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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The future of Games Day and Games Workshop: Games Workshop fires Italy and France event managers!


The future of Games Day and Games Workshop - Part 7.5


After spending a few hours writing my report about our trip to Monte San Savino Show 2013 (so far the best show of 2013!), I got this breaking news: 


I actually planned to continue my mini-series on the Future of Games Days and Games Workshop later this week, but ***breaking news*** rudely interrupted the flow of my day! No practicing Starcraft II on the ladder for me (yet)...

Games Workshop fires Italian and French event Mangers! 


The problem reportedly was 'motivation'. It is open whether this means they actually had motivation and it did not fit the company spirit or the lack thereof...

Well, I am sure that's not the last we heard about that. Will be interesting to hear what Mauro (Italy) and Jerome (France) have to say about this. I am quite sure that their story will sound somewhat different. 

It seems that Games Workshop has cancelled the role for both countries completely. Whether this means there won't be any more Games Days in Italy and France or the role will be centralized at Nottingham HQ is currently unclear. 

Games Day Italy. All that was missing was tumble-weed and a vultures.
Full on double speculation all the way across the sky - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

I have no further information - but I am allowed to speculate wildly... And I am just in the mood for some random and unfounded ranting as this is my last day being 42. Also, my fingers are still warm from my report about the awesome Monte San Savino show. So let's call this a cooling down exercise :) 

If you don't like speculations based on nothing please do not read any further... 
OK, let's see...

<random ill-informed rant>

First of all, I feel bad for Mauro and Jerome. I don't know either of them personally, but being let go gotta suck. So why would GW cancel such an important role as the role of event/community manager? 

(Update: I just heard that for both, Mauro and Jerome the respective 'last days with the company' are on their birthdays! Minus several million out of 10 for sensitivity training, GW! È tutto sbagliato)

Let's look at the facts: GD France was cancelled for 2013 but I was told that there is a 99.9% chance that GD France will be back early 2014 (March/April). 

GD Italy was - and I am really heartbroken to say that - a total disaster. But so was UK

If HQ makes the rule that every Games Day must be profitable and turns it from a nerd event into a pure sales event then I don't think you can blame the individual country event organizers for out-of-touch-with-reality rules. 

Games Day UK - where fans can do what they like most: "Buying Games Workshop products"
I don't really think that the country event organizers are to blame for the poor Games Day attendance across the globe (with the exception of US, I guess, that was quite nice). 

"Motivation issues" could indicate that they did not agree with the official "Games Day Codex" from HQ - and if this is the case all I can say is "good for you!". 

Go home, common sense. You're drunk!
We all heard stories that if you work for GW and happen to know that snow is NOT black, it's a good idea if you don't share this with your peers or managers, or else... 

Just for the record, I also feel bad for the hundreds of awesome guys and gals working for GW. They are nerds like us, no hating from my side! 

Is the hobby dying?

Simple answer: NO. Shows like Painting Crusade (15/16.03.2014!), Spring Angel, Euromilitaire, Hussar or now Monte San Savino are breaking records in attendance and number of entered pieces year after year. The quality of entries is sky-high and each event caters to the needs of the nerds. 

All it takes is applying common sense. And that's what GW's management seems to have lost. 

All of the other shows make their visitors feel appreciated. Games Workshop makes their visitors feel stupid for having gone to a sales show where you don't get rebates and even have to pay an entrance fee... 

Go home, management, you are DRUNK!

I will update you as soon as I hear more (which should be soon™) :) 

Time to download the blog again, I guess. For I fear GW's Legal Inquisition. :D

</random ill-informed rant>

You too can speculate wildly - in the comments below!
It's a liberating experience :) 

SHARE & try to ENJOY

21 comments:

  1. Seriously, it's just like changing the lower Officials in the army during war because the Generals's plans were just a terrible failure.

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  2. Jaja if you are a motivated self thinking Person in the GW lower Management you have to leave cose you dont fit in that Company anymore. there is always the same saying...you dont fit anymore coz you dont shut your mouth and dont do what your Commander says...so you are a heretic...we kick you back into the warp...

    I wait for the day when all those heretic but highly motivated and high skilled warp creatures attack the HQ :D:D

    theres a Facebook groupof ex employes...take alook and ask those guys ;)

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  3. Slowly closer to their end. Well done. It's like pushing "self-destruct".

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  4. So the messengers came back with bad news from the front lines and promptly got shot for it?

    If only there was accepted social wisdom to advise against such behaviour...................

    R

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  5. So GW continue to devour themselves.

    GW's CEO is perfecting his impression of WW1's General Haig.

    What the hell is going on at GW HQ??

