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  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    So I finally returned to one of my Local Game Stores that I normally used to go to on Saturdays after a five month quarantine that is currently now operating at 25% capacity. As far as In-Store Play restrictions go it wasn't as bad as I initially thought it'd be however the Local Game Store / Comic Book Shop by my house still has In-Store Play in lock down til September especially since there's not as much overhead. Everyone's required to wear face masks / coverings while drink refills from the fountain machine don't seem to be a problem as it is at my work place. Arrows were placed on the floor to help customers practice social distancing near the retail checkout area. The only floors that were available were upstairs and the central area where as downstairs was closed due to lack of activity where they would normally have Organized Play for Pokémon.

    Buying / Selling card singles don't seem to be as much of an issue however the employees stopped displaying older MTG singles in their showcase while only displaying newer MTG cards protected with glass coverings. Didn't see any tables with plexiglass installed though there was plenty of hand sanitizer for customers to use at the store. The store used to have two computers to place orders and sell cards on their website however they condensed it to one computer while also making room for their 3D Printer for making character models and figures for D&D and other Role-Playing Games. I did manage to get a few EDH / Commander games in while selling $50 worth of cards to help support my Local Game Store (LGS). One of my friends brought over his HD flat screen TV to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Sword & Shield on his Nintendo Switch. I think we had at least 15-20 people that day.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from mikeyG »
    Did MtG sales dip through the spring? Are sales rebounding this summer with things reopening? I've seen conflicting reports (evidently Q1 revenues were up, but covid really only struck in the last slice of that quarter so Q2 sales will be the better datapoint). Q3 may see that uptick with reopens shifting perception, but I do wonder how the unemployment and housing crises may have blunted the MtG sales recovery.
    There was a recent Hasbro Report stating that Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was the best selling Spring set in the history of the brand though they were actually referring to sales on Arena / MTGO not Paper Magic. Nobody was really able to go to their Local Game Store (LGS) for In-Store Play Standard before Lurrus of the Dream-Den and Companion in general were causing a lot of problems in most competitive formats. The level of power creep in Standard is so bad right now that it'd probably take another rotation cycle after Zendikar Rising just to fix it. Oh they'll ban Growth Spiral but not Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath? Seriously Wizards?
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Not sure If anyone's heard about this yet however there were some YouTube videos recently of a group of doctors in front of the U.S. Supreme Court including Stella Immanuel claiming that she had cured COVID-19 in 350 patients at her clinic using a combination of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc and that public health measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing were no longer necessary. Apparently the antimalarial medication hydroxychloroquine had previously had its emergency use authorization for COVID-19 removed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which said it had not been proven to be an effective treatment for the virus. Even If it hadn't been proven yet that still doesn't give them the right to silence these doctors from getting the information out there to test whether or not If it is an effective treatment against COVID-19.

    These big pharmaceutical companies only want to prolong this pandemic as much as possible so they can turn a profit off of a sick society. It does make you wonder just how expensive a future cure / vaccine for COVID-19 really is for these companies to maliciously prolong this pandemic to their own benefit. They're even turning it into some sick competition where the first country to find a cure / vaccine for COVID-19 will be rewarded a Noble Peace Prize even though peoples' lives are at stake. By the time they find a cure / vaccine for COVID-19 over half of the worlds entire population will probably already be wiped out from existence as they won't have as many patients left to show for it. Since when has self engineered genocide been a viable alternative to war? It's not unless you're some kind of rich billionaire who has ties to the World Health Organization (WHO) by paying them to promote germ warfare.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Probably a bit early to say though I'm expecting Zendikar Rising to be an At Home / Remote Play Pre-Release instead of In-Store just like Core 2021 and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was supposedly. Even If Wizards of the Coast decides to lift In-Store Play Suspension in September it will still be too late to save the Zendikar Rising Pre-Release for In-Store Play at Local Game Stores. Local Game Stores will miss at least two Pre-Releases and this is a pretty big deal because Pre-Releases are a HUGE way for stores to accumulate money. So there's something in marketing called "Customer Acquisition Cost" a.k.a. CAC, so how much money does it cost for me to acquire a client or customer? Well in Pre-Release terms this is a free way for Local Game Stores to acquire customers while some of them may be even long-time customers.

    That's why in a Pre-Release there's a lot more people and some of these people you've never seen before whether If they've played in FNM, Commander Night on Tuesdays, or Modern, because a) these people or maybe more casual, maybe they don't have a Paper Standard deck to take to FNM Standard or maybe they don't like drafting but there's more casuals on Pre-Release so you should have the most players than you will ever have at your store for Paper Magic given how it's a Casual Event. You don't need to have a pre-made deck in order to enter after all In-Store Play was previously re-instated on June 1st and by the end of the month the situation was drastically different, so different that Wizards of the Coast felt that it was best to suspend In-Store Play again which of course shut out all the Casual Players who wanted to play EDH / Commander at their LGS.

    They're monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and they said they'll make monthly updates more until then they're going to support Remote Play so we're back to Remote FNM events. Over the course of the pandemic so many of our lives has mitigated or migrated to the Internet. If the MTG Community can do the same then there are many meaningful experiences. So it's kind of as If they took semi-toxic MTG players that are naturally toxic and you put them online. What do you think is going to happen? Likewise for instance someone would never say In-Person in America that he / she doesn't enjoy America and America discusses Caucasians. They wouldn't say this to another player right? But online they would all the time because it gives them a false sense of security.

    Wizards of the Coast also wants us to know that they're currently working on additional tools and resources a.k.a. Arena / MTGO to refine the Remote Play experience. So what does this mean for the Local Game Store? Missing one In-Store Play Pre-Release is pretty devastating even though it is a "Core Set" Pre-Release and honestly Core Sets are not the most powerful sets nor are they the most popular sets and it is a somewhere Pre-Release. There's a lot of reasons why Core 2021 still hurts right? Those are still really great customers and it sucks that they're not going to do it anymore but at the same time it's understandable and it's not like a giant loss okay. Core 2021 is bad but it's not a very popular set, it wasn't going to have that many people anyway. Granted it does offer some goodies for EDH / Commander players at times.

