Did GW Listen to the Fans? – Change.Org & The New GW

By Gothmog | March 22nd, 2016 | Categories: Deep Thought, Editorial, Games Workshop, Warhammer 40k

gw hq space marine tilt

Remember that big Change dot org petition that was sent to GW six months ago? A lot of them are coming true now. Come see what may be next!

Alot of folks don’t know I was the author of the big Change.org petition last year. Well it’s been only Six months-ish since the GW petition closed, and I was never contacted by the notoriously secretive GW. They never released any press statements IRT this petition. Just the typical fan aloofness…

If you didn’t know about it, well it got over 17,000 signatures, which is nothing to scoff at, and can be summed up as

1- Support all types of players, casual and competitive, with focused rules, faqs, event support and campaign play. Make it worth it for Veterans and new players alike.
2- Support your Independent retailers and FLGS, don’t just push your online store. They will try and sell your product instead of your competitors if you make it worth it.
3- Competitively price your products. You can charge a premium because of your quality, but we have finite gaming dollars, and you are pricing us out.
4- Develop an online community instead of just having a webstore online. 
5- Conduct market research and get on social networks.

Detractors of this said “They will never listen”. “GW doesn’t care about the fans.” “This is pointless.” “This is hopeless.”

I countered with “The point is to at least be heard. To at least make someone step back at GW and consider our side of the equation. 10,000 people’s opinion should at least be considered.”

So lets take a look at a few things that have happened since Mr. Rountree became CEO (which happened sometime after we passed 10,000 signatures IIRC) and in particular, things that have happened lately. It turns out, maybe we were heard after all.

gw petition

1- GW announced it is bringing back specialist games
2- GW releases numerous low price “Start collecting” sets
3- GW develops for release low price introductory sets (http://bit.ly/1Ro7xWO)
4- GW plans a return to organized play (tournaments, campaigns and events) and has even attended several conventions, both for players and industry, already (http://bit.ly/1UFh0bk)
5- Both GW and Forge World launch official Facebook pages, finally entering the social media scene
6- Numerous board games with equal quality models to the tabletop game and even rules for table top (Execution force, Betrayal at Calth, Overkill, Lost Patrol) at varying price points and all “good deals”
7- The first FAQs in nearly 2 years (several in December)
8- GW, this week via their relaunched Facebook Page, asked US the PLAYERS to give them questions to answer for an FAQ!

Did… did… um… did GW actually, you know, maybe listen to us?

So if you compare some of these things to what the points of the petition were, it starts seeming like the petition became more of a to do list for Mr Rountree. And if not a to do list, at least a list of concerns that were considered when making decisions.

And as I told the detractors, that was the point of this.

Now I am seeing some counterpoints in places. Things like “The lead times on these things are months, if not years, this did nothing” and the usual “GW never listens”

Well to the second, that is the point of this… maybe they did. Opinions I guess. But to the first point, well you are wrong.

All of the “Start Collecting” boxes are just existing kits in new boxes. Lead time for a packaged carboard box is short. Really short. Definitely in the time span of the petition. And definitely after Kirby was gone from GW.

The creation of Specialist Games again was a decision made AFTER the petition in whole, as there was nothing and they even had to make new job postings for it online!

Some of the low price things are yet to come, like the intro boxes and lost patrol. These will have only been started design in the last 6 months or so, and they don’t even use new models!

So yeah, the lead times are not something to consider as a factor as to why this petition “did nothing”. The second guy saying “GW never listens” is more valid. And remember, they are asking us for FAQ questions now, and he is STILL more valid. 

I want to make it clear though, I am not a business guy, nor do I think this was the catalyst, this was the THING that did it. I just think this was another stone, and potentially a big one though who is to know, on our side of the scale of bringing GW back. Of them becoming the good guys again. Gone are the days of Kirby! Hail the reign of Rountree! Long live the Hobby!

Lastly, to all the people who signed and shared it: Thank you. If (and yes, I am admitting, that is a REALLY BIG IF) this did have a positive effect on the way GW does business, it is only because of you. So thanks.

It is an exciting time for the hobby. Get out there and enjoy it.



If you are not one to walk the beaten tactical path, then come check out more articles like this on Sepulchre of Heroes, home of the 9th Legion. You can also find there plenty of other thoughts and discussions on the hobby and Warhammer 40k, particularly Blood Angels. We feature ample hobby content in painting and kitbashing and cover several GW specialist games such as Battlefleet Gothic and Blood Bowl. Working daily to Bring the Hobby Back, so check us out!

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About the Author: Gothmog

Hobbyist and Gamer since 1999. Blood Angels faithful since the beginning. I am also big into various GW Specialist Games and Historical Wargames. Love the hobby, love the fluff, Grognard for life. @Gotmog_Balrog www.sepulchreofheroes.blogspot.com
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