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  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    What data leads you to believe that Hasbro is prepping to sell Wizard's of the Coast?
    It's fairly obvious Hasbro is forcing WotC to produce more types of products in order to artificially elevate sales number growth:
    Secret lairs, premium boosters, signature spell-books, duel decks, planeswalker decks, commander decks, a ton of auxiliary 'experimental' sets (such as Conspirac, Battlebond, Jump Start, masters sets, Mystery Booster Boxes, etc) sets each year now instead of just 1 each summer.
    This leads to two results: it keeps earnings growth estimates up to keep stock holders an inverters happy, and secondly (and perhaps more importantly but certainly more relevant here) gives the illusion of elevated value through sales numbers growth instead of declining value if/when Hasbro decides WotC has peaked and it's time to sell them for maximum profits.
    Bingo. It's not just about catering to whales when it's about fulfilling a contractual obligation. I think it's also why we've been seeing Wizards of the Coast allowing so much power creep to run rampant in recent sets not to mention their unwillingness to do anything about the corruption involved with the MPL. It seems to be coming to a head with the recent banning of #1 Paper Magic player Austin Bursavich. Then you also have COVID-19 making it nearly impossible to play Paper Magic unless you own a $400 webcam to livestream while the MTG Secondary Market continues to skyrocket.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    It's very likely that Magic will have a new company attempt to pickup the competitive large tournament scene for them, weather this turns out to be better or worse than CFB is unknown, but I'm from CA and know many of the CFB people from back before CFB was a thing, and they were extremely in love with MtG and were passionate about the game and providing good experiences for the players, so hopefully anyone else to pick up the mantle of large or pro magic tournaments will share those qualities.
    That actually led me to wondering whether If Star City Games was going to pick up the competitive large tournament scene from ChannelFireball.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    I don't mean to sound preachy here but I've recently come to the realization that we REALLY need to stop living in a material mindset and more on an eternal mindset when it comes to how we view the world and our own personal environment because If we don't then we end up destroying ourselves through the excessive monetization of our own selfish gaming hobbies that's been a HUGE burden to LGS owners and employees who are really just looking for money to retire on instead of providing a lifestyle for everyone else at the expense of their own misery. A lot of times passion gets in the way of what people truly want in life where they don't often think of the risks they take and whether If they're going to get some kind of long term reward for their efforts. We're already seeing the case now where the risk was never worth the reward because they didn't take extra precautions to keep their businesses safe in preparation for a financial or in this case a public health crisis like COVID-19.

    While I do still believe in the importance of human congregation in these challenging times we're in right now, it's hard to make an argument that the public social impact it's made within Tabletop Gaming was a less enjoyable experience than Triple A Video Games / eSports in general. The only reason why it would be less enjoyable is because people didn't want to put in the effort to make it possible or that the Pay-to-Win / Loot Crate aspect to keep it going just wasn't affordable anymore for most people. Video Games originally didn't require actual money to upgrade people with when all that changed when companies started to monetize consumers (DLCs / Micro-transactions) because they were old enough to afford the costs compared to how young they were back then where they couldn't. I guess my point is that there's still going to be people who are wanting that "fix" when it could've otherwise led them down a path of drug abuse and alcohol addiction leading to more serious health issues (not excluding COVID-19 but you get the point).
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    Just got confirmation from motleyslayer about this that he got off of Facebook, thought I'd share it with you all:

    @everyone CFB events will be dissolved this year. I got this information first hand from a venue that got the news that CFB events will not fulfill their contracts and obligations this year. We double checked with people contracted by CFB and they confirm that they will be out of a job soon.

    This will have a huge ripple effect we believe because this means zero competitive paper events from Wizards this year (for now).

    Its unclear if this is a combination of COVID19 and / or their contract being terminated. COVID19 certainly didnt help.

