I tried thinking of a clever title, but just telling like it seemed more appropriate.
It is official Games Workshop announced yesterday that the Tournament Circuit is dead as of this Oct. With Ard’ Boyz and now the Circuit gone one has to wonder what is Games Workshop plan? Besides the Circuit being cancelled more important for event organizers is now GW is pulling out (prize) support as well! For the exact words here is the email sent out to tournament organizers…
The North American Games Workshop Business Support team along with our management team has spent an extensive amount of time reviewing the current tournament circuit and the best way to offer support to hobbyists interested in hosting events of their own.
As you are undoubtedly aware, there is a Games Workshop tournament circuit in which tournaments must apply and those chosen are offered support. After serious consideration, we will continue with the current 2012 circuit ending in May 2012 and host the culminating Throne of Skulls tournament this October. Going forward, in order to be more supportive of events of all types, especially those in our retail and trade outlet stores, we will discontinue the GW tournament circuit.
We would like to thank all the organizer’s from the 2012 Circuit and we wish everyone the most success with their events in the future.
Director of Business Support
It was short and to the point just like the cold corporate heart we have grown to love at GW. If you want to know more about Desiree check out her LinkedIn page. The implication by GW that the largest Circuit events are not “supportive of events of all types” I find insulting if I was an organizer.
Anyway the big question from the letter is what does Games Workshop mean by “support” does it mean website mention? Does it mean nothing in White Dwarf? Or does it mean (like many have read into) no prize support? Either way GW is washing their hands of the competitive scene completely.
The only consistency in their decisions is the continued mention of “supporting events of all types”. If you go back farther to the Australian price/distribution debacle you will also notice GW is continuing to frame their actions as support for brick and mortar stores.
This also reeks of “there’s a new sheriff in town” syndrome with the sacking of prominent GW employees that created the Circuit and Ard’ Boyz in the first place. What is even stranger though is this notion that Circuit events are not local and don’t have a relationship with “retail and trade outlet stores” when in fact many of them run by store owners and other people associated with GW retailers. Including all the major tournaments have retailer space that provide GW products. What this all could be code for is GW cannot control who and what attends this independent events so they cringe at third-party everything selling non GW wares. Not to mention many events invite all the major GW (Warmachine) competitors to run games.
If it is true that events won’t receive any prize support than this will be blunder of epic proportions. Not only do you alienate passionate GW costumers you open the door for your competitors to fill the gap. What now will stop say Adepticon from asking Chapter House to supply prize support for its Championship event? By not giving prize support you disincentivize people from starting events in the first place. At best organizers could pull prize support from all local retailers, but that wouldn’t that use up stores allotments as well?
Of course, we don’t know if this is some crazy plan by GW to create a new circuit of their own that is “supportive of events of all types” aka we run and you can suck it. If we want to journey down the rabbit hole some more this could as well be another indication of big changes coming down the pike for 6th ed with a more “all types” emphasis. Most likely though this is just a business decision by the penny pushers demanding these changes in the face of staff reductions and dealing with the aftermath of the recession.
If Games Workshop wasn’t the big dog of Wargaming I wonder how fast all events would drop them from their programs…