Raw Dogger: It’s the End of GW as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)

Raw Dogger: Readers be ware!

Raw Dogger: Readers be ware!

Guest Editorial by Raw Dogger

Let’s face it.  If you

are reading this article you are somehow, someway invested in the table top war

gaming hobby.  I would also feel

confident betting the vast majority of the people reading this article play

table top war games developed and manufactured by the lumbering gaming behemoth

Games Workshop.  I myself have been

playing Warhammer 40k, and to a lesser extent, Warhammer Fantasy, since around

1997.  Describing to non-players the

first time I was introduced to the (then) amazing White Dwarf Magazine on a Boy

Scout camping trip at the age of 13 is a lesson in futility.  My years of lining up little green army men

against each other and playing out mighty battles on my bedroom floor had

kindled my love of wargaming long before finding the magazine, but for the

first time I saw a way to interact with others and I fell in love with a hobby

that I didn’t even know existed.  Fast

forward 16 years, several editions, and an ungodly amount of disposable income

later, I find myself just  as much in

love and enamored with the Warhammer games and universe as I was when I was 13

years old.  So why do I secretly hope

Games Workshop goes out of business?

I’m going to be honest here.

I love Games Workshop.  I love

buying all of the new models and playing with them in tournaments, however,  I also want them to fail utterly and

miserably.  I would like nothing more

than to see them go out of business.  I want

Jervis Johnson to lose his house.  I want

Matt Ward to pawn his sweet black leather vests.  I want Bugman’s Bar to burn to the fucking

ground!  That might be a little harsh,

but hey, I’m being honest.  I know that I

am not alone in feeling this way.  There

is not a day that goes by that I don’t read online blogs and see comments along

the same lines (ok, maybe not so harsh).

Go ahead, try it.  Next time Bell

of Lost Souls of Frontline Gaming runs an article describing a price increase

or an expose regarding the closing of a GW store or some such thing, the doom

and gloomers come out of the woodwork.  You will find comments such as “I’m going to

laugh when GW goes to out of business” or “They’re finally going to go under

since they don’t realize they have competition”, and so on and so forth.   I

smile inwardly when I read these comments.

I think to myself, “that will show them”, though what THAT is I have no

idea.  So why do we do this?  Why do we secretly want the company that

develops and produces the games we love to play to go out of business?

The best analogy that I can think of to explain my bizarre behavior

is the ‘smugness factor’.   Think about

it.  This can be the neighbor that always

has the newest car or gadget, the sports team that wins every national

tournament, or the sibling that garners the most attention and adulation from

your parents.  You like them on a certain

level; your neighbor is nice enough and he even invites you over to his weekly

BBQ (where he shows off his new TV or game system).  The sports team plays well, and the

quarterback is so handsome (I’m talking about The Patriots).  Your brother is your blood relative, so he

can’t be all bad?  The fact is, when your

neighbor’s house gets egged or the Patriots lose in the playoffs, you smile a

little.  When your brother calls you at

3am to bail him out of jail, you’re thinking ‘JACKPOT’!  You want to see these smug bastards taken

down a peg. 

This is what GW has done to its customers.  Year after year of unexplainable price

changes due to the fact that they KNOW people will keep paying to play the

hobby they love.  Not releasing models

that are IN THE CODEX, then taking companies to court that had the audacity to

manufacture said items because they saw the demand.  Matt Ward’s vest!  The list goes on and on and whole articles

have been written on the topic.    The

fact of the matter is that we, as a gaming community, have done this to

ourselves.  We SECRETLY dislike games

workshop.  We continue to let them run

roughshod all over us.  I feel nostalgic

for the day that Games Workshop was truly into the hobby aspect of the

games.  Remember rough riders?  Remember their partnerships with local game

stores that ADVERTISE THEIR GAME SYSTEM FOR FREE?  I do, and I miss those days.  I don’t know how to fix it.  I do know that I will continue to buy and

play with their models, grumbling and writing bumbling blog posts.  I’ll be the last one to buy a $125 Land

Raider and turn the light off when I leave.  


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

18 Responses to “Raw Dogger: It’s the End of GW as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)”

  1. Avatar
    edwin April 1, 2013 1:28 am #

    It is 5:30 in the morning. I was up at 6 am for work yesterday and I am a night owl who got 2 hours sleep. This one article made a pretty shitty day pretty good. thank you

    • Jason
      Rawdogger April 1, 2013 5:49 am #

      Thanks edwin, I’m glad you liked it. It formatted badly to this site so if you want to read it in a non-creative prose check out my blog kimchigames.blogspot.org

  2. Avatar
    Crispy April 1, 2013 3:49 am #

    Land raiders are 110 here in Australia so I suspect next price rise they’ll be sitting over $125 for us.

