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Games Workshop Group PLC (often abbreviated to GW) is a British game production and retailing company. Games Workshop is one of the largest wargames companies in the world. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange with the symbol GAW.[1]


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Founded in 1975 by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (also known for their Fighting Fantasy gamebooks), Games Workshop was originally a manufacturer of wooden boards for games such as backgammon and chess which later became an importer of the U.S. roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. Under the direction of Livingstone and Jackson, Games Workshop expanded from being a bedroom mail-order company to a successful gaming publisher and manufacturer. An early promotional magazine - Owl and Weasel - was superseded in June 1977, partially to advertise the opening of the first Games Workshop store, by the gaming magazine White Dwarf, which Livingstone also edited.

Their publishing arm also created UK reprints of famous, but then expensive to import, American RPGs such as Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Traveller and Middle-Earth Role Playing. In 1979, Games Workshop provided the funding to help found Citadel Miniatures, in Newark, a company that would produce the metal miniatures that were used in role-playing and table-top wargames. The Citadel name has become synonymous with Games Workshop Miniatures and continues to be a trademarked brand name used in association with them long after the Citadel company was absorbed into Games Workshop.[2]

In 1984, Games Workshop ceased distributing its products in the USA through Hobby Games Distributors and opened its Games Workshop (US) office. Games Workshop (US), and Games Workshop in general, went through a large growth phase in the late 80s and early 90s. Issue 126 of the White Dwarf (June, 1990) stated the company had over 250 employees.[3]

Following a management buyout in December 1991 the company refocused on their most lucrative lines, namely their miniature wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) and Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K) 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. 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, the USA, Canada and Australia opening new branches and organising events. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 1994. In October 1997, all UK based operations were relocated to the current HQ in Lenton, Nottingham. This site now houses the corporate HQ, the White Dwarf offices, mail order, and the creative hub.Template:Fact

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.

In recent years, Games Workshop 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).Template:Fact Games Workshop has also contributed to designing and making games and puzzles for the popular television series The Crystal Maze.Template:Fact

The release of Games Workshop's third core miniature wargame, The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game (LoTR SBG), in 2000 signalled their intention to capture the younger audience with a simple, yet effective and flexible, combat system.Template:Fact

Other key innovations have been to harmonise their core products, and to branch out into new areas of growth. The acquisition of Sabretooth Games (card games), the creation of The Black Library (literature), and their work with THQ (computer games) have all enabled the company to diversify into new areas which have brought old gamers back into the fold; plus introduced the games to a whole new audience.Template:Fact



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Alongside the UK publishing rights to several American role-playing games in the 1980s (including The Call of Cthulhu, Runequest[4] and Middle-earth Role Playing [5]) Games Workshop also secured the rights to produce miniatures and/or games for several classic British science fiction properties such as Doctor Who[6][7] and several characters from 2000 AD including Rogue Trooper and Judge Dredd. Alongside the rights to reprint ICE's Middle Earth Role Playing Citadel Miniatures acquired the rights to produce 28mm miniatures based on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

In conjunction with the promotion of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001, Games Workshop acquired the rights to produce a skirmish wargame and miniatures using the movies production and publicity art, and also on the original novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Although it should be noted that the current line uses 25mm scale).[8] The rights to produce a roleplaying game using the films art were sold to another firm, Decipher, Inc.. Games Workshop was also able to produce a Battle of Five Armies game based on The Hobbit, although this game was done in 10 mm scale for the normal warriors, and "heroic" scale for the named characters.Template:Fact

Games Workshop Group PLCEdit

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

The group reported sales of £136,650,000 sterling in 2005 and employs around 3200. [10]

Sales have decreased for the fiscal year ending in May 2006. "For the fiscal year ended 28 May 2006, Games Workshop plc's revenues decreased 16% to £115.2M. Net income decreased 78% to £2M. Revenues reflect a decrease in sales from Continental Europe, United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and The Americas geographic divisions"[11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

In 2007 the group showed a pre-tax loss of £2.9M.[16] after issuing profits warnings, closing non-profit-making stores, undertaking management restructuring and laying off staff in order to cut costs.[17]

Miniature gamesEdit

Games Workshop originally produced miniature figures via an associated, originally independent, company called Citadel Miniatures 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.

