Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast recently announced their direct partnership with Amazon in the United States "to give players who order their product through that channel a better experience". While this could help make Magic: The Gathering more accessible to players who don't live near a local game store (LGS), many have voiced their concerns about this move online, saying that this would hurt the business of LGS. Amazon is expected to sell booster boxes of recent sets at $94 USD each, so many believe that the direct partnership to sell MTG products could potentially draw more players to buy online instead of their LGSs.
When a fan recently asked Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater about the "seemingly greedy Amazon deal", MaRo responded on his Blogatog:
I believe that’s an unfair narrative. Let me explain. For starters, local game stores (LGS) are an important part of the Magic ecosystem and we do a lot to support them. We have an extensive organized play system, we make exclusive products and we do things like the Buy-a-Box promotion all to encourage players to go to their LGSs. But part of being player-centric, is supporting the players where and how they want to play and that extends beyond the LGS.
For example, not everyone can play at an LGS. Some don’t live near one. Others don’t have the transportation to get to one. Some don’t have a schedule that coincides with when the events are played. Still others simply aren’t aware of the LGS’s existence.
On a different vector, some players don’t want to play at an LGS. They might feel uncomfortable at one. They might have limitations that make playing at an LGS difficult. The way they like to play might be more conducive to a different environment. While an LGS is a good fit for many players, it’s not necessarily appropriate for all players.
Our goal is to make Magic accessible to everyone and that means not limiting the game to only those able and willing to play at an LGS. An important part of reaching this group is the Internet as that is the preferred way for many of them to access things.
I know this is a complex topic with a lot of nuance, but I think it’s important not to see any action to reach other players as inherently a move against the LGSs. I firmly believe the more people we bring into the game, the better it is for everyone within the Magic ecosystem, LGSs included.
It's true that LGSs are not for everyone but I think Wizards of the Coast should do more to help support LGSs. The Professor suggests that Wizards should make some Magic products exclusive for the LGSs. You can watch the videos from Tolarian Community College and TheManaSource below:
Do you think Wizards of the Coast's deal with Amazon is a good thing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The latest Magic set Guilds of Ravnica will be released this Friday.