Forge World vs. The Real World

by | Aug 22, 2018

Well that didn’t go as planned! Today Games Workshop’s side hustle, Forge World launched the long awaited new global distribution plan. Forge World now ships from a new US warehouse providing quick shipping for North America. The biggest news, the one causing the most upheaval is Forge World now providing prices for all products in all major currencies. Gone are the days of timing a Forge World purchase by sudden currency depredation. No more guess work on exactly how much you will be paying for that Warlord Titan if you lived in New Zealand. Now prices can be seen clearly in your local currency where Games Workshop sells products, for instance a Forge World Warlord Titan body is 177,630 Yen in Japan.

This should be a welcome sight, as now buying from Forge World is streamlined and operates like most companies who sell things  across the world. This though hasn’t stopped rage fueled fever tantrums from popping up all across the Warhammer Internet. Forge World prices seem to have gone up 10-30% depending on the item. Much of the hate is of course misguided as people who have “manipulated” the system to buy when the Pound was getting crushed, now have to deal with a standard uniformed price. Since Brexit people outside of the UK have gotten use to a depressed Pound, but smartly Games Workshop is hedging and providing a cost of goods that won’t be effected by extreme currency ups and downs. So instead of getting upset every month by random price fluctuations, these prices should will be locked in for many years to come. This makes forecasting for Games Workshop accountants much easier and gives a clear idea on who and where people are buying Forge World products.

I do though understand the rage, because if you live in Australia or New Zealand you are still properly screwed. Forge World is ridiculously priced in general, and the days where it would easily beat the main Games Workshop product line in detailed casting are far behind us. We have also not seen anything really major from Forge World; beyond Andy Hoare kicking ass with the Specialist Games lines, which seems more like shifting staff moves to more Forge World/Games Workshop integrations. Forge World primary lines though seem to be really lagging, as we have only gotten a few new resin models over the last year and the now wargaming equivalent of vaporware: Fires of Cyracus. At least Horus Heresy Book 8 has a cover along with some drawings! Forge World is banking on the 8th edition rules for Custodes and Sister of Silence units will be enough to trick people into thinking Forge World isn’t just twiddling its thumbs.

This all leads me to believe that the ripples of Alan Bligh’s death last year continue to have a crippling effect on Forge World. This is reflected in products and releases keep on getting pushed back. Then we also have the disastrous decision to keep the Horus Heresy locked in 7th edition, which looks more like a manpower issue than an actual design choice.

Now this dip over the last year also can be attributed to a much needed reorganizing of Forge World, which was accelerated by Alan Bligh’s death. This is similar to what happen to Games Workshop just before our current Golden Age, where instead of a death a CEO was sacked. Games Workshop could be making the hard choices Forge World has needed for years; reflected in a website design, Specialist Games, general logistic changes, and discontinuing products. While the Games Workshop design team has grown by leaps and bounds it doesn’t seem the same at Forge World, and the poor carpentalization between different parts of the overall company are still prevalent.

This leads to the biggest question of all, does resin even have a future? The plastic tooling machines Games Workshop uses have revolutionized the company. Applying those sames things to Forge World only makes sense, especially if people stop shelling out money for overpriced resin that is become more and more core to deal with when compared to almost equivalent plastic kits. The recast market also hasn’t gone away and these new prices are only going to drive more people to them, but if you can make the same models in plastic many recasters will be kneecapped.

As it is just isn’t clear what Games Workshop wants or is doing with Forge World and the recent price changes can seem to make things that more confusing.