Monday, May 23, 2011

In Solidarity With our Aussie Bretheren

I don't play the games produced by Games Workshop, so I don't have a dog in this race. However, it does seem like GW is severely jerking around their Australian customers and fans by some ham-fisted moves in the last couple of weeks. Specifically, they're trying to forbid non-Australian retailers from selling GW product to Australian customers, which is something the Australians were doing to try to get around the near-double prices GW is charging them for miniatures and such.

Apparently the prices in Australia are way out of whack even if you factor in currency exchange rates and the like, and they've even fired an employee and banned people from their FaceBook page for asking questions about the situation.

This does seem pretty awful (which, from what I know about GW, is par for the course), and James over at Warp Signal has drafted a letter to GW, which others can send in or use as a basis for their own letters to express their thoughts on this latest GW situation.

10 comments:

Higgipedia said...

There's a reason why I haven't bought a GW product in YEARS. The treatment of their employees, customers, and even intellectual properties (anything other than WFB or WH40K) show nothing more than unbridled greed.

Gratuitous Saxon Violence said...

So, basically they are acting like any other corporation.

Joseph said...

Well, there's wanting to make a profit and having an attitude that takes your own customers completely for granted. Usually that comes about because a company thinks they have a monopoly (whether they do or not). In this case, it might well be that GW is going to be taught the lesson that they aren't the only miniatures game company in the world...

Matthew James Stanham said...

Exchange rates at the minute very strongly favour the Australian dollar and that is a trend likely to continue for the foreseeable future. No surprises that they are looking to buy Games Workshop product from overseas, but I would guess it is killing their native vendors. Tough to completely condemn the corporation, if that is the case.

Eric Wilde said...

From a business standpoint out-of-state purchase hurts both their own revenue and that of their business partners (vendors in state.) It does, however, objectify the customer and ignores the changing world. People buy stuff differently these days.

Northy said...

Honestly, they've been flexing muscle to try to force control over their miniature sales for quite some time. Between price fixing, availability fixing, retailer abuse and now this, it's really a wonder that they're making any money at all.

Oh, right... Most people don't expect them to any more. Frankly, all I'm going to do is point people towards Avatars of War and Mantic miniatures if they're absolutely set on getting 28mm fantasy armies. I'm very, very much done with apologizing for these folks.

Joseph said...

Matthew: Apparently the price differences far exceed anything that can be explained by currency differences. See http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2011/05/breaking-news-gw-retailer-embargo.html

Matthew James Stanham said...

Yeah, that looks pretty appalling when you consider that Assault on Blackreach is:

£56.50 (GP)
$150.00 (Aus)
$90.00 (US)

and the current exchange rate is about $1.50 to £1.00 for both Australians and Americans. Likely it has to do with the fact that the Australian Dollar was $2.50 to £1.00 five years ago. No big deal for Games Workshop, but must be killing local retail in Australia.

I have little idea what their internal prices are now, but if it is any indication a fellow I spoke to a couple of weeks ago was telling me it cost him more to fly himself back and forth to England from Australia than it would have to exchange his dollars to pounds and fly two people back and forth from England to Australia.

James S said...

Hey Joseph, it's James from Warp Signal here. Thanks for your support.

I've been looking around your blog and I really like it. I used to play D&D and AD&D but became disillusioned when 4E came out and Wizards discontinued Dragon magazine. The new game just didn't feel like a continuation of the D&D I loved at all.

In fact I started really getting back into 40k about this time. I think it might be time for me to join this OSR I keep hearing about.

Anyway you'll probably see me around here sometimes from now on :)

Joseph said...

Hiya James. Happy to lend whatever small support I can.