I was talking to my friend/lgs owner about the state of affairs with regards to GW. He told me of long conversation he had with his GW sales rep that some may find interesting and others,like myself may find insulting. Im quoting from his post on the lgs forum. ” Had a long, interesting convo withmyGW rep today. It was prettyinsightful.
Sounds legit. I think you may be being a bit harsh though. After-all consider the following:
-GW is not concerning themselves with game balance or competitive play in any respect.
Never have and the probably never will. Competitive play and game balance would mean they would have to play-test extensively and gather data/feedback from tournament players which would strain GW's already minimal player feedback services. Most "tournament" wargames are also tweaked regularly via FAQ's or magazine releases. GW have no means of updating the fan base like this in any shape or form. Nope. Not one. No Weekly supplement or anything. At all. Ever. Or do they? Maybe they even have three but don't tell GW that.
-GW is totally fine with TOs tweaking the rules to create a more balanced game in / for tournament settings. [Lots of talk about how GW tried the tournament scene and how independent TOs do a much,much better job. They'd rather lett he TOs run events and tweak the rules to create game balance in a tournament / competitive setting.]
That's actually an okay thing, it also means GW don't have to spend money on tournaments or anything more than a few tables and their alcohol license at WW.
-Supplements aren't designed with game balance in mind. They are designed with fun / cool in mind. [He sighted FoB and what they did with the Escalation rules many, many times over the ~hour long convo.]
Which is fair enough, supplements are to help sell models. GW markets itself as the premier model making company, not as the "best hobby wargame company."
-Expect to see more movement towards giving players the opportunity touse the models they own in games of 40k.
This is not a bad thing. I'd rather be able to field what I want than have to be restricted by codex to codex. I still run a mishmash Lost and the Dammed from time to time.
-GW has no PR
department. There will be no official announcement about any of this stuff or any article in WD. They'd like people like me to communicate this sort of thing and "steer" the community in whatever direction we'd like based on it.
The community won't ever be steered by a few key individuals. It will be from brand-name sites like Beasts of War, Seer, Dakka etc reposting / reporting on tournament lists dominating the global "Meta game"
-While the stock did drop 25% overnight, based on that report,he went onat length about how GW is a dividend company and is still going to be paying out it's dividends. Something about how 4 people own almost all of GW (stock), how profits on the whole are down (duh) but profit per dollar spent is way up (also duh). Blah Blah, this means little.
Actually it means quite a great deal. Profit was in the region of £7 million net. Shareholders will want to trim the fat to push that even higher. It also highlights that even when "struggling" the company is still able to make a respectable amount into the black for it's last 1/4 of 2013. Stocks fluctuate and yes, 25% is a major blow, however, unless the shares go into free-fall panic sales (which if it's owned by 4 people like you say, wont) then there is nothing to worry about as long as profit is generated.
-Weekly releases, which most of us knew about.
-Weekly WD starting in Feb.
Which may work in their favour as it breaches the wait-gap of codex-model releases. It also helps them with their retarded "hush hush" policy because they will have everyone talking about the weekly releases, not what is planned in X months time.
-The people that write the rules often don't remember what they write.[Spoke about convos he's had or been involved in with writers or stories he's heard. Mentioned one instance of a guy asking one of the writers about a rule he wrote and the writer responded with something like, "yeah,that sounds cool. why don't you guys play it that way from now on."]
Which is expected considering the design team spend more of their time flying around the world/writing articles/ going to shows and events than actually playing / writing material. It's not a priority as long as you can duct-tape everything together with disappointment and nerd rage.
-Costs increase. They are not targeting everyone. They "are not going to open a GW store in Compton."
-They recognize they have priced new or potential players out of their games and plan to "address it."
Actually good things if true. The hobby is a commodity and should be aimed at 16-40 year olds (ie. The largest disposable income markets). Not 9-15 year olds (one of the lowest disposable markets)
-The term "gray beards" was used to compare GW gamers to model train guys. An older, wealthier, group that doesn't see a ton of new people entering the hobby.
-They view the ~$200 startup cost as something that will provide the average person with a month's worth of"entertainment," comparable to roughly 3 video games.
$200 is a reasonable start-up cost for any luxury hobby. Even basic sports require some kind of investment after initial take-up. Take European Football - Buy a ball and your good to go. Soon enough though you'll want some shin pads and maybe some boots to go with it. Even none-luxury hobbies like Running or even walking around can cost hundreds.
Your rep is making bad practice to cross-compare mediums, GW already has stakes in the video game market and using another form of measuring stick for its miniature game is pretty self-defeating. It be like me saying "One trip to the cinema is like a box of space marines entertainment wise." It's too fuzzy to quantify it this way.
-The rep dislikes the fact that people that are not qualified to write articles on GWs financial situation, policies, or direction often write articles on the internet that people take as gospel.
The your rep is both correct and a fool. Correct that its a shame people blindly follow them, but a fool to dismiss the clear impact these individuals have on the community. The majority of luxury hobby companies look to get the major community fan leaders on their side. Just look at video game studios and video-game journalist sites. When games want to do well they butter-up the writers and ensure promoters are happy, no matter how autistic or poorly qualified they are. GW could very well do the same but has at the least the decency to show everyone that they are self-responsible for making what people would consider "bad" decisions.
-They want to sell models based on coolness factor, not on price tag. Cited an example where they reduced the price of WHFB cavalry models to 25 bucks (from 45) and there was absolutely no change involume. (which,tobe fair,ISa valid point. when it comes to lots of model miniatures, if people want it, they're going to buy it. at some point everyone will begin to consider price, but that number is different from person to person.)
Then they run a risky game if true. "Coolness" is subjective for everyone. I like Chaos Marines with no horns on their helmets, I think they look "cool" without them. Some people love bunny-ears on berzerkers. I loathe them and so fourth. Also this conflicts with his previous statement of "pricing themselves from new customers." You can't make everything high-priced regardless of how "awesome" it's meant to look.
-Mentioned how the Tau and Eldar books were mistakes in that they elevated expectations for the remaining 6th ed books. Said not to expect all (any) books to be quite on that level going forward. Mentioned how it's probably nice for "us" that the books were so strong. [brought up after i mentioned the tyranid book, escalation, dataslates.] ”
All resolved easily through FAQ and tweaks in one of those <COMMONLY USED BY THE COMMUNITY> sources that GW have. But don't tell them that. It's meant to be an advert catalogue.