Games Workshop, UK-based manufacturer of Warhammer 40k, has announced a half-year profit-share cash bonus of $1,850 / £1,500 for each of its employees. The announcement comes in a December 7 update on the firm’s financial position, via its investor relations website, where it also declares pre-tax profits of $102.8 / £83 million.
This year’s profit share bonus will arrive for staff during a winter of high prices for food, fuel and energy. It also comes as sections of the US tabletop industry have made moves towards collective action for improved working conditions and benefits – including successful unionisation efforts at game firms Card Kingdom, Pathfinder RPG publisher Paizo, and Noble Knight Games.
The half year trading update is a get-you-by for investors and analysts waiting for a full, half year report, which GW promises for January 10 next year. It looks like GW is on track for lower profits than financial year 2021-22, but it does offer an explanation why.
According to the update, GW’s pre-tax profits are down from $109.3 / £88.2 million in the first half of financial year 2021-22, to $102.8 / £83.0 million in the same period of 2022-23. However, the firm attributes almost all of this change to how it accounts for licensing deals, stating that it records any “guaranteed income” from a licensing deal in the year it signs the contract.
GW points to a “significant number of computer game licensing deals” being struck in financial year 2021-22, which inflated licensing profits. Actual payments and the games themselves will take longer to trickle through.
We can only speculate what these signed deals were. We’ve seen massive GW licensed games before, particularly Sega’s licensed Total War: Warhammer series, but the Total War Warhammer 3 release date was just too early for it to have been signed in this round of licensing. Likewise, flagship Warhammer 40k shooter Darktide was announced back in July 2022. Given game development timelines, we expect much of this crop of licensed games is still unannounced, though Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader is at roughly the right stage of development that it could have been signed in 2021.
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