Thursday, May 19, 2011

Breaking with the long time girlfriend that is GW...

I wasn't sure how to title or phrase this particular blog post until I was chatting with Old Shatter Hands on gmail and we came around to the topic of GW's actions of late. To sum them up for those who aren't familiar:

One - The new wave of Dark Eldar models are really nice. The 40k online community is generally all in favour of them, the models, prices not too bad for GW and all is well. Hope blossoms.

- GW decides now all info about new things will come out a week prior to release. No exceptions. No excitement for what's coming next. No seeing plans for model releases in advance (like almost every other game compan), nada. You will get it with 7 days warning and like it!!!

Three - GW announces they are basically recasting their metal figures into resin to reduce costs. I'm on the fence about this one. Cheaper figs is good but resin can be warped, bubbly and is fragile. I don't see certain sculpts lasting well (Lelith for one). Now we find out that they are actually going up in price by about 10% average (a few £/$ per figure). Oh, they are there to reduce GW's costs and shaft us? Gotcha

Four- GW announce an annual price rise to jack everything up a few % more than inflation. Not out of the ordinary but coming along with the rest makes me a sad panda.

Five- GW orders online sellers in the UK to stop shipping outside the EU. For people in Oz/NZ it is actually cheaper to buy forge world models than GW models because of the screwed pricing (box of terminators for £48 anyone? Nearly double RRP). The online retailers helped that but no more. A lot of down under gamers have expressed their imminent migration to Warmahordes etc. Hey GW, how about making prices virtually the same across the world or at least within 5-10% on the same product?

So me and OSH start chatting and here is the the conclusion.

OSH: I dont even care...I feel like I have broken up with a long time girlfriend and I am in the stage where I kind of remember the good times, but if I think about it hard all those bad times come back to memory

Pete: Ok, that's my blog title right there. Consider it stolen (I'll credit you lol)

OSH: Haha, go ahead. Really its like that. It's time for a break up. GW is the girlfriend that doesn't appreciate what you do...

Pete: Such a good analogy

To me the key point is that GW just doesn't seem to want to communicate with the playerbase and community. OSH sent a list of FAQs to Jervis, got a response, but half of the questions were not addressed when the actual FAQ came out and sometimes we have to wait months or years for simple rules questions to be addressed.

GW's pricing has always been at the high end of the market but now it's gotten to the point where I just don't care to play any more. Not that it is that much more expensive with the annual hike (a few £ per box set) but with the other issues of the game, corporate money-first attitude, lack of player base connection and communication, it's just a little more than I care to deal with.

I'd rather support games companies that are more interested in their players and have a more vibrant feeling to them. GW feels like they've stagnated, despite some of the best fluff and background out there.

From now on, I'm going to do what Steve Holy suggested. (He is one of the many good country singers who came to the studio when I was working in radio in the states)

For me it's going to be Infinity and Malifaux, with some Warmachine if I want a bigger game.

On the other hand, I'll be keeping up with my Deathwing since they are a finished army and you can't deny the terminator models are pretty sweet. In fact, model quality is something I don't really look down on GW for. For the most part they are great and their plastics are really nice. I did so much mix and matching with these Deathwing and I think they look great for it. I'm also going to put out a WOOT for the Army Painter colour primers. Saved me so much time on basecoating.


  1. I'm with you guys...sad times. I've been painting/modeling my butt off for the last month on that new terrain and my Nurgle CSM. I was putting together a few posts so I could release them over a week, and now...this whole business just sucked the motivation out of me :(

    Maliflux does look like fun though... :)

  2. Maybe I haven't been playing long enough to have any kind of relationship with GW, but here is how I see it.

    Small companies like Wyrd, PP and Battlefront need to connect with and build their playerbase, because they rely on favourable word of mouth in a niche market. GW don't need to do that (or, at least, it appears that they think they don't) because they rely on high street shops and a constant influx of new gamers. Size, in GW's case, brings different rules into play (just like Apoc, but let's not go there).

    What this means is that GW doesn't want a relationship with me. They are the pretty girl in the bookshop that I make chit-chat with, but know that she's just doing her job by joking with me, and that I am one punter out of thousands to her. She's not my friend.

    Do I mind? No, I just want to buy some books. What I do with the books after that has hee-haw to do with the girl in the bookshop. Gimme my books, lady, and here's some cash.

    That's the extent of my relationship with GW and I'm happy with it. They are not, and never will be, my girlfriend.

    I have a different relationship with Malifaux, perhaps, but that is partly because the makers of that game clearly want to connect with their players, and I don't mind reciprocating, and partly because I am involved with them on a professional basis.

    The people I have a real relationship with are other gamers, my friends and guys like you on blogs. GW, and all the other companies, tbh, just supply the product.

  3. Sorry - just realised that my last paragraph might be read as if I was separating gamers into two groups, my friends and people on blogs, thus implying that the latter cannot also be the former. That was not my intention.

  4. A company that doesn't value every one of it's customers has serious problems. Especially their long-time customers that are more likely to buy and buy again.

  5. @Dhinanta - I think it's a real shame but your Nurgle force looks pretty darn sweet. Nothing wrong with playing games with what you already have. This hasn't killed my love for GW fluff and games, just my intent to invest any money in their products.

    @Sholto - I understand where you are coming from and I agree in many ways. To me though, it's like dealing with the expensive bookstore that has policies you don't much like and whose products have some issues and inconsistencies. I guess it's hard because I remember there being a very different feel to GW some years ago that was much more like what Wyrd and the smaller companies have now. I probably won't stop playing 40k but I doubt I'll be spending more money on GW products. Gives me a good chance to try the other games I've been interested in (Malifaux, Infinity, Dystopian wars, Historicals to use those cool Wargames Factory plastics)

    PS: It's too late to go back on potentially misread blog comments now. We are so broken up as blog friends ;-)

    @OSH - This particular change in GW seems to have pissed off a lot more gamers than any previous price rises or the like. It will be interesting to see if it really hits them.