    The reason Wizards of the Coast got rid of Core Sets (remember when MTG Origins was supposed to be the final Core Set ever?) is because they don't sell well. Losing money on Core Sets is fine for Local Game Stores when it comes to Pre-Releases but as long as they don't lose money on Zendikar Rising and If there's Fetchlands in it (highly doubtful) then you've just missed a HUGE opportunity to bring returning players, maybe they quit Paper Magic and are wanting to play again. Zendikar Rising should they do it correctly could be as big for the game as Return to Ravnica. Zendikar is a very popular plane, you throw in the Fetchlands of Original Zendikar / Khans of Tarkir and "BAM!" just like that you could have a Pre-Release of over 200 people. Realistically I don't see this happening knowing Wizards of the Coast's current stance on the Fetchlands.

    But given the current situation with the global pandemic we know that Pre-Releases are At Home / Remote Play now. So all those potential customers that would be at a Local Game Store buying things while they take breaks from playing and or being "Hey this is a great store!" "I didn't know you had this comic / anime statue / board game!" got screwed over. It's not just as simple as there's only a few MTG events that really draw people out and In-Store Play Pre-Release is definitely the number one event when it comes to Paper Magic. Everyone and their grandmother is coming out for Pre-Release and some people who quit MTG, some people have heard about the Fetchlands being back in Standard (not gonna happen but keep dreaming) you have a lot of returning players who haven't played Paper Magic for a long time coming back to these events.

    These are lifelong customers that you can make more and more money on and these events are just not happening. So losing In-Store Play for Zendikar Rising Pre-Releases is going to destroy a large majority of Local Game Stores. You can eat losing Core 2021 because Core Sets aren't that popular anyway and Summer sets aren't popular. You cannot eat Zendikar Rising down the road, you don't have this Pre-Release where you're expecting 100-200 people maybe 50% of them being new people and maybe 20% of those people come back to buy some more Paper Magic cards or "There's a Pokémon plush that my significant other would like or my kids would love" or "There's some anime things that they would enjoy". It's not as simple from a marketing perspective as it's really difficult and very expensive to acquire customers.

    To get a customer in your door is very expensive and In-Store Play Pre-Releases were a fantastic way to do it for no money. These are ideal customers, these are people who live around the area, you are their Local Game Store (LGS). It's kind of a huge powwow community event to really help people and obviously help the game store. When you talk about this and you look at it this way, Zendikar Rising having to be hosted At Home / Remote Play instead of In-Store Play is a massive hit on these Local Game Stores. I don't think they can survive financially. A Local Game Store can survive not having Core 2021 In-Store Play Pre-Release events because long-term hey maybe 50 people will show up and maybe out of those 50 people 10 people were new so we lost 10 new clients and lost the revenue we had on that day / night right? Which isn't that bad...

    However the lifetime revenue, the customer lifetime revenue, our lifetime value is what's most important to these stores. If a store in Zendikar Rising can bring a hundred new customers or let's say 50 new customers and half of those customers are impressed by the store and they come back then that's the definition of a community. A returning customer is a lot easier to deal with than a new customer. So the amount of money it costs to make a returning customer buy again or to advertise is probably 10% of what it costs to acquire a new customer. Companies like Blue Apron lose money acquiring new customers especially the first interaction but you're hoping this customer will buy something next month or next year or spend some Holiday money with you. Taking that luxury away from people isn't right IMO.

    That's why the In-Store Play Pre-Release is so important for Paper Magic because it's not for the money you make that day / night when it's for the future of your business. So let's say a customer hears about Zendikar Rising and they played in the previous Zendikar Pre-Releases when they were younger and now they have money, they're interested, they want to go. They go to Pre-Release, they have a good experience, and meet some new people and they're like "Hey I'm getting back into Paper Magic again!" They will go back to that store because it's probably the closest store to where they live. That's how people go to Pre-Release. Maybe they'll buy comics and figures for their friends, maybe buy Holiday gifts. That's why it's important. It's something that a lot of people take for granted far too often.

    The importance is not how much money you've made that day / night when the importance is how many new people will come back to your store or even your old returning customers will have a good experience. Maybe they want to get out of quarantine to spend their Stimulus money on XYZ after being away for 5-6 months. So whatever Local Game Stores hold In-Store Play Zendikar Rising Pre-Release events later this year against Wizards of the Coast's In-Store Play Suspension are going to dominate for the next few years. Those that follow the rules are more than likely going to go bankrupt unless entry fees are paid to these LGSs via Remote Play on Arena though that didn't seem to be the case for Core 2021 or Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths this year. I bet the profits were significantly lower than what these stores would've accumulated via In-Store Play though.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Thought I'd share this article with you all:

    Quote from Desert Sky Games »


    One of the most stressful aspects of the COVID pandemic for game stores is that it artificially amplifies constraints. Dealing with this day in and day out starts to wear on a store owner, and I start to feel like Keanu Reeves in that new Bill & Ted 3 trailer, when he says, "We've been trying to write this song and save the world our whole lives. And I'm tired, dude."

    You said it, Ted "Theodore" Logan. I'm tired, dude. Tired of every business component taking more work than it should. Tired of getting chewed out by every deadbeat who thinks we should price-match limited edition product pre-orders against the smallest store in town who pre-sold-out their one case of boosters in an hour at a nickel over cost. Tired of having arrival traffic down 90% because people call to check pinpoint stock on Nintendo Switches and virtually nothing downstream of that. And tired of the vocal minority who think we're political puppets or worse for keeping the game room closed and requiring facemasks.

    But I think the amplification of constraints is the most difficult thing, because it forms a vicious circle of interdependency. Here, maybe showing you the moving parts will make this clearer.

    The best Dungeons & Dragons product slate ever is on store shelves today. Right now. We have the best new sourcebooks: Theros, Eberron, and Wildemount, with limited edition covers for two of them. We have a staggering variety of dice in every color and material and in every price range. We have the best miniatures the game has ever had in the WizKids Nolzur's Marvelous line, far higher quality at a lower inflation-adjusted price than even the classic Ral Partha pewters. We have maps, dice trays, dice towers, character folios, and more. And now we have Warlock Tiles, head-and-shoulders the finest immersive terrain components D&D has ever seen.

