MiniWarGaming store to close… why am I interested?

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

The change to Games Workshops terms and conditions for retailers has produced it’s first public casualty, The MiniWarGaming Store in Canada has announced that it will cease trading. Now it should be said that GW’s new policy isn’t the sole reason for the closure, but it certainly had a large part in them making the final decision. They have a video on their website fully explaining their decision, and giving a robust rebuttal to GW’s stated reasons for their new trade agreement for the US. I encourage you all to go take a look here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnPpfs120DA

This new online sales policy has been in effect in the EU for a year or so, and has in some part seen the demise of at least one internet discounter in the UK. It’s now pretty clear that GW have decided that they can no longer let this type of operation dominate internet sales, and believe that they will be able to take these sales back in house. If true that’s a great move for GW, increased volume and direct into their bank to boot. Win, win. Many people are questioning their business savvy, and time will ultimately tell us who is correct. GW are doing what the think they have to do to protect their share holders interest, which is ultimately their primary concern as a PLC. We as gamers may not like this but it is the truth. Wishing GW was something it isn’t is a game we all play.

What does this mean for the LGS in the UK? While stores cannot ship outside the EU, they are allowed to sell GW products online, something that US shops cannot do. If GW were to change their trade agreements in the EU to be even more restrictive many may struggle to make the numbers work.

To me this is the most interesting aspect of these changes, and highlights how dependant LGS’s remain on GW games. I had thought that companies like Privateer Press, Wyrd etc. had started to make inroads into GW’s dominance of high street war gaming. If many other LGS’s follow MiniWargamingStore into oblivion I guess they aren’t.

In the current tough economic climate war gaming remains a very expensive hobby. All parts of the industry are looking for ways to maximise their profit while minimising risk, which could be a reason that kickstarter has become as popular as it has in recent months. All we can all do is watch to see what happens next, and spend our hobby budget in a way that supports the parts of the industry we want to see flourish.

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