Current Core Games Edit

The following games are in production and widely available.

Specialist Games Edit

Link to the dedicated page for the Specialist Games division.

These games are aimed at the "veteran" gamers. These are gamers who are more experienced in the core games produced by Games Workshop. This is because the rules and the complexity of tactics inherent in the systems are often more in-depth than the core games.

Warhammer Fantasy universeEdit

Warhammer 40,000 universeEdit

  • Battlefleet Gothic - a game based around spacecraft combat
  • Epic - a game for fighting larger battles with smaller (6 mm) miniatures.
  • Inquisitor - a skirmish game using larger (54 mm) more detailed miniatures
  • Necromunda - a skirmish game

The Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game universeEdit

Forge World Edit

Forge World has recently released its first in-house game:

Warhammer Historical Edit

Out of print Edit

Warhammer Fantasy universeEdit

Warhammer 40,000 universeEdit

  • Adeptus Titanicus (original game in the Epic series, which concerned combat betweens Titans.)
    • Codex Titanicus - expansion rules for same
  • Advanced Space Crusade
  • Epic 40,000 (precursor to Epic Armageddon, although some people still use the terms interchangeably, alongside Epic.)
  • Gorkamorka (a skirmish game detailing gangs of orks)
    • Digganob (an expansion for Gorkamorka)
  • Lost Patrol
  • Space Fleet (Simple spaceship combat game from before Battlefleet Gothic)
  • Space Hulk (two editions were published, expansions below were for 1st edition)
    • Deathwing (expansion boxed set)
    • Genestealer (expansion boxed set)
    • Space Hulk Campaigns (expansion book in both soft and hard-cover)
  • Space Marine (original Epic-scale game concerning troops and infantry, 1st edition is a pair with Adeptus Titanicus, 2nd with Titan Legions)
  • Titan Legions (effectively an expansion of Space Marine, though it extended the game system)
  • Tyranid Attack
  • Ultra Marines - introductory game in same series as Space Fleet

Licensed games Edit

These games were not made by Games Workshop but used similar-style models, artwork and concepts. These games were made by mainstream toy companies and available in standard toy and department stores rather than just in Games Workshop and speciality gaming stores.

  • Battlemasters (published by Milton Bradley)
  • HeroQuest (published by Milton Bradley)
    • Kellar's Keep (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • Return of the Witch Lord (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • Against the Ogre Horde (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • Wizards of Morcar (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • The Frozen Horror (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • The Magic of the Mirror (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • The Dark Company (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • HeroQuest Adventure Design Kit (Expansion for Hero Quest)
    • Adventure Design Booklet (Expansion for Hero Quest)
  • Space Crusade (published by Milton Bradley)
    • Operation Dreadnought (Expansion for Space Crusade)
    • Eldar Attack (Expansion for Space Crusade)

Role playing gamesEdit

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 was first published in 1986 and returned to print with a new edition on March 29 2005. It is being published by Black Industries[1], part of GW's fiction imprint BL Publishing. BI has also announced a brand new game, Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay, to be published in several parts starting with Dark Heresy in early February 2008.Template:Fact

Out of print Edit

Board gamesEdit

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. Currently one board game is set for release via the Black Industries arm of the company, the fourth edition of Games Workshop's classic game "Talisman".

Out of print Edit

Computer gamesEdit

Games Workshop produced and published several ZX Spectrum games in the early years, not all of which were based in the usual Warhammer settings

  • Apocalypse (1983) based on the original boardgame
  • Argent Warrior (1984) Illustrated adventure
  • Battlecars (1984) 2 player racing game written in BASIC
  • Chaos (1985) multiplayer turn based "board" game, written by Julian Gollop
  • D-Day (1985) based on the Normandy Landings
  • HeroQuest (1991) based on the MB board game
  • Journey's End (1985) text adventure
  • Key Of Hope, The (1985) text adventure
  • Ringworld (1984) text adventure
  • Runestone (1986) text adventure
  • Talisman (1985) multiplayer turn based "board" game
  • Tower Of Despair (1985) text adventure

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)

