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Subject: Warhammer in New York Times rss

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Warhammer is the focus of an article on the cover of the "Arts" section of today's New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/15/arts/15warh.html
(may require registration)
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Talk about a blatant mistruth:

"Warhammer has acquired an ardent following by being tactile and mysterious, using no advertising at all."

Warhammer is nothing BUT advertising. I suppose they would claim that White Dwarf isn't advertising. Oh and when you call in, they're not advertising even while you're on hold. Oh, and that painting competitions aren't advertising too. The price hikes are even a form of advertising. Sheesh.

 
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Talk about a blatant mistruth

Typical of most newspaper reporting, I'm afraid. An old saw, I know, but that doesn't make it any less true: journalists are very sloppy with their "facts".
 
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For those of you who don't care to register, but still want to read the article, here's a valid account to get you access to it.

You can also go to www.bugmenot.com to get passwords for any of the "free registration" websites. I applaud BugMeNot for helping get "E-Marketing Big Brother" off our backs.

For NYTimes.com
UserID: blablabla
Password: blablabla
 
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Warhammer is nothing BUT advertising. I suppose they would claim that White Dwarf isn't advertising. Oh and when you call in, they're not advertising even while you're on hold. Oh, and that painting competitions aren't advertising too.


Sorry, but thats not what I call traditional Advertising. Why? Because it is only for those, who already play. It is preaching to the converted.
GW never advertises it´s products in an environment, where somone with no gaming-background to start with could stumble over it. No Newspaper-Ads, no TV-Clips. So: No Advertising.
 
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Kevin Moody
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Typical of most newspaper reporting, I'm afraid.


As I've found (and I think it's an old adage), "Journalists seem to know what they're writing about until they cover something you're familiar with."
 
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Games Workshop is smarter than you apparently
Well, at least as far as savvy marketing, selling games and obtaining world-class licenses.

Sorry Justin, you're wrong on this one. Games Workshop does not advertise. Here, I'll help you out"

advertising - The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.

The only inaccuracy I found in the article was the statement that Warhammer had been in the USA for 15 years. Since I was selling it in 1983, that's an error. The writer probably meant 40K, which is just over 15 years old now.

Instead of advertising, GW had adapted an approach which sets it apart from any other game publisher. They spend their money on positioning small retail outlets in high traffic shopping areas. The concept is to sell core rules and then spin the game out into the environment to attract other new players. They will not sell to any retailer who discounts on the internet, they will not sell to any retailer who discounts more than 10% in their store. They have high minimums on each order and a small retailer gets the same discount a large distributor does.

Frankly, there is no other game publisher out there that is the equal of GW in innovative marketing and insuring profitability from top to bottom. While I see retail store after retail store closing down (as reported here weekly on BGG), GW stores and those retailers who derive a substantial portion of their income from GW continue to thrive.

If major board game publishers would adapt similar approaches to selling their wares I personally think the board game market would be larger by several orders of magnitude than it is today. Games sell games. People playing game and inviting others to play is the most effective method of selling games.
 
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Kyle Sasser
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GW advertising...
I might be grossly mistaken but I seem to recall some Warhammer advertisements in comic books back when I was into them, say around 1993 -> 1996 and maybe some of the old video game magazines like 400 page EGMs.
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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To contend briefly, the word is used in a number of fashions - just depends if you hold a Masters or not if you know which is the correct usage

Source (Dictionary.com)

The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.

To make public announcement of, especially to proclaim the qualities or advantages of (a product or business) so as to increase sales.

To call the attention of the public to a product or business.

Back to Justin: Their website, their press releases, and their manner of going after (and often shutting down with a team of lawyers) online sites about them specifically to create buzz about their product all constitues advertising by this definition.

Carter McNamara (a well known figure in the world of business) offers this (Source: http://www.mapnp.org/library/ad_prmot/defntion.htm):

Advertising is bringing a product (or service) to the attention of potential and current customers. Advertising is typically done with signs, brochures, commercials, direct mailings or e-mail messages, personal contact, etc.

Justin again: How about the numerous mass mailing, posters up in every gaming store, ads in magazines (other than White Dwarf) publicizing Games Day, and so on.
 
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Cripes! An advertising genius!
Heh.

Anyway Justin. The reporter, when taken in context, was stating that GW uses no conventional advertising. I think we can all agree with that.

GW gets a bad rap, mostly undeserved. Since they own the products and the intellectual properties they have not only a right, but an obligation to see to it that their products are sold and represented in a manner that brings about the best results for them and their shareholders.

It's hard to argue with success. Especially the success of an entertainment product line. GW has never ripped off anybody... as the popular argument goes. MBNA ripped off millions of consumers. So have many banks, utility companies, landlords, water districts and many other providers of those products and services that one needs, either for basic survival or to live an enhanced lifestyle.

I could give you dozens of analogies ranging from cars and trucks to stereos, pc's and even ISP's. Nobody is obligated to buy and play games as a basic neccessity for survival - though some here think so - and the best way to determine if a publisher has figured things out is to look at their relative success. GW in approaching 300 million in sales, without advertising, is nothing short of phenomenal.
 