    The number of players here are pretty thin compared to other systems and Magic and I live in Sydney.

  3. Avatar
    eTo April 1, 2013 3:59 am #

    Personnally, i don’t want GW to die, cause it would mean the end of my favorite hobby.
    And i can’t imagine a world without the excitment of discovering great miniatures every week.
    No more Space Marines, … no way.

    But like you, i blame GW for every bad decision they made during the past 15 years (well, that means almost every decision).
    I’d really like to talk with some of their executives, as I can’t understand their strategy.

    OK they’ve built a pretty huge captive market, offer great miniatures, and have grown to be the undisputable leader in their business. That’s why i understood why their models were expensive back in the end of the 90s, when i started, and was ready to pay for it.

    But now it has become a luxury, and prices drive a lot of young potential gamers away from the hobby.
    Plus all the grown-up gamers who don’t earn thousands each month like the “founders” of GW and the shareholders.

    It looks like they don’t give a f… about this, and just want to suck us dry.
    With such greedy people, GW will fail sooner or later.
    I just hope someone over there will be smart enough to change things before it’s too late.
    But it’s more likely that he will raise prices one last time before shutting the light off…

    • Jason
      Rawdogger April 1, 2013 6:00 am #

      eTo, I really blame their success FOR their current state of ‘Don’t Give A Fuck-erie’ (I just made up that word). If you look at who is currently at the company, it isn’t the guys that were there when it WAS a real hobby company. Were is Alessio? Where is Fat Bloke? Andy Hoare is writing the new Warzone rules. These guys are all out creating new things for companies who (at the moment) are about engaging their clientele with rich content and amazing background. GW is now run by accountants and lawyers.

  4. Avatar
    Spoonfunk April 1, 2013 4:42 am #

    I don’t want GW to go out of business….I want another company to itch the same scratch that 40k does, so that GW has to compete. Right now if GW went out of business it would put alot more people out of business than GW. There are alot of retailers that would be forced to either cut back dramatically or close their doors altogether. While this is swiftly changing, I want GW to wake up and start growing the industry. I also want these other small companies to get bigger and come out with more products that meet that growing demand. While I play more than a couple mini games now…I also play 40k. The one thing that I have learned in trying to get some of my group into these other games, is that those games are fun and great but they somehow don’t scratch quite the same itch that 40k does.
    I just want GW to start treating it’s customers better….if they don’t then they will go out of business. For me though this won’t be a good thing because I do like 40k and I don’t want to wish anyone ….anywhere to lose their shirts because of the bad policies the company they work for makes.
    I would rather Jarvis, Matt and the other game designers continue to learn from their mistakes…which they have. Yes they have made them but they have also shown us that they are learning….albiet slowly. People may give Matt Ward alot of crap for his mistakes (and justly so) but also look at some of his successes. I would like him to continue to build upon those and become a better game designer because of it. I don’t want him to lose his house…I don’t even know the guy.
    The point of what I am saying is that while yes….people do like it when people (or companies in this case) get taken down a notch…but I think that they like it when they learn from their mistakes and become all that much better for it…and GW is, I think.
    In 4th edition (when I started playing) the game was to one directional. So in 5th they introduced a stronger emphasis on objectives (other than killing). They used to have 3-4 page FAQS now they have more (both good and bad thing but still). Before sixth if you played xenos you basically weren’t competitive now Xenos and Imperial factions all have competitive lists. The codex balance before 6th was non-existant, now there is a relatitive balance. Kits that used to have 10 extra bits now have 20. They are improving and they still have a long way to go but I would rather them come out of this learning their lessons and treating us much better for it than just failing altogether because in that situation no one wins. We are out of a game we love and they are…well out of business.

    P.s early morning makes for mispellings and bad writing….I apologise before hand.

    • Jason
      Rawdogger April 1, 2013 6:07 am #

      Spoonfunk, I too have tried different game systems and they didn’t have that “thing” that GW games have. Some of the other companies are on their way, but they have a long road ahead of them. Have you ever tried to read Privateer Press’s fluff for Warmachine? Jesus, it’s like reading a 7th grader’s fan fiction. Games Workshop is the best at what they do. And what they do, isn’t very nice (Wolverine time, baby!) A big problem with the new editions is they seem to be profit driven, which is what they SHOULD do, as a business. I just wish they weren’t so blatant in doing so. ‘You need troops now, LOTS of troops. Oh, and troop boxes are up 25% in prices.” Give me a break.

