Saturday, 10 November 2012

Maelstrom Goes Down..Wow. Official

Heard these rumours for some time and now it's official..
Man, am I glad I didn't go for the last ditch "moving warehouse" sale - fraud? Or a genuine attempt at covering debt?
Shocking business practice really... as a teacher of Business and Economics, I cannot fathom how this overtrading was allowed by the supplier, nor how Maelstrom management made this poor, poor decision.

Oh and Wayland? Great move. Force a competitor out at a cost of £100k? Why the hell not.
Question- if Wayland lose significantly more than £100k in sales per year to Maelstrom, is it not better to force them out of business and pick up the pieces - i.e. you and I shop at Wayland now.. creating greater overall revenue and therefore, hopefully, profit?
Answer - Fuck yes. Growth is good.. although as we can see, too rapid growth is not good!

Read all about it at Frontline Gamer (click the link) who has an excellent Editorial on the matter....and of course read the statement on the Maelstrom Games site. Fascinating... painful if you have outstanding orders...Overall, good for Wayland, potentially bad for the consumer as supply is distributed across one less company..less competitive market, higher price for us.. 


  1. Thanks for the plug. I'd rather not have a plug to an article like that though if you know what I mean. Overall a very sorry and sordid state of affairs.

    What's annoying to me though is that people seem to be taking 'sides' in what is simply a business transaction. Very strange. Maelstrom built up the debt and Wayland acted on a good business opportunity.

    1. Haha, I know exactly what you mean! It's not what you want people heading to you for!

      There are no sides to be had, it simple is what is. I guess a lot of people feel very personally involved in the whole situation, as though these guys are part of the community instead of businesses that exist to supply our demand for plastic crack!

      People are, of course, entitled to their own views. I have no doubt that Wayland will enjoy this victory, but feel reasonably secure that there will be minimal impact to the consumer as their whole business model relies on them being cheaper than GW, otherwise there is no reason to purchase from them.

  2. Buying the debt of a failing company probably cost them a lot less than face value. Even better deal.

    1. Of course it did. But from the comments online at various places, because people view the hobby as an extended community Wayland Games actions actually appear to have caused them just as much damage to their image. Rightly or wrongly (I think wrongly) just as many people are laying the blame at WG as they are MG.

    2. Just pipped to it.. Ninja'd! lol

      What are Wayland supposed to do, watch from the side lines? No, proactivity has secured their supply chain (the public reason for this action) but in truth has secured increased sales over the next year or so.

      Whether people will truly "blame" WG for forcing Maelstrom to pay within a reasonable time or not, time will tell I guess.

      My guess would be that some grumbling may take place, but business will continue apace..

    3. Yeah... motive is a big one though isn't it?

      In Wayland Games own words they tried forcing Maelstroms hand by offering to buy them out first. How serious an offer that was and for which facets of the business that was I don't rightly know. But that was their first action. So it calls into question the whole white knight act and protecting the supply chain. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that was part of the consideration, but it wasn't the lions share of the consideration. As to securing their supply chain... hmm... there were easier and better ways of doing that. Nope a good chunk of this business decision was about taking Maelstrom out of the equation. I say its valid if cut throat and had Maelstrom not gotten themselves into the mess in the first place this would never have happened.

    4. Bud - I couldn't agree more, and think that was how I came across above.. whole heartedly agree. "Cut throat" it may be, but let's not kid ourselves, trading is tough at the minute and advantages should be sought from whatever ethical means.

  3. For a further bit of context, here is a post from the previous owners of the debt that Wayland purchased:

    a "nominal fee" sounds like Wayland bought the debt for much less than face value, but also suggests that there would have been strings attached- else why not sell it to a debt recovery firm?

    Maelstrom has been sinking for more than a few months now, with them shipping very little of what was ordered and still taking people's money. Some reports put the debt at £600k so Wayland's slice is only a small part of it- I wonder which of the smaller companies are hurt by this (I am fairly sure GW will weather this with no problems :) ).

    Maelstrom screwed up big time (I will give the benefit of the doubt that it was not malicious), lied about it, engaged in business practices that may be fraudulent (taking customer money for items not in stock from companies who have cut them off due to non-payment of debts) and tried to transfer all assets to other newly formed companies leaving gaming companies and customers our of pocket. Whatever Wayland did and how "nice" it was, does not really feature on this scale.