    Despite all of the above, we've seen only a fraction of the sales we'd usually get in the category. Many of our regular players have been in, and their purchasing makes up essentially all the sales we've gotten of this merch. But a majority of D&D players disappeared with COVID. We don't know what this means. In-store play is, of course, not happening, and I wonder whether it will ever be back. Zoom/Skype style play seems to be thriving. Tangible game elements become somewhat less important then. I've long speculated that the "giant table-sized iPad" appliance might virtualize much of the RPG experience, but we might reach the same effective outcome because of remote play instead of digitally-augmented in-person play. I think there will be a COVID vaccine eventually or it will burn through and be subject to herd immunity, and people will come back to the table to have wonderful times adventuring together. How long before that? A year? Three years?

    So since we placed orders well before the pandemic for current D&D stock, and indeed already owned the bulk of our D&D inventory well in advance of that, we now have a huge amount of somewhat illiquid merchandise, that doesn't ship that well and isn't fast-moving like video games or Magic singles, and that even generous bundle specials only modestly move the needle on. It's not a simple case of $N worth of D&D being on the shelf, where we could liquidate it and have $N. It's the frozen turn rate. We should have $N multiplied many times over as the product comes in, sells, is replaced, sells again, and so on. It's difficult to articulate just how great the scale of this can get to an outside observer.

    That same effect is happening in board games as well. We saw reasonable throughput on board games on our way into the lockdown and shortly after re-opening, and board games are a commodity category for DSG anyway. That means we stock greatest hits and new hotness, and discount it all, in order to push for market share and establish a competitive position against other local stores, without risking our real meal tickets, Magic singles and video games. But now that we're kinda sorta reopened, and people are mostly back to work, the public has all the board games it needs, and is buying far fewer of them from us, even with price tags well below Amazon. They just finished a plate of steak and lobster. They don't need seconds. So it stacks up.

    With the two main general tabletop categories slowing down sales, we see them overflowing their racks. And we can't get more of the kind of racks we use right now because restocks from China are still pending transoceanic shipment. So even though we're the biggest game store in the Valley, we actually don't have enough room for all our merchandise right now. Even with a giant empty floor where the game room used to be. We should use game tables to display merch, perhaps, but (1) that's awful looking, (2) it has to be taken back apart anyway once we can reopen the game room, and (3) we're buying some really nice upgraded tables so we're currently selling off the existing ones.

    Less room up front and lower sales of general tabletop means we need to lean harder on singles sales, where space isn't as big of an issue. But we're also constrained on labor! Fast and furious sales via TCGPlayer since the first stimulus landed have resulted in our million-card inventory being whittled down to, as of this writing, about 450,000 cards. We're still buying every single day, for cash or credit, and it's not enough. We have at least 300k cards in the back office right now in various stages of processing that are not entered into TCGPlayer. We're losing sales every day from people who ask for cards we know we have in the next "waves" to process, but aren't done yet, and are cost-ineffective to deep dive for on an ad-hoc basis. Our existing back-office staff are running at red-line, they have almost zero slow time on the clock.

    So why not add more labor? Ah, but how are we going to pay for it? Sales are coming up shallow in D&D and board games, so we don't have "overflow" revenue available to shift toward Magic labor, which is designed to cover its own normal/ordinary pace of intake and sales, and instead is overwhelmed right now. It's fairly common for a game store with large business components to take from some and give unto others, resource-wise, in an internally Marxist fashion of sorts. But when there isn't any surplus elsewhere, and every department is subsidizing every other, there's no wealth to redistribute. (There's probably a greater political lesson to be taught here, but I'm staying well clear of that.)

    Thus, we have a dire shortage of Magic singles, our highest-volume category, which we actually do own but can't get processed into the system fast enough, for which we badly need labor, which we could afford if every product category were performing even at average levels, but the two general tabletop categories are both running very thin right now, constraining all parts of this resource chain. And thus it is that Griffin and I spend significant parts of our working days plugging in labor wherever it fits, so as to give both front-of-house and back-of-house staff as much unobstructed throughput as possible. And it's still not enough.

    I'm tired, dude.
    Amen brother.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Possible Double Masters lawsuit?
    Quote from user_938036 »
    It sounds like you are perfectly explaining why Magic doesn't reprint to appease their vocal fans because they learned the lesson that overprinting desired cards causes the collapse of the system. Is that what you meant? If so what is that middle paragraph? It's at odds with the first and last one. Is there something I am missing in what you are saying?
    This reminds me of what Feyd_Ruin posted on MTGNexus:
    Quote from Feyd_Ruin »
    Things used to be easier. The reserve list, by definition, shows that WotC once openly acknowledged the secondary market.

    One could easily argue that they are now legally bound to it as a Promissory Estoppel, and as such it would be "grandfathered" in as acceptable (since revoking it to align with current laws would also put them legally liable) — as long as they never add to it.

    Now days, however, the laws have changed and they have to walk a tight rope.

    Reprinting cards to lower prices is, by itself, an absolute acknowledgement of the secondary market. This is why they can never refer to the prices of cards, especially with regards to reprints. They reprint cards that are "desirable" or to "increase supply" in order for more people to play with them. While these two things directly affect price, they can say they're doing the former without acknowledging the latter. It's very much a tight rope.

    As to the real question at hand:
    How can we make these products in a way that allows that audience to get what they want without all of you feeling like we're doing harm to you?
    Reprint sets should be used to increase supply of desirable cards.
    Secret Lair, Promos, Special Pack versions, Alternate Arts, Alternate Frames, etc, should be for the big spenders.

    It's the exact same as regular cards vs foil cards that's been here for years. Some people just want cards to play with, so they can enjoy the game, while some love foiling out their entire deck. Give the people who just want to play the game more access to desirable, playable cards, and give the people who like bling fancy versions that we awe at.

    Want proof that this will work?
    Sol Ring, normal version, is sub $5 from multiple sets.
    Sol Ring, Judge Reward, is $190.
    Sol Ring, Inventions, is $345.

    And sol ring isn't some special case either.
    Lotus Petal, normal version, is $8.
    Lotus Petal, From the Vault, is $37
    Lotus Petal, Inventions, is $125.

