Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Enough is Enough!

/rant on

For those that don't know, Games Workshop has just jacked up their prices in the US and the rest of the world (again). I could not find a list of official prices but this is the best I could find http://cavgames.posterous.com/games-workshop-40k-price-increase-05-31-2010.

Now a few things stand out to me. $90 for Assault on Blackreach?! I understand that it is a very good deal and you get a lot for the price, but isn't this supposed to be the set that get people into the game? This is now a 50% price increase from the original price of $60.

Onto the next thing that stands out, the price increase for Codexes. Keep this in mind, when you purchase AoBR you still need to buy a Codex in order to get all of the rules you will need for either Space Marines or Orks. Keep in mind the Space Marines Codex is still $30, but now with the price increase the Orks Codex is $29. Last time I checked the Space Marines Codex is almost twice as big as the Orks Codex, so what's their rational behind this?

Moving on, now let's say that you did the smart thing and split AoBR with a friend and you are borrowing a Codex from a friend of yours that is already in the hobby. What's the next step? Upgrading your army. Well the costs of each unit on average has been increased by $3. Ok that's not too bad but let's say you want to get a Land Raider or Battlewagon. Well the price of both just increased to $62! That's insane! My GF (who is currently building up her Chaos Space Marines) has been eying a Land Raider for quite some time. Now with this price increase she's not so keen on the idea of buying one now. I guess her Chaos Space Marines are going to be using a stolen Black Templars Land Raider for the time being...

The point I'm trying to make is that I honestly feel that the new price increases are crippling. They are crippling for players who:
  • want to get into the game for the very first time
  • have just started and want to flesh out their first army
  • would like to get a few odds and ends to complete their army
  • were considering starting a new army
The new player looking to start for the very first time might consider this already expensive hobby to be too expensive for their budget, and I wouldn't blame them. I'm glad I started when I did. The player that just started might not be able to afford to expand their armies to the sizes they originally dreamed of. Now the player who just needs a few odds and ends might just cut their projects short. I wanted 2 more Land Raiders to complete my Black Templar fighting company but at $62 a pop I'm thinking otherwise. Finally the player who wanted to start a new army (which is boku bucks for GW) might price things together and be turned off by the higher prices.

Now I understand that times are tough for GW and they are looking to make a bit of profit by increasing prices, but I know a lot of players who are getting sick and tired of this. I believe that just the huge price increase of AoBR will end up hurting GW in the long run because I believe that the $90 price tag will turn off a lot of people. I also find it ironic but very GW-ish to introduce Spearhead (which specializes in tanks) and at the same time jack up the prices on tanks, especially the new ones.

Taking what I said in my FLGS post and what I've just ranted about, GW is starting to earn a top spot on my shit list. As I have predicted on an earlier episode of Dice Like Thunder, I honestly believe that GW has about 5 years left before they go under. They still haven't recovered from the blunder known as Lord of the Rings and now they're trying to plug that hole, much like BP.

Both companies are British, coincidence? Sadly, I think not...

The other thing GW needs to worry about is people going elsewhere to satisfy their plastic/metal model habit. Most will go to EBay (I know I have recently and have saved a shit load of money), some will go to online retailers (The Broken Forge, The War Store, FRP Games, shit even Amazon has some good prices) and a few might even jump ship to another gaming system. Personally, Warmachine is looking pretty interesting to me and I feel their prices are more reasonable (full color rule books that update all the armies at once? sweeeeet!).

All in all, I really think that enough is enough! What are your thoughts on this matter? Am I on crack? Is there something I'm not seeing? Do you think GW's price increase will fail like Top Kill? Are you planning on taking your business elsewhere? Do you also think that GW's future is GRIMDARK? Feel free to comment away.

/rant off


  1. Another price increase is definitely like a punch in the taint right now and I totally agree especially with regards to the hike on AoBR. Throwing a $90 wall right in front of the starting line (and then, like you said, more $$$ on top of THAT for a codex) just doesn't seem like the smartest move at all.

