GW: 2016-17 Half-Year Financials

Stock market data with uptrend vector. 3d render.

The Half-Year numbers are in and things are looking up for Games Workshop.

Games Workshop’s latest numbers are looking really solid. Keep in mind this Half-Yearly report covers their fiscal year and not the standard year (that’s why it ends at November 27th, 2016).

gw-half-yearly-report-2017

via GW Investor Relations

Games Workshop Half-Year Results: 2016-2017

Kevin Rountree, CEO of Games Workshop:

“Our business and our Hobby are in good shape. We are pleased to report sales and profit growth in the period across all channels. This improvement was built on a considerable team effort across the business.

In the period we focused and delivered on our operational plan and are making good progress on our strategic initiatives. I’m delighted that our new approach to marketing and merchandising has been received well. It’s early days, we’re having fun, and the feedback we’ve had is that our customers are enjoying the changes too. I intend to build on these improvements in the second half.

One of our key measures of our performance is return on capital. During the period our return on capital grew from 36% at November 2015 to 40% at November 2016. This was driven by the increase in operating profit before royalties receivable, offset slightly by an increase in average capital employed.”

Top Level Numbers (2016 vs 2015)

Revenue: +28%
Operating Profit (Pre-exceptional item & royalties): +106%
Operating Profit: +122%
Earnings Per Share: +128%

Sales Channel Reports (Revenue):

(Constant Currency Numbers)

Retail: +20%
Trade Sales: +11%
Mail-order (web store): +5%

—–

Just comparing this report to the Annual Report from 2015-16 you can see there is a big shift in tone and, of course, the bottom line. And taking a look at their current stock price you can see that optimism reflected:

gw-stock-2017-jan-10I’m not a financial analyst but I do wonder how much of an impact BREXIT had for GW. They are a company that has a lot of capital tied up in overseas investment (ie, stores and product in the US). Typically when your currency drops your exports tend to increase a bit. So a weaker GB£ leads to more exports and a stronger US$ means all US$ you have on hand is now suddenly worth more.

But I also don’t want to forget about the huge strides they have made as a company to reach out to the fan base (Warhammer Community & Warhammer TV). And we can’t forget all those value bundle deals they have been putting out (Start Collecting & Battle Force Boxes). It sounds like Games Workshop has noticed too.

 

Have fun with this one – and remember NO CHAIRS – be nice!

  • DJ860

    I think it would be easy to chalk a lot of this up to currency fluctuations but it’s hard to deny how much better many aspects of GW are now compared to the previous year. There are obviously big steps they can take in improving the game and continuing the things they’ve started but I’m really happy to see positive results, it can only be good for the hobby. Hopefully GW will attribute the financials to their change in attitude and it will therefore continue to improve.

    • ragelion

      Yup, they have been taking some great strides I hope they keep it up!

    • wibbling

      Not just that, but they’re making games people want to buy.

    • Forbesguy

      Yes, they have really moved forward and it is clearly shown in the financials. Engaging with the community via Warhammer Live etc, the much improved WD and strong product releases are all strong moves forward. For too long GW made hobbyists dislike them despite having a product people loved! After years of disengagement it’s great to see them realise they can engage with the community very, very successfully

    • Between actually speaking about upcoming releases again, having Black Library Live, doing their twitch streams, having bundle deals that actually save money instead of just being one-click bundles, and a massive focus on releases people actually wanted for ages (Genestealer Cults and Deathwatch for example), this past year has been pretty great and shows a change in mentality at GW.

      Of course, they’ve also focused massively on 40k and barely released anything for AoS in the second half of 2016…

  • Muninwing

    peeling back from the “we’re a miniatures company” party line seems to have had an effect.

    interesting how listening to your customers seems to make them happier, and thus spend more.

    • Jason C

      That was never part of their corporate culture. That was a legal position they took. Games would not be provided the same copyright protections from 3rd party parts suppliers as a miniature company protecting its art from being ripped off.

      In the sense that you’re just saying they are putting out better gaming products, I totally agree. I want to buy SO MUCH of what they make lately 🙂

      • Muninwing

        i’m not so sure that’s correct. the corporate culture seems to have taken off over the artist culture, with the sales team interfering in the design process frequently enough that ex employees have voiced rather scathing criticisms.

        plus, the “party line” i referred to is not only a legal one, but a financial one. games and toys are priced lower than hobby materials. games and toys carry a stigma of immaturity. games and toys are a different market with different investors and different expectations.

        the other factor is that it was a clever dodge. somewhere along the line it became obvious to players that the corporate voice was overtaking rationality, that maximizing profits through modern shady financial tricks became more important than offering a good product and fostering a community of customers. that’s corporate culture in the modern world — the same short-term-gain strategies that gave us a massive spike in imbalances and codex creep in the “ward era” in both their lines, and ultimately led to the killing of their most established game.

        but they are putting out better products. the financials are actually what i’d expect. some of their models lately have been impressive even if i don’t like their aesthetic. more than ever, i wish i had a spare thousand to just blow on minis… pretty sure i could do that in one sitting.

        i am surprised that AoS is still around, and that it is doing as well as it is, but i was a big fan of the low fantasy army-scale rank-and-file that it was, less so of the high fantasy skirmish-scale with the terrible fluff. but that’s another topic, and even then some of their new AoS models are amazing too — the elf on the beetle is impressive even if it’s not your thing (and i wonder if it can be the base for an exodite transport…)

  • SilentPony

    Yeah, the Heresy is a big seller. They need to make more boxes of it, and less Age of Sigmar/Fall of Cadia nonsense.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Age of Sigmar is also a big seller and campaign books are popular with specific demographics as well.