    Bling caters to that higher-spending audience, which they will pay for, while basic reprints (should) cater to all players. We fully expect to pay more for fancy versions, and many will pay handsomely for it. But average players need to not be priced out of the game because basic format-defining cards have their demand so much higher then their supply.

    This would also directly help you to pretend the secondary market doesn't exist. This set isn't more expensive because it contains cards that the secondary market has driven the price up on, they're more expensive only because they're special, rare versions.

    • Game players win because they can buy reasonably priced products with cards they need in it.
    • High end players win because they can buy super fancy versions to bling out there deck.
    • Collectors win because they'll transition more to the bling versions that fetch high prices.
    • LGS wins because they can sell to all of the above.
    • WotC wins because all of the above are buying.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Possible Double Masters lawsuit?
    Correct. The Sports Card Industry back in the 90's wanted to increase their profits by artificially creating scarcity in very expensive cards and over-producing the 'common' sets which used to be the single set of cards which everyone traded on. By doing so, collectors could no longer find meaningful gems in sets (If you got an All-Star, it wasn't valuable because it wasn't the one in 500 cards randomly placed which had a piece of a game used glove or a personal autograph), making it no fun for them. I only dabbled a little bit into Sports Card collecting when I was a kid growing up in the late 80's and early 90's. One of my cousins used to be really heavy into it back in the day.

    MTG Double Masters as well as many other Premium products have limited print runs to create that artificial scarcity with expensive cards that create short term supply so that when these cards spike in price again Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro as well as MTGFinance make more money off the demand for these cards by hoarding sealed Premium products to flip onto the Secondary Market to turn a profit later thus pricing out those who couldn't afford it. I assume that the Sports Card Industry back in the 90's were doing something similar by partaking in this kind of class warfare by pricing their own target demographic out of the market by catering to those who were wealthy and rich enough to afford it.

    The marketing bubbles of other collectible items such as ty Beanie Babies show similar stories (which I used to collect as well but were no longer profitable due to how mass produced they were). Early collectors collect purely for the joy than the speculation. The supply of these items declined over time as most of them weren't kept in mint / near mint condition or they we're thrown out. The earliest versions were produced in limited supply due to low demand. Prices spike due to demand, then demand increases for new versions. Manufacturers increase production, speculators think that the new items will appreciate just like the old ones, and buyers stockpile them. Then they cash in and lower prices just to sell.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Possible Double Masters lawsuit?
    I'm willing to make the argument that MTG is now involved with class warfare because of Double Masters. So class conflict often referred to as class struggle and class warfare is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society consequence to the socio-economic competition among the social classes are between rich, middle class, and poor. So we can view this as a pyramid and the majority of MTG players are maybe students, probably still in college, maybe younger people. Maybe they're people who don't have the best paying jobs so they would all be at the bottom of the pyramid and support the middle and the top of the pyramid. I started playing MTG right after I graduated from high school so I'd be almost at the bottom of the pyramid. The forms of class conflict include direct violence such as wars for resource and cheap labor, revolution, indirect violence such as deaths from starvation, illness, or unsafe working conditions, economic coercion such as threat of unemployment or with the withdrawal of investment capital or ideologue by way of political literature.

    So here we have a system where the majority of MTG players are unable to afford a $100 booster pack or it would be very unwise for them to buy something like this during the middle of a pandemic or at any time really pandemic or non-pandemic and we already have a premium product it's called Double Masters. That itself is a premium product over the other premium product being a regular Masters set. Then that itself is a premium product you know. So a regular Masters set you know, Modern Masters, Eternal Masters, it is itself a premium product of mostly reprints. Then when you make a premium product of a premium product hence Double Masters, double the value I guess and double the cost, then you have a VIP Edition of the premium product of the premium product of the premium product, you can see this going on and on but really it all comes down to class warfare and whether or not you have the money to be one of these cool kids. Do you have the money to open a $100 booster pack?

    It's been seen within the Sports Card Industry where some people have collected Sports cards for a very long time where some cards are actually made from gold as in 18 carat gold it can't be 24 carats because apparently the cards get molded. There's Sports cards that were made out of 18 karat gold and they had diamonds in them like legit diamonds including sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, no joke. There's a product called Panini Eminence and there's even different sized diamonds like really sometimes you get really large diamonds in them and of course it's resold throughout so it's not like they're losing money of course they're making a lot of money from these cards or diamonds and these cards made from gold. As in bars of gold in these cards. No joke. Taking a look at the Sports Card Industry and it's evolution it was inevitable that one day MTG would get there. $100 a booster pack is nothing to the Sports Card Industry. In fact $100 booster pack is considered cheap to the Sports Card Industry.

    We have things that cost $5,000 a booster pack like it's still packed. It's a box of 10 cards and a few encased cards If you will and it comes in a briefcase or it comes in a really nice wooden cigar box that isn't very fancy. Obviously the Sports Card Industry has dealt with this longer so they've modernized it and they made it so that it's more attractive. Every year you have to do something more attractive than the last year of course. So the Sports Card Industry is ahead of MTG in terms of display and how the cards feel. MTG kinda looks crappy for it's premium products nowadays to be quite honest though it wasn't like this back when they cared about foils more with the From the Vault series or how they used to print old school foils with the shooting star on the bottom of the cards. Why are those kind of foils now only reserved for Judge Promos? They stopped doing this recently but still those old school card templates in foil were pretty nice looking.

    The people who open Double Masters being $100 booster packs, they will tend to be wealthier, not all of them some of them will be casual players but they will tend to have more money, and they will tend to be of a different economic stature and that's not good for this game overall. It's very bad actually for society in general. $100 a booster pack is going to divide the games' player base as everyone regardless of their political class whether they're rich, middle class, or poor wants a booster pack. Just because you can't afford it doesn't mean that you don't want it. So you want the cards but you can't afford them. Isn't this a divide that Wizards of the Coast should be more worried about? Players should be treated as If they were ALL in the same social economic status not in segmented groups between rich, middle class, and poor. MTG isn't just a luxury product when it should be a product for ALL players. I get that it's a collectible item but at the same time players need to be able to afford the cost to play it.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from Desert Sky Games »

    Okaaaaay then. The first-half list for 2020 is short, of course, owing to no particular disruptive events across the industry or our economy. If only that were true. What a first half of the year we've all had, and somehow the second half has not started off especially better. Small businesses have taken it on the chin, and we are here to mark the passage of some that took that blow and did not get back up.

