back to article Games Workshop has chucked another £500k at entrenched ERP project with no end to epic battle in sight

UK tabletop wargames specialist Games Workshop has published the latest chapter in the long-running saga of how mighty IT warriors valiantly battled the intransigent forces of ERP. 3City Beach Bowl Cup, 2019: master tournament in Blood Bowl tabletop game (a Games Workshop game) Players battle over the Blood Bowl tabletop game …

  1. cantankerous swineherd

    "The early concepts look amazing."

    lol, selling early concepts for millions of GBP. why be a code monkey?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      When you've got a Warhammer, everything looks like a nail

      1. Gordon 10

        Bolter FTW!

  2. mikus

    Yet another failed, er, delayed ERP project that's overbudget and undelivered. Death by a thousand cuts, or change orders.

    Maybe at this point The Reg do so some public service and tally all their failed ERP projects year over year like the 12 days of bork, and name the incompetent (both implementer and customers that bought into them). Might pay it forward to the next generation of poor bastards that have to implement something new. ERP systems are always such nasty, nasty projects, no one gets out alive at the end of the day. They're almost as bad as medical HMS software.

  3. Aladdin Sane

    Profit before tax £88.2m

    Or one decent sized Imperial Guard army.

    1. Santa from Exeter

      Re: Profit before tax £88.2m

      Only if you don't go for the Forge world addons to your Astra Milliwhatsit force.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "more agile methodology"

    They are doomed. It's a codeword for "we don't know exactly what we are doing so let's improvise"

    1. TRT Silver badge

      "more agile methodology"

      Why can't they cast a "Bigby's Dexterous Pinch" instead?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "more agile methodology"

        "A More Agile Methodology" and "Bigby's Dextrous Pinch" both sound like the kind of thing where you just wave a wand and solve a problem by magic.

        qv The Druid spell "Otto's Irresistible Cloud".

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: "more agile methodology"

          That all sounds more like D&D you may want to cast Omen instead. (By reading the stars, the wizard can glean some information about the future.)

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "more agile methodology"

            I wonder if the DM (Design Master) would allow a combination of Otto's Irresistible Cloud and Baba Yaga's Wondrous Datacenter* to create a Cloud-on-Prem solution?

            *must remain within 60' of the caster who retains the principle spell component which is a set of keys.

      2. W.S.Gosset

        Re: "more agile methodology"

        > Why can't they cast a "Bigby's Dexterous Pinch" instead?

        That's restricted to Salesman characters.

        1. GrumpyKiwi

          Re: "more agile methodology"

          The Salesman is a specialised subclass of the Thief class.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: "more agile methodology"

            Do they get to use Bard spells, such as "Mesmeric Singing of the Praises"?

    2. Jugernautilus

      In my experience, whenever execs talk about switching to an agile methodology it means that they have heard that Agile is faster so lets have that while doing everything in exactly the same way as we always have.

    3. Paul 195

      The problem is that almost no-one adopting an "agile strategy" is actually doing anything recognisable as agile development. They will still have their requirements set in stone, and a bunch of milestones and release dates, and then force development teams to fit the work into 2 or 4 week sprints between milestones. It's not agile, it's not clever, and it never works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Seem to be an accurate description of what we're doing.



    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "more agile methodology"

      Just when they throw the dices for the teams "Agility" they always get a 1,

    5. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      I've been asked to change my way of working to agile too. I'm responsible for the power systems on spacecraft. I asked how Agile helps with that? I deliver a few cards, and they launch the spacecraft. Then later I deliver a few more cards, and they launch then to orbit, and then maybe at the end the motherboard for them to plug into and the box?

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The early concepts look amazing"

    Why ? Which artist did you hire to paint the figurines ?

    Okay, I jest, but Games Workshop was a cornerstone in my AD&D years.

    I do hope they'll make it through.

    1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: "The early concepts look amazing"

      AD&D is, sadly, a thing of the past. D&D 5e is almost back to AD&D greatness. The less we speak of the intervening versions the better.

      /coat Mine's the chainmail one with a bastard sword in the pocket

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The early concepts look amazing"

        At least you don't get forced updates* in the middle of a game!

        * Was WFH a few days ago, when an o365 was pushed out by the evil ICT wizards....

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "The early concepts look amazing"



      "The post is required, and must contain letters."