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  6. Hey Michael,

    hab leider keine andere Kontaktmöglichkeit gefunden (Facebookverweigerer ;-) ), ist eine der abgedrehten Seasons 1.2, 1.3, ... die versprochene Stefan Rath DVD für die frühen Supporter der Season 1.1?

    Beste Grüße,Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Michael!

      Ja, die Season 1.2 ist die versprochene DVD :)
      Wird anders als angekündigt - aber besser ;)

      Delete
  7. How can I buy Season 1.1? I have been having difficulty using your site and the order I placed didn't seem to work.

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  8. Of Course! Excellent post related with Event Management Companies that mainly play a vital role in Games Day and Games Workshop. I truly appreciated your blog. Thanks for sharing this useful info with us.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey what's up Bruddahs! I just wanted to share some insight about games day Italy. I'm an American paratrooper stationed in Italy recently back from a 9 month paid summer vacation in Afghanistan but more importantly, I recently got back into 40k with other paratroopers here and my wife. Like many of you all I'm a plastic and metal addict, I have 160 terminator models and very close to having every one that was ever designed.

    ... Anyhow to get on with it.... Gd Italy in my experience was not a disaster. In Italy you have to realize two things... Number one is people never drive very far, hell, a lot of people don't have cars! So niche categories like this often have very few attendants because only the pure insane fanboys like us end up making these events... Also, as sad as it may seem, it was a terrible rainy and lousy day and Italians generally shut in and stay inside on days like that. Italy is aware of this and makes most events in other categories such as car and cycle shows tremendous to make sure people won't miss it. They also make events last one to two weeks fully accepting some days will bring less profits and more costs. It's just how things work here, you rarely find small or even medium size events. Everyone goes all in for one giant fanboy fest of whatever it is they're into....
    Now, after attending games days in the us I was a little shocked with the crowd being rather small, but the second they dropped the entry fee, the crowd doubled... (Italians get taxed very heavy and do not have a lot of dispensable income). So none of this was too surprising.
    Now on to the event, gw had a ton of employees, designers and artists and writers making presentations and taking questions being very personal and taking time with everyone. Their public relations were amazing and people were lined up just to talk to different writers and artists. It was nice to see that they have a loyal fan base here of people like us of all different ages....
    More importantly the floor was set up much better than the other games days you've all reviewed, The sales floor was big, but here in Italy stores are tiny (closet size) and have minimal models in stock. The larger sales floor gave consumers that product availability connection they otherwise don't have here in Italy and people purchased product like it was the last chance they'd ever have (myself and my wife included).

    The display section was excellent, but a bit crowded, it could have been set up cleaner, but more importantly there was a huge section, about half the room of tables, all in use with amazing terrain and people playing old and new gw games, he'll someone was there with original space hulk. There were good battles, great conversions, great creativity and no negative influence from gw employees I've seen in other games day posts. There were some tau conversions on display that were made of non gw parts and some unusual parades of conversions like the scavenged tau tech lizard man army.

    They made a lot of sales and personal contact wih their consumers, consumers were very positive and cheery, and all was good in the world.... Well at least in games day Italy.
    Also every store I frequent in my area ran games day spirited events at their stores for the fanboys and non fanboys that couldn't travel to the distant land of modena

    ReplyDelete
  10. I should also add that I ran into this article researching if it would be worth it to invest in gw other than owning gads and gads of space marines. Your articles have been so insightful for me and furthered my thirst for info on the company that through more research I have decided not to invest in the company... Main reason is gw's motivations right now are quite clear to me..(.before enlisting to be a door kicking face melting paratrooper, I like many of you was a small business proprietor in the medical field). The only reason to focus 100 percent on inflating your profit margin and portfolio while simultaneously hurting your future dividends and growth is to market your business to a bigger fish... This may be good for current share holders but as you all know mergers and buyouts almost always drop stocks. In a niche category like our beloved hobby I would expect them to drop substantially.

    I really think gw needs to look at other niche categories and hobbies that depend on dispensable income instead of acting like larger corporate america modeled companies. Our dog eat dog idealism doesnt transfer well to european markets. Also they really need to make sure their legal component understands their product and what they're trying to protect because they are clearly separated from understanding the product identity. (ie spots the space marine and gw vs chapter house). Any legal department that truly understands their client would never even raise an eyebrow to issues like these.