    New to this post or to The Backstage Pass? Here's what we're doing. These store closure posts are among the highest-read and highest-shared articles I write, and one would think some more official source like GAMA would take up the mantle of tracking this, but I guess not so far.

    Today's list has a tag of "COVID" for stores that cite specifically the pandemic disruption as their cause of closure, or which closed during state shutdowns and were discovered not to have reopened. Obviously a store that was already in trouble might use COVID-19 as an excuse for why they failed, but for the purpose of this article, I am taking it at face value. The situation was bad for everyone except the mass market, and I see no need to flog a corpse. Moreover, stores not closing specifically due to COVID surely were done no favors by the gigantic worldwide mess the pandemic caused.


    Announced or Discovered Closed:

    1. Chain: GAME (40 stores in UK closing out of ~260)
    2. 1000 Lives Gaming (Hartsville, SC)
    3. 42 Ale House (St Francis, WI)
    4. ABC and Toy Zone (Chanhassen, MN) COVID
    5. Action Toys & Collectibles (Jacksonville, FL)
    6. Advantage Games (Northglenn, CO) COVID
    7. Aero Hobbies & Games (Santa Monica, CA)
    8. AK Comics (Beloit, WI)
    9. All About Books and Comics (Phoenix, AZ)
    10. Apache Comics (Mesa, AZ)
    11. Apex Gaming Center (Irving, TX)
    12. Baxter's Tempe SAK Gaming (Tempe, AZ) COVID
    13. Big Rapids Hobby Shop (Big Rapids, MI)
    14. Board Game Barrister (Greenfield, WI) Other locations remain open
    15. Boards & Beans (Regina, SK, Canada) COVID
    16. Boardwalk Hobby Shop (Mount Lookout, OH)
    17. Bonanza Books and Comics (Modesto, CA)
    18. CCG-Singles.com (Portland, OR)
    19. ChronoCade (Kalamazoo, MI)
    20. Coffee With Comics (Glendale, AZ)
    21. Collector's Edition (North Little Rock, AR)
    22. Comic Book ER (Cadillac, MI)
    23. The Comic Book Store (Little Rock, AR)
    24. Comics Dungeon (Seattle, WA) COVID
    25. Connected Gaming (Phoenix, AZ)
    26. Corner Comics (Kirkland, WA) COVID
    27. Critical Strike Games (Edmonds, WA)
    28. Dice Bag Games (Duncan, BC, Canada) COVID
    29. Dice & Donuts (Preston, Lancashire, UK)
    30. The Dragon and Meeple (Los Angeles, CA)
    31. Dragon's Keep Gaming and Miniatures (Portland, OR) COVID
    32. Dragon's Lair WarGames and Hobby Supplies (Shreveport, LA)
    33. Emerald Phoenix Comics (Aldergrove, BC, Canada) COVID
    34. Empire Collectibles (San Diego, CA) COVID
    35. Ever Green Game and Hobby (Missoula, MT) COVID
    36. Fables of Calhoun (Calhoun, GA) COVID
    37. Family Game Night (Orlando, FL)
    38. Fanatix (Dothan, AL) COVID
    39. Fight or Flight Comics (Raleigh, NC)
    40. Freaks & Geeks (Denton, TX) COVID
    41. G33k Out (Ocala, FL)
    42. Galaxy Comics (Somerset, KY)
    43. Game Empire (Pasadena, CA)
    44. Game Essentials (Superior, WI)
    45. Game Hunters (Frederick, MD)
    46. Game Kastle (Mountain View, CA) chain location
    47. Game Quest Games (St Croix Falls, WI)
    48. Game Quest Inc (Radford, VA)
    49. Gamer's Cache (Mountain Home, ID) COVID
    50. Gamer's Gambit (Danbury, CT)
    51. Gamers Vault (Montgomeryville, PA)
    52. Game Rules (Portland, OR)
    53. GameStreet (Mississauga, ON, Canada)
    54. Games N Go (Roseville, MN)
    55. The Gaming Keep (Hastings, MI) COVID
    56. Gaming on Grand (Escondido, CA)
    57. Gathering Games (Tampa, FL)
    58. G Cubed (Bunbury, Western Australia)
    59. Geekygami's (Bartlesville, OK)
    60. Geeky Villain (Everett, WA)
    61. Gerard's Gaming & LAN Center (Webster, TX)
    62. Hellbent 4 Cardboard (St Petersburg, FL)
    63. Henchmans Games (Swaffham, UK)
    64. Heroes 4 Sale (Southbury, CT)
    65. Hieroglyphic Games (Cincinnati, OH)
    66. Hidden Treasures Collectibles & Comics (Alexandria, MN) entire plaza destroyed by fire
    67. Hillside Games and Comics (Asheville, NC)
    68. Hobby Knights (West Bend, WI)
    69. Hungry Hippo Board Game Cafe (Decatur, IL)
    70. Hyperspace (Lakewood, CO)
    71. Imagine! Hobbies & Games (Sherwood, AR)
    72. Inconceivable Toys and Games (Monument, CO) COVID
    73. JJGames dot com (Englewood, CO)
    74. Joe Garage Games & More (Suwanee, GA)
    75. Kapow Comics (Cumming, GA)
    76. Killer Rabbit Comics & Games (Williston, VT)
    77. Lee's Comics (Mountain View, CA) COVID
    78. Mad Reads (Brighton, CO)
    79. Magic Mike's (Portland, OR)
    80. MaximuM Comics (Henderson, NV)
    81. Nerdcore Toys and Collectibles (Ellensburg, WA)
    82. Netherworld (Warrington, England, UK)
    83. The Nexus 419 (Rossford, OH)
    84. Now Playing Movies and Games (Tylertown, MS)
    85. NuGames (Eureka, CA) COVID
    86. Oblivion Games Inc (Mansfield, TX)
    87. OOP Games & Hobby (Lynnwood, WA)
    88. PlayLIVE Nation (Mission Viejo, CA) COVID, chain
    89. The Portland Game Store (Portland, OR) COVID
    90. Prime Time Gaming (Macon, GA)
    91. Purple Turtle Comics (Vallejo, CA)
    92. The Raven's Nest (Marietta, GA)
    93. Realms Comics & Games (North Richland Hills, TX)
    94. Revolution Video Games & Movies LLC (Tampa, FL)
    95. Rocket's Hideout (Baton Rouge, LA) COVID
    96. Rockhead's Comics & Games (Kenosha, WI)
    97. Rogue Nation Games (Richmond, BC Canada)
    98. Ronin Games (Castro Valley, CA)
    99. San Diego Comics (San Diego, CA) COVID
    100. Seann's Anime and Comics (Sylvania, OH)
    101. Sho'Nuff Comics (Tuscaloosa, AL) COVID
    102. Silver Key Lounge (Mesa, AZ) COVID, indefinite
    103. Skol Games (Eagan, MN)
    104. Splat! Gaming (Burleson, TX)
    105. The Storm Crow Tavern (Vancouver, BC, Canada) COVID
    106. Table Top Cafe (Edmonton, AB, Canada) COVID, consolidating into remaining location
    107. Teahouse Comics (Sandy Springs, GA)
    108. Tolly's Game Store & Lounge (West Jefferson, NC)
    109. Toys Cubed (Toronto, ON, Canada) Erin Mills Town Centre location
    110. Toys Cubed (Toronto, ON, Canada) Oshawa Centre location
    111. Toys Cubed (Toronto, ON, Canada) Scarborough Town Centre location
    112. Toys Cubed (Toronto, ON, Canada) Square One Centre location
    113. Toys Cubed (Toronto, ON, Canada) Vaughan Mills location
    114. Video Game Trader (Calgary, AB, Canada) COVID, 2 locations closing and 1 remains open
    115. Video Game Trader (Forest Lawn, AB, Canada) COVID, 2 locations closing and 1 remains open
    116. Vigilante Gastropub & Games (Austin, TX) COVID
    117. Villains Comics & Collectibles (Monroe, LA) COVID
    118. Wandering Havoc Games (Marysville, WA)
    119. Warcraft Games (Mission, BC, Canada)
    120. Weekend Warlords (Loughborough, England, UK)
    121. Weird Realms (Cleveland, OH) COVID
    122. Wizards Keep Games (Renton, WA)
    123. Yellow Jacket Comics (Tempe, AZ)
    At the time of publication, the list had 123 entries representing 162 stores, totaling chains and multi-location closures as noted in their respective entries. Typically after these articles go up, I receive emails and messages about stores I missed, which I do appreciate as it helps make these articles as useful as they can be in terms of reference. The overwhelming lesson of this industry through almost half a year of COVID disruption has got to be something like "You can never assume general business conditions will remain as they are." I can tell you right now that DSG has suffered for not being able to employ our single biggest marketing draw, which is organized play. What happens to a store that has little else in its toolbox? It probably ends up on a list like the one in this article.

