Lost Legion Games and Comics

LLGC’s letter to Games Workshop

Posted by David Whelan on Sunday, July 7th, 2013

The recent shortage of all the most anticipated models for the new Tau army (with the exception of their somehow being plenty of Codexes for all the retailers to sell to get everyone interested in the army), on the heels of constraints like monthly limits on direct orders and direct exclusives, direct-only major supplements like Death From The Skies and the Eldar Supplemental Codex (as examples), and other decades long endeavors to push as many players as possible to the GW website to buy their models for play in their local retail stores who are struggling to pay their rent I can only say that the message is received loud and clear by all of our customers.

Subtext: “Do not go to your local store to get the new cool models! You should always always always preorder your models from GW online and not bother to buy them from your local store!

“Do not order a Gamer’s Edition of Apocalypse from your local store!

“Do not order a Collector’s Edition of Apocalypse from your local store!

“Do not support your local store!”

The standard response from GW to retailers sound great but are bold faced lies!  “We don’t want to risk your store’s business by letting you order things that are specialized and won’t sell enough to warrant stocking.”  That’s absolutely not the issue with this.  As a business owner and hobby enthusiast I know for a fact that I can sell Eldar Wave Serpents to all the old Eldar collectors in all of my stores and need to keep them in stock.  Eldar Battleforces are not inviting to players who already have a large collection of Eldar models but not enough transports!  Characters and heroes, if in the rulebooks and Codexes, should be available for independent retailers to stock.  I know that I NEED to have High Elf Bolt Throwers and Dwarf Bolt Throwers on my shelf.  I NEED to have Eldar Heavy Weapon Batteries on my shelves at every store.  Nobody’s buying the Hobbit miniatures I was FORCED to pay for and can’t return once GW admits that they shouldn’t be on the required stock list.  IN FOUR STORES!  That’s a sizeable investment in money and retail space that is slowing down the sales of things I know I could be selling for you.

Games Workshop IS GOING TO eventually strangle themselves out of potential profits in the long run by pushing retailers to look for other games to support and sell that far better support the independent retailers. With 3D scanners and printers becoming cheaper and cheaper all the time, I foresee GW’s business tactics doing nothing but pushing customers away from buying their models.

The GW panel at ACD Games Day was a 45 minute bash fest on the company. There wasn’t a single happy retailer in the hall. As opposed to ALL the other companies there who were being received very nicely it seems obvious that GW is doing something very very wrong! I witnessed a constant stream of retailers talking to Mantic Games, Warlord Games, and Privateer Press in the expo hall about cutting their GW stock way back and supporting some other companies in hopes of eliminating GW from their shelves entirely.

I am personally a huge GW fanboy. I love the rich history of the universes in which the games exist. I now find that I hate the company. I want so much for someone else to own the IP of 40K, WHFB, Bloodbowl, Necromunda, Inquisitor, GorkaMorka, and Mordheim. As much as it pains me to say it, if every customer I had decided to switch to Warmachine (a universe that doesn’t appeal to me), Warlord (historical games bore me), or Malifaux (a game which I find annoying at best) I would shed a tear for not getting to use my Eldar army again, but I would happily replace my entire GW stock with stock from other companies that aren’t trying to take sales away from the stores they wholesale to, the stores that build their industry and are the front lines of teaching new games to new players.

Take a hint Games Workshop!  Look at Mantic and Warlord.  Quality models, affordable, so players with a budget can build an army and players with a bigger budget can build TWO!!!  Look at Privateer Press, Fantasy Flight, and Wizards of The Coast.  Exclusive event prize support for events at independent retailers to build and enforce the strength of the gaming and hobby community at its roots!

All the energy wasted bullying stores into stocking minimum levels of things that may not appeal to the local market of individual stores could be better used in educating the retailers about the hobby to help them better move more of your product; or poured into league and event support with some points and product based prize support like exclusive badges, banners, dice, templates, models, or rulebooks.

Most of all get rid of the “direct only” foolishness in regards to independent retailers.  We are trying to sell your products, and YOU ARE STOPPING US FROM MAKING YOU MONEY!  I have a lot of experience in this hobby and industry.  I know what to order and what not to order for my customers!  While showcasing items you insist I should be selling, but DON’T SELL in my market, you are crippling my ability to sell even more of your very own products.  I could double or triple my GW revenue and my orders with you if I didn’t have to keep telling customers, “I’m sorry, the kit you want is a direct only item and I have to order it differently than I order everything else so it will show up later, if at all.”  My player base for GW games in my stores would be at least 20% to 100% bigger depending on which store we’re talking about if I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get your products into my store.

Posted in: 40k, The Castle, The Keep, The Rifleman, The Vault, WFB.

2 Responses to “LLGC’s letter to Games Workshop”

  1. Mark Says:

    All very true. I used to play 40k all the time at one of Dave’s stores. It was really nice to be able to walk in, buy what I needed, paint it, and play. That’s not possible now. It may be months before what I need is available, making me less inclined to stay active in the hobby. Frankly, I don’t even see how 40k entices new players. Between the crapshoot of availability and the prices, it seems to me that only the older guys hang around. I haven’t bought GW Models in several years, direct sale or otherwise. It’s sad, to be honest.

  2. Lacy Jones Says:

    For over 20 years I have watched GW do said acts seemingly wishing to drive away the place for their customers to gather to play their games.

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