Games Workshop to give all staff £5000 share bonus amid another strong year of sales

A boost in the hobby and hobby gaming sector over the past year and throughout the pandemic has led to another set of record results for the UK’s miniatures and tabletop gaming specialist, Games Workshop, who is set to hand £12 million worth of share bonuses to staff following the success of its current financial year.

The share bonuses will be paid on an equal basis to each member of staff, handing each around £5,000. It’s a significant increase on the bonus received by staff members in the previous year, when the UK firm paid profit share bonuses amounting to £2 million.

Games Workshop has detailed particularly strong sales in its current financial year, one that it expects will end at no less than £350 million in the year to May 30th 2021. This marks a leap of some £80 million on the year prior, fueled in large by increase demand and engagement with the hobby scene over the course of the pandemic, as well as an evolving and growing licensing arm now spanning some of the biggest entertainment franchises globally.

The hobby specialist is also expecting its full year pre-tax profit to come in at not less than £150 million, up from £89 million in the prior 12-month period. This will includes royalties receivable from licensing which are estimated to be around £15 million.

The Retail Bulletin reports that, when announcing the company’s half year results back in January, Games Workshop chief executive Kevin Rountree said the business had put in a “cracking” performance with sales rising to £186.8 million in the six months 29 November compared to £148.4 million in the corresponding period in the previous year.

In addition to its Games Workshop  website, the company operates the Warhammer chain of stores across the UK.

Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering extend licensed products portfolio with WizKids

Hobby and tabletop gaming fans can immerse themselves deeper within the lore of the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and the strategy card game Magic: The Gathering thanks to a raft of new products courtesy of WizKids.

WizKids is recognised as the premier manufacturer of premium pre-painted miniatures and tabletop games, but will now introduce an arsenal of new game accessories and lifestyle products for fans wishing to show their affinity to their beloved brands. Debut product categories include action figures, prop replicas, apparel, and game accessories such as maps, battle mats, bags, carrying cases, and more.

“As players and fans of these two popular games, we are thrilled to be creating dynamic products that will enhance the play experience for enthusiasts of these long-admired franchises,” said Justin Ziran, president at WizKids.

WizKids will also offer branded, high-quality paints and paint supplies as a companion to its successful Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures line – designed for all levels of painting experience. Additionally, WizKids is adding high quality, unpainted, sprue miniatures for intermediate and veteran miniature painters.

“We are excited to expand our strategic partnership with WizKids to encompass both D&D and Magic. By increasing the variety of products available in key categories, we will further enhance our fans’ experience around the gaming table and offer new collectibles and lifestyle products that allow them to show off their fandom with friends and family,” said Ann Earp, director of licensing at Wizards of the Coast.

“The product quality of WizKids and their ability to tap into what fans are really looking for has grown our business exponentially for D&D, and we look forward to them bringing that same success with Magic: The Gathering products and accessories.”

Expanded categories include Dungeons and Dragons sprue miniatures, action figures, an official paint line, artifacts and prop replicas for both Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons and Dragons battle mats, maps, bags, and a carrying case.

These new product categories will join the previously announced papercraft and 2D miniatures lines.

Games Workshop valued at £3.8bn as hobby demand fuels its latest sales surge

Games Workshop, the British firm behind the wildly popular Warhammer tabletop miniatures gaming franchise, has reported blockbuster sales and profits driven by the stay at home messaging of the last year and the surge in the hobbyist and gaming markets.

The company’s chief executive, Kevin Rountree has billed its 2020 results as “another cracking performance from a truly amazing global team”, as it rang in sales of £186.8 million and a profit of £91.6 million for the six months to November 29th, 2020.

The results outstripped the estimated figures, equating to around a 25 per cent surge in sales and a leap of 53 per cent in profits year on year. Games Workshop is now valued at £3.8 billion on the stock market – £1 billion more than Marks & Spencer.

The group managed to turn around the initial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic that saw Games Workshop stores closed during the UK’s first lockdown period last year. Most of the group’s 529 shops around the world have been closed, causing some initial concern over how it will reach its active customer base over the course of the year.

A surge in demand for the hobby market, and a particular rise in board gaming and the gaming sector, as well as the lean into online shopping saw Games Workshop’s online sales grow by 87 per cent. To meet customers in the digital space, the group also hosted a series of live-streamed online preview events to showcase new products and its own team of creatives.

Covid-19 has delayed production on some of Games Workshop new releases, such as titles like Death Guard Codex and pieces for the Age of Sigmar franchise, however the firm has promised fans that these will go on sale fortnightly from next week.