      Really??!! Not when you're making a dice modifier / saving throw reference it's not.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    job ads

    Over the past couple of years seen quite a few IT jobs advertised for Games Workshop.

    Given reporting of the ERP fiasco in El Reg (& elsewhere) - knew not to touch those roles with a bargepole

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: job ads

      ...not to touch these roles with a barge poleaxe. TFTFY.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: job ads

        ... or a chainsword, for that matter.

        1. Bongwater

          Re: job ads

          or Chain glaive!

      2. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: job ads

        10 foot pole, please.

    2. Alan_Peery

      Re: job ads

      What is this bargepole you speak of? We all know that the proper tool is a a 10 foot pole!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: job ads

        Maybe they employ a quarter staff?

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: job ads

          What do I have to do to stave off further such puns?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: job ads

            I appreciate they can make you crook, baton second thoughts I'll stick with it cudgel appreciate them eventually. Shillelagh you wouldn't want it to stop!

      2. OssianScotland

        Re: job ads

        But not in a 6-foot high passage. Curse you, evil DM!

        Obvious icon since no orcs were available.

  7. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    We bitch about government IT. But much of the private sector is no better. The number of people who can do this stuff is vastly outnumbered by accountants.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Yeah, but I bet the printed agenda for their board meetings are a LOT more fun...

      "You are in a room full of people all wearing suits. There is a table and 18 chairs. On the table is a jug of water and 17 glasses.

      To read the HR report, turn to page 2.

      To read the financial statement, turn to page 18.

      To read the director's report, turn to page 76.

      For any other business, turn to page 83.


      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "To get a drink of water, roll 1d6. A roll of 6 indicates a success.

        If you roll 16 consecutive fails, then you must fight an opponent for the last glass.

        Roll 3d6 for attack (red) and 3d6 for defence (blue).

        Match the highest red die to the highest blue die, then the next highest to the next highest and so on.

        For each pair of dice, if the attack is higher than defence, you have scored a blow against your opponent. If the defence is higher than the attack then your opponent has deflected your attack. In the event of a tie, roll that pair again.

        Two or more successful blows defeats your opponent and you take the last glass.

        If your opponent fends off two or more attacks, you have failed and they get the last glass.

        If you succeeded, turn to page 54.

        If you failed, deduct one point from your water ration and turn to page 12."

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @Brewster's Angle Grinder

      "We bitch about government IT. But much of the private sector is no better."

      The bitching is mostly because the gov doesnt go broke when they throw money at these tasks, they just throw more money at our expense

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: @Brewster's Angle Grinder

        But nor do institutional shareholders go broke if a private company goes to the wall. They continue to throw more money at badly run companies. Maybe some of the company's C-suite have to live off their savings. Maybe a few auditors are struck off. And maybe a few retail investors loose their homes. But if you think the private sector learns hard lesson, they don't. Government is just another risk pool - but for services society sees as essential. Because most of us don't want our health provide going bankrupt halfway through chemo.

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Trust me: the private sector is better. Not good, mind, but shareholders get pissed off much faster than taxpayers.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Play the game,,,,

    Are we going to succeed this year?

    Roll 1d20

    Hmm. Got a 1. That will be 'no' then.

    Roll 5d10 to determine the cost in tens of thousands.

    50. Bollocks..

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Play the game,,,,

      Roll for damage...

  9. jason_derp

    All the best to Games Workshop

    I'm sure it's hard not being able to just steal the solution for once.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: All the best to Games Workshop

      You need a high dexterity for a thief.

  10. Bongwater

    I wish

    Orks were on this website, their comments would be gold.

    Imagine Ghaz'Kull complaining about GDPR for example, or the musings of Trazyn over China and theft of property.

  11. RuffianXion
    Paris Hilton

    It took me way too long to realise this article wasn't about Erotic Role Playing.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Games Workshop stopped doing Dungeons and Dragartists* several years ago.

      *though you can still play Tunnels and Trolls on online forums like this.*grinning devil*

  12. W.S.Gosset

    Profit margin!?

    No one else got their jaw on the floor re GW's profit margin?

    NET profit before tax is 46%! Prev.yr it was 49%!


    ...guess I shouldn't have given up roleplaying games after school.... (RuneQuest FTW!)

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Profit margin!?