    Yes, this is NOT a cheap hobby and it never WILL be, but they had a super-sweet deal with AoBR to get new players in, I just can't fathom why they want to spike that now; unless they just don't WANT new players and are looking to make the cash off of those of us who buy multiple boxes for the good deal it represents (not as good as before, but still pretty good overall, even at $90).

    All that said, I don't see GW rolling up the sidewalks in 5 years. They're just too big and their IP (40K and Fantasy) is so hot right now that inertia alone could probably carry them through if they felt like letting it.

  2. I agree with Steve, I cannot see GW going under in the next 5 years. To be fair, I do not see GW going under at all as they are not an unhealthy company.

    With that said, I have shifted my purchasing away from GW to other venue's. For my GW fix, I am now looking at Broken Forge and Ebay, although that simply because the Broken Forge discount brings prices back to what they were. I will look carefully at the new WHFB rulebook, but if the rumored $90 price is accurate, I will have to take some time to truly consider purchasing it.

    For mini's in general, I have begun looking into and purchasing Malifaux. I like the skirmish level of the game and after only 2 games I believe this will be my second choice to GW. Hoards and Warmachine look good, and have moved to an army level game, but I just do not trust in my local community to go that directly.

    Whats most disappointing is the imminent release of Dark Eldar. I love the army and was really looking forward doing a wholesale $400 purchase to pick up everything GW would release. Now with that $400 for everything jumping even higher (possibly $600 or more), I cannot see me purchasing that army. I will likely stick with my already purchased Eldar, possibly flesh out my Nids, and work on my WHFB High Elves that I already have.

  3. I always wonder how much will be too much, anyone else feel like a frog boiling in water? All the new frogs arent going to jump in the water with the rest of us, its too expensive.
    Not sure why anyone has paid full price from GW in a long time, besides the direct only stuff. I havent bought anything else off their site or stores in a long time.
    The only good side is my purchases have slowed, now I can finish all the junk I have.

  4. As seasoned veterans of the game it is possible to save your money it is possible to save money:
    1) Know your build and make your purchases mistake free.
    2) Get your hobby skill up enough to be able to take advantage of even the cheapest eBay lots.
    3) Use the online stores and their helpful discounts.

    Wow, so that really helped us veteran gamers but yeah...poor, poor fresh hobbyists. How attractive is that game now that you got hit with the price tag.

    Its all very annoying because I've had my inside look at the business. I've read the Little Red Book that is the management primer to the hobby centers. That book is so at odds with the reality of the company it is annoying. It speaks of how the company is a niche game and that retaining hobbyists is just as important as getting new ones but there always seems to be an need to change out the old guard of the hobby driving them away and putting a pressing need on new hobbyists. Well now they aren't only lying to themselves about A)Veterans but driving B)Beginners from the game with a $150 dollar introduction to the game.

    It's never just the starter set when you are getting your core set sell at GW, "Do you have primer, brushes and paints Sir?" Left a bitter taste on my tongue when it was a 60 dollar set...

  5. Damn, I haven't paid attention if AoBR is going up to $90. With a baby incoming I have looked at curbing a lot of my extra purchases, and this doesn't really help the case for GW. Privateer Press has a really good track record with keeping prices low and listening to their customers. This year PP has brought out new rules for Warmachine. Within 6-7 months they will have all the updated faction books out, with the updated cards having come out within a month of the new rulebook. Hordes is getting the same treatment starting at Gencon this year. I understand that their are less factions between the two games than GW carries, but PP is still going to put out 10 faction books within a year's time. That's a strategy GW should look into.

    P.S. I really hope to see you on future DLTs, CSwizzy. Don't let the haters get you down.