      • ragelion

        Indeed majority of the summer was AOS. Also the new models introduced by fall of cadia is doing REALLY well.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          I can’t wait to get Celestine in my hands!

      • orionburn

        Fantasy was my gateway drug into the GW world many, many moons ago. AoS has got so many amazing models I’ve been tempted to blow the dust off my Lizardmen and give it a try.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Seraphim are a lot of fun to both play and play against.

          • orionburn

            I am trying desperately to maintain my vow of nothing new until I get my massive backlog of DA models painted, but I’m thinking of at least getting the AoS books to get familiar with the rules and maybe come summer try it out. It seems to be gaining traction in our FLGS.

          • ragelion

            You don’t need to buy the books to look up the rules for your models. I say check out the lizardmen warscrolls and then invest. It’s under grand alliance order seraphon.

            https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Warhammer?Nu=product.repositoryId&N=102295+4294965337&qty=12&sorting=rec&view=table&categoryId=cat440002a-flat

            Then if you like what you see here maybe then invest in the general handbook.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Download the app on your phone (it is free). It has all the unit profiles and the base rules. Then pick up the General’s Handbook to see the points 🙂

      • SilentPony

        AoS was really dead on arrival at my local GW. The fantasy crowd evaborated, no one ever plays or buys models, and the only time people ever seem interested is when they play the store’s Silver Tower. Not enough to ever buy the game themselves, mind you.
        But from what I’ve seen and my local manager told me, AoS completely flopped in my region.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Opposite in my area. Fantasy was dying in 7th and died completely in 8th. AoS has sparked a lot of interest both with old and brand new gamers. The local GW store is swamped each weekend with teens playing AoS.

          • Muninwing

            yeah, 7th became the generation of exploitables and badly balanced armybooks.

            then 8th took some of those problems and made them worse, and the quality of armybook only went down.

            i think that 40k followed the same pattern, though less severely. the end of 5th was so ridiculous that i quit for a year. it wasn’t worth playing against the multiwound dodge, against crons or GK, it was just ridiculous. then 6th came out and luckily fixed some of the problems.

            i’d love a new edition of 40k to fix the issues… but i fear that they are going to repeat the same problems they had with WHF 8th, then use that as an excuse to sigmarize 40k to the fullest.

        • Forbesguy

          May well be in your area, but remember the world is a big place, different places like different games, and fantasy never was as strong in North America as it was in Europe.

        • Carl Tuttle

          In our area AoS is picking up even more steam. The Generals Handbook had a significant impact on this without a doubt.

          • Aezeal

            Aos mostly died in my region… but I like it and try to get people to stop playing ww2 games (unlike me most others where playing multiple games already).

          • Muninwing

            it seems like the GHB was a final admission of fault for GW, where they finally listened to their customers and made some fixes.

            if they pursue that behavior, maybe they will end up back on top…

        • Muninwing

          this is true here too. i’m wondering if it will get a revitalization with all the amazing models out there, but in general it killed the market in the whole region.

    • grim

      you’re in for some disappointment. Considering 40K will take up a lot of this year with splash releases of the best game they’ve ever made ( AOS ) 😉

    • DDisforDangerous

      I’m betting on one of the announced sequels to Total War: Warhammer being set in the Age of Sigmar. That’s probably going to draw in (or draw back) a few people. I know I started 40K after playing Dawn of War.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        That would be awesome because then you could wage wars on the various realms!

        not sure if they would do it but it would be cool.

        • DJ860

          I’m almost certain they stated when they launched TW: Warhammer that it would be a trilogy, WHFB age, End Times and finishing with AOS.

          • Muninwing

            that seems so strange to do… given the abrupt nature of ET (speeding up what should have been a world event taking up multiple phases and a few years into a few months to adjust between the changes), and the utter disconnect between AoS and WHF…

          • They didn’t. They just said they were spreading out their factions and the regions of the Old World they focused on.

          • DJ860

            Hmmm, my brain my have blended two sources. I’ll take the confirmed trilogy, whatever the setting.

        • Muninwing

          i’d love an actual definition of “realms” first, and not just one copy-pasted from planescape…

      • ragelion

        I suspect when they are done with the whfb I would expect GW to approach CA about it.

    • paxter

      Aos is very much a different game since launch speaking to the three stores n the local gw store boss Aos has been a hot seller and in one store it over took 40k sales. There was 7 Aos tourney/campaigns last year in my area vs 3 40k ones

      • Sleeplessknight

        Places, times, locations please. Otherwise you’re a dirty liar with no point of reference.

  • Jim Morr

    Brexit…

    • It’s a bit early to call that yet, unless you are just referring to devaluing the pound. It is interesting that the strong dollar makes the US market more profitable, but GW has not really made much of an effort to capitalize on that so far.

      • Jim Morr

        Exactly – devaluing the pound. Price reduction was noticeable. I remember the whole campaign (not by GW but GW profited from it) on your miniatures being finally cheap.

  • Jared Swenson

    Social media activity, 30k stuff, AoS, Duncan, these are all contributing factors to GW being once again on the rise. Now more than ever I am hopeful for GW’s future.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Amen!

