games workshop gets sued

Games Workshop Gets Sued: My Thoughts as a Former Warhammer 40k Player

Like many young nerds, I spent too much time (and money) on Games Workshop products. While this mostly extended to Warhammer 40k, I also bought plenty of Warhammer Fantasy models as well. In total, I probably spent well over $2.5k, which is far more than I should have spent. But since moving on to college and post-college life, Games Workshop products have fell by the wayside. Like many nerds my age, I no longer have the time or the disposable income to keep up with such a demanding hobby.

Still, it was interesting to see in the years since I quit the Warhammer tabletop universe how out-of-control the prices have gotten. And now, a lawsuit against Games Workshop alleges that the company makes a 50,000% markup on its models. While the scope of this lawsuit seems a bit outlandish (and also attempts to implicate Games Workshop in anti-trust and intellectual property theft), the fact is that the price of the models is too damn high. This is especially true given the demographic that Games Workshop targets. These are mostly teenagers whose parents are mostly paying for their products. Or for other teenagers (like myself), they are using the money from summer jobs to fund buying plastic models.

That’s not to say that the plastic models are all your buying when you buy Warhammer models. What you’re really getting is an introduction to the universe. When I was a teenager, Warhammer 40k was my introduction to a lot of sci-fi elements. That isn’t to say that I hadn’t seen Star Wars or wasn’t aware of Star Trek. But Warhammer 40k offered something more brutal, more raw, and something way darker. It didn’t matter to me that many of the key parts of its lore are ripped from sci-fi novels and movies like Alien. In fact, I wasn’t aware at the time and would now consider that pastiche. It’s just a mashup of the greatest hits of dark sci-fi, much of which is not immediately accessible to the average teenage nerd.

That being said, Games Workshop and the Warhammer universe definitely has a pricing problem. I spent thousands of dollars on amassing armes of Orks, Necrons, Fantasy Orcs, and Dwarves. And I really don’t have anything tangible to show for it. And while I did have a great time playing Warhammer tabletop games, I don’t think I needed to spend quite the amount of money that I did. Really, it mostly served to drain my teenage bank account. But in times when I felt more marginalized, the Warhammer universe and Games Workshop were there. It just wasn’t there without a huge price tag that I feel is very unconscionable to young tabletop players. And for that reason, I think that Games Workshop deserves whatever comes to them from this lawsuit and beyond.


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    1. The death of GWs in areas has killed the hobby in more than a few towns, you want cheaper, other products exist. Manic games, Wyrd miniatures, Osprey (frostgrave) , the various pre painted star wars stuff.
      Gw is not the only game in town, you already have those options.

  1. Why do people still think teenagers are the target market. People’s wallets are the target market. Maybe the reason 40k has gotten away from the more silly juvenile elements is, that they are targeting those that tend to have more money (older adults). The price quoted in the lawsuit does not take into account, marketing, packaging, shipping, storage/warehousing fees, product line development, or any other factor than the raw price of plastic. Try and sue Coca-Cola over price gouging because coke only costs $.02 a can for the ingredients.

  2. I think the current CEO has taken steps in the right direction, certainly with the start collecting bundle deals & The free rules download (for AoS)
    Although they do seem to be in a bit of a transitional flux with the pricing structure (some of the prices make little to no sense). And there are always ways to get the stuff cheaper.

  3. You want them to lose so you can afford models? I don’t understand people who complain about the price. If it’s to much to afford or you feel you are spending to much, then stop buying it. You can save up your money and spend it on what you want but don’t complain if they sell it at their prices and you still buy it. I’m sorry but I don’t feel bad for anyone who decides to buy an abundance of gw models and then complains about how much they spent. You sound like a person who would eat all fast food from a restaurant, and realized it made you fat, so you would blame the restaurant for not having healthier things on the menu as you still buy their food. There are always more options you could go with beside gw miniatures if you don’t play at a gw store.

  4. I don’t agree with you at all most the players are not teens they are adults 30-50. Just look at the YouTube watching demographics or go to a tournament. The fact that you do not play anymore and that you feel you don’t get anything out of your models makes you completely unqualified to voice an informed opinion. I don’t know about the IP issues I hope they did not but if they did they need to be held accountable. As far as there pricing goes they can charge what ever they want for the minis play or don’t play. I do not run a game store so I can’t comment on if they have done something wrong. But neither can you. In terms of what I get out of being a current player. New friends, fun time, artistic pride, engaging brain stimulation trying to build lists. I also take great pride in the models I have customer built and painted. Do I think it is too exp yes I do but that is my choice to spend on it or not.

  5. GW didn’t hold a gun to your head and force you to buy their products.

    ” I spent thousands of dollars on amassing armes of Orks, Necrons, Fantasy Orcs, and Dwarves. And I really don’t have anything tangible to show for it.”

    …except ARMIES of Orks, Necrons, Fantasy Orcs, and Dwarves.

    “But in times when I felt more marginalized, the Warhammer universe and Games Workshop were there”

    So at that time it was worth it?

    Just because you have buyers remorse doesn’t mean you can wish for frivolous lawsuits against a company that you WILLINGLY gave your money too.

    Honestly, this is just comes across as a whine. Grow up FFS

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