It happens every few years, there's a price rise here, a product change there, and people cry that the sky is falling for GW. Only this time, it just might be actually falling.
This is 2011 as I write this, everyone can be connected to everyone else if they choose to be, and a whole generation is growing up knowing it to be no other way. Into this world of ends, Games Workshop has stumbled like a blind, bumbling fool, barely leveraging the power of community access, online updates and ordering until the very damn recent past.
And now, they decide that a free marked in the anglosphere is something they cannot countenance, and they are shooting their own feet off and wondering why they cant walk.
People are planning on leaving GW, and they have no way to get new customers in, we hate to see it, but GW is dying and is not doing what it needs to do to survive. Everyone on the internet is an instant expert, but its common sense that its better to sell 1 Million Doodads at £20, as opposed to 100,000 at £40.
It would seem that in the face of declining sales, the GW survival strategy has gone a little bit Cascade Failure. This is easily explained by reading the shareholder reports, and if you don't have time to read them I'll sum them up here "these stupid fat kids buy our shite no matter what we do, and we can sue the fuck out of everyone else, so trebles all round!".
GW no longer cares and can probably no longer see that they are alienating the repeat spenders AND the new blood.
"But they rely on mummies and daddies buying stuff for little Timmy" I hear you cry! Fuck off and pickle your face! I reply! Mummy and Daddy are facing redundancy, increased mortgage costs, uncertain futures and fuel that has risen in price by a terrifying amount, with the associated knock on effect on staples like bread and milk.
Mummy and Daddy are spending the extra cash on drink and divorce lawyers, not close to £500 for a new starter army for Timmy. In fact, Timmy is wondering why all the bigger boys have loads of stuff...do they have lottery winning parents? Timmy doesn't want to play Warhammer, because he cannot be as cool as the guy who already bought an army, because mummy and daddy cant afford it. Mummy ran away and daddy is on TV crying because she wont come home.
Timmy is scared to play with the boys in his area, and he cant afford to play with the nice safe boys in GW, so Timmy has no escape, Timmy cant buy what GW is *really* selling, because the guys in charge at GW don't know that they are selling a safe place to make friends, a place where Timmy can be a champion, feel wanted, feel safe, and when Timmy grows up, its that place that he goes back to, when his girlfriend leaves him after University, he will go back there. When he is starting up the corporate ladder , and feels stress at work, its that safe place that he goes to once more.
Games Workshop don't sell fucking Space Marines, they sell us the memory of somewhere safe, somewhere fun. They sell the old players a memory of simplicity, they sell the young players a place of safety and belonging.
They are now expecting you to pay more than you actually earn for that product. They can fuck right off. Timmy didn't get a Big Box starter set this year, Timmy got a new tracksuit so he could fit in with the guys in the park, he started drinking and fighting at night, rather than staying in and building memories, worlds and adventures. Timmy didnt go to university, because he was in prison. He was in prison because he couldnt afford any toys, so he caused trouble and got caught.
Little Timmy didn't ever get to know about Mantic, FoW, Infinity, 10mm, 6mm, 15mm, Gruntz, or any of it. Little Timmy died alone, needle still in his arm, lips blue.
His mother was never found, and his father was so far gone on drink that he didn't even remember he had a son.