    CFB the cardshop is a separate entity so shouldnt be affected much. But this certainly means no events and no vendors buying cards.
    CFB events (the part of CFB that ran MagicFests) will be dissolved as per end of year, so we don't know exactly what will happen with MagicFests after this year or what this means for Competitive Paper Magic but it's probably not good.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    Quote from the n00b king »
    It's only a matter of time before the game goes fully digital. Maybe Covid will have sped up this process. Might explain the plethora of products WotC is releasing this year. Just to get that stuff out of the way before they focus on the digital aspect.
    That would fit in line with Hasbro "prepping" Wizards of the Coast as a company to be sold next year. The weird thing is that Rudy from Alpha Investments predicted this 2 years before COVID-19 occurred. Coincidence? Well I guess we're all going to have to find out now won't we?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on ChannelFireball Cancels All Paper Magic Events Permanently due to COVID-19, MagicFest Cancelled Forever?
    So I heard a rumor recently from DesolatorMagic on YouTube that All Pro Play involving Paper Magic as of right now is cancelled forever including MagicFest events by ChannelFireball though I don't know what this entails for Star City Games. Even though small Organized Play events are expected to open back up again on June 1st at LGSs across the globe these large Organized Play events will either have to be condensed to smaller player turnouts with a lower prize pool or event organizers will have to install plexiglas on tables with hand sanitizer at the ready which might not be such a bad idea unless players are required to wear masks and/or gloves (they'll probably have to let's face it). I don't think Paper Magic at LGSs are going to go away though it might look a bit different.

    It seems as though ChannelFireball probably realized at this point given the current environment we're in right now, that the risk to operate these kind of big Paper Magic tournaments simply isn't worth the reward they're getting as Rudy from Alpha Investments mentioned several times. Having to go through these various safety procedures in order to keep people safe from spreading COVID-19 doesn't seem like something that these event organizers really want to do and who could blame them honestly. With too many people to keep track of with a tally counter, having to wipe down tables in-between game matches, making sure that no profanity has been written on plexiglas installed on tables, it's more work for them to do aside from announcing matches, pairings to see who plays who, and handing out prizes.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Coronavirus (COVID-19): Will Social Distancing Be Permanent?
    Quote from Vernon Coleman »

    "Human lives are worth more than anything else, we must never put anything above the saving of one human life." It's a commonly expressed feeling and I absolutely agree with the principle. Who couldn't agree with it If someone you love needs treatment which will cost a trillion dollars a day, you would rightly demand that the treatment be provided and down the cost. I would. But If you spend a trillion dollars a day saving Mr. X's wife or Mrs. Wise's husband or their two-year old child Zed they'll likely be nothing left to pay for any other health services. Hospitals will have to shut operations, cease, and there will be no medicines available for millions of people will die unnecessarily and that's the dilemma. Health care sources are finite and doctors always have to make decisions about how best to allocate those limited resources that's what triage is all about. In an army surgical unit doctors assess the incoming wounded and decide who gets to be treated first.

    When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) first appeared, mathematical modelers looked at the small amounts of evidence available and concluded that millions of people were going to die. In Britain the mathematical model has concluded that 8 million people would be hospitalized and 500,000 would die. Showing all the skills of life insurance salesmen they sold this theory to the politicians and convinced them that their projections were accurate. Curiously the normally skeptical politicians needed very little persuading. The mathematical modelers were wrong of course but the politicians accepted what they were told and life changed. How the devil could they have all got everything so wrong? It was obvious back in February 2020 that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) wasn't going to kill us all. In mid-March I was vilified for recording a YouTube video in which I called the whole Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis the hoax of the century. I thought it was pretty obvious that the mathematicians were wrong.

    The wise will at this point wonder whether politicians leapt on the nonsense because they saw an opportunity or whether the politicians were looking for an opportunity and waiting for the nonsense to be served up for them. The suspicions of the wise will be strengthened by the fact that this bizarre error was repeated all over the world and duly endorsed and encouraged by eager politicians and so the hysteria and the panic became global even though the bug was officially downgraded to flu level back in March 2020. Politicians and compliant journalists ignored this inconvenient truth because they didn't want their plans damaged. The next stage in this lunacy was for politicians, advisors, and health care chiefs to decide that the threat from the virus was so great that the health services should be devoted in their entirety to the care of patients with this one disease. They decided to clear the wards' cancel operations and build new hospitals.

    Patients with cancer, heart disease, and other serious illnesses were shunted aside so that doctors and nurses could be ready to deal with the flood of coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. Suddenly the coronavirus (COVID-19) was the only thing that mattered. Patients with cancer were actually pushed aside to be ignored and forgotten. Doctors and nurses obediently cleared the wards and prepared themselves. The nation came to a halt, schools were closed, factories were shut, and shops were closed too. Even dentists and opticians were told to lock their doors and help keep the virus at bay. The panic was institutionalized and as a result there would be 28 million people on waiting lists for surgery by autumn of 2020. Many of them will die waiting for treatment that would have saved their lives. This abrogation of duty by healthcare bosses appalls and enrages me. The death rate has already started to rise in most countries not because of the coronavirus but because people are being denied medical care as hospitals and gp's struggle to cope with social distancing rules.

