pinch.
Warhammer 40k is Games Workshop’s most popular franchise. Adam Ludwig, a regular at Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point and avid player of Warhammer 40k since 2008, says that Games Workshop’s problems may be because of the current miniature war-game market.
“There are other companies trying to compete against Game Workshop like Privateer Press and other miniature games that are becoming popular, but the price has gone up almost double from when I started playing. I think it is really hard for new players to get into the game and I think its hard for anyone who is not in the middle class or above to really start playing the game and keep up with the game.” said Ludwig.
He also said that this is especially true when the company constantly changes the rules, rule books and codices, that It becomes a lot harder for anyone to keep up with the game financially. As a player of the hobby, Ludwig says that the current price increases has affected his relationship with Games Workshop.
“It certainly has made me stop buying all of my minis through Games workshop. I actually started looking at alternatives. I don’t buy nearly as much of the base product from Games Workshop like I normally do,” said Ludwig.
Over the past five years, Games Workshop has been slowly increasing their prices. Now with the current price increase on their paint sets, it has some cause for concern when carrying any Games Workshop miniatures and paints.
Chris Randazzo, owner Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point, says that the sudden price increase on the paints in June of 2013 was a nightmare for him. On the same day of the price increase he quickly had to change every one of the paints in his system to get the prices up to date.
“I will not have anything bad to say about it in a general sense and it is not even a retailer trying to protect a distributor like Games Workshop, it is not even about that. To me Games Workshop is a very frustrating company to deal with at times.” says Randazzo.
Randazzo also says that Games Workshop’s main rules for their games change drastically at times and will often change how your armies will play in their games.
This makes players need to buy new products from Games Workshop for all intents and purposes, even though officially Games Workshop says that you can use their miniatures.
“I will tell you that, before you ever buy a product from me, before you ever buy a Games Workshop product. Please don’t think that you are going to buy one army and play that army forever and it is your $200 investment and then you are done buying.” said Randazzo
Randazzo says that as a player of the Games Workshop franchises, you are going to have to buy new stuff, new editions and rules books are coming out and you are going to want to buy new stuff. He then stated that if people were still playing 2nd edition with our old army books players would be bored with the game.
As a realtor though, Randazzo has said that the current price change doesn’t change the way he feels about Games Workshop. He says that good distributors and good game companies see him as a partner, such as Wizards of the Coast.
“For the last 7 years I have been open, Wizards of the Coast has figured out its business model, and their business model is organized play. It used to be that what good products I could buy was based on how much I spent.” said Randazzo
Randazzo says that he was on a different customer tier and the more money he spent the better products he received. Then Wizards of the Coast figured out that if retailers ran enough events then he and the company were going to sell more products. Everything Wizards of the Coast does for him now is based on the events he runs and the more events he runs, the better the products he gets. Randazzo then stated that this model is not used by Games Workshop, however.
“Games Workshop is not my partner. They have never been my partner. Every couple of years they will change the retailer agreement, like what I have to sign, how I have to order and how I pay shipping. And they always present it as, ‘ we are finally going to see you, oh small retailer, as a partner and that we know that your business is as important as anybody else out there and you are what makes us go’,” said Randazzo.
Games Workshop changed their retailer policy just before the launch of the new paint line, claiming that the change was because of the new paint line. Randazzo did not know that they would be doubling the SKU’s on the new paint line products, much to the complaints of many retailers at trade shows. Game Workshop is still making it mandatory that retailers need to buy their paints in a package of 6 paint pots.
“They only gave me a paint rack if I bought all the paints and said that I might be able to get the rack later on, but if I didn’t buy all the paints then they couldn’t guarantee me one and continued to package the paint pots in 6. Paints that don’t sell as well die on my self. It’s hard for me to stock their paints when I have to carry six of everything.” said Randazzo.
- Forge World Shows The Way (thesomnuscitadel.wordpress.com)
- Top 5 Non-Collectible Miniature Lines – Summer 2013 (baddm.blogspot.com)
- Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade doesn’t seem so bad (destructoid.com)
- Chaos Worshippers Anonymous (theshellcase.co.uk)
- Warhammer – in Germany? (fantasyrantz.wordpress.com)
- My Abusive Relationship with Games Workshop Leads Me to a Budding Romance with Mantic Games (by Vinnie Virga) (isenbergmarketing.wordpress.com)