GW: Testing New 40K “Partworks” Business Model
Games Workshop is trying their hand at the “Partworks” subscription model – will it work?
A few days ago, Games Workshop put out a post for their new Partworks positions that were available. For folks who may not be aware, it’s basically a monthly subscription service where you get shipped items and they allow you to build up your collection over time. They did this with Black Library and that seemed to work out. Well now GW is moving over to a subscription model for, well, models!
“Develop your own stunning collection of Warhammer 40,000 miniatures week-by-week and lead them into battle with your friends. Every issue of Conquest includes amazing models, brushes or paints, with expert guides to build your own Warhammer 40,000 army – in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war!”
Each issue will come with models, a building guide, a painting guide, and some gaming guides (probably missions designed to handle the models they send you and probably previous sets). Keep in mind the model counts start off pretty small – we’re talking 3 Primaris Marines vs 3 Death Guard. This is very clearly designed for beginners and folks who might have just heard about the hobby.
As far as we can tell, it starts off at £1.99 for the first issue, the second issue is £4.99, and then the following issues are £7.99. The longer you are subscribed, the more “rewards” you get as well:
One other thing we’d also like to point out is that according to their FAQ, this is current only available in the UK.
That does explain why they posted those job openings however…
A New Business Model Moving Forward?
Games Workshop could be experimenting in the UK because it’s positioned to be able to serve the fans there pretty well. Partworks-type business models do require A LOT of packing and shipping costs. This could also be a way for them to move some of the excess inventory as well. Most of those models are already available in other ways – either the new starter box or some of the smaller scale boxed sets. In essence, they are able to re-package those kits and ship them directly to customers in hopes of getting the interested in the broader hobby and game.
Think about it – if you got a box of 3 miniatures, brushes and a couple of pots of paint, wouldn’t you want to at least see what else is out there? You can’t really play a game with just three models – or 6 if you get the next set. Sure, it’s a starting but this is clearly just the tip of the iceberg. If this does well, and depending on the investment, we could see GW want to try this in other markets. And if it doesn’t go well then they can scrap it and stick to their traditional shops and business models they already have.
So what do you think? Are you a UK resident and are you willing to give this a go? If you’re not in the UK, would you be interested in this type of subscription service?