Impacts of COVID-19 on Paper Magic

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Post by Card Slinger J » 2 weeks ago

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... 2020-03-23

In response to COVID-19, Wizards of the Coast has decided to suspend ALL in-store play in North America, Europe, and Latin America until May 10th or later. This policy goes into effect on Tuesday, March 24. They'll continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments when necessary, including potentially rescheduling the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths launch which many WPN members asked about. Expect final word on that decision in the coming days. Promo Packs can still be used as sales incentives and Buy-a-Box Promos can ship with online orders.

So your store can't even have an FNM, it's not allowed to. Can't do Pre-Release events, it's not allowed to. This will have heavy implications on Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. It'll be the first MTG expansion to be played online exclusively and that's how players are going to be introduced to it via Pre-Release online. Then they're going to play on a Magic Fest online from Channel Fireball and maybe they'll draft and play Ikoria Sealed digitally. That's it. This is the end of the WPN store. You don't want to give LGS's the option of holding events because some dum-dum stores will actually do it.

This means that it's done. It's over. Good night Local Game Stores cause May 10th from Magic: the Gathering, If your LGS relies heavily on MTG then the rest of March, all of April 2020, and then one-third of May. That's devastating for someone's bottom line. It's almost like a restaurant shutting down for two months on top of whatever else has been shutdown. You don't even know, May 10th still may not and the policy is going into effect this Tuesday. It is the right choice but it will change the game of Magic: the Gathering forever.

If you notice If you play at your Local Game Store you know that If you go every week you go every week. But If you miss one week or two weeks then you never show up again. The LGS isn't going to exist as we know it. Some LGS owners are locked into 8+ more months of this crisis. MTG Arena is going to replace Standard for Paper Magic since there's nowhere you can go to play Paper Magic outside of Casual. If you're playing Casual then why are you not playing EDH / Commander?

Paper Magic only really exists at Magic Fest, Star City Games Tournaments, and your Friday Night Magic (FNM) events. This is the end of Paper Magic for Standard. I think given the combinations If they hire a bunch of smart developers and coders and they code the entirety of MTG's card pool into MTG Arena then of course Paper Magic for EDH / Commander is screwed too. Usually whenever you play MTG once a month we're either drafting or playing EDH / Commander. This is the end.

There is no more Magic: The Gathering Local Game Stores. Local Game Stores don't have the cash flow and they don't have the foresight to save enough money to last two months. May 10th is a long time. From March 24th to May 10th we're looking at over a month to a month in a half. More than a month in a half of no events, no money, no tournament money, no Pre-Release for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths which generally has some money. No 2nd print run for Mystery Booster.

When you force people to sell online then there's no way that they can compete online because some LGS's like Sports N More don't have overhead. In other words Local Game Stores are still paying rent since they signed a contract with their landlord and that rent is still their overhead. Even If they laid off every employee you didn't buy anymore stuff since you'd be at a HUGE disadvantage. Even If you went online only because you're still gonna have to pay that rent on your store which is totally useless right now. It's sad since we've all grew up in Local Game Stores (LGS's). We could see 50% of all Local Game Stores not folding before May 10th and we don't even know it could be longer.

It's over.
edited title to something less sensationalist/less fear mongering. Again, please try not to fear monger. Thanks-Motleyslayer.
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Post by Sojourner Dusk » 2 weeks ago

Hyperbole aside, MtG will outlast COVID-19.

Paper sales will take a hit, and many LGSs may fall by the wayside, but MtG will weather this storm, especially through digital sales. Hasbro's desire to milk the cash cow that is MtG is far more likely to be the eventual game's undoing than a low-mortality pandemic (1-3% mortality is 70-200 million people, but that pales to the percentages that measles, or the 1918 influenza, or plague would wipe out).
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Post by Card Slinger J » 2 weeks ago

Sojourner Dusk wrote:
2 weeks ago
Hyperbole aside, MtG will outlast COVID-19.

Paper sales will take a hit, and many LGSs may fall by the wayside, but MtG will weather this storm, especially through digital sales. Hasbro's desire to milk the cash cow that is MtG is far more likely to be the eventual game's undoing than a low-mortality pandemic (1-3% mortality is 70-200 million people, but that pales to the percentages that measles, or the 1918 influenza, or plague would wipe out).
The only digital sales are through Arena and MTGO exclusively as there's no real incentive to buy or sell Paper MTG anymore unless they're Reserve List cards which have been reduced to nothing but expensive luxury items. We are the last of a dying breed of gamers who still enjoy playing Paper MTG while the younger generation is more wired to play Digital MTG. The reason for this is because they have a shorter attention span than we do because they grew up in that culture.