    Nevertheless despite this there are already suggestions that social distancing will be permanent. In the U.K. the government and the supine media none more supine than the treacherous BBC (British Broadcasting Company) have raised the fear to terror and when Boris Johnson's government elected to slightly soften the lockdown in England the majority of the population reacted in horror and insisted on checking the doors, locking the windows, drawing the curtains, and crawling under their beds. Governments everywhere have boosted the fear by talking of a second wave of infection and having promoted the idea of a vaccine as the only savior confessing that there may never be one available. Politicians want to control us and they're doing very well. It's difficult to see how we're all going to escape from this fake crisis. Of course If this wasn't a conspiracy to turn us all into subdued apprehensive and obedient zombies they could announce that they'd made a bit of a mistake and that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is no worse than the flu (common cold).

    Whoops sorry pardon the mathematicians meant well but they got their sums upside down. They're not going to say that ever. They could say that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has become less dangerous or they could say that their brilliant lockdown and social distancing policies have worked brilliantly and have saved us all so it's now safe to come out from under the bed. But they don't want to do that because they want to keep the threat of a second wave available to scare us with If we start getting cocky and comfortable and they don't want to get rid of social distancing because it's social distancing which give the politicians a massive amount of power. It's social distancing which is ruining our lives and which will weaken us as individuals. It's social distancing which will result in millions of job losses. It's social distancing which will wreck education for millions and most important it's social distancing which is wrecking health care in which will result in huge numbers of people dying unnecessarily.

    Governments will enthusiastically promote social distancing as the only way to keep us safe but unless we stand up and fight and tell the truth, social distancing will be with us for years possibly forever and as a result our lives will be ruined in every conceivable way.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Double Masters 2XM New reprint product
    It's this Inside Trading that we've seen with Pioneer and now Double Masters that has me wondering why the U.S. Government hasn't called the FBI to investigate Wizards of the Coast on this. Inside Trading technically isn't illegal or considered a financial crime in the United States like Tax Evasion unless it involves the Stock Market and Wall Street. What I don't get is why Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games like Magic: the Gathering get away with selling loot crates to customers when it's video games like Fortnite and Overwatch that politicians go after the most. If you're a company like Wizards of the Coast then you're basically publicly acknowledging the Secondary Market just by making decisions on what to deny your customers and what to overcharge them for.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    Quote from mikeyG »
    Small businesses like LGSes in the States? They won't receive the help they need, and many will die off because of it.
    Thinking about that led to me wondering If a more sustainable method of In-Store Play is needed that would help ease the burden of having to support Local Game Stores (LGSs) where the profit margins to keep themselves in business through Organized Play events for MTG and other Paper Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games are severely low. I remember hearing rumors about GameStop and Target trying to cash in on "selling" the LGS experience however my biggest concern for this is that it would be too corporate based on how big box retailers are especially Walmart.

    GameStop is already going the way of Blockbuster but mainly due to their lack of good public relations with their customers where as with Blockbuster it was Netflix and Redbox that ultimately did them in. I remember Toys R Us used to run Organized Play events for Pokémon TCG back when Wizards of the Coast used to own the rights for it though I'm not sure If that was the same case for Yu-Gi-Oh! during the late 90's and early 2000's. I didn't get into Pokémon TCG until the late 2000's though I've been itching to get back into it at my LGS with Pokémon Sword & Shield now available on the Switch.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    So I recently went on one of my LGSs main websites and found out that even though they have events scheduled there's a strong possibility that they may get suspended or delayed depending on what the new guidelines for Phase 2 of re-opening the economy from COVID-19 will look like. I was hoping to get more information about the current In-Store Play suspension set by Wizards of the Coast which I would've assumed that ALL LGSs would've followed by now. It's not a gaming company's responsibility to tell people whether or not they can casually play MTG, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon TCG at their LGS when it's something that should be enforced by LGS owners and employees. Perhaps the reason why they didn't enforce this for players not attending Organized Play events is possibly due to not wanting to deal with the LGS business model any longer and are probably looking to liquidate their inventory.

    If they care enough about their local community in the hopes that they'll come back when the quarantine is over then I don't see them liquidating their inventory and filing for bankruptcy. Given the unpredictability of this virus it's really hard to say just how long they'll be able to hold out cause If it's 12-18 months without a treatment or vaccine then there's no way they're going to be able to weather this storm even though they're currently allowed to be open for business. Now If a second outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in the near future then I'd really hate to see non-essential businesses being forced to close back down again after what we've already been through these past couple of months. This would also involve the U.S. Government passing another Stimulus Package to help keep them in business with a second round of Stimulus Checks in the mail.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Banned and restricted announcement (offical announcement)
    Should just ban all the Campanions and get it over with.