  • Space Crusade (Space Crusade) and 1 sequel for the Amiga.
  • Dark Omen (RTT game based on Warhammer Fantasy Battles)
  • Shadow of the Horned Rat (RTT game based on Warhammer Fantasy Battles)
  • Space Hulk (Space Hulk)
  • Space Hulk - Vengeance of the Blood Angels (Space Hulk)
  • Final Liberation (Epic 40,000 - Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Orks)
  • Fire Warrior (First Person Shooter)(Warhammer 40,000 - Tau)
  • Dawn of War (Warhammer 40,000 - Space Marines (New Chapter: 'Blood Ravens'), Orks, Eldar, Forces of Chaos)
    • Winter Assault (PC Only/Add-on)(Warhammer 40,000: Armies same as Dawn of War, also: Imperial Guard (Cadian)
    • Dark Crusade (PC Only/Stand-Alone)(Warhammer 40,000: Same as Winter Assault, also: Necrons and Tau)
  • Chaos Gate (Warhammer 40,000 - Space Marines, Forces of Chaos)
  • Rites of War (Warhammer 40,000 - Eldar, Space Marines, Tyranid)
  • GorkaMorka (Warhammer 40K - Orks, cancelled)
  • Warhammer: Mark of Chaos (Warhammer - Orcs, Goblins, Dwarfs, Vampires, The Empire, Chaos, Skaven, High Elves,)

In developmentEdit

Template:Future product As of January 2006, there are also some future games in development:

  • Warhammer Online is a Warhammer online role-playing game by Mythic Entertainment.
  • Blood Bowl, a fantasy American football style game being developed by Cyanide. Cyanide developed the Chaos League series of games, similar in format to Blood Bowl.
  • Unnamed Warhammer 40,000 MMO by THQ. Information is found on the site that it is in development, but not releasing information.Template:Fact
  • Warhammer 40,000 turn based strategy game Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command which focuses on a squad of ultramarines fighting chaos space marines.


There are yearly Games Day events held by Games Workshop which feature the Golden Demon painting competition.

Worldwide campaignsEdit

Games Workshop has run numerous Worldwide Campaigns for its three core game sysyems. In each campaign, players are invited to submit the results of games played within a certain time period.[18] The collation of these results provides a result to the campaign's scenario, and in the case of Warhammer, often goes on to impact the fictional and gameplay development of the fictional universe. Although in the past, campaign results had to be posted to the United Kingdom to be counted, the more recent campaigns have allowed result submission via the Internet.

Each Warhammer campaign has had a new codex published with the rules for special characters or "incomplete" army lists. Below are listed the Games Workshop Worldwide Campaigns (with the campaign's fictional universe setting in parentheses):

These Campaigns were run to promote its miniature wargames, and attracted interest in the hobby, particularly at gaming clubs, Hobby Centres and independent stockists.[18] Forums for the community were created for each campaign (in addition to those on the main site), as a place to "swap tactics, plan where to post your results, or just chat about how the campaign is going."[18] In some cases special miniatures were released to coincide with the campaigns; the promotional "Gimli on Dead Uruk-hai" miniature, for example, was available only through the campaign roadshows or ordering online.[26] As a whole these events have been successful; one, for example, was deemed "a fantastic rollercoaster", with thousands of registered participants.[27]



Games Workshop's best known magazine is White Dwarf, which in the UK has now passed over 330 issues. Nine 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. The electronic form, known as "Fanatic Online" was originally released weekly, and contained 3 downloadable articles, but around November 2006 it changed to a monthly schedule. The first monthly edition, December 2006 still only contained 3 articles, though it is hoped that more articles will be in forthcoming issues. 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. This is no longer published.

For a brief period in the mid-1980s GW took over publication of the Fighting Fantasy magazine Warlock from Puffin Books. The magazine turned into a general introductory gaming magazine but was discontinued after issue 13.

There was also a fortnightly series called "Battle Games in Middle Earth", which came with a free Lord of the Rings SBG miniature. Though the miniatures were made by Games Workshop, the magazine itself was written by SGS (part of Games Workshop) and published by De Agostini. It was published in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, and Poland. The magazine became more popular than the publishers had anticipated, and the deadline was extended several times and ended on Pack 91. Battle Games in Middle Earth was reported as being the biggest selling part works magazine in De Agostini's history.

Other mediaEdit

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

Games Workshop illustrators also published artbooks covering parts of their commissioned work for the company. Among them, one can find Adrian Smith, John Blanche...



External linksEdit

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