I'm sure Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon TCG players are going to receive the exact same announcement Wizards of the Coast made for MTG players banning in-store play due to COVID-19 especially for those who still play Vanguard and Weiss Schwarz by Bushiroad. The fact that there's been so many discontinued Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games within the Secondary Market proves that the business model itself was already unsustainable to the point where Local Game Stores couldn't keep going much longer.

The sooner we come to terms that the Local Game Store (LGS) is the new Blockbuster with GameStop soon to follow the better.
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Post by toctheyounger » 2 weeks ago

This is a massive leap, and honestly I'm not buying it for a second.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 2 weeks ago

toctheyounger wrote:
2 weeks ago
This is a massive leap, and honestly I'm not buying it for a second.
What do you mean exactly?

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Post by toctheyounger » 2 weeks ago

I mean that there's a massive constituent of the MtG community that prefers to spend their money on tangible, tactile cards and won't be swayed by online product. I'm one, and I know plenty more. There's probably plenty like me on nexus here, although I can't be sure.

Thing is, this will pass. CoVid-19 won't last forever, by any stretch. And once it's run its course, there's a ton of people out there who will actively WANT to stretch their legs and give patronage to the LGS's that have suffered through whatever lockdown your country has established. They'll have a crap ton of stock they haven't moved beforehand, as well as new sets coming through, and Wizards has not in any way indicated that they're going to cease printing cardboard. Until it comes from the horses mouth, this is a massive extrapolation from the current global situation.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 2 weeks ago

toctheyounger wrote:
2 weeks ago
I mean that there's a massive constituent of the MtG community that prefers to spend their money on tangible, tactile cards and won't be swayed by online product. I'm one, and I know plenty more. There's probably plenty like me on nexus here, although I can't be sure.

Thing is, this will pass. CoVid-19 won't last forever, by any stretch. And once it's run its course, there's a ton of people out there who will actively WANT to stretch their legs and give patronage to the LGS's that have suffered through whatever lockdown your country has established. They'll have a crap ton of stock they haven't moved beforehand, as well as new sets coming through, and Wizards has not in any way indicated that they're going to cease printing cardboard. Until it comes from the horses mouth, this is a massive extrapolation from the current global situation.
Other countries have placed lockdowns as well not just the United States. China was the first (obviously) then Italy, and to other countries that have reported cases of COVID-19. The longer this continues to drag on say around Fall/Autumn 2020 then the global economy will be thrust into a Great Depression. With a cure or vaccine expected to be found within 10-12 months or even a year indicates that dark times are ahead of us. There's no going back from this.

Nobody stops a habit unless they're forced or compelled to. Why would LGS owners get themselves back into the same position they were in before the COVID-19 pandemic If they're eventually going to lose more money than they did beforehand? We're never going to gain back the stores we lose. It's just not going to happen. People learn from their mistakes and move on with life. That's just how it is.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

toctheyounger wrote:
2 weeks ago
I mean that there's a massive constituent of the MtG community that prefers to spend their money on tangible, tactile cards and won't be swayed by online product. I'm one, and I know plenty more. There's probably plenty like me on nexus here, although I can't be sure.
I would just quit if there won't be physical mtg product anymore.
If it's online games, there's plenty other games that I can play besides mtg.

would wait patiently for things to go back to normal. This won't go on forever. Even as we speak now, people are on the race to find a vaccine.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 week ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
I would just quit if there won't be physical mtg product anymore. If it's online games, there's plenty other games that I can play besides mtg.

would wait patiently for things to go back to normal. This won't go on forever. Even as we speak now, people are on the race to find a vaccine.
Well this is what happens when the United States thought it was a good idea to outsource it's manufacturing overseas to China. They were able to ramp up more quickly because they could manufacture the tests, the components to testing essays, PPE, and hospital equipment. China's government was able to shutdown cities and quarantine populations while the United States has lost precious ground due to lack of infrastructure. This is DECADES of American policies and decisions coming home to roost. The Trump Administration isn't to blame here, it's BOTH Democrats and Republicans.