      • Avatar
        Sean Ireland April 1, 2013 12:22 pm #

        Bagging on PP for their fluff? Really? Lets look at some of my favorite recent GW fluff story lines.

        The entire Space Marines codex being basically Ultramarines fan fic. Then there was the Necrons and Blood angels teaming up in the Blood Angels Codex. My favorite has to be the one from the Grey Knights codex where they murder a whole bunch of Sisters of Battle and then bathe in their blood.

        PP may not be the gamer version of Victor Hugo, but I wouldn’t say it’s GW’s strength either.

    • Avatar
      fleetofclaw April 1, 2013 2:56 pm #

      If GW went out of business game retailers would *not* go out of business. For most stores 40k is a break even proposition. The fact is many stores (they’re all over the place where I live) survive just fine on MTG, RPGs, and board games. GW would love to think that they could cause the collapse of independent game retailers.

      I agree with the author, GW needs to feel the sting of their shortsighted stupidity.

  5. Avatar
    Vidar April 1, 2013 5:39 am #

    Since the release of CSM I have somehow felt betrayed by GW in a way I never felt before. Many people in the commnity felt the same way i do. Maybe it’s the extremely expensive painted Alpha Legion I purchased which I HAVE to purchase new units for in order to play competitively. I am looking at the Heldrake here. I hemmed and hawed at buying one until the BAO. The OY reason I bought it was because Frontline Gaming gave me 20% off. Otherwise I just couldn’t get excited by another purchase like I used to. I just felt like a bully picked on my and made me eat dog shit and then told me to smile about it. I don’t like bullies and I don’t listen to them. Unless they are GW I guess.

    I am going to Adepticon this year and aging in the tournament. But I am not taking my CSM because I can’t be bothered to build/paint the heldrake. So I am taking my Vostroyans. I have all the pieces already to build a competitive for force with it without painting anything and playing it is more fun than my CSM.

    This year I am looking forward to the demo games at adepticon more than 40k. I learned to play warmarhordes there last year from a wonderful press ganger named SteveO from the forums. This year I am very excited to demo Infinity. I am hoping some other games out there catch my fancy. But this premier 40k event is just not getting me excited like it did. I don’t feel that Kelly wrote a good codex to my favorite army and I feel that GW did that on purpose to sell the allies idea. I think back to Priestley commenting on marketing getting involved with the product releases and can’t help but think that this CSM is a case for this. I just feel like this company finally couldn’t care less about this hobby or it’s very loyal customer base so I am taking my money so somewhere else.

  6. Rantimus
    Rantimus April 1, 2013 5:40 am #

    Great Article, it is love\hate sometimes, but it is a amazing game and loads of fun, both socially and the shut in times you go on a four day painting mission (gotta love gaunts)
    I hope they never go out of business though or I will have a lot of plastic to get rid of….

  7. Avatar
    BBF April 1, 2013 8:51 am #

    Sad post .

  8. Avatar
    Sean Ireland April 1, 2013 12:26 pm #

    There is an easy solution. Start playing other games.

    You don’t have to quit GW in a huff. Just don’t make it your only game.

    Try Heavy Gear. Give Warmachine a shot. Grab some Dropzone Commander models. Pick up some Infinity. When Warzone drops pluck down a few bucks for a starter.

    Once you look at other games you realize GW is not the only option out there.

    • Jason
      Rawdogger April 1, 2013 3:02 pm #

      Sean, I think you missed the point of the article. I’m was stating that despite all of my distaste for Games Workshop’s current attitude towards their customers, I will continue to play their games. I have also made the case for other games in the comments section, but feel they not only cannot match the fluff but the player base as well (please tell me the next time there is an Infinity or Warmachine tournament that has more than 4 players).

  9. Avatar
    Amberclad87 April 1, 2013 2:13 pm #

    I feel like 3d printing is going to rock our hobby in more ways than we can think of

    • Avatar
      Vidar April 1, 2013 2:44 pm #

      I agree. GW is terrified of 3d printing. It why they are fighting IP infringement so hard. They want to set a precedent before printers drop from $2k to $500. So if someone starts building cheaper SMs (who lives on a country that abides by international IP agreements unlike Russia and china) they can sue them into oblivion.

  10. Avatar
    whitewolfmxc April 1, 2013 2:35 pm #

    you guys dont relise , just because GW dies doesnt mean the game systems that it made will die , OTHER COMPANIES will LINE up to buy the IP ………

    just let us hope Hasbro doesnt get int this…….

  11. Avatar
    Rantimus April 1, 2013 10:20 pm #

    The hasbro thing was a joke put online, and everyone belived it. I have a friend who works for FW and he pissed himself laughing at me. There not buying GW.

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