  6. No land raider for the She Swizzy... :( I'm glad that I was able to at least buy what I have already before the increase. To be quite honest, that although I knew it was an expensive hobby, if I saw the increase happen and wasn't already this far along, I probably wouldn't have started an army. I probably would have strictly used one of yours or something. Other than that it still pisses me off and makes me sad that I won't be getting a land raider any time soon. I'll get over it though, my chaos marines will just have to pillage your black templars for awhile I guess... and with this it marks the first time GW has pissed me off... apparently I should just get used to it now.

  7. I think most of these price increases aren't really the problem. The increases are usually $3-$5. The real problem is that they barely support their games. They have shit FAQs, White Dwarf is crap (or was when I quit buying it) and their legal team shits on fansites. Therefore, the 'news' for GW fans for the last few years has been:

    -Dark Eldar delayed
    -This cool fansite is shut down
    -Last month's codex has a rule desperately needing clarification
    -This months FAQ is crap
    -Next months new expansion needs more models
    in your army
    -prices going up

    If PP sold a $60 land raider, it's not a deal breaker. When GW does it... we stop buying. The real insult is the codex prices going up. Even the newer ones are so poorly proofread that they refer to wrong page numbers.

    By the way, I played my first game of Warmachine last week. With 4 models per side and no terrain I was surprised to find myself developing tactics in game 1.

  8. I bought 2 armies when I was in high school and never finished painting either, and I never finished building my nids. Now after 6 years I have picked the game back up, but I know how to do it smarter. I buy models from ebay, paint from walmart and lowes, etc. You can do this hobby without spending a shit-ton. But not by buying stuff from GW stores is a must.

    The one thing that gets to me is everybody saying "why have they increased prices?" Every publicly traded company posts its financial records so the investors know whats up. This is on most companies website, including GW. I read their financial report, I read their cash flow statements. 2008 was a horrible year for them, they only made about 1 million pounds. That is horrible for a worldwide company. In 2009 they made more like 100 million and decreased their debt. There is a letter from the CEO and the CFO in the statements that explains why.

    They are investing in new machines to make more and more stuff out of plastic. These machines cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. They want to move to plastic so the metal price fluctuations don't affect their costs as much. This was good for us at first because plastic models were cheaper.

    But now the CEO doesn't think models should be cheaper just because they are plastic. He thinks people should pay, and I quote, "what the models are worth," regardless of the material. So terminators won't cost less because they are plastic, they will just cost what terminators are "worth."

    There is good and bad in there, they are making money again, which is good because they should stay in business for a long time. It is just going to hurt their direct sales, because people like us are not buying at the stores anymore, it's just too much.

    P.S. I bought AoBR for $80 and split it with a friend, I still think its a great deal for $90. It has a dreadnaught with a multi melta, a rulebook, and terminators. I only spent 40 because I split it, but thats less than one box of termies. Still a good deal IMO.

    Ryan Burden
    Rockford and Mt. Prospect IL

  9. I understand GW needs to make a profit in order to keep operating and producing new products, but there is a point at which they price themselves out of people's comfort zones, and they've been pushing that line for awhile now. I was shocked to see a box of Tactical Marines goes for $55 (Aus) here now. Cmon' Tactical Marines?! really?! It's bad enough that tanks cost $83 each, the Valkyrie was $96, it's now gone to $106 - Baneblades are still $145. Its just getting to be too much. Your average troop box is now $55 - they're starting to get to be as much as a tank, which has a hell of a lot more plastic in it. I have to save up a couple of months to afford a box of troops now, so while GW is raping my wallet, they're going to get less business from me. I'm probably just going to move to online purchasing instead, which is a shame as the GW store here is excellent, and I like to support the enthusiastic fun team that runs it.

  10. I'm sorry to hear about the pricing in Aus, your currency is doing worse than the US dollar. Hard to believe. I would go to ebay, you'll pay less most likely, unless your currency is really hurting. The point I was trying to make, is that their models aren't going to cost less because their plastic anymore, which was one of the reasons I was so exited about plastic. But if they continue to make money especially with their video game franchise, then the prices should fix back down. Plus the consumer has ultimate control, if we stop buying them at these high prices, they will have to come down.