    • Matt Mo

      It’s almost like they listen to us and take our feedback into consideration these days! A far cry from the “if it’s too epensive, get out” mentality that has dominated GW management for the past several decades.

    • grim

      Make GW great again 😉

      • Muninwing

        not sure if we have enough orange paint for that… or apparently yellow wash…

  • orionburn

    Very happy to see that all their work & effort to reach out to the community seems to be paying off. This past year has been great for actual bundle savings and things like that do actually encourage me to want to spend more on the hobby. Hope 2017 is as good a year for them.

  • Frank Krifka

    We saw the beginnings of this uptick in the last financial report. Some commenters suggested it was “just a blip” but now it’s apparent that it’s not a blip, but a more solid trend. It seem pretty evident that AoS is gaining a more definite foothold and increasing model sales (which was suggested by the last half year report that showed 6 months of start collecting sales.) The last report ended just before the release of the general’s handbook, so the current report would reflect if there was an uptick in revenue around July; and it appears there was.

    The Brexit’s impaxt on the pound might have had an effect on revenue, but it’s been my experience that *prices* haven’t changed worldwide. It’s my understanding that calculating revenue in constant currency compensates for fluctuations in the exchange rate. So if currency is constant, than that really looks what we’re seeing in an increase in sales volume (as opposed to the last few reports which slowed an increase in revenue, but boosted mostly by an increase in royalties.)

    Whatever they’re doing, it appears to be working. This really makes me skeptical of the “AoS isn’t selling” line we still hear from time to time.

    • vlad78

      Still no AOS where I live. But the games in a box worked extremely well and specialist games are the real money maker, almost zero investment and it sells like hotcakes.

      • ragelion

        Just because it’s not popular in your area does not mean it’s doing poorly. Like in my area no one plays x wing where I am, so clearly it must be doing terrible!

        • Walter Vining

          this

        • vlad78

          Indeed, but the area I’m talking about encompass 3 major cities with a dozen of retailers and many gaming clubs.
          I’m regularly checking on the various forums and there’re really few AOS games organized, retailers all say the same thing, it does not sell that well (if it sells at all)

          On the other hand, I’ve been to Paris in one of the most famous shop there, there was a big shelf with AOS products (not even 1/5 of the 40k shelf though) meaning it does sell there.

          I’m not saying it doesn’t sell, I’m saying in my area it doesn’t, that’s all.
          And we all know WFB 8th last results were really poor meaning increasing fantasy sales isn’t really a feat, it’s only the natural outcome of a well supported GW game.

          • SupPupPup

            Its seems to be doing a lot better in the UK and Northern Europe than the US.

          • Muninwing

            i think it has its regions and markets in the US, but huge dry patches. i’m in the northeast, and within a short drive of three different gaming stores… and none of them do much of anything with AoS — one even repurposed the WHF space into other products.

            so even if people around here were interested, it would be hard to find a game. that kills interest and sales too — having nobody to play with means having no opportunities to play, meaning no reason to expand unless you’re a collector.

      • Frank Krifka

        There’s no way the latest uptick is from specialist games alone. I’d bet dollars to donuts this is AoS related.

        • vlad78

          You should read again what I wrote last night, GW let WFB wither and die, the last WFB years sales may have been really low, It’s no big feat for AOS to outsell the last WFB years, so yes the rise in revenue may be partly related to AOS but I highly doubt it’s a huge moneymaker compared to the other boxed games.

          • Muninwing

            i think AoS is doing well in certain places, and the models are pretty impressive…

            that’s not to say that they didn’t fabricate the dip with some bad choices…

            and it’s ignoring that an actual 9th ed WHF that fixed the ward-era imbalance and play-kludge issues (so what 40k is dealing with right now) would have sold as well or better without alienating a large portion of longterm players…

            and it’s really skimming over the initial estimation of AoS — as a third line, not replacing but complimenting, and tied into specialist and similar games instead of supplanting WHF. imagine the sales if both were around and AoS was both influencing the whole and still keeping to skirmish-and-character style play?

          • Frank Krifka

            You’re just speculating though. There’s no way a 28% increase in sales is to boxed games alone. That high of a revenue bump equates to roughly £10 million in sales.

            From my understanding talking from somebody whose privy twosome budgetary matters, WHFB was declining for years. In the days of 8th edition from launch to the ET, WHFB never got over 18% of total sales.

            If AoS is selling ebbtetr than that, it’s interesting because it’s roughly the same model base, which means it’s picking up players, or old players are starting new armies. I don’t disagree that some of the pick-up in sales is from boxed games, but Deathwatch isn’t pulling in £10 million pounds, and Prospero was released too late in cycle to have much of an impact on this report.

            Maybe Genestealers and the Magnus releases contributed, but GW has been releasing specialist armies since last year (harlies/admech), and they didn’t make a dent in the financials. If I was a betting man, I bet on a slight up tick in 40k sales, and large jump in fantasy model sales due to the release of the generals handbook, Sylvaneth, BCR and Bonesplitterz.

          • vlad78

            You’re speculating too if I’m not mistaken. ;p

            You’re totally underestimating the impact of Prospero imho and also of Blood Bowl (dozens sold on day one in just one shop), maybe even space hulk (albeit this must be minor given that it’s the third release of the same box), Betrayal at Calth which sold again after the prospero release, deathwatch (both the boardgame which sold reaaaally well and codex), genestealer, silver tower (another huge hit), and so on…

            GW has been releasing in a 6 months timeframe almost everything the community has begged them to release for the last 15 years and more is coming. Specialist games and some ancient armies would sell after a 20 years period of starvation, who knew? ;p Even a squat army would be a gigantic hit.
            GW has been releasing really successful hits one after another for the last 6 months. You have to take it into consideration.