      It's nothing to do with the games, it's all about the figures.

      1. lunacybooth

        Re: Profit margin!?

        That's plastic crack to you sir...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Profit margin!?

          They don't do metal miniatures anymore?

          1. Cuddles

            Re: Profit margin!?

            There are still some older metal minis available, but they've been gradually phasing them out so everything released in the last 15 years or more is plastic.

      2. W.S.Gosset

        Re: Profit margin!?

        Good figures from good figures.

        Makes sense, I guess.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Profit margin!?

          They weathered the recession anyway... with a good coat of Stirland Battlemire.

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "We are currently in the scoping phase. The early concepts look amazing."

    So... nobody's done anything, then.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ERP for retail shops?

    A medium sector accounting/shopping cart platform would cover accounts payable, tax, accounts receivable, etc.

    Not sure why someone/some consultancy has managed to convince them to go for a tier 1 level ERP platform. Seems very overkill.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: ERP for retail shops?

      The stock market "purportedly" demands such systems; which is why they have been foisted onto many companies un-necessarily. I've never seen the payback in share prices improving as a result of badly-deployed ERP. Which it inevitably is.

  15. Binraider Silver badge

    Perhaps, if they listened to what their audience was saying about them rather than being mired in an IT boggle they might understand why sales have collapsed.

    GW has been in a death spiral since the launch of AoS; prices up, game quality down, and frivolous lawsuits / takedown orders thrown at fan-made material. The latter being the very lifeblood of creativity that goes into sustaining wargaming, if not one of the main reasons to be interested IN wargaming. Throw covid over the top and limited access to stores and gaming in person won't have helped.

    One is not surprised at of course, most of the old guard have moved on to other things leaving only the accountants at the top of leadership rather than creators. I highly doubt if the senior leadership have any actual interest in the hobby they peddle at all.

    I've never forgiven GW when they dropped their moniker as an outlet for all things gaming and RPG; insisting that it was their way or the highway. My old wargaming club's annual competition & trade show ditched the GW presence entirely long, long ago - when they insisted the show be GW, or not at all.

    I'll be sticking to classic 40k, blood bowl & Warhammer Fantasy out of their lineup for some time to come.

    Any other grognard 6th ed WRG players still here? (Or even the even more niche hex-and-counter stuff that I've spent the last three years rediscovering).

    1. Cuddles

      "Perhaps, if they listened to what their audience was saying about them rather than being mired in an IT boggle they might understand why sales have collapsed."

      By "collapsed" you mean "significantly increased"? Because GW are doing better than ever, and sales just keep going up. You can complain that you personally don't like the direction they've gone in, and your far from alone in that, but claiming that doing things you don't like is responsible for all their terrible hardships don't make a lot of sense when they're not actually experiencing any such hardship. As for covid, it had the exact opposite effect of what you think, since everyone and their dog ordered more stuff to occupy themselves at home resulting in a boom in sales.

      I'm also really not convinced you can justify the word "grognard" when talking about an edition launched this millenium. Rogue Trader or bust.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        WRG 6th was released in 1980, so I'm pretty sure that qualifies as grognard material!

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      "My old wargaming club's annual competition & trade show ditched the GW presence entirely long, long ago - when they insisted the show be GW, or not at all."

      My guess is you were using their branding or trademarks and they have every right to enforce their terms on this.

      If you don't use their registered trademarks or branding there is absolutely nothing they can do.

      In short, come to our wargaming club and play is OK. Come to our wargaming and play Warhammer 40,000 will be a trademark infringement.

      It's stupid, but that's the way it goes.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        No, didn't touch their branding at all. The problems stemmed from their unwillingness to allow their stuff feature at club trade shows alongside other game sellers and miniature makers. Which is completely at odds with what they were in the early 80s. Old white dwarf is full of evidence of when GW supported (and sold) a whole bunch of other games & publishers. Then pulled the rug out from under them.

        Given the club's focus and competition gaming - was almost entirely on WRG having GW overrun the entire show wasn't an option.

        Squashing the competition by anticompetitive practice is a well known phenomenon!

  16. AshenWolf

    It's a black hole

    After all this time, and with an agile approach and they have only concepts, then the project is a failure. Appoint a new developer and go again with with a more realistic expectation. It's an ERP system using an off the self package.

    It's complex but not that complex

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like