    Instead we deal with this crap for the upcoming year.
    I am guessing they already have Companion cooked into an upcoming set like M21 or whatever comes after Zendikar 3.0 and they don't want to kill the mechanic but possibly change it.

    That they haven't banned Lurrus from Modern and Pioneer (and possibly Standard) yet tells me they want to sell more cards over the next few weeks. That is flat out scummy business practice.
    It's the same business practice Konami does with Yu-Gi-Oh! nowadays especially in Japan:

    1. Release set in Japan, North America, Latin America, Singapore, and Europe.
    2. Identify the most powerful / sought after cards as determined by the players.
    3. Upshift the rarity and short print them (so that an uncommon might become a Mythic that's half as printed as other Mythics).
    4. Sell everywhere else.
    5. Satisfy market demand for the cards with a huge reprint in another set.
    6. Ban the cards for a few formats to allow the rest of the game to catch up.
    7. Unban the card(s) to give decks new life so that people buy support you printed for the deck.
    To sum it all up, Wizards of the Coast print cards so broken that you have no choice but to play them in said format. Then it sees play for awhile and gets toxic for the formats that it's in where it eventually gets banned because Wizards of the Coast and inside traders at MTG Finance got their money for the card(s) and proceeds to print more broken cards. That's how Wizards of the Coast went "full Konami" as they did back in Throne of Eldraine with Oko, Thief of Crowns.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Why Wizards of the Coast Has No Real Competitive Answer to EDH / Commander
    Wizards of the Coast is actively trying to get EDH / Commander players into Standard and other non-Eternal formats whether it's through Brawl or Companion in Ikoria where it just keeps blowing up in their face every time. So why can't they just focus on keeping Standard players happy while allowing EDH / Commander players to enjoy their format? Especially when most EDH / Commander players have no real desire to dump money into a deck that's going to rotate out in a year. There's this notion that MTG needs Standard in order to survive given the importance of Organized Play and Local Game Stores (LGSs). After all the Local Game Store (LGS) is just as important for anyone who wants to play the format of their choice without having to feel sorry for spending tons of money on cardboard that they could've put to better use.

    I'm not even sure If Wizards of the Coast can find a good mechanic to draw EDH / Commander players into Standard and other non-Eternal formats without breaking MTG. They're already off to a terrible start with Companion which looks good in concept but extremely poor in execution. The main problem I'm seeing with Companion is that it's a mechanic that still triggers outside the game without casting the actual card similar to the Eminence mechanic which still triggers while the Commander / General is still in the Command Zone. Oloro, Ageless Ascetic was the first example of this allowing players to gain life without having to cast him at all. I think Wizards of the Coast could've easily fixed Companion by having players cast the Companion card while applying a "Companion Tax" of paying 2 extra mana. There's already a lot of topics discussing Companion's impact on various formats.

    So to try to answer this topic I don't think it's something that's really worth pursuing for Wizards of the Coast.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on New Reliquary Tower and Hangarback Walker promos announced!
    Wait until Wizards of the Coast pulls back on this from LGS owners flipping these promos to keep their stores in business instead of handing them out to customers who've met the conditions to receive them. This is why LGS owners lost the privilege to distribute FNM promos since they were originally supposed to go into the hands of FNM event participants.

    Given that profit margins at Local Game Stores (LGSs) are so low, it's understandable why owners are looking to make a quick buck to keep the lights on to help provide players a place to play at. I'd probably be more forgiving of Wizards of the Coast If they actually brought back MSRP and broke up with Amazon. At least there wouldn't have been as much price gouging like we've seen from Secret Lair: Ultimate Edition (Enemy Fetches).

    I don't expect Wizards of the Coast to make it harder for big box retailers like Walmart and Target to carry MTG products.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future of the Local Game Store (LGS)
    The latest ICv2 article talks about the future of In-Store Organized Play, the Local Game Store (LGS) model that comes along with it, and how the bankruptcy of J. C. Penney might tie into all of this:

    Quote from ICv2 »
    One more email received on my question a couple of weeks ago regarding what is going to happen with in-store Organized Play and the future of the OP game store model, this one from Eric Garneau, head of Games and Retail at the Chicago Board Game Café. "I would really love Wizards of the Coast to open up Arena card pools for Ikoria over prerelease weekend, so stores could run a social distancing-era tournament with people building decks out of cards they pulled in physical prerelease packs. In my head, on prerelease Friday I could drive around Chicago like some kind of Magic: The Gathering Santa Claus, bringing people the physical product they preordered, and then running a remote event using those same cards that night. It feels like the functionality should already exist in Arena; it's just if WotC would be cool with it. I know this idea has been expressed on the WPN Facebook group and they said they would look into it.