            On the other hand, AOS seems really to be a hit or miss. Where it works, it seems to work really well, but in other areas it seems to be a total disaster. Overall I’m sure GW doesn’t lie when they said their global numbers are better than WFB 8th or even the tail end of 7th (which they had already destroyed at the time with codex creep) but I’ll be really surprised to see the huge leap you believe happened.

            Probably not in my country, or at least not yet If I check the aggregated numbers of AOS tournaments on site like T3. (unless you tell me tournaments are not a reliable parameters because AOS is not designed as a competitive game)

          • Frank Krifka

            Did you read the report? The timeframe ended in late November. Bloodbowl wasn’t released until December, and Prospero didn’t hit until mid to late November. There just wasn’t enough time for those two games to have an impact on the numbers. Maybe a small impact, but not £10 million worth.

            We know that some of the releases did well based on how fast they sold out, but I don’t think the box games and codexes you’re citing have enough revenue to kick the numbers up like that. Yes, I’m totally speculating that AOS is making up the lion share of those numbers, but reading through the financial reports, I don’t where else those numbers could’ve come from.

            Maybe AOS isn’t selling well in your area that’s totally true. But GW opened up 17 new stores during the period of the last financial report, and I hardly believe the sales in those places were made up entirely of box games and Gene stealer cults. Especially given the reports that we’ve seen over the course of the last year that Age of Sigmar’s sales are proceeding at a rapid pace.

          • vlad78

            Sorry for nitpicking but Blood Bowl was released on novembre 25th which means all the preorders and initial sales are included in the report, just like Prospero first weeks of sales are included in the report.

            Besides you’re also not taking into account the impact of the discounts made available thanks to those boxes and all the new battleforces released in the same period.

            You want to believe AOS allowed GW to turn the tables almost by itself, sorry for being much more skeptical.

            I can’t deny how the new general handbook gave a boost to AOS sales, almost resurrecting that game, but given how everything else has also been hugely successful, it’s not likely AOS pushed GW revenue 5 million pounds higher alone. Even the lion share doesn’t seem likely to me, I’d bet for my part on a more reasonable chunk.

            Now, maybe you should compare revenue and profit evolutions. Revenues at constant currency made a 7 millions rise, and profit (not royalties) made a 5 millions rise. What does that tell you, it tells you GW has managed to put to use assets which were neglected before. it is as if GW is managing to sell more without the usual investments needed.

            In fact for the first time since the last 15 years, GW has returned to its basics.
            The boxed games offer great discounts and are great entry points into the main ranges. Calth and prospero made people buy some FW products, something they would probably not have done otherwise.
            Silver tower brought some into AOS.
            For the first time GW has listnened to its customers with the general handbook for AOS. (but I still find it to be an awful game ;p)
            And specialist games will please all those old GW fans who were starved for a decade and it will at the same time occupy some market segments GW abandonned under the Kirby regime.
            And all those people will be pushed to buy other products, increasing GW sales exponentially. Only the remnents of the former pricing policy can hold back this. (25 dollars a 28mm miniature is still crazy and a boon for recasters)

            Funny how behaving like a normal company can be successful.

            Now we’ll see if they can renew 40k without destroying it. Alas everything can’t be perfect, all those changes happen while the writing skills of the new creative studio seem to be quite lacking.
            We’ll see what the future holds.

          • Frank Krifka

            Yeah I don’t find that argument convincing. My main reasoning for this, is because boxed games aren’t exactly a new concept. The sales figures you’re quoting are right, but it’s not 5 million in revenue as just a flat number but 5 million in revenue above what they brought in last year on that front. Considering 40 K hasn’t gone through any major changes, I have no reason to think that 40 K alone is worth such a bump in revenue. The same goes for box games, as I said above we’ve seen box games selling for about 18 months now but those haven’t contributed to a significant bump in revenue prior to this financial report.

            The only game system that saw significant addition was AOS with the release of the generals handbook. There is no reason to think 28% increase was from standalone products or a system that hasn’t really changed that much in the last year.

            I know you don’t have any love for AoS, but I don’t see the numbers, or a convincing reason to justify what you’re suggesting.

    • Keep in mind that the stock values started going up after a big dip in July (where they released Sylvaneth if I remember correctly), and in the growth period there have been barely any AoS releases. Instead they had Genestealer Cults, Deathwatch, Black Crusades, Wrath of Magnus and all that jazz.

      • adamharry

        That “Big dip in July” was actually the tail end of June – right around the 23rd…Which is when BREXIT happened and the entire UK market did the same thing.

        I also don’t think GW’s stock fluctuates with their weekly release schedule. Investors can be fickle, but not that fickle.

      • Frank Krifka

        That’s true, but stock prices don’t have special correlation in regards to this particular investment report, since stock prices are impacted by market factors other than revenue. But even between gene stealer cults, and specialist games, Still think this uptick is from something else. The 2015-16 report also had the release of mechanicus and harlequins with tons of AoS releases. Income didn’t jump nearly as high then as it did in this report.