Things are never going to return to normal. You can't be shutdown for two months when your business is already weak and somehow expect to stay in business. This isn't just with Local Game Stores (LGSs) but also Comic Book Shops where Marvel made the one mistake that sealed their fate by having Diamond be the only Comic Book Distributor. So they were forced to shutdown. Entertainment Media is being forced into a digital space due to COVID-19 where there's no longer a place in society for Physical Media.

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Post by RxPhantom » 1 week ago

All this doomsaying is ridiculous. Yes, some cherished LGS's will close, but not all. On top of that, all prospective aid packages(in the US, anyway) include provisions for small businesses, so if they're wise and apply for it, many should still be able to weather this crisis. There is way too much hyperbole and panic being thrown around in this thread. Chill out. And wash your hands.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 week ago

We don't even know If ALL LGSs will be receiving financial aid packages from their respective Governments. It's kind of hard to support your Local Game Store when they don't even have much of an online presence If any at all whether it be eBay or their own personal website that you can order their products from. If there's no way to order online and curbside pickup isn't an option due to the Stay at Home order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention then door-to-door deliveries are their only option which I don't think will be enough to help save these small businesses.

Wizards of the Coast are encouraging people who enjoy playing Paper Magic to play at home or host their own FNM events there which I don't think is going to work. The best you can do is live stream your Paper Magic games online via Twitch, YouTube, or Discord but even then most players don't have the equipment available to do so. You'd be better off playing on Arena or MTGO which I absolutely refuse to support. I wouldn't be surprised If Wizards of the Coast decided to cease all production of Paper Magic moving forward since the market simply isn't there for it anymore except for Reserve List cards.

COVID-19 has taken the livelihood of people supporting Local Game Stores (LGSs) away from them and that's something that will never return. There's a very good chance a lot of these stores aren't going to reopen their doors and we're just going to lose that aspect of the community altogether. Sure TCGPlayer has the ability to support Local Game Stores (LGSs) but will it be enough? A lot of tech companies are going to bounce back from this because these physical retailers or "non-essential" stores as the CDC likes to call them are obsolete in an age where digital media is more profitable. It's not about appeasing their customer base when it's about following the money.
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Post by netn10 » 1 week ago

LGS's will adapt and change. Magic will thrive after the pandemic will end because the hardcore player would want to go out and play after being stuck at home. I believe people will buy even more product to compensate for the lost time, and I know I will - also to support paper Magic.

Also, paper Magic makes way more money than Arena, I just can't imagine them getting rid of their great source of income in favor of a free to play game.

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Post by WizardMN » 1 week ago

Card Slinger J wrote:
1 week ago
I wouldn't be surprised If Wizards of the Coast decided to cease all production of Paper Magic moving forward since the market simply isn't there for it anymore except for Reserve List cards.
Surely you have something to back this claim up? You aren't sitting there spouting nonsense based entirely on speculation and your own feelings?

Look, I get the concern for LGSs in this short time frame where COVID-19 is making it tough to get to physical stores. And I believe there are some that will legitimately struggle due to the lack of traffic into their stores. How much they suffer, and if any actually close as a direct result of this, remains to be seen.

But, to suggest that this pandemic is going to be a driving factor in the death of paper Magic is....inane at best. It is an absurd stance to take especially as you just claimed that you refused to support Arena or MTGO. You aren't unique and there are plenty of people who don't want Arena as their main method of playing Magic. Do you think those people would just flock to Arena if there is no Paper Magic? Would you?

My guess is that they wouldn't which means Wizards simply loses those people as customers. There is nothing to suggest Wizards is looking to get rid of physical cards in the short term (or, for that matter, in the long term).

If you have some concrete evidence of this, and not just ridiculous speculation, feel free to share. As it stands now all this situation comes down to is that LGS will struggle for a month or two and then everything goes back to business as usual after that.

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Post by Rumpy5897 » 1 week ago

Card Slinger J wrote:
2 weeks ago
Paper Magic only really exists at Magic Fest, Star City Games Tournaments, and your Friday Night Magic (FNM) events.
Commander.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 week ago

netn10 wrote:
1 week ago
LGS's will adapt and change. Magic will thrive after the pandemic will end because the hardcore player would want to go out and play after being stuck at home. I believe people will buy even more product to compensate for the lost time, and I know I will - also to support paper Magic.

