Games Workshop

From Academic Kids

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Gwlogo.png
The style of the Games Workshop logo is copied in the titles of many of their games

Games Workshop is a British game production and retailing company. Games Workshop is one of the largest games companies in the world, and is the dominant company in the miniature wargaming hobby. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange with symbol GAW.

Contents

Overview

Games Workshop was originally an importer of American board games and RPGs. When they became publishers of the UK based roleplaying 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 such as Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Traveller and Middle-Earth Role-Play.

During the 90s, following a management buyout the company refocussed on their most lucrative lines, namely their miniature wargame Warhammer lines. The retail chain refocussed 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. The complaints of these old customers led a breakaway group of GW employees to publish Fantasy Warlord in competition with GW, but this met with little success. Games Workshop expanded in Europe and the USA opening new branches and organizing events. By the end of the decade, though, the company was having problems with falling profits being blamed on collectible card games such as Magic: The Gathering and Pokémon.

Recently 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 (the Internet is used widely in this approach, to collect ideas and playtest reports).

One of their better-known games is HeroQuest which was sold in high street stores under the MB name and introduced many people to the hack 'n' slash style of game.

Miniatures games

Currently in Production

The following games are in production and widely available.

"Specialist" games

The following games are considered "specialist" and are not necessarily available in Games Workshop stores. They are however available through mail order and are supported by the specialist games division of Games Workshop. Note also that some of these games (e.g. Necromunda) are available only as rules and miniatures, not in the "boxed set" form that they originally took. They are all set within one of the universes of the main games.

Warhammer Fantasy Universe

Warhammer 40,000 Universe

Lord Of The Rings Universe

Out of print

Warhammer Fantasy Universe

Warhammer 40,000 Universe

Licensed games

These games were not made by Games Workshop but used Games Workshop style models (usually of lesser quality) and concepts with simplified game systems. These games were made by mainstream toy companies and available in standard toy and department stores rather than just in Games Workshop and specialist gaming stores. They are clearly set in Warhammer worlds.

Role playing games

Several of the miniatures games (e.g. Inquisitor) involve a role playing element, however Games Workshop has in the past published role playing games set within the Warhammer universe. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is coming back into print with a new edition on March 29 2005. It is being published by Black Industries[1] (http://www.blackindustries.com/), a Games Workshop subsidiary.

Out of print

Board games

Games Workshop had a strong history in boardgames development, alongside the miniatures and RPGs. Confusingly, several may have had roleplaying elements, or for that matter had miniatures included or produced.

Out of print

Computer Games

Games Workshop produced (at least?) one computer game in the early years

Many computer games have been produced by third parties based on the Warhammer universes owned by the firm. These include: (Miniature game they are based on is included in parentheses after the game name)

A Warhammer online role-playing game, Warhammer Online, was in development but was ultimately cancelled.

Other media

Many comics and novels have also been produced based on the Warhammer universes, published by the Black Library.

Miniatures

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A limited edition Games Workshop (Citadel) ogre painted by user:KayEss

Games Workshop originally produced miniature figures via an associated, originally independent, company called Citadel Miniatures (of which Maurauder 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 has faced criticism for selling particularly expensive miniatures, regularly raising prices, and also constantly updating their games, making older versions of the rules and minatures redundant. Despite this, their miniatures are acknowledged as being of particularly high quality, though even this is recently called into question on occasion by the emergence of companies such as Reaper Miniatures and Rackham.

Magazines

Games Workshop's best known magazine is White Dwarf, which in the UK has now passed 306 issues. Seven different international editions of White Dwarf are currently published, with different material, in five languages. Originally a more general roleplaying magazine, since around issue 100 White Dwarf has been devoted exclusively to the support of Games Workshop properties.

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 Compendium, intended as a "deeper" magazine for modelling enthusiasts. This is no longer published.

Licensing

In conjunction with the production of cinematic adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Games Workshop acquired the rights to produce a skirmish wargame based on the films, and also on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The rights to produce a roleplaying game version of the films were sold to another firm.

Games Workshop Group PLC

Games Workshop has expanded into several divisions/companies producing products related to the Warhammer universe.

  • Games Workshop produce the tabletop wargames, Citadel miniatures and the Specialist Games range.
  • Sabertooth Games produce the CCGs and The Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game.
  • BL Publishing is the publishing arm of Games Workshop.
  • Warp Artefacts (http://www.warpartefacts.com) produce merchandise based on Games Workshop's intellectual property.
  • Forge World make complementary specialist resin miniatures and conversion kits.

External links

pl:Games Workshop

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