        I don’t think the increased revenue from sales was 40k related at all. If anything the last “insider” report (posted back in aug? this year) said that AoS had jumped up considerably in GW’s income share. Where previously WHFB was at 15-17% (depending on who you ask) AoS was now selling in the high 20’s low 30’s IIRC. I think this report shows the effect of the generals handbook and the “new” style battletomes that function more like traditional army books. That gave people points and unique army abilities that a lot of people where holding out for.

        Perhaps 40K ticked ups bit too, but with all the cumbersome rules issues people are generally having I can’t imagine they can’t make up the lions share of a 28% increase in revenue.

  • Lion El’ Jonson

    *Praising new CEO intensifies*

  • SupPupPup

    I think all reasonable people will agree with me here.

    Games Workshop have done really well to turn their company around this couple of years. Props to them!

    But, now I think its time to round up all the naysayers from those troubled End Times and get them to grovel at the feet of Duncan.

    We need to whip them till they admit that for once in their lives that they were wrong.

    THAT THESE BABIES.

    That these heretics had the impudence to argue that Games Workshop was failing to improve the fantasy licence by blowing it up.

    That these sloth, these mutant man children, owned the ignominious belligerence to threaten a mass exodus of players.

    We have seen these ABOMINATIONS possessed the wilful disbelief that GW would never produce industry leading fantasy models again.

    They must now fall at our knees penitent and persuaded.

    Games Workshop has been too lenient with these monsters. We have only seen one army burnt.

    I call for more.

    Burn anything with a square base, any DWARF, ELF OR LIZARDMAN. Any son who dare splutter the name of Bretonnia. Any father who does not buy his children at least 50 Start Collecting Stormcast sets this Christmas.

    All must perish.

    We have truth on our side friends, we must show them salvation.

    We must show them what it means to be a true Warhammer fanboy.

    • Xodis

      ‘They have only one purpose and there is nothing they will not do to accomplish this, no matter how vile or loathsome it might be. These abominations mean to destroy everything proud and noble, everything we hold dear and have fought so long to achieve.’

      -Inqisitor Agmar on Tyra……. GW Naysayers!

  • zeno666

    Good to see GW still sticking around.
    That means more players for Warmachine/Hordes, Malifaux and such.

    • DJ860

      “Still sticking around” is an underwhelming way to describe nearly doubling your profit in one year, but sure.

      • zeno666

        Haha sorry but they are not close to doubling.
        But most 40k players seem to be mathematically challanged, thus all the 4+ with re-rolls is still fun for them .

        • DJ860

          Well apparently, negative, illiterate trolls aren’t so great at maths:

          “The Nottingham-based company, which is known for its model figures, saw profit before tax leap to £13.8m in the six months to November 27, compared to £6.3m for the same period in 2015.”

          I would consider £6.3m to £13.8m pretty close to double.

          • zeno666

            You are correct, I was reading other numbers (revenue), I am an idiot 🙂

  • blackbloodshaman

    Lower prices and they will come

  • wibbling

    £13m profit. All those bashing Workshop, whining about Age of Sigmar – you are wrong.

    • Funny considering that Age of Sigmar had barely any releases since July that year. That’s about five months where AoS didn’t contribute much at all while Total War: Warhammer was still selling and providing royalties and 40k had Warzone Fenris / Wrath of Magnus going, plus the two Black Crusade supplements, Genestealer Cults, Deathwatch and so on.

      • luke snell

        but they did release the General’s handbook, which brought a lot of people (back) in, despite the fact that they weren’t releasing any new factions concurrently. I think it is a evenly mixed growth all of the their gestures and decision making.

      • SupPupPup

        I think its safe to say, that killing fantasy battles was a very good financial move for GW.

        • Looking even just at Total War: Warhammer and how it is one of the top-selling games on PC in 2016 with the highest gross revenue, I cannot fathom how you’d think that. Demand for WHFB has always been there, the problem was that GW did nothing to supply it until The End Times.
          The second half of 2016 has followed the same pattern: Complete neglect of their fantasy line in favor of 40k.

          • SupPupPup

            We can see that the Warhammer universe in the hands of CA can make a good and saleable total war game. That’s all that it tells us.

            We can also see that after dropping fantasy GW have increased in profits (at least in the short term).

            Whether fantasy could have been made to work, is sort of a moot point, as its now dead and the replacement system seems to be selling somewhat better than fantasy was.

            Whether it was a good game, with an entertaining universe, it doesn’t mean it was a bad financial decision to bin it.

            You admit yourself that GW by favouring 40k made good gains this year. This further reinforces the argument that moving away from fantasy type miniature games like Fantasy Battles was a good financial decision.

          • Muninwing

            “after dropping fantasy GW have increased in profits (at least in the short term).”

            wow, so actually bothering to support your game in earnest, and to listen to your customers, has an effect?

            we shall never know what could have been, but none of this changes the fact that treating WHF the same way that they treated AoS (the same quality miniatures, the same level of change when problems occurred, the same resources and effort to create a full game instead of a tack-on to the last version, the same new release schedule) would have boosted sales at least just as much

            with Total War bringing new people in, they could have channeled some of those players into tabletop play

            even without that, by using End Times as a de facto 9th edition they could have extended out campaign play and various events for a few years instead of rushing it and not allowing people’s armies to catch up.

            and the other two notwithstanding, there’s also something to be said for the idea that they could have had both. AoS is in no way a real successor to WHF — different play, different mechanics, different focus, different genre, different size. So why not have both?

            again, we’ll never know. but sabotaging your own product, through deliberate action or ignorance, then replacing it with something else, is not an accurate field for comparison

          • SupPupPup

            I think of it more as amputating a slowly rotting arm that was strangely attractive to a tiny minority of middleaged men.