Chief executive Rountree has commended the global team for the success of the Games Workshop brand over what has been a challenging year for the retail sector overall, and has said that the company will continue to “focus on what is in our control” as it builds upon the success over the coming months.

“Like every other company we have our internal plans as to our future performance, which show a range of outcomes which are not shared with the stock market; predicting the future is always a risky business,” he said.

“We will focus on what is in our control; delivering on our operational plan rather than worrying about, for example, any short term share price or the weather.

“Our biggest risk is senior management becoming complacent, I will continue to do my best to ensure that does not happen.”

Looking to the months ahead, Rountree gave little away: “Like every other company we have our internal plans as to our future performance, which show a range of outcomes which are not shared with the stock market; predicting the future is always a risky business.”

“We will focus on what is in our control; delivering on our operational plan rather than worrying about, for example, any short term share price volatility or the weather.”

Perhaps referring to the garlands it receives in the retail and games industry for its stellar success around the world, he added: “Our biggest risk is senior management becoming complacent. I will continue to do my best to ensure that does not happen.”

AMC’s The Walking Dead invades Magic: The Gathering in limited edition Secret Lair crossover

Wizards of the Coast’s globally revered Magic: The Gathering has struck upon a ‘one-of-a-kind crossover with AMC’s The Walking Dead, to bring a super-limited-edition drop to the strategy card gaming franchise called The Walking Dead Secret Lair.

The drop will include an all-premium foil set of cards, with all but one of them being revealed in the coming weeks, and the last in the series being kept a secret for players to discover.

AMC’s The Walking Dead Secret Lair series will be open for pre-order for a limited time between October 4th and October 12th this year, coinciding with AMC’s We are The Walking Dead Weekend that will kick off with The Walking Dead Special Event: The Whisperer War Final Showdown. This will be followed by the premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and ending with a special episode of The Walking Dead in which fans can anticipate an unboxing and preview of the cards.

“Wizards of the Coast is thrilled to collaborate with AMC to bring these iconic characters to the greatest strategy card game,” said Bill Rose, SVP of Magic: The Gathering design and development, Wizards of the Coast.

“We can’t wait for fans of both Magic: The Gathering and AMC’s The Walking Dead to discover fun new ways to play when they add this Secret Lair drop to their collection.”

Clayton Neuman, VP of games for AMC, added: “Magic: The Gathering is one of the most seminal works in the history of gaming. So, we were beyond thrilled to work with Wizards to pair it with one of the most beloved series in the history of television.

“These cards are a perfect blend of the two universes, and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on them and discover all the tricks we’ve hidden up our sleeves.”

The cards included in this very special Secret Lair drop will be completely new to Magic: The Gathering, depicting the iconic characters of the long-running and critically acclaimed TV Series. The included cards have never been seen before in Magic: The Gathering and bring unique gameplay and text different from any other printed cards, which will only be legal in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander.

Magic: The Gathering’s Secret Lair is a collection of curated, limited-edition releases featuring some of the most exciting artists working today. The most recent drop celebrated a fan-favorite Magic character with Yargle Day on September 3rd, having previously launched other drops with varied themes, such as supporting International Women’s day, collaborating with Wizard of Barge for an oozing, all-slime crossover, or getting involved with International Dog day.

Games Workshop sees £269m revenue in ‘best financial year in its history’

Games Workshop is celebrating what it has hailed ‘the best financial year in the company’s history,’ having reported a revenue of £269.7 million for the 12 months to May 31st 2020. That’s an increase of over £10 million on the £256.6 million it totalled for the same period in 2019.

The miniatures manufacturer and name behind the globally popular Warhammer franchise also saw pre-tax profits grow from £81.3 million to £89.4 million over the financial year.

Commenting on the results, chief executive officer, Kevin Roundtree, said: “An amazing set of results – the best year in Games Workshop’s history, so far.

“You can once again see from these results that our business and the Warhammer hobby are in good shape. We look forward to the year ahead and will face any challenges head on and learn from our mistakes.”

Headquartered in Nottingham, Games Workshop’s business had been closed for more than a month at the height of the UK’s lockdown measures, including its high street retail outlets.

However, a ‘particularly strong’ appetite for the latest Warhammer launch and an around 40 per cent jump in user numbers on the Warhammer website to over 8 million appears to have helped the miniatures company maintain its momentum.

Games Workshop’s Roundtree added: “We thank our staff and customers and other stakeholders for their continued support during these uncertain times.”