    As I said gw needs to take some notes and reassess they're position. I'd look to niche entities like magic and Geocaching. Geocaching depends on the consumer to advertise their product for them. It's brilliant, hobbiest do all the promotion for you and event setup and management, all you have to do is support and endorse it. Easy money. Why sell lemonade at a lemonade stand if lemonade could sell itself for you. If games workshop really wants to cut cost and raise profits let us work for you for free, (and gladly) we can do all the promoting, advertisement recruiting and event management just by enjoying our hobby, all you have to be is a benevolent god and throw us a bone every now and again, be involved with your consumer, make me feel special and loved and they'll love ya back. People play this HOBBY because it's social and community driven, this shit ain't golf, we don't play against ourselves. Support the community and it will flourish as even the most awkward people on the inside are social butterflies (I'm looking at you especially wacky German 40k players). Do these few things and your portfolio will look better, your profit margin will rise and you'll still get eaten by that big fish u suit wearing slaanesh tainted shareholders (I know the ruinous powers when I see em) are hoping for, all while strengthening a beautiful future for our collective baby that is warhammer. Remember gw folks, you couldn't of done it without us, the consumer.

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    Replies
    1. Ps. Excuse my typos, I'm on my iPad on a bus back from Germany to Italy.

      Delete
  11. I completely disagree with the first part of the comment of Erik :
    Italians have cars, this is one of the first country for the inhabitant/cars ratio.

    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stati_per_numero_di_autoveicoli


    I agree on one thing : GW is just insanely expensive for italians.

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  12. Thanks to Dakkadakka I came across this series and took the last 3hours to read all of the parts :D I agree with many of the points stated.
    I'm not sure if I should post it here or rather under part 3, since it's about LotR/Hobbit, but I think the post might get more attention here.
    Someone pointed out that it was a wrong decision to promote LotR via DeAgostini and that they got the "wrong" people with that, collectors only respectiveley with little interest of continuing the hobby longterm. I disagree and would like to add to all the points that were made in this series that GW build up with expensive licenses a third system that they obviously never really paid attention to. Even today I play nearly exclusively LotR/Hobbit and by a very small amount 40K, I play Lotr since 9years or so and never had the impression, that LotR were of much interest by GW, even in times, when there was actual content in the WD. With the Hobbit it became even more obvious, it seems like someone bought the license at some point, but actually no one at GW HQ has interest in using it or building a customer base around it, which is said, since the actual models are quite nice. I wonder if GW will close down the whole Hobbit/LotR range once the third movie is out or if they do a large scale restart like with the new editions in Fantasy/40K.
    These words may sound like simple whining, but I think it's rather an addition to all the mistakes that were pointed out in your articles. You made a strong argument about marketing here and I think the marketing of LotR sucked from about 2006 on and Hobbit never really got any.

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  13. I think that it can only be a good thing for the hobby as a whole for GW to continue to gradually destroy itself. With the drop in stock price I'd assume that they've got some big entities in the toy industry interested in buying them, but management could just hang grimly on until the drive the company into the ground.

    Over the time that GW gradually lost most of my hobby spending the miniature's hobby has exploded. The most notable beneficiary of GW's self-destruction has been Privateer Press of course. I'm not sure that Warmachine, Flames of War, or any of the many other games that have started showing up could have made any kind of go of it at all without GW busily alienating their customers to a point where they went looking for an alternative; ANY kind of alternative other than GW.

    The sad thing is that GW could look at their primary competition (Warmachine/Hordes, Infinity, and FOW) and see exactly how their asses are getting kicked. Simple games with reasonably priced to free rules, and economical starter boxes. That and strong hobby event support.

    Hilariously, or not so hilariously for GW, when they did their new rules sets for 40K and WFB they could have done $50 to $100 starter boxes for each of the most popular armies in each range and started duplicating what their adversaries were doing to take their market share away.

    If, for example, GW re-released Epic with somewhat cleaner and simpler rules like from the good old days of 2nd edition, and packaged each army in a $50 starter I'd be knocking people over to give them my money again.

    However, although I got the Dark Vengeance starter for the minis to paint, when I looked at expanding the Dark Angels or Chaos Marine armies the sticker shock in getting a 'playable' army drove me away from them all over again.

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  14. I just made it here from reading the article series.

    The pictures from the GD Cologne made me a) feel old, and b) feel good about having attended GD in the right years. First GD I attended was in the year they published Inquisitor (can't remember dates). There were... let's say ten exhibition cases. Freaking location was so stuffed to the fricking rafters with hobbyists, it wasn't even fun.

    Sad to see they're driving that truck over the edge at full throttle.

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  15. Well, I am sure the last inform heard about event management. Will be interesting to hear what Mauro and Jerome have to say about this. I am quite sure that their story will sound somewhat different.

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  17. I really think gw needs to look at other niche categories and hobbies that depend on dispensable income instead of acting like larger corporate america modeled companies. Our dog eat dog idealism doesnt transfer well to european markets. Also they really need to make sure their legal component understands their product and what they're trying to protect because they are clearly separated from understanding the product identity. Thanks for sharing.
    Fog Games

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