          • Muninwing

            you can think of it how you want, doesn’t make it more than your own pet issue.

          • SupPupPup

            In this case fantasy really was the pet that needed to be put down.

          • Muninwing

            and replaced with a goldfish. lame.

          • SupPupPup

            Hey, at least the kids like him, and he doesn’t constantly vomit on guests.

          • Muninwing

            though that vomit would still be of better quality than AoS fluff…

          • SupPupPup

            It says something that fantasy players would gargle their own vomit than try something new.

          • Muninwing

            it says something that AoS players have such low standards that they beat a joke to death like this…

            that’s not all AoS players though.

            and gargling vomit is about on par with the quality of AoS fluff. if i can smell it from here, i don’t need to gargle it — nor listen to someone claiming it tastes like strawberries…

          • SupPupPup

            shhh my muninwing. its all over now.

          • Muninwing

            i can’t keep a straight face on this one, you win. that last one was just too creepy.

            like, wispy-moustache dude in a trenchcoat following you home creepy.

    • Ebsolom

      It was more “fake news” ; )

    • zeno666

      How much of that was actual AoS sales?

      • Muninwing

        no idea. the AoS fans are claiming that it was mostly theirs, and that it was solely the GHB that made GW great again.

        never mind the reveal that they released the game half-done, and the only way to fix it was to patch where it was hemorrhaging.

        in contrast, go to the GW site. look what they have run out of. Traitor Legions. Deathwatch. the biggest bundles (two near the $1000 mark). the sales volumes that this shows are pretty impressive. so the notion that it was even half AoS is a hugely opinionated claim that cannot be substantiated.

  • memitchell

    It’s obvious…It’s the return of the Genestealer Cult.

    You’re welcome.

  • Randy Randalman

    The General’s Handbook made AoS the most attractive game out there currently. People who were never interested in WHFB before (or anymore) were now buying in droves. It’s just such a better product, a better game, and easier to get into.

    Their openness to the community and feedback has also been a great move.

    These numbers are only going to get better as more and more people get comfortable with them again; plus the Specialist Games give a wider variety of options to players of every type.

  • Ben_S

    Obviously there were many other factors, such as the fall in the £ and Horus Heresy releases, but I’m also struck by the fact that Blood Bowl 2016 was released just days before the end of this fiscal year. Since that stuff seemed to fly off the shelves, I assume that was calculated to boost the reporting period.

  • It is fairly silly to attribute these improvements in this HALF-YEAR REPORT to Age of Sigmar. These stats are for the 6 months to November 27.

    Age of Sigmar went into hiding after the Summer Campaign with no real new releases (one or two recycled Battletomes with reboxings, no Black Library fiction after July’s 10th Realmgate Wars (not a single one of the limited editions of that series have sold out even to this day)) besides Sylvaneth that dropped in June/July.

    Instead they released Genestealer Cults, Deathwatch, Traitor’s Hate & Angel’s Blade, Wrath of Magnus, Magnus himself, Blood Bowl, new Getting Started boxes and larger, Burning of Prospero and a lot more new Horus Heresy stuff including a bunch of new, hot-selling novels, Build and Paint boxes, Deathmasque, the whole nine yards really.

    So no, I wouldn’t attribute this to Age of Sigmar by any means. GW focused increasingly on their 40k projects and ease-of-entry products as well as specialist games. AoS went off the radar very quickly at the start of this term.

    • luke snell

      as I replied to you above, the General’s Handbook was released; they didn’t need to release any new factions while everyone got stuck into the competitive aspect of the game with what already existed. it certainly brought more eyes and participants on the game. and yes, of course 40K is their flagship, but this past year is just as much on account of solidifying and anchoring AoS as it is to big 40K releases and general new company initiatives.

      • Even if we agree that the General’s Handbook did wonders for Age of Sigmar, there’s no way in hell that the game contributed significantly to their bottom line when it was constantly, lastingly drowned out by back-to-back 40k releases and didn’t get nearly as much coverage in the 6 months before.

        The book is great but for the most part it made sure that existing players stayed with the game and maybe got folks on the edge to try it. But GW did literally nothing to promote the game afterwards, to keep it in the spotlight, or to support new armies for people who were still holding out for things like elves and dwarves to make an appearance.
        They really didn’t do jack all to anchor AoS beyond the General’s Handbook.

        • luke snell

          and i suppose you have the exact numbers to support your speculation? just as much as i have no exact numbers to bolster my speculation that AoS has indeed made an impact in the past 6 months 🙂 i am not denying at all that 40K is still their reliable majority money maker, but 40K tends to caters to itself. i believe AoS is actually bringing in new money with new players. as far as recruiting new blood AoS is an infinitely more attractive rule set to pique the interest of the curious.

          • Muninwing

            you can believe what you want — including that AoS is a remotely attractive ruleset, but it does not mean that your opinion is worthwhile. and opinions can be wrong.

