Games Industry News Roundup- January 16th, 2024

Newsflash. It’s one of the most exciting words in the English language. It’s likely he closest thing written and verbal communication has to a cliffhanger. Someone says Newsflash, and what could be next? It’s gotta be important or they wouldn’t have said newsflash, right? That single space of a breath between the word newsflash and the rest of the sentence is filled with unbelievable anticipation. You’ve gotta know what it is. It’s a flash of news!

Well, newsflash dear reader: we are back again this week with another games industry news roundup. Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson was roused from his bed early this morning by shouting “newsflash!” in his ear just to make sure he got a bright and early start to bring you some important stories for this week. 

Games Workshop Releases Finalized Half-Year Earnings Report

Credit: Games Workshop

Games Workshop released its finalized half year earnings report for 2023-2024 last Tuesday, giving us some insight into how the company has performed financially over the past year as well as where its plans and challenges for the future lie. 

Firstly, the company financials are in-line with its predictions from its earlier forecast in December, which we covered here. In all areas save for licensing Games Workshop saw an increase in profits when compared to this time last year. The retail sector of the company in particular continues to do well, with Games Workshop opening 14 new stores internationally to bring the company to a total of 535 Games Workshop-owned Warhammer retail locations.

The document also outlines success in the manufacturing department for the company. The earnings report states that “improving efficiency” at the company’s three Nottingham factories has allowed for Games Workshop to break several manufacturing records this year and allowed Games Workshop to negate the need for additional new manufacturing equipment to meet demand. The document also speaks briefly about potential plans to open a fourth factory in the future, as demand increases. 

So with these improvements, why has Games Workshop been struggling to keep up with demand for models? The answer seems to be in Games Workshop’s dated warehousing technology. The earnings report states that the company is currently working with its IT department closely to replace the 20-year-old legacy warehousing systems. This project is known as the systems improvement project, or the SIP, and during the transition period to the modern warehousing systems, it “…may cause service levels to fall short at times for some customers. We will do everything we can to minimise this impact.” 

Overall, the report shows that Games Workshop is a healthy company and has the operating capital to continue to operate for the foreseeable future. While the company identifies the need to expand its IP into more forms of media and its large scale IT upgrades as its biggest challenges, it would seem that Games Workshop is moving in a very positive direction.    

SAG-AFTRA Unveils Deal with AI Company


In a truly bizarre twist, SAG-AFTRA made the announcement last week that after months of striking against the possibility of tech corporations to use AI to replace actors, the union has struck a deal with an AI company to allow for AI to replace actors. Specifically, video game voice actors. 

The agreement with Replica Studios allows for large video game companies to work with Replica Studios AI models that are trained by SAG-AFTRA members who have given permission to Replica Studios for their voice to be used for training AI models. The contract with Replica also offers protections to ensure proper compensations for those voice actors who have contracted with Replica for the use of models trained on their voice. According to an FAQ posted on the union’s website, the contract is experimental for one year, and is subject to change to protect members of SAG-AFTRA. 

Despite the press release stating that this decision was approved by “affected members of our union’s voiceover community”, even prolific voice actor Steve Blum was surprised to hear about the deal (though it seems he has come around somewhat on the contract since that post).

Las Vegas Open Begins This Week

Credit: Games Workshop

One of the biggest weekends in tabletop gaming is back. The Las Vegas Open, held annually for nine years by Frontline Games, returns to the Rio Casino in Vegas, running from Thursday, January 18th to Sunday, January 21st.

The massive event this year will be host to a myriad of gaming events across each of the four days, as well as hobby classes, a cosplay class, and scavenger hunt. It will also be host to one of the largest Warhammer 40,000 tournaments in the world, with over 900 players currently registered for the event online. The Warhammer 40k tournament will take place on Friday and Saturday, with the top 8 battling it out on Sunday to declare a winner. 

Games Workshop will also be hosting a preview event at LVO on Thursday, January 18th. The Warhammer Community website states that for this preview, Games Workshop has “got some big boxes to show off, as well as the latest developments from the Mortal Realms.” The preview will also be streamed live on the Warhammer Community twitch page at 9PM PST/5 AM GMT.

Facebook Bans Ads for the Board Game “Votes for Women” Due to “Political Content”

Credit: Fort Circle Games

BoardGameWire reported earlier last week that the award-winning game “Votes for Women” has been facing continued issues with trying to advertise its Kickstarter for its second print run on Facebook.

Votes for Women is a game by Tory Brown of Fort Circle Games, and centers around the Women’s Suffrage movement in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The game received universal praise upon its release by media outlets for both its gameplay and tone. Charlie Hall of Polygon said in his review, “It’s clear that Votes for Women is a template for how historical strategy games should be presented to a modern audience hungry for new experiences at the table.”

On December 17th, Fort Circle Games launched a Kickstarter for a second printing of Vote for Women, which as of this writing has earned almost $150,000, blowing past its humble $5,000 goal. This success does come with some frustration, as Fort Circle Games struggles to promote the game on one of the most popular social media platforms in the world: Facebook.

According to Fort Circle Games founder Kevin Bertram, ads for Votes for Women are repeatedly being flagged and taken down after very brief times on the website. Each time, the automated response states that the content is being taken down for promoting “‘sensitive social issues,” which “could influence how people vote and may impact the outcome of an election or pending legislation.’”

Bertram’s requests for review by Facebook staff have all been rejected thus far, and it is currently unclear if the game is being flagged by automatic content moderation or if a human is doing this. 

Bertram told BoardGameWire, “It is disappointing that a company that has financially benefited in the past from election shenanigans now will not allow advertising for a board game that celebrates a woman’s right to vote. It is beyond disappointing.”

While the Kickstarter will be a financial success, Facebook ads generate a good chunk of revenue for Kickstarter projects such as this one. Bertram estimates that the campaign could have missed out on as much as $60,000 due to issues with Facebook. 

Tory Brown had this important message to offer on the matter: “If you’re concerned about the outsized role that huge corporations like Meta now play in who gets to be heard, consider joining or supporting an organization like the American Economic Liberties Project, Public Citizen, or the Open Markets Institute.”

Twitch Kicks Off the New Year with Fresh Layoffs

Credit: Twitch

Oh boy! More layoffs! 

In a blog post last week on the company website, popular streaming platform Twitch made the announcement that it would be laying off a large portion of the company’s staff. 

The blog post by the company CEO, Dan Clancy, reported that despite efforts for the company to find sustainable ways to operate efficiently, it is unable to operate at its current size, given the amount of money the company pays out to Streamers and its other operating costs. On a livestream community chat, he would put this more bluntly: “We aren’t profitable at this point.”

Emails to those affected by the layoffs, which represent about 35% of the company’s workforce, were sent out last Wednesday. The streaming giant joins the massive tide of tech companies downsizing since last year, a grim omen as we start 2024 that we clearly are not out of the layoff woods yet here at the industry news roundup.

And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media. If you have an interesting tabletop news lead, send it to and we may include it in next week’s report!