Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We Are the 20 Per Cent

A large number of readers will no doubt be aware of the recent Games Workshop AGM. Richard Beddard recently penned an article on it which can be found here.

Although the title of the article is that Games Workshop is a relentless profit machine (what company is not?) there are a number of gems and nuggets hidden away within the report.

Chief amongst these gems is the claim that only 20 per cent of customers are gamers. Below I reproduce the statement in that article:

"The company’s mission statement is “we make the best fantasy miniatures in the world and sell them globally at a profit and we intend to do this forever.”
It does not mention games. In conversation, I’m told that the word “Game” in Games Workshop encourages the misconception that games are its business, but that only about 20% of Games Workshop’s customers are gamers. The rest are modellers and collectors. Maybe half of them think about playing now and then. The other half have no intention. People actually walk into the stores because they’re curious about modelling fantastic armies."

Again, these are not my words.

What is ludicrous about such statements is the complete lack of research (apparent or obscured) that has gone in to this figure. Its clearly shooting from the hip with a faulty bolter. It might be as much as 80per cent. It might be as low as 10per cent. Nobody knows. And the reason that nobody knows is that nobody has done the research to figure it out.

Perhaps this is a project for a PhD student to try to tackle, as its rather large in scope. (Thank you, but my academic proclivities are in the physical sciences, rather than figuring this out). It would be awesome to actually do some research as, by their own admission, Games Workshop does nothing in this regard.

What do I think about the 20per cent claim itself, apart from it being wrong? Well, its certain that there are folks who drop in and buy a few miniatures purely for modelling, or maybe the starting game to get their sons and daughters in to the hobby but then they never come back. I'm certainly guilty of buying some miniatures purely for their aesthetic value rather than for any intent to game with them. But for the main part, I will freely admit to being both a gamer and a hobbyist.

I am the 20 per cent.
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