Australia vs. Games Workshop

The consumer driven campaign to force Games Workshop to bring their prices into line with UK prices worldwide continues unabated.  For those of you who aren’t personally involved or can’t be bothered trawling through forums and facebook pages, here are some recent events.  I haven’t bothered to link any proof because quite frankly this depresses me so I don’t feel like putting the extra work in.  Believe me or not, as you like.  Most of this information comes from the facebook petition which I still urge people to join.

So, what’s happened in the last few days?

  • Letters and emails continue to bombard Games Workshop Australia and UK.
  • The petition on facebook now has nearly 900 members.  James Sutherland, one of the organizers – and not me by the way 🙂 – has a meeting scheduled with the head of GW Australia on the 31st of May to discuss the issue and present the community’s concerns.
  • Mark Wells (CEO of Games Workshop) has also agreed to meet with James later in the year.  This is actually pretty amazing.
  • Games Workshop has presented an official reply to the petitioners, the folks at Wargamerau, and others who have written in concern.  Basically it claims that the reason their stuff costs so much in Australia and other markets is because they think their hobby won’t grow without their stores, and they need to keep the stores functioning.  Also something about currencies recently moving away from historical norms.
  • Many petitioners (including regular Warp Signal poster Capn Stoogey) have been banned from Games Workshop’s official facebook page for asking awkward questions.
  • One of the petitioners, who was also an employee of Games Workshop Australia, was fired due to a conflict of interest yesterday.
  • Australian gamers are attempting a June boycott of all GW products.

So.  Real things are happening in the real world.  GW’s response seems a bit strange.  Pricing their products beyond what people are willing to pay in order to keep their stores open seems like putting the cart before the horse.

Personally I’m starting to think that GW is in financial trouble, and that they are reluctantly but deliberately bleeding their remote, small markets so that they can artificially keep prices down in the US and Europe.  If I’m right, there’s no hope for us Aussies and others to get price parity.

I like to be positive here at Warp Signal and this sort of thing is sad to report. I promise my next post will be a positive hobby post.  My Eldar rangers are nearly done!


16 responses to “Australia vs. Games Workshop

  • Capn Stoogey

    I’m definitely joining the June boycott, I’d also like to recommend a total boycott of games day Australia on October 1st 2011, Sure, it’s a long way off but I think it would send a powerful message if nobody turned up!

    I haven’t read the FB page in a few days so this is the first I’ve heard of the dude getting fired, that’s just plain wrong.

    Their public image is just going from bad to worse!

  • James S

    Yeah I’m boycotting them in June too. As for Games Day, I wasn’t going anyway!

    I agree though. Their responses so far are not going to do them any favours. It’s sad, but then I remember that they’ve been overcharging us for years with no apparent justification. They brought this on themselves.

  • shadowbadger

    I suspect they have tried to cash in on the rate changes by keeping their prices at the point where they were when there were 2-3 AUD to the GBP instead of slowly reducing them. I know they would have been higher in the first place as wellI. They then reached tipping point, local sales plummeted and they realised they invested none of those gouged profits in the suddenly important local hobby stores by bringing prices steadily to a level which would sustain profits and customer support.

    I have had a half eye on Warmachine for the last six months and even though this recent GW issue does not directly affect me it has provided a further push.

    I feel for you guys.

  • kriswithak

    I, and many of my serious 40k friends who apparently don’t fit into the GWS target market, and yet probably spend several thousand dollars a year on GWS products, (mainly through their stores) are boycotting their products until some positive action is taken.

    I’m sadly going to have to go to my local GWS and deliver a letter explaining that I won’t be buying from him until this issue is resolved (so he can pass it on). I really feel sorry for him, he is a GREAT guy, but at the end of the day I have to stand up for my own and the rights of every other Australian consumer.
    I’ve also emailed GWS requesting a mailing address for Mark Wells in his business capacity so I can send a registered post letter directly, explaining my anger and disbelief at their actions.

    Their comments about supporting local shops etc honestly don’t make sense. Australia/NZ for the past years has been a strong area for them, and they support their own local shops in the US and UK at the prices advertised upon their UK/US websites.

    Is it just I who would be lucky to put in one or two large purchases a year from online sellers, yet probably spend at least 50-75$ average a week in their shops (far greater than a years international 40k buying).
    I’m a uni student and live and home, and my weekly 40k budget is bigger than my food budget….
    In fact it is (was) the largest part of my weekly budget.

    I’d encourage other people to visit their local GWS and deliver a letter in writing explaining the action taken (month long boycott – or in my case until this is fixed) because at the end of the day all those letters are physical evidence, plus when sales drop the GWS stores won’t be scratching their heads, they’ll just send those letters on.