    When you realize our industry has had to deal with the sudden near-total elimination of organized play and constant supply chain chaos, both factors completely upending even the most prudently planned square footage deployment (generally the most expensive and least changeable part of a store), it is not difficult to see how even a reasonably stable comic, video game, or hobby game store could find itself suddenly scratching the cloth. And in that unexpected time of peril, resources to weather the downturn may or may not be ready. DSG had a gigantic inventory to lean on. What if we didn't? What about any store that doesn't have a strategic reserve of some kind, whether it's cash, assets, favors to call in, some mixture of those, or what have you?

    I have now seen enough evidentiary performance out of stores of different kinds and places that it has become fairly clear how a comic, video game, or hobby game store experiences wild success to where there is not only no danger, but considerable income for stakeholders. The answer to that question, which so many of us are so avidly chasing, is of course highly dependent on that store's specific physical, financial, and competitive circumstances! But once configured for maximum compatibility with those factors, things get somewhat more straightforward. The operational imperatives crystallize. Don't leave money on the table without getting something to make up for it. Don't spend good money chasing after bad. Don't let yourself get rolled by people who are out to gain at your expense. Get your home situation right. Most importantly, get your head right, because the action follows the thought, and the result follows the action. You will reap what you sow.

    Get on with it.
    Another problem I've noticed with a lot of these small Local Game Stores is that they don't have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) when it comes to their e-commerce websites and given how low profit margins are they're unable to invest in the kind of money to even have SEO and PPC for their stores. They can't do it themselves and they can't pay any of their employees to do it for them. Online vendors like Card Kingdom have a REALLY good domination of SEO by spending thousands of dollars a month as they've dominated the Paper Magic marketing field from just a few thousand dollars a month. In other words they can sell card singles for two times as much as any Local Game Store (LGS) because these card singles show up in SEO.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from Onering »
    Why WotC thinks at home play is the majority: surveys. They do a fair amount of market research to determine how people play the game and what players like and want so they can target products to them. The reason you see premium products and stuff like that is because their market research told them a significant enough portion of the player base wants those products. You see the major commitment to EDH because they found it was the most popular format after 60 card casual, and they built brawl in the hopes of building on that. They know that at home play is still the most common way people engage with magic, with casual and EDH leading that. At home players tend to spend less on cards than FNM warriors, but there are more of them and they tend to buy packs. I think Wizards isnt about to abandon the LGS because they make money from them, tournament engagement increases the amount people spend on magic, and limited moves packs. Getting people who play at home into their local LGS makes wizards money by getting them to spend more. They want both market share and dollars per player, so both groups are important.
    This reminds me of a recent magazine article I read on the latest issue of National Geographic by Oliver Whang titled, "When Virtual Life Turns Into Quarantine" where it talks about how isolation from other people in a health crisis is one thing when the question we REALLY should be asking ourselves is what If we get used to living virtual lives through our electronic devices that we never want to emerge into the physical world? Does experiencing the world tell us something that we couldn't have learned by reading up on it? Things that we miss in the physical world are referred to as "qualia" and it's everywhere - in the Sun, the Earth, and other people. They're what's lacking in a strictly virtual life that isn't as fulfilling as it is in a physical world.