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Miguel de la Casa
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Warhammer marketing
There are many aspects of Warhammer marketing I dislike enormously. That's part of the reason why I don't play Warhammer even if I find it attractive.

However, I should say I understand the comment by the journalist. If you compare Warhammer and Games Workshop to Princes of Florence and Alea, then yes, they do a lot of marketing. If you compare Warhammer to any of Hollywood's movies or Harry Potter's books, the kind of things ordinary people are used to hear about, then Warhammer marketing is zero. What fraction of US population has ever heard about Warhammer?
 
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You can also go to www.bugmenot.com to get passwords for any of the "free registration" websites. I applaud BugMeNot for helping get "E-Marketing Big Brother" off our backs.


Exactly what I was looking for... Knew there was a firefox plugin but couldn't remember what it was called.
 
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HA! Well and I don't have a masters either, I just implied it. How clever of me.

For the record I own a ton of Warhammer stuff. But I think it's their effective MARKETING.
 
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Nah.
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For the record I own a ton of Warhammer stuff. But I think it's their effective MARKETING.


It's not their marketing. Just look at your avatar. That pretty much tells the story.
 
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just the opposite
ninjaAs a longtime GW buyer, and part of a game-crew who are also mini-buyers, I can tell you that GW has made a major error with regard to its' marketing. The continual re-release of rules-sets has not drawn in new players, rather IT HAS ALIENATED the "old" players. Most of our crew are moving on and unloading our GW stuff ASAP, and I know many others are doing the same.ninja
 
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May be an error in their assumption - they actually train their people that older gamers just create problems and that they are to primarially market to new gamers. All in all, it's probably true but whether that's intelligent or not, I don't know.

As far as the avatar goes, there's a story to it. My wife said she'd help me make something cool and I waited a few days and she still hadn't helped me. So I made this thinking it would be embarassing enough she'd help. Instead, she offered to make me a big breasted avatar with the words Game Slut stretched across the chest. I opted to stick with this tacky thing.

I wouldn't try to predict how a person's avatar matches up with their intelligence level. That's a whole can of worms I'm simply not prepared to open.
 
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Well...
The demise of GW due to "errors" and revamps of their systems has been predicted every year that I can recall for the last decade or so.

Then you read the article. And if you'd like you can log onto their corporate website and see the numbers for yourself.

I think Justin is right. GW relies on a continual stream of new players, generally young teens and even younger, to find their games and keep their sales high. I don't own GW stock, but if I was buying non-USA stock I'd take a chance on some of theirs.

In my area Warmachine has been a huge success. But rather than success with that game cutting into GW sales we've seen a steady GW growth over the last several months.

Too bad they haven't redone Man O' War, I'd be buying their stuff myself if they'd bring that one back.
 
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The demise of GW due to "errors" and revamps of their systems has been predicted every year that I can recall for the last decade or so.

Then you read the article. And if you'd like you can log onto their corporate website and see the numbers for yourself.

I think Justin is right. GW relies on a continual stream of new players, generally young teens and even younger, to find their games and keep their sales high. I don't own GW stock, but if I was buying non-USA stock I'd take a chance on some of theirs.

In my area Warmachine has been a huge success. But rather than success with that game cutting into GW sales we've seen a steady GW growth over the last several months.

Too bad they haven't redone Man O' War, I'd be buying their stuff myself if they'd bring that one back.


I always felt that GW marketed aggresively (changing WD from a review magazine to a house organ, offering deals to retailers for "starter packs" and the like). What I never really saw them do was advertise outside of the gaming community, not even the rock album they were involved in (Bolt Thrower IIRC) was advertised outside of WD.

They are pretty sharp in their genre, although they do get alot of pissed of older players, just ask Slann players when they disappeared from the game.
 
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Rupert L
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Heh.

Anyway Justin. The reporter, when taken in context, was stating that GW uses no conventional advertising. I think we can all agree with that.

GW gets a bad rap, mostly undeserved. Since they own the products and the intellectual properties they have not only a right, but an obligation to see to it that their products are sold and represented in a manner that brings about the best results for them and their shareholders.

It's hard to argue with success. Especially the success of an entertainment product line. GW has never ripped off anybody... as the popular argument goes. MBNA ripped off millions of consumers. So have many banks, utility companies, landlords, water districts and many other providers of those products and services that one needs, either for basic survival or to live an enhanced lifestyle.

I could give you dozens of analogies ranging from cars and trucks to stereos, pc's and even ISP's. Nobody is obligated to buy and play games as a basic neccessity for survival - though some here think so - and the best way to determine if a publisher has figured things out is to look at their relative success. GW in approaching 300 million in sales, without advertising, is nothing short of phenomenal.


Here was I thinking you were in favour of capitalism. So I take it any company that is charging exorbitant rates for its products is not price gouging as long as consumers don't need their product. An economically absurd argument if I have ever heard one.

GW is a monopoly. They force retailers to fix the prices of their product as you yourself say DW. They only allow their own models to be used in tournaments thus using their market share to force out the competition.

