Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Making Sense out of Cents
I actually had a chance to speak with an employee over in London about the matter and he had a few comments that made sense, but obviously didn't relive the sting of yet another price increase. For anyone who isn't well versed in global economies (myself included), the British Pound is one of the strongest currencies on the planet. At the moment, the Pound is worth 1.79 of our American dollars. That's a pretty steep jump. While their economy isn't just flat better, some effects of this currency weight difference if felt pretty heavy in things like 40k, and other hobby games.
The prices they pay across the pond for these models is still relatively acceptable for them. The problem is the seemly annual raising of prices. For them the increases are pretty slight, but it's the weight difference of the dollar and the pound that makes us Americans upset. What I was told was this business practice is meant to gauge the player interest in the U.K. They'll steadily raise prices slightly until they start loosing profits, then they'll hold there. It's a pretty standard business strategy.
But again it's that weight difference, and a lack of adjustment for the American market. The slight increases overseas are fairly drastic changes over here, and coupled with the already higher net prices due to the currency weakness as it is, the prices over here are becoming outrageous.
We've seen GW drop a lot of support for the old colonies in other areas as well, the removal of the Tournaments and pulling of prize support being the biggest ones. It's not a huge surprise to me that this is happening, but it does leave me a bit wanting. Looking at prices now, it's almost to the point that Forgeworld is the more affordable route... and as I now have a Death Korps army... It might be the way to go for me.
So what's the course of action we as players should take? Well GW does in fact have the right to raise prices... and as long as we buy their stuff, the prices will continue to go up. I'm not saying to boycott by any means, but perhaps this might be a good time to consider alternative models. While it might not be less expensive in the long run, GW might see a drop in sales and begin curbing their increases. It might and probably will not work, but there's nothing wrong with trying, especially if you see some alternative models that have really caught your eye. I'm planning to try out a few third-party sites for some new models and terrain in the future.
Who knows what the future of 40k and other war games will hold. With 6th ed on the horizon, we might see whole new business strategies from GW. Unlikely, but who knows. I'll be excited to see what the new rules will do for the game. Not all of it will be good, I'm sure, but a new system after the many years of 5th will do me some good I think. Here's to hoping we can make it through the high prices and new rules as a community!