Magic: The Gathering Marketplace, Mage Market To Shutdown

Mage Market, the live marketplace for selling and buying Magic: The Gathering cards and accessories, has announced that it will cease its operations over the next month. The German company said that it will stop all transactions this week, but and its Mage mobile apps will continue to be accessible at least until the end of April.

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"After a month of consideration we've decided to proceed a shutdown of all operations for," CEO Peer Richelsen announced.

"COVID-19 has impacted our company and overall hobby industry in a way no one could have predicted nor prepared for," Richelsen said "We've experienced 60% less revenue—in a crucial time of our company, where every single dollar matters." However, "we've not found a way to build a profitable business fast enough in order to survive such global crisis and revenue fallout."

"My cofounder Malte [Delfs, CTO] and I believe that in these times, the right thing to do is to announce a controlled shutdown of operations," Richelsen continued, "and use the little money left to pay all employees extended severances and help everyone to find a new job opportunity."

Mage launched in 2016 as a card marketplace with the name Snapcardster, and it was part of the Winter 2019 cohort of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based accelerator program that advises and invests in small companies. Mage accepted seed funding from angel investors from Twitch and Y Combinator.

The rise of COVID-19 has hugely impacted many in-person industries, and tabletop Magic: The Gathering is no exception. Many of the local game stores in the Wizards Play Network have been forced to close their doors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even online Magic retailers such as Card Kingdom and ChannelFireball have temporarily shutdown their warehouse operations, and Wizards of the Coast has also postponed the official release of the next MTG set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, from April 24 to May 15.

"Additionally, we observe concerning developments in the 'paper' industry of Magic: The Gathering, namely cancellation of Magic Fests, local shutdowns of local game stores, decline of private game nights due to quarantine and much more," Richelsen added. "While all of these measurements are the correct thing to do, it lead us to the decision to shutdown further operations in this industry."

Here's the most painful line in Mage's announcement: "We do not believe the market will recover in the next 12 months, potentially never."

While Mage Market is the first major Magic marketplace to shut its doors, it's probably not the last to cease its business operations permanently before the COVID-19 problem vanishes.

Related: MTG Designers Reveal Hint For New White Card From Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths

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