    So the fear from the next generation isn't necessarily a fear of contracting COVID-19 but a fear that is the profound uncertainty of their future and their predecessors as well since we're ALL connected as one human race. If there's anything scarier than the possibility of COVID-19 never going away is that the ubiquity of virtual living might never go away either. There's a legitimate fear that the experience of this pandemic might convince people that we can keep living just fine while physically isolated from others where it's very easy nowadays to slip into that reality. There's days when people don't even leave their homes as their only human contact is a close family member.

    In this environment something clearly is lost because people feel different when they experience things directly rather than virtually. There's some things in life that you can't stimulate like the physical presence of another human being. No computer screen will EVER replace the feeling of an arm around someone's shoulders. It's important now more than ever not to lose our physical connection to the world. The qualia. No matter how bad the world gets we ALL need to Stay Human. It's hard when you go to work having to wear a face mask unable to convey any kind of human emotion or expression, not even a smile. That's why people are so miserable with their lives lately no matter where they go because they can no longer escape.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on MTG Needs New Leadership and Why Mark Rosewater (MaRo) Should Step Down
    If Mark Rosewater listens to the playerbase and answers questions constantly on blogatog then why is Standard such a mess right now? He's been working with Wizards of the Coast for so long that he's completely out of touch with what makes MTG good or bad. Would it kill him as head designer to lower the power level of Standard so that tournament grinders have a reason to play MTG again instead of having to sit through someone comboing off on Arena constantly? Nobody likes going up against non-interactive decks with very few answers available to deal with them within the current Standard card pool but of course Mark doesn't like interaction the same way Konami has made Yu-Gi-Oh! non-interactive. You'd think he knows how to design fun and fair cards but a lot of times they end up getting banned throughout every Standard season or Wizards of the Coast just waits it out via rotation. If there's one thing to remember about Mark Rosewater is that he's historically taken game mechanics that were just fine and made them completely worse by making them completely broken. It's a complete insult to the way R&D / Play Design at Wizards of the Coast used to operate.

    Mark Rosewater is the same person who thought Companions in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths were perfectly fine and a fair automatic eighth card and half of a combo and your deck was ready set to go in a non-interactive zone (looking at Planeswalker Emblems), I mean there's clearly nothing wrong with that! When it's been 27 years and you're THAT dense then you need to go. I mean look at the Storm Scale, it's a list of all the mechanics in the history of the game. Almost every single one from seven and up which means they're never bringing it back into Standard ever again were his creation. He doesn't know how to do math or limit things or promote fun gameplay users like, "POWER! POWER! WE WANT MORE POWER!" "PEOPLE LOVE POWER CARDS! POWER CARDS SELL!!!", and he drives out everything else and then because he doesn't want his pet cards to be stopped he then cuts all interaction to make sure there's no way to interact or stop them. Mark's done this for the last 10+ years, so now you kind of get the idea of why his influence as head designer has been problematic for the health of MTG.

    A lot of these broken game mechanics are really about his ego cause If a game mechanic on the Storm Scale got an eight or nine because it was so hated by the MTG Community with so not acceptable gameplay, he wants to swing back around and take an extra shot at it so that he can say, "Well yeah I was a little rough the first time but we fixed it the second time. My mechanic that I created was great!" As much as I hate to admit this, Mark Rosewater is the Donald Trump of MTG where he's all about his ego and reputation and really doesn't give a crap about much else. As for his preferences for the game like doubling things and big giant splashy creatures? Yeah that's what goes now because he wants to, he doesn't care what you want when he wants what he wants. MTG now has the Yu-Gi-Oh! equivalent of the Extra Deck where you can grab just about anything you want and put it onto the battlefield for free potentially with the way Sideboards work nowadays instead of swapping cards from the Main Deck and Sideboard. Also Wizards of the Coast needs to move away from directly impacting deck construction which is something that works in EDH / Commander but not in Standard or Modern.

    MaRo has been getting away with designing toxic infinite combos in Standard for the last four years that breaks a basic tenant of the game letting a card like Hostage Taker infinitely combo with itself because he's too dense to realize it. Don't let something infinitely combo with itself! In regards to Companions, don't let people start with eight cards in their opening hand! Don't let Standard have a Commander that also basically was a Companion. There's so many basic examples of breaking basic rules of the game and pushing power levels so high that it's something that Wizards of the Coast never would've done for balanced reasons. We almost have one example of this per Standard legal set. Perhaps Mark Rosewater should take the time to reflect on the mistakes he's made as a head designer for MTG that's been really detrimental on a competitive level more so than on a casual level. If a game mechanic players feel on the Storm Scale is more balanced than something that's 10 out of 10, that's better than players complaining, "I'm not going to play Standard until this bull crap rotates out".

    It's one thing that MaRo should focus on because the game loses a buttload of money and that's what effects people in the most negative possible way. All we're asking for is the game to function on a fair and basic level instead of Mark always printing cards that are too game breaking. Because of how he's restructured Play Design and Card Design, there's now less people at Wizards of the Coast to tell him "No" and now we have Companion and all these other broken ideas. They make the game less functional and more digital to fit within the context of Arena as they're much harder to track. What we really need are more MTG playtesters and designers to tell Mark "No" or just let him leave the company and have somebody else do his job for him because nobody at Wizards of the Coast could do his job as head designer of MTG worse except for Aaron Forsythe as the buck stops with him when it comes to MTG design. So him and Mark need to go. When you look at declining MTG sales numbers and that Wizards of the Coast is releasing Double Masters to make up for all the financial losses in Standard, they can only stall and fudge the numbers to make the math look good for awhile until somebody catches on and they're like, "How's our core product doing?"

    In the last Hasbro Stock Earnings Report, Wizards of the Coast had to take MTG and Monopoly by putting them into the same category to not make it look like MTG was losing mountains of money at the time it was. In other words Wizards of the Coast is lying and fudging their reports on MTG to Hasbro and they don't care as long as their bottom line is like, "Oh look we made money", which is why they've been getting away with greedier and greedier bull crap as they break Standard worse and worse and are driving competitive players away in droves in favor of casual players who play EDH / Commander and now unfortunately they have COVID-19 to hide behind as they could use that as any excuse for anything for any amount of time. Rightfully so, but at the same time Standard is at the worst place it's ever been. So If Hasbro were to really take a closer look at Wizards of the Coasts' business operations, customer satisfaction, and other factors they're all are about to go off a cliff. If they stop doing greedy crap to make up for all the money they're losing then they would make some changes. Papa Hasbro would step in and start handing out pink slips.