          • luke snell

            thank you, my belief is indeed at my own discretion. and any opinion can be worthwhile; isn’t that exactly what you are offering? your opinion that my opinion may or may not be worthwhile? opinions are called opinions for a reason…

          • Muninwing

            not every opinion can be worthwhile, sorry. and that’s not an opinion, that’s an analysis.

            you can believe that AoS is the second coming of the gaming gods, but the currently-available data on sales includes nothing to confirm nor deny that. thus, it’s a useless opinion because it is not only not based on anything rational but it’s highly biased.

            more than that… looking at the GW webpage, there’s a ton of 40k stuff sold out. the formations for the new Gathering Storm stuff — one at $1200, another over $900 — are all out of stock. the recent chaos rules are already sold out.

            40k has been the cash cow keeping them afloat for years now. they’ve had some huge releases. without some sort of evidence that AoS without a strong presence in the last half-year has somehow influenced sales, your opinion is not only irrelevant, it’s dismissable.

          • luke snell

            I never said nor even remotely inferred that I think AoS is the second coming of gaming gods. ‘Infinitely more attractive’ does not equate to the be all, end all. my OPINION was that I believe there has been an upswing in AoS interest in the past 6 months. nowhere did I even try to dismiss the FACT that 40K is the GW breadwinner. I’ve made mention several times that it is indeed their big money earner.
            But I can just as easily dismiss your ‘analysis’ of my opinion as being biased because it is your analysis not based on concrete numbers. Have you gone ahead and taken a snap shot of the what the past 3-5 years have looked like for GW in the respective 3rd-4th quarter of those years? Most importantly, what was released during those time frames for those years so that there is some level of comparison. Were the same number of big release codices dropped then? How about new kits? Or new boxed games? Or community engagement via tournaments or open days or what have you? All of these things have factored into the resurgent GW in the second half of this past year. And yes, AoS was part of some of those initiatives. Just because there were not big ticket releases for AoS post the General Handbook’s release doesn’t mean that people weren’t out there investing in it seeing as how they were finally able to gauge how points would affect army builds and such. Am I speculating? Absolutely! It’s just thoughtful discussion and OPINION about ultimately what I think is a real great sign for GW and where they stand with our hobby.

          • Muninwing

            teachable moment here.

            my analysis is what some call background-biased. in other words, one always has a certain amount of leading that is done with opinion. this is the reason for the terrible media analysis of the 1970s that came out in the 80s (quite outdated) that has plagued reason and reality with the misnomer that “the liberal media” is a thing (the theory, again in the 70s, was that there were a lot of younger people who were working for media outlets, and that people in that demographic lean left).

            barring that, my analysis is also, as you point out, incomplete and partially circumstantial. the needed information is not always available. going by observations always increases background biases, even if care is used to minimize it.

            that’s not the same as fully biased, or opinionated. that’s different — that’s starting with a conclusion before any evidenced is examined, and either not bothering to investigate or wilfully denying such evidence exists.

            to sum up, and counter your defensiveness…

            1. my incompleteness does not minimize your completely unsupported point

            2. neither does my hyperbole. yeah, i exaggerated your point, i’ll admit it, but i figured we could do that in context without an issue, since i’m still having fun with this and thought that tone was readable, my mistake.

            3. your downplaying of your own point now is a good admission of a more real point. yes, there has probably been an upswing in interest in AoS now that they bothered to release the other half of the game, and the Silver Tower has probably increased that too. but that’s not what you said.

            “but this past year is just as much on account of solidifying and anchoring AoS as it is to big 40K releases and general new company initiatives”

            as much… that’s a pretty big claim. part of it is off topic (the report we see is a half-year). if you’ll call me on my hyperbole, i’ll call you on yours. “as much” means that you believe that all the releases of 40k AND the systemic changes equal the upswing of interest in AoS. that’s pretty bold, and it’s not only unprovable, it’s not backed up by any numbers.

            and, as i said, one minute with the GW page and seeing the sold out formation bundles for the new Fall of Cadia stuff, and there’s obviously still huge interest in 40k — but that’s not factored into the report, though it does cast some favorable light on all the other releases they’ve had for the last six months. what’s more, the six-month period that this report covers being mostly 40k releases, and many of them good ones, and many of them having sold out themselves on more than one point, and your estimation of AoS’s popularity is pretty ridiculous.

            so yes.

            – i am biased.
            – so are you.
            – because we are both humans.
            – but your opinion was maybe stated unclearly.
            – and you were misinterpreting the data.
            – and you did no circumstantial or secondary research.

            meaning that your opinion is still… not really that likely to be right. meaning that it’s not as valuable as it would be had you done any research.

          • luke snell

            I thank you so much for the teachable moment. you are obviously much more well versed in the intention of your own hyperbole as I am of mine. I didn’t think I was being hyperbolic in the sense of pushing the intent of my words beyond a place of perceived reason- no, neither of us had any concrete numbers to sift through other than the high level overall numbers. you’re right, I probably should have had a heart to heart with myself in my choice of wording.
            next time I proffer anything resembling a biased opinion I’ll indeed reach out to GW to get a break down on the hard numbers so that I can make much more sound and reasoned opinion. I apologize if my assessment was so misleading.

          • Muninwing

            no need to get huffy.

            (tone carries, you know)

            and even now, you’re trying to be cloying rather than admit that you may have misspoken, or that you may have made a mistake. deflecting toward minor points, and all that jazz.

            whatever. do as you wish. but maybe look for some evidence before you make a grandiose claim next time.

    • ZeeLobby

      Gotta agree 40K is and has always been their cash cow.

    • el_tigre

      Made to order stuff too, tho that’s probably a tiny chunk.

  • Admiral Raptor

    They’ve turned the ship around for the most part. Credit to AoS and the box games for that. 40k is still a dumpster fire.