  • James S

    So, I can order a wave serpent kit from Forgeworld, including 15% postage, for £31, which translates to AUS $49. Or I can catch a bus to GW Woden and get one for a cool $74. :/

  • Capn Stoogey

    Pathetic isn’t it? I was considering a land raider Achilles because of how easily you repeatedly kill my Godhammers/Crusaders. Now I’ll probably get one or two because of the massive saving! Not until after June though, must stay strong!

    I never thought I’d see the day that forgeworld resin kits would be cheaper than GW plastics…

  • Mr J

    In this economic climate, with business’ chasing the customer and offering great deals to get you to buy their product, does this price disparity not show you how they regard / value the Australian consumer?

    GW was always overpriced for their product in this country, and they never really cared to give any believable, legitimate reasons for doing so.

    Bottom line was: we can charge you whatever we feel like, because sales show your happy to bend over and take it. You can be as angry, outraged and offended as you like, they don’t care, because the price discrepancy between the UK, US vs here shows they will happily, and unashamedly gouge you, the paying consumer, for whatever they like because, well, they can.

    Boycott whatever month you like, they know full well that unless you stop buying their product completely, you will pay whatever they want you to pay, as overpriced as that may be.

    My take in this? We had cleaned and reordered our large garage to take back up the hobby, with my friends, only 4 of us (not the thousands many online posters say they have behind them), and a friends 9 year old son, a virgin tabletop gamer. I’d looked up the prices on the Aus GW site, still very pricey for what your getting, but ok, if that’s the going rate these days, so be it.

    Then I got clued in by a mate and told to do a price match between US prices and our prices, even with our strong dollar.


    No thanks. I vote with my wallet, and we will not be taking up the hobby. In the grand scheme of things, who cares about us 5? No-one really, and certainly not GW. But you would think, with people trying to spend as little as they have to, that GW would be trying to entice more people into the initial, often large investment of cash to take up the hobby.

    Why aren’t they?

    Again, bottom line: they charge what they like and enough people suck it up and pay it that they can continue to do so. Such blatant and open price gouging just shows they have no real interest in gaining large numbers of new hobbyists, there are enough paying their extortionist rates now to let them continue to function in this country.

  • Jorg

    Price gouging is an under statement lets take for instance a black library ebook which from the UK is £6.50 with current AUD of around $0.65 this equates to AUD$10 for the purchase but the website will not allow you to buy in pounds as your ip is logged as AU and you MUST pay the AUD price $13.99. Now as this is a digital download and there is no shipping etc how is this adversely affecting markets in Australia to purchase this a foreign currency instead we have to pay $4 more for an item that there is no box nor a physical item that needs shipping, all I can say is WTF!…

  • James S

    @Jorg, that’s just crazy. I guess all those jokes people made at the beginning of this whole mess weren’t jokes after all. GW really does just hate Australia 🙂

  • Nat

    I’d like to put in my 2 pennies (or $1.45Au).

    I’ve known people in sales industries to experience the same level of incompetence and general bad management decisions in their employment.

    If anything you will find most GW hobby store workers will agree that the decisions of head office are ludicrous. by all means personally hand the letter/petition to them, explaining your situation and disgust. it makes more of an impression if they see 10 or so people walk in and basically hand them a resignation of being a customer.

    with any luck parents will see that older hobbyists who could potentially afford the price rises are protesting them, they might start to question why they should stand paying for their children’s hobby. the kids around the store at the time would also hear this, putting into their heads to question why they pay more than everyone else.

    this will spread the impact of the boycott much further than a simple faceless email on the net.

  • TheFamousECCLES

    A friend of mine once owned a gaming store; One day a kid comes in and asks for a particular GW figure, my friend tried to recommend an alternative that looked very similar from another manufacturer and considerably cheaper…’But” says the kid ‘It’s not a real one’ A REAL ONE! These are toys and numerous companies out there are produce very high quality figures…use them. My empire army is full of English Civil war pistoliers and War of the roses handgunners, halberdiers etc, they look great and cost nothing like the GW stuff. $70.00 for 10 plastic Greatswords? not this side of the grave.

  • Meekaeel Khan

    Bloody hell mate!!

    That’s frigging bad sportsmanship!!


    From here (Australia), I buy a Land Raider for $110.00 AUD.

    From Forge World, including the 15% delivery charge, *REPEAT: INCLUDING THE 15% DELIVERY CHARGE!!!!!!!!* I buy a Land Raider for $72 AUD! (currency conversion: Wed 19 Oct 2011)

    That’s really f*cked up!!

    So all you Aussies out there, if you’re a bit patient and have a card, buy all your Games Workshop Models/Hobby essentials from England!

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  • Ninja_Bob117

    Thanks for the post I have brought my games workshop products in my time and are disgusted when I realised I was getting majorly ripped of now I don’t by their products also other the giving a letter to your local GWS also can you send a email to if enough of us send a letter to these guys then this issue can get on national television which will put major pressure on GW.

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