GW also benefits from the inelasticity of their demand like any monopolist. There have been repeated prices rises but their profits have continued to rise. Players seem to keep buying their models no matter what they charge. But those who buy the models can still complain about the prices because there are no effective substitutes and no effective competition to GW.

Yes, GW does have an obligation to its shareholders to get the most profit. But if this comes from monopolistic pricing then it is a detriment to the economy as a whole. A monopoly also stifles innovation leading to bad rule sets (in this industry).

The goal of capitalism is lower prices for consumers. So if I am right in assuming you think of yourself as a capitalist why are you in favour of a monopoly like GW?
 
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It's All Brainwashing...
Well this certainly took a turn for the predictable didn't it? GW warped my brain so much I don't mind shelling out $3-40 a fig for Confrontation stuff: http://www6.mailordercentral.com/thewarstore/products.asp?de...

GW I've paid upwards of $50 for one guy. What a dope.

The worst part, though, is even crappy figs cost too much now.

It's definitely a monopoly but it's really brought on by the consumers. There's nothing keeping people from playing Confrontation, Warzone, Void, Starship Troopers, War Machine, or any number of other games except their own choice to do so. I still haven't found a fantasy battle system I've liked better and the 4th edition rules for 40K have proven a real hit with us!

GW warped my brain in another way - I have great difficulty accepting "fill-in" figures. If it's holding a flamer, it's a flamer, not a plasma gun. This is big f'ing part of their marketing program. A seemingly simple rule "what you see is what you get" has single-handely made their bitz (for customizing miniatures) so important.

I also cringe when I see non-GW miniatures in a GW game. It's like "that is not a Cadian, that's a green plastic army man."

I'm not even entirely sure how they generated these feelings in me but you're going to find them in practically any GW fanboy. I don't consider myself a fanboy because I do keep most of it to myself and I really don't tournament around or stand up for them - but I do find it a little amazing that I've fallen for it all the same.

Maybe I just like pretty painted armies that look like what their fluff says they're supposed to. (Until v5 anyway)



 
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Rupert L
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It's definitely a monopoly but it's really brought on by the consumers. There's nothing keeping people from playing Confrontation, Warzone, Void, Starship Troopers, War Machine, or any number of other games except their own choice to do so.


How about difficulty obtaining these games and difficulty in finding opponants for these games? You could also buy the models for GW games and then change to the different rules but as you said for some reason you don't like that. So GW doesn't have any competitors because consumers (like you, no insults intended) have already "invested" (no better word) their money in Warhammer (or 40k) so don't want to switch and don't want to add non-GW models. Inelastic demand, one of the conditions a monoply needs for its existance.
 
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The goal of capitalism is lower prices for consumers.


Huh? What are you talking about Rupert?

I disagree with almost everything you said in your commentary, even saying GW charges exorbitant prices. The average model from Reaper is now about $4-5 and it's about $6 or $7 for Rackham. A single Warmachine model is $6-9. GW is within 10-20% of these prices on either side.

Neither does GW have a monopoly on anything. Unless you want to suggest they they have a monopoly on GW products. As for tournaments? Who cares? If I owned a game company and ran tournaments for my system I'd demand they use my miniatures too. After all, it's their game? You can play with plastic army men or scraps of paper at home, but you have no rights to demand they allow competitor's products into their events.

The market always determines the value of a product. Advertising, positioning, allure and many other factors make some products more attractive and usually more expensive. So what? Since it's not selling medicine for sick babies I see nothing happening here but free will. Your suggestions are like the guy I heard the other day ranting about what it cost him to get a new cell phone with this and that faeture and all the web browsing and games and what-not. He finally launched into a tirade about how the manufacturers and the providers were "ripping" everybody off! So I suggested he not buy the phone at all. He looked at me like I was crazy.

Dude. That is capitalism. Creating needs (perceived ones anyway), enhancing lifestyles, innovating technology, elevating society and culture (where would we be with Fifty Cent and Michael Jackson?)and creating new opporunities for any with the balls to take a chance.

Nope. GW is doing just fine.
 
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Tripp is correct, the goal of capitalism is *not* to lower prices, it is to maximize profit. H misses the mark only once in his comment:

Quote:
That is capitalism. Creating needs (perceived ones anyway), enhancing lifestyles, innovating technology, elevating society and culture (where would we be with Fifty Cent and Michael Jackson?)and creating new opporunities for any with the balls to take a chance.


Capitalism has almost nothing to do with culture. Or "enhancing" lifestyles. Or "creating new opportunities. That would be art, efficiency, and innovation, respectively. Capitalism, per se, can flourish just fine, and often does, without any of those functions (though they can sometimes be correlative).
 
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Wow
All this from a simple pointer to a news report on a game!

I'll be more careful what I post next time.

d10-4d10-2
 
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Economics
According to the economics profession, the goal of economics is the efficient allocation of scarce resources.

Profit incentives and prices are just mechanisms used to do this through what Adam Smith called 'the invisible hand.'
 
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