    Meanwhile at the FLGS, most stores reported doing very good sales with Magic: The Gathering – Ikoria Lair of the Behemoths this past weekend, with a number saying their sales hit a typical pre-COVID-19 sales weekend, and a number of stores that had recently come out from under quarantine seeing what they said were sales comparable to Black Friday, even with no in-store play (I also did hear of a few stores running in-store tournaments but most said they canceled everything). A major reason given was players having played with the digital cards on Arena now wanted to get copies of the physical cards in their hands. How were your release weekend sales? Let me know at castleperilousgames@gmail.com.

    And then, by my count, at least three major retailers have declared bankruptcy since most states shut down for quarantine last March: J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and just last Friday, J. C. Penney. However, it would appear that the primary reason for the bankruptcy declaration was not the closure, although the drop-off in sales there did not help matters any. Rather it was the same thing that pushed Toys 'R' Us into filing for bankruptcy back in 2018 (see "Toys 'R' Us Closing All US and UK Stores"): a reliance on the private equity method of funding to pull a company through.

    Although publicly traded, shareholders with enough stock in the company can control it, and with a publicly traded corporation, someone can control it with a surprisingly small amount of stock ownership (the controllers of JC Penny did so while only owning about 8% of the stock), can direct the actions of the corporation, since the rest of ownership is too diffused for the other stockholders to exert much influence on the corporation's actions. In case of TRU, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus, private equity firms borrowed against the value of the company to buy all of the outstanding stock in the company, taking them from publicly traded corporations to privately held ones that now held all of the debt that the private equity firm had taken on to purchase them. Ideally then, the private equity firm puts in new management to turn the company around, moving it towards profitability and using those profits to pay down the debt before selling the company at a profit 2-3 years later with a target ROI of about 25%. While the majority of private equity firms do just that, a few fail and those are the ones that make headlines as their failures usually lead to bankruptcy and a significant amount of media attention.
    I know this probably sounds crazy to think about but what If the over reliance of private equity funds to pull companies like Toys R Us and J. C. Penney out of bankruptcy is expected to happen with Hasbro? Remember Hasbro owns Wizards of the Coast and the reason why there's been a severe lack of quality control lately when it comes to selling new MTG products is because they're trying to milk as much money as possible before reaching their contractual obligation with the parent company they work alongside with. In other words Hasbro is taking advantage of the Toy Industry completely collapsing on itself so that they can become more financially stable as a company long-term. Throwing Wizards of the Coast under the rug is one of their last obligations before pondering how their business model will inevitably change in the near future.

    So in this hypothetical scenario, it's going to force Wizards of the Coast to officially discontinue Paper Magic since they no longer have the resources they had when they worked with Hasbro since 1998. Without Hasbro it's going to be a lot harder to get Arena and MTGO to be good enough to replace Paper Magic that appeals to both casual and competitive players alike. I think it will expose a lot of vulnerabilities with Wizards of the Coast as a company that people are going to try to exploit that they previously weren't able to with Hasbro backing them up beforehand. For example, they could be more vulnerable to class action lawsuits that Hasbro's lawyers and attorneys would've effectively prevented these federal cases from going forward. Wizards of the Coast may be forced to furlough or layoff their employees because they don't have the financial backing of Hasbro to help sustain themselves further.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on How Often Do You Support Your Local Game Store (LGS)?
    Out of curiosity are we talking high school/college aged young adults here? I played basically at the beginning (early 1994) in Grad. School and would have rather not played than tried to ask friends to give me money or cards. Granted at the time the secondary market was no where near the predatory crap fest it is now. I thought 40 bucks for a Black Lotus was too rich for my blood at the time. Frown
    We're talking young adults in their mid to late teens and early to mid twenties. I do have a friend whose roughly the same age as me who also doesn't have a part-time job where his only mode of transportation are his parents since he has a pre-existing condition that makes it hard for him to get a drivers license. Some of my friends use Uber or carpool with other friends to get places but that's pretty much about it really.

    The only time I ever carpooled was with a group of friends of mine where we were asked to help organize a card collection for a different Paper Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game while getting paid in pizza. We also got a few games in here and there while also doing some playtesting for an upcoming tournament at the time. It was for the Dragon Ball Z Trading Card Game by Panini America.
    Posted in: Magic General
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