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Games Workshop

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Games Workshop is a British game production and retailing company based in Nottingham, England[2]. Games Workshop is one of the largest games companies in the world, and is the dominant company in the miniature wargaming hobby.

Overview

Games Workshop was founded in 1975 by three friends - Ian Livingstone, Steve Jackson and John Peake - who handmade and sold traditional wooden games from their London homes.[2] They were originally an importer of American board games and RPGs. When they became publishers of the UK based role-playing magazine White Dwarf, Games Workshop created a national chain of gaming stores in the 1980s. Their publishing arm also created UK reprints of famous but expensive-to-import American RPGs.

During the 90s, following a management buyout in December 1991, the company refocused on their most lucrative lines, namely their miniature wargame lines. The retail chain refocused on a younger, more family-oriented market. The change of direction was a great success with a rising share price and growing profits, in spite of the fact that it lost the company much of its old, loyal fanbase. Games Workshop expanded in Europe and the USA, opening new branches and organizing events. In October 1997, all UK-based operations were relocated to the current HQ in Lenton, Nottingham.

During the early 2000s Games Workshop acquired the rights to produce Lord of the Rings miniatures. Taking advantage of the success of the then-recent Peter Jackson films, the company experienced a temporary boom.[17] By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the company was having problems with falling profits being blamed on collectible card games. The company has been attempting to create a dual approach that will appeal to both older, loyal customers while still attracting the younger audience. This has seen the creation of initiatives such as the "Fanatic" range that supports more marginal lines with a lower cost trading model.

In 2014 CEO Tom Kirby stepped down and was replaced by Kevin Rountree.[18] By 2020 Games Workshop had experienced significant turnaround from its slump of the early 2010s. In 2018 its annual report indicated profits had nearly doubled from the previous year and the companies share price had risen by 150%.[2] By 2020, its share price had risen by 1,000% over the previous five years.[3]

Miniatures games

Games Workshop originally produced miniature figures via an associated, originally independent, company called Citadel Miniatures (of which Marauder Miniatures was an imprint) while the main company concentrated on retail. The distinction between the two blurred after Games Workshop stores ceased to sell retail products by other manufacturers, and Citadel was effectively merged back into Games Workshop. Games Workshop also maintains a specialty, more expensive production line of miniatures made by Forge World.[12]

Main Production

The following games are the main production lines of Games Workshop.

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • Warhammer Fantasy, replaced officially by Age of Sigmar
  • Middle-earth: Includes The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and The Hobbit

Specialist Games

The following games are official spin-offs games that are intertwined with the main production lines.

Out of print

The following are older, out of print spin-offs of Warhammer 40,000:

Licensed Games

These games were not made by Games Workshop but made by other toy companies and available in stores other than Games Workshop and specialist gaming stores.

  • Cubicle7 currently publishes several licensed role-playing games including Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, Age of Sigmar: Soulbound, and Warhammer 40,000: Wrath and Glory.[16]
  • Fantasy Flight Games published a large number of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy role-playing games from 2008 until 2017.[15]
  • Space Crusade
    • Operation Dreadnought: an expansion for Space Crusade
    • Eldar Attack: an expansion for Space Crusade

Other Products

Video Games

Many computer games have been produced by third parties based on the Warhammer universes owned by the firm. Some of the most notable include the Dawn of War series[8], Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine[9], Vermintide[10], and Total War: Warhammer series[11].

Publishing

Games Workshop's publishing arm is known as Black Library Publishing. It publishes an array of novels, short stories, and audio dramas across Games Workshops intellectual properties. Its main current product lines are divided into Warhammer 40,000, Horus Heresy, Age of Sigmar, Warhammer Chronicles (Warhammer Fantasy Battle), and Warhammer Horror brands.[7]

Magazines

Games Workshop's best known magazine is White Dwarf, which in the UK has reached 354 issues. Seven different international editions of White Dwarf are currently published, with different material, in five languages. Originally a more general role playing magazine, since around issue 100 White Dwarf has been devoted exclusively to the support of Games Workshop properties. Currently Games Workshop also publishes Inferno!, which contains anthologies of short stories.

Games Workshop also published Fanatic Magazine in support of their Specialist Games range, but it was discontinued after issue 10, though it lives on in electronic form. Fanatic was preceded by a number of newsletters, devoted to the particular games. There was also the Citadel Journal, intended as a "deeper" magazine for modelling enthusiasts and more experienced gamers. It often featured unusual rules and armies, and was occasionally used as an outlet for test rules. Under some editors, they also published fan fiction and fan art. It was taken over by BL Publishing.

Comics

Games Workshop has published comics through third parties, such as with Titan Comics.[13] In 2019 it was announced that Games Workshop would be teaming up with Marvel Comics to produce a new line of comics based on Warhammer properties.[14]

Television and Film

Games Workshop has released films in the past, such as Ultramarines - A Warhammer 40,000 Movie. However recently they have made a more seirous attempt to expand into the market, and in the 2019-2020 period a wide variety of media projects were announced such as an Eisenhorn Television Series[4], Angels of Death[5], and Hammer and Bolter.[6]

External Links

Sources