    • Muninwing

      until i see the fluff being written by more than a middle school fanfiction club, i cannot believe that AoS is worth my time. 40k is in need of a cleanup, but it’s nowhere near the dumpster fire that was the debut of AoS…

  • frankelee

    It was discussed at Beasts of War some, as the guy there pointed out, it’s really about +3,000,000 pounds taking into account constant currency and accounting changes they made in how they calculate things, which apparently inflates things. Value boxed sets and new games entice people in.

  • James Tompsett

    They’ve gone mental and I love it. Genestealers, SOB, recasts, Iron Armour, full size Magnus the Red.

    I’m half expecting an all metal range of Space Dwarf motor cyclists at this stage.

    If only they’d go back to calling imperial guard imperial guard.

  • ZeeLobby

    Not sure about all this AoS talk. Pretty sure the release of long dreamed of factions and updates in 40K had something to do with it…

    • ragelion

      I don’t get this talk of people full well having the numbers in front of them of which system is doing better or which is selling more. No one has those numbers save GW.

      All they have said in this report is that sales have been good across ALL platforms. So 40K, AOS etc all did well and I am personally happy with that.

      To me reading some comments it just seems like people can’t admit hey AOS is most likely shockingly doing rather well. Not crashing and burning the company like many have said.

      Mr Rountree wrote:
      Our business and hobby are in good shape,” said Mr Rountree. “We are pleased to report sales and profit growth in the period across all channels. The improvement was built on a considerable team effort across the business

      • ZeeLobby

        Oh no doubt. It’s doing fine. But the last 6 months have been huge releases for 40K. Even if the 40K player base was struggling it’s always been larger than AoS. Generals Handbook was a huge boon in AoS’s favor, but to believe it’s the soul reason, as some commentators post, is just insane.

        • ragelion

          I personally just think it’s more of people getting excited with the plain fact that AOS possibly is not doing bad as said detractors claim.

          The very same people who note this I recall said AOS is doing terrible etc etc.

          I feel the true contributing factor to this report. Is the fact of the ease of entry of AOS and new factions releases during the period (bonesplitterz, sylvaneth and beastclaw) and start collecting boxes. Along with the summer campaign.

          I am quite sure the summer campaign also drove some sales

          It was noted in the last report the start collecting boxes are doing really well in general. On the 40k front? It’s simply FINALLY giving the things people want. We all know what came out for 40k. Legion rules for chaos etc.

          Both of this factors together is what gave GW this result and changing how they approached the community. Now as I said I have no data this is just what I feel has happened.

          All GW have said is in the last report AOS is enjoying sales that WHFB has not had in several years and rumor mongers(atia’s blog) note before that report AOS was 30-35% of their sales.

          Also then this report noting that sales are great across all their platforms.

          It’s not only 40k or AOS or blood bowl or only magnus that put them here it’s everything. Since Kevin understands to sell you need to support the product which I feel he is doing.

          • Muninwing

            it’s still nonexistent near me. and in many other places, there’s just no presence.

            maybe you need to do what benefits your club or region and not listen to the “detractors” quite so much. their region may have other situations going on. you seem to be taking it personally that people don’t love your new pet game, and are eager to throw it in the faces of these mythical bands of roving AoS-haters who bully you into starting new SM armies…

            what info we have is that there were far more 40k products released during this time. and that AoS may have finally hit its stride now that GW bothered to provide the other half of the rules. we have no idea which factor is more important, but if it’s sales then the selling-out of many products on the GW end certainly show major profit and sales occurring in their realm.

            how fast did Veridyan sell? an hour? two more re-releases have gone nearly as fast? Traitor Legions sold out. Gathering Storm special edition sold out. Triumvirate sold out. looking at the US site right now and the two most expensive Cadia bundles (one at $900 and the other at $1200) both sold out.

            but sure, the GHB is purely responsible for their revenue.

        • SupPupPup

          I think its important to recognise that AoS is doing ok. Many said it would crash and burn.

          We didn’t have this prediction with 40k, only that it was getting stagnant.

          To have profits up so dramatically speaks of good things both in terms of 40k stagnation and the fragility of AoS.

          It implies that there is still creative sellable ideas at GW and that both 40k and AoS have a future in a hobby that at times feels more and more niche.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh, I totally agree. I think anyone saying that GW is going to die is just ridiculous. I’d argue that short of calamitous world events, most companies with GW’s level of popularity will never die. AoS is definitely doing better than fantasy did in it’s death throws, and I’m sure it contributed to these results, but GW also slammed the 40K nostalgia button hard. Seen a lot of people return to pick up armies they simply thought GW would never release. I still have waning interest to play their systems from purely a gameplay/balance perspective, but there’s clearly people who have less issues with that, and they seem to be doing a good job embracing their willingness to spend.

  • ZeeLobby

    That said they’ve made a ton of positive changes towards how they view their customers and their games. Leaves me in an optimistic mood for 8th. I imagine I’ll see 40K return locally around then.

  • GamingWeez

    This is great news for the company. all the need to do now is bring back Warhammer Fantasy with 8th support or new 9th edition and all will be good.

    • Haha. Stopping beating it man. That horse is so dead, it’s dust.

  • Cristhian Mario Landa Rivera

    Oh boy, oh boy, I can’t wait to see how many people will come next to say “good, now all we need is Fantasy back with a new edition to blow it through the roof”.