It hasn’t been a great end of the year for tabletop largest companies. Hasbro’s unceremonious layoff of 1,100 workers (roughly 20% of the toymaker’s staff) cut deeply into Wizards of the Coast, affecting some notable names on Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. You couldn’t be blamed for looking sideways at Games Workshop, worried about a similar downturn.
Luckily for the makers of Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar miniature wargames, the English company’s half-year trading update reported that sales were “in line with expectations” before shelling out a £2,500 cash bonus as part of its long running profit share scheme - pooled into a grand total of £7.5 million. Besides a steep discount on extruded plastic and paint pots, GW’s profit sharing has been one of the biggest reported benefits of working within the largest miniature producer in the industry.
Games Workshop estimates that it raked in £235 million (roughly USD$3 million) in core revenue over the last six months, an increase over the £212.3 million in the previous half year. Licensing revenue from third-party video games and other properties clocked another £12 million (USD$13 million), which was a slight decrease compared to £14.3 million (USD$18.2 million) in the 2022/2023 period. The company estimates that its profit before tax over the last six months from November 2023 is a cool £94 million (USD$120 million).
A full half yearly report will further flesh out these figures when Games Workshop publishes it on January 9th, 2024, but this is already a 66% increase to the £4.5 million the company paid out last year. Warhammer 40,000 released its anticipated 10th Edition rules earlier this year, along with the accompanying Leviathan box set. Despite some problems with the rules and the general unavailability of Leviathan, Warhammer 40,000’s latest iteration met with plenty of excitement and acclaim amongst fans and players.
Beyond licensed video games both pretty good (Rogue Trader) and not-so-good (Realms of Ruin), Games Workshop is largely planning for a bold 2024 release calendar that will include the long-awaited reboot of Warhammer: The Old World. A rumoured live-action Warhammer show starring Henry Cavill has yet to materialise, axing what would’ve been the miniature wargame’s answer to D&D’s Honor Among Thieves.
Speaking of comparisons to the big dragon game, it might be wise not to stack too directly GW’s payment scheme against Hasbro’s indiscriminate corporate cruelty (even when it landed weeks before the holidays). Brands are not your friend under any circumstances, and any Warhammer fan would likely fill your plate with grievances and legitimate complaints. It’s good that workers are sharing in their company’s success - let’s simply leave it at that.