    They'd be like, "Wait a minute, did we just hear that you don't hire any African Americans even as contracted artists and then at the same time the head of the Judge Program said that they don't want more Caucasian males and they're not welcome to the Judge Program?" "Pardon me, what? Whose running this company into the ground or straight into an iceberg?", Hasbro needs to hear the truth. Apparently Wizards of the Coast CEO Chris Cocks was behind all the greedy selfish "Cut the Local Game Store (LGS) for Secret Lair". They may have also brought in somebody saying, "Hey make more money, maximize this, you're not doing well enough" and then a bunch of their pushed power level stuff was a direct result of Hasbro saying, "Make more money" and then giving Wizards of the Coast really poor advice on how to do it because nobody in management doesn't seem to know how to run a Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game. So the whole, "Why aren't we selling more high powered Standard cards to EDH / Commander players or Modern players?" Their answer is "Up the power level." So it's either basically Hasbro's fault or they're completely ignorant of it and Wizards of the Coasts' management is sweeping it under the rug and not letting them know what's really going on by just making the numbers for their shareholders and stock brokers look pretty.

    There's absolutely no accountability for mistakes at Wizards of the Coast as it was 100% verified by former employees of Wizards of the Coast on Glassdoor. So If you've been working there for 10 years you can make all the mistakes you want, nobody's allowed to call you out on it, If you do you're fired and giant mistakes by Mark Rosewater, Aaron Forsythe, or CEO Chris Cocks, upper management are never addressed, they're not brought up in meetings about how they can avoid doing this before. It's basically that you're kept quiet about it or you lose your job. That's literally hundreds of former employees at Wizards of the Coast that say how the company operates. They don't behave like a normal company would. They're such egotistical stuck-up jerks who never want to be reminded of the mistakes they make, they think they can do absolutely nothing wrong, they're the perfect person for the job, and that they know everything and nobody's smarter than them which "Welcome to Seattle". That's the attitude over there. Because of that nothing in MTG ever gets fixed. Nothing gets changed. The same mistakes get made over and over. The same anti-consumer crap keeps happening, they keep losing players and it never gets addressed or fixed.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Unfortunately as long as people are stupid, policies need to be put in place assuming people are stupid. It's got nothing to do with shady business practices when it's got more to do with protecting the lowest common denominator. Each state is handling COVID-19 differently however each state isn't handling it intelligently, so Wizards of the Coast stepped in because they decided they didn't want their products associated with an outbreak. I do think that Double Masters, Mystery Booster, and Jumpstart completely devaluing the majority of Non-Reserve List cards that Local Game Stores need to make a profit from flipping card singles combined with low cash flow affecting their business during this pandemic sounds like a recipe for disaster because what good is keeping Paper Magic affordable If nobody has a place to play anymore? Organized Play for Paper Magic be damned.

    Sure Local Game Stores are no longer able to run Organized Play events but that doesn't mean that they need to shutdown In-Store Play entirely for Casual players who just want to hangout with their friends and play EDH / Commander. What would give Wizards of the Coast the idea that the majority of Paper Magic players actually play at home over their LGS? I can understand If the LGS environment is toxic but that's just a false negative stereotype that EVERY LGS is like this when it isn't. Not every LGS has a loyal community (not online btw) that financially supports them especially when it's already difficult enough as it is to compete against online companies when they don't even have operational websites, no eBay accounts, or Social Media presence. Even If they do it increases online competition to the point where it's hard for these Local Game Stores to get noticed like on TCGPlayer.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [2XM] Weekly MTG - FORCE OF WILL!
    Quote from Arctanis8 »
    Quote from Xcric »
    Quote from LuckyJoe1988 »
    The fact that they kept the Terese Nielson art for the regular card brings a tear to my eye... Thumbs Up
    they said they couldn't remove her art in time, just like noah bradley
    Or they'll just flush more Force of Will's down the toilet in protest to drive up the price of the card because we're all being told by MTG Twitter to hate Terese Nielsen for her political bias when it shouldn't even matter. Better than Gerry Thompson defacing them with a Sharpie at least. >_>
    It isn’t for no reason. You may not like the reason, but it is a legitimate one. Also, you’re not being told to hate her, she followed questionable groups and the company responded to it. You can still collect her art if you want.
    Wizards of the Coast's reason was "Let's go after anyone who doesn't think like us", yet they wonder why people are leaving Magic: the Gathering. I still enjoy playing the game whenever I can however it's hard to ignore how their political beliefs are impacting game design.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [2XM] Weekly MTG - FORCE OF WILL!
    Quote from Xcric »
    Quote from LuckyJoe1988 »
    The fact that they kept the Terese Nielson art for the regular card brings a tear to my eye... Thumbs Up
    they said they couldn't remove her art in time, just like noah bradley
    Or they'll just flush more Force of Will's down the toilet in protest to drive up the price of the card because we're all being told by MTG Twitter to hate Terese Nielsen for her political bias when it shouldn't even matter. Better than Gerry Thompson defacing them with a Sharpie at least. >_>
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Misinformation on In-Store Play / Organized Play for Paper Magic at Local Game Stores (LGSs)
    Quote from hoffmkr »
    A lot of it is local regulations also. My lgs just opened huge new game room. However, city/state basically say 25% Or less capacity. They are trying to do some local events to drive business but even then they have to severely limit capacity.

    They also apologized for their cases being low stock. They opened more product than normal, but without events, they are getting low trade in. Usually people jump in, buy a few but limited trade ins meaning less to sell in long run.
    That low trade in results in thousands of Pre-Release Kits unable to be given away since they're probably not allowed to sell them to customers after Wizards of the Coast stopped distributing FNM Promos to stores that were selling them without running events but in this case they're unable to run events due to the virus. I guess they could recoup their losses by charging customers for table space playing EDH / Commander as long as it isn't expensive though I could see this getting out of hand at Local Game Stores as much as they're charging 20% more on products compared to online retailers simply because they don't have a choice in the matter.
    Posted in: Magic General
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