Our history

Games Workshop is the largest and the most successful tabletop fantasy wargames company in the world. Our major brands are Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. In addition, we hold a licence for The Lord of the Rings tabletop battle game. At the heart of the Hobby are the millions of gamers, who spend their time collecting, creating, painting and building up the armies which they go on to command on a carefully prepared tabletop battlefield.

Who we are

Games Workshop began its life in the UK but now has direct sales operations in the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Italy and Japan. With around 70% of sales coming from outside of the UK, we are truly international.

What we do

We design, make and sell miniature soldiers. To that end we also design, make and sell game systems and accessories of extraordinary variety. Our vast range of plastic and metal soldiers and rulebooks is the foundation of an almost infinite hobby. Our design centre is in Nottingham and we have manufacturing and distribution facilities in Nottingham and Memphis, TN.

Games Workshop is a vertically integrated business, retaining control over every aspect of design, manufacture and distribution of our models and rulebooks. Products are sold through our own chain of over 300 Hobby Centres and more than 4,000 other toy and hobby shops around the world. These outlets are complemented by our mail order and online sales businesses.

How it all began

Games Workshop was founded more than 30 years ago by three game fanatics who began selling handmade, classic wooden games from their homes in London. They went on to develop a chain of general games shops. In 1981 Games Workshop helped to found Citadel Miniatures Limited, a manufacturer of metal miniatures based at Newark-on-Trent, in Nottinghamshire. A few years later the company moved closer to Nottingham and began to develop and expand, producing wargame systems under the Games Workshop name.

Tom Kirby, the Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive, joined us in 1986 as General Manager. In December 1991 Tom led a management buy-out and in October 1994 the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange. In October 1997, all UK based operations were relocated to the current HQ in Lenton, Nottingham.

As well as helping to consolidate our UK businesses, the move provided Games Workshop with space to create Warhammer World, the premier wargaming arena. These new facilities have allowed the UK business to stage increasing numbers of gaming tournaments and special events. Today Lenton is a vibrant and exciting Hobby base and has become a place of pilgrimage for gamers from around the world.

Tabletop wargaming

Wargames are not board games – for there is no board! A wargame is a battle with model warriors played out on any convenient surface such as a tabletop, desk, or even the floor. Tape measures and rulers are used to gauge the movement of troops and the ranges of their weapons. Dice are employed to resolve the effectiveness of shooting and hand-to-hand fighting – but ultimately a wargame is a game of strategy in which generals must balance caution and daring in pursuit of victory