Also, paper Magic makes way more money than Arena, I just can't imagine them getting rid of their great source of income in favor of a free to play game.
The only thing that's really saving Paper Magic for Wizards of the Coast is Secret Lair since it's direct-to-consumer (except for the recent Fetchland products) as Local Game Stores actually make more money on Paper Magic than Wizards of the Coast does by making less on sealed products they manufacture to LGSs. Heck Wizards of the Coast could sell $80 booster boxes on Amazon which hurts the Local Game Store more since they're forced to charge more for the same product in order to stay in business.

Instead I think they'd rather make Arena and MTGO pay-to-win loot crates to make up for revenue lost on LGSs selling singles to stay afloat. They're going to have to at this point though it'd be smart for them to get rid of MTGO and code the rest of the game's card pool onto Arena If they hire the right people to do it. That is the future of MTG going forward where traditional Paper Magic will never be the same as it once was.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

Financially I think WOTC probably could survive without face to face magic, although I think they would take a hit. I think there's lots they could do to make the two modes fit together beside each other better though (for god's sake why they don't give you a code with each booster pack for access to the same cards you open online I have no idea - other than greed, that is). That's an aside though.

I won't deny there are a lot of LGS's that are gonna hurt through this. Here in NZ we're in lockdown for 4 weeks, probably more. That being said, any LGS worth their salt has a loyal customer base and an online store that they can still trade through - my local can arrange trade-ins through their site, both incoming and outgoing. There's currently no tolerance for people attending their places of work, so he will need to take a sizable amount of his stock home, but he will get through it and will absolutely keep trading in the meantime. His business won't be the same during, but neither will his overheads, so there's that too.

Honestly, I understand the concern, but I really think this is a bit of an overblown domino effect theory that just won't play out the way OP thinks it will. I'm sure Wizards would find it easier to transition to online completely, but they don't have the infrastructure for that to happen, nor the support for all formats they have, so for now it's a moot point. It ain't going to happen. Aside from that I think the bad karma they would generate for pulling such a nefarious scheme while people are already hurting would have a huge chance to backfire too.

There's lots of reasons this won't happen, and very little concrete evidence to support that it will. Appreciate your concerns OP, but this speculation is unfounded.

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Post by maeos » 1 week ago

I don't think that wizard putting this out would actually affect anything. If anything its a pat on their own back saying "we care about our community and don't want you guys to get sick." Its better late than never, even though all the LGS in my area have already basically barred any people from coming into the store for 1+ weeks already.

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Post by The Fluff » 1 week ago

If anything its a pat on their own back saying "we care about our community and don't want you guys to get sick." Its better late than never,
wotc made the right choice in this one. At the rate the virus is spread.. it's highly contagious. I'd be more worried about people's lives than profit at this point. And as someone in this thread already mentioned, things will go back to normal maybe after a month or two. So let's wait.

edit: our family doctor is himself in critical condition right now, due to covid infection. This thing can kill. I'm glad wotc is taking it seriously.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 week ago

So Rudy from Alpha Investments on YouTube finally weighed in on the current situation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQviuO4MzsE
Rudy from Alpha Investments wrote:So today what we're going to talk about in regards to card shop failures is simply on "Space". Straight up space. I know not the final frontier, not space stock, space (looking at you guys Wall Street bets). Not space just card shop space. Also known as overhead, square footage, cubic feet, this and that fancy schmancy. What happens is that a lot of people you know and I did the same thing originally a couple of years ago when I opened up the Alpha Investments location. I remember telling many people it was like a temporary location so I can expand and do another location.

Originally I wanted to buy the big shopping center and expand like a fancy store. The problem was with YouTube and the rest of my businesses online expanded so much that I just couldn't get anything done. It almost became like a tourist type stop and it really messed up all my shipping which fell behind. So anyways while eBay and Patreon works and that's still great, the location, everything's fine, and it's good to meet people and do collections and all that which we're not doing now, not meeting anybody, or doing anything but the issue remains that this is a very interesting time because it really exposes a risk that I don't think people fully took into consideration.

You know, everybody out there who wants to do a card shop or open up a comic book store, coins, or any form of collectibles in general because these are the times when you have tremendous table space just for play area like huge play area space because you're