Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Understanding GWs Pricing Plan

I think I was pretty surprised to hear the price of the new lead character for the hammarines.  The model is big but most of that appears to be empty space with essentially a normal hammarine with wings held up with some thin wide spiral of magical stuff.   He also does not really appear very customizable but maybe that is the case and we are only seeing one of the possible builds with other arms/heads/wings.  Now I can only assume his statline matches his price point in awesomeness and since there are no points for balance if you buy him you do not have to worry about what you remove from your list to play him.

So GWs new release price point has moved up a step.  This does making their older products seem like more of a bargain in comparison.  They want 80 for this but look at all this other cool stuff that is like 60 or 55 dollars.  On a serious note, one has to wonder what is behind this price point.  GW is not bad at pricing things to make a profit as they have stayed in the black for a few years now at these higher price levels but they have seen very flat and falling sales in total.  The price point for this plastic model is very close to those of the Forge World Resin Primarchs.  Think about that for a second.

Why is the price so high?  Well I would guess that it is because any single hammarine player/collector really only needs at most 1 of this model.  So they take their customer base, cut it down between games (20% AoS) then cut it down by faction(20% hammarines in fantasy right now since they are the new hotness) and they end up with 4% of your player base maybe buying 1 compared to something like a Rhino where they have (80%) and (40%) buying like 4.  The total volume is just not going to be very high for this item and probably those specific people are not really going to be that sensitive to the price point.  It is not like if they halved the price they would sell like 3 times as many.  The price of this guy is not really going to influence you starting playing that faction or the game as there are like 3 other faction leaders available at lower price points.  The price point feeds the trolls but they ignore the whines of the internet which might be why they are a shrinking business when the real niche is expanding.

So they need to pay for the expensive tooling, cheap production, distribution, and such while maintaining their margin and they end up with something that seems really expensive since the tooling cost is not being spread around enough.  This is probably not really a product that makes a lot of sense to make in plastic as they could probably make it cheaper and price it lower in finecast but that is not what they do anymore so plastic it is since they have the production equipment and if it sells better than expected the later copies are just pure profit.  It is sort of the 30 dollar clam pack single plastic characters taking to the extreme.  In metal/resin those could be done much cheaper even by GW, but they want to work in plastic now instead.

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