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Can GW cut it's LotR losses and move on?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

  I'm not really sure of the nature of the contract that GW and New Line have, but it seems from what I've read here and seen at the local game stores(3 in my immediate area within 15 minutes of where I live), that LotR ain't making squat for GW.  In the game stores I live near, I have never seen a LotR event advertised because there isn't the interest here for the game.  It also sees like most Dakkites aren't all that impressed with the game, either.

The opposite seems true in fact with the drain that this game system is putting on GW's bread and butter games like 40k and Warhammer.

  It seems like they've put some of their best people on LotR and it's costing them.   If they can't get out of the contract, should they at least consider their marketing strategy as flawed and try a different approach?

Made in jp
Anti-piracy Officer

Somewhere in southern England.

You're making a big assumption that it's made a loss. They've kept the game going 4(?) years. They wouldn't have done that if it weren't making money for them. In fact their recent fall in profits is ascribed to the deflation of the LoTR bubble. (It can be disputed, of course...)

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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka

It's a good point you make, and to be fair I am going off just personal observation(amount of dust on LotR product at the three game stores I mentioned), what I've read on Dakka, and what play testers I know for GW specialist games tell me.
It just seems with what info I've gotten that projects are being put on the back burner for LotR and the main game systems are suffering for it.
Made in au
Cutting stuff up and bunging it back together in new and interesting ways.

Under the couch

Unfortunately, personal observation won't really tell you what's going on with LOTR.

Even back when it was (according to GW) outselling WHFB and 40K in the UK, people were saying that nobody seemed to be buying or playing at their local stores.

The people buying and playing LOTR largely seem to be just a different crowd to the WHFB and 40K players, is all. They don't always frequent the same stores, they don't hang out on 40K-centric forums, and they generally seem to be buying to play at home, or just to collect the miniatures.

As to whether GW can dump it, you're assuming they want to... So far, while the drop in sales was attributed to the blowout of the LOTR bubble, they haven't come out (at least so far as I'm aware) and said that it is consequently doing poorly... just that it's not doing anywhere near as well as when the movies were out.

Made in us

Amongst the Stars, In the Night

Uh... what LoTR losses? Even the last set of financials shows LotR provided a big slice of the pie. Also, keep in mind that any talk that LotR hasn't been profitable for GW is rubbish, even when from GW. Otherwise, why would they continue to keep some of their best sculptors & designers on LotR, as well as working to acquire (and acquiring) licensing allowing them to broaden the LotR range beyond just the cinematic adaption to include Tolkein's original novels and even stories from the Simirillion and Unfinshed Tales?

Also, keep in mind that the LotR/Tolkein fan base is vastly, vastly larger than all of miniature wargaming's. GW has quite wisely tapped into that market by selling their box sets in mainstream retail outlets, something not (or rarely) done for WHFB & 40k and which also brings in a huge amount of revenue outside the view of the traditional LFGS market. Since so much product is moved outside of the local game store, it's little wonder we look around not seeing the games being played in game stores by wargamers, since, well, it's mostly being bought and played by non-wargamers in the first place (treating it as a board game instead of our more refined hobby). I'd even be willing to wager a rather large proportion of LotR players don't even paint the figs or bother with building any terrain, seeing it as too much of a hassle.

In summary: LotR is here to stay and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The figures are most excellent, with very few dogs in the range (and most of those are due to the designs from the movie) and by all accounts GW only plans to expand the range, not shrink it.

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Made in us
Master of the Hunt


Yeah, I saw more LOTR sets in Barnes & Noble when they were first released than I did at my FLGS.

I guarantee you that there are tons of Tolkein fans out there that have purchased the figures for display or for non-wargame games.

I imagine there are quite a few home-built LOTR chess sets made from GW figures out there at this point.

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Made in us
Hunter with Harpoon Laucher

Castle Clarkenstein

Notice something? How many people make comments about never seeing a LOTR event at their local stores, not seeing much stock, and what is there is gathering dust.

Obviously these stores aren't selling much LOTR. But then, they aren't doing events, running leagues, doing demos, or trying to sell LOTR. LOTR wasn't warhammer, it was a totally new game. Like any other game, it took some work to make it sell. If a shop didn't do the work, it didn't sell that well. One of my friends that owns a store about 20 miles away complained that LOTR didn't sell, but then, he never frigging ordered it for his store! Empty racks don't sell models.

My shops did good with LOTR during the time the movies were coming out. I was selling 8 starter sets a week, and a couple thousand in LOTR miniatures a month. Now that the movies are gone, we still sell a good chunk of LOTR, certainly enough to make it worthwhile to keep in stock. It edges out Warmachine in profit for us, and beats the hell out of reaper, confrontation, or SST.

GW is selling a lot of LOTR, and making a profit. A few independents are selling LOTR and making a profit. Most FLGS aren't doing demos, running leagues, ordering the product, and as a result, aren't making a profit.

....and lo!.....The Age of Sigmar came to an end when Saint Veetock and his hamster legions smote the false Sigmar and destroyed the bubbleverse and lead the true believers back to the Old World.
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut

Alpharetta, GA

If the game is making a profit for GW (doesn't matter if it makes a profit for your FLGS or not), why would they drop it?

I think that part of the problem is that this game is viewed as a movie tie-in and not a long-term gaming product. Now that the movies are gone, the game should go to. A majority of the non-gaming community would probably look at the product in this way. The people who purchased the game and were not generally into gaming or miniatures may be tired of it now that the movies are finished.

On the other hand, gamers know that there have been LotR games for ages. There were miniatures and RPGs being made before there was even a rumor of a movie. I'm sure there will still be LotR mini's and RPGs as long as there are gamers. Unfortunately, gamers (the people you need to support the game long term) already have enough products to spend their money on; 40k, a new WFB, FoW, WM, Hordes, Confrontation, etc. With no store tournaments, leagues, or anything else to make the product stand out, it won't sell as well.
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