From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Kotaku put up an interesting article this week about miniatures heavyweights Games Workshop’s latest move. Their US trade terms now forbid retailers there from selling any Games Workshop products in the Internet at all. It’s one of those business moves that sounds impossible if not illegal to enforce, yet it passes quite easily. No retailer is compelled to follow GW’s directive, just as GW is not compelled to supply to any retailer who doesn’t abide by it. Nice. It comes on top of an earlier decree limiting retailers in the EU to supply to only other EU nations or those countries with direct trading links with the EU.
If GW’s Chairman and acting CEO wants to get all Grand Moff Tarkin, it’s time for me to put on my Princess Leia earmuffs and say “the more you tighter your grip Kirby, the more gamers will slip through your fingers.”
If Games Workshop want to charge Australian gamers double the home market cost of their product they are free to do so. Australian gamers are free to refuse to pay this outrageous cost, and walk away from GW. Which they are. The year following their EU edict, Australian sales fell by over 12% following years of sustained growth. It seems probable tat this latest move will prompt another fall. So be it.
War Machine, Malifaux, Dropzone Commander, Dystopian Wars. These are all game systems whose products can be had in Australia for prices similar to those in their respective home markets. Why GW with an internalised supply chain, are unable to do the same is a question only GW can answer.
I don’t particularly care. If GW want to make themselves irrelevant to Australian wargaming, they are succeeding. Bravo. Ultimately it’s not our loss as Australian gamers, there’s plenty more choice in our market.