A former Games Designer for Games Workshop has some interesting things to say about the current state of his former company and some insight into the times he was there.
Tuomas Pirinen, of Brutal Deluxe Game Design shared recently some of his views of his time at Games Workshop, and also his thoughts about the current state of the company.
For those following the long-term history of my old workplace Games Workshop, I found the chart of the history of the sales extremely interesting and revealing. I have to say, it was great to be part of the halcyon days of the huge growth, we must have been doing something right during those heady times.
While these are still exceptionally impressive sales for almost any games company (and with healthy profit margins too), it is clear that the current approach is not generating growth and expansion of the hobby. It could o course be down to competition, but the magic of the huge growth curve from 1990 to 2003 just isn’t there any more no matter how you slice it, and in my heart of hearts I am not sure if it had to be this way.
Rest of the article here: games-workshop’s-revenue-problem
He went on to reminisce further about the problems he say within the company, some of which depending on who you ask are starting to emerge on a wider-scale now:
…GW in my days was willing to try ANYTHING, while now it seems to be turning inwards and doubling down on the safer bets.
On Losing Studio Talent:
I would say it was perhaps more of a question of not holding on to the talent rather than pushing them away. I have learned in many companies since then how much effort you need to put into talent retention.
Still at the end of the day Tuomas believes that Tom (Kirby) has no bad intentions for the company.
Tom bought the original GW from Mad King Bryan Ansell, who with Rick essentially created the heart and soul of GW. Tom has a very good understanding of scaling and finances. However as the company grew, it focused more and more on corporate aspects and cost-cutting, while whittling down the Old Guard, out of whom only Jes Goodwin Alan Merrett and Jervis are still there. My own feeling is that it was a few cuts too deep and the company lost a lot of its vitality and ability to take risks and do mad things that lead into new success stories. This is of course very common whenever a company gets larger. Note that these are my views, and someone like Rick would have FAR better idea of what exactly took place. I do NOT think Tom tried to sabotage the company at all, quite on the contrary.
Honestly for all the drama Games Workshop is still one of the biggest out there, but only time and perhaps new policies and procedures on the new CEO’s part will keep them moving at the top!
What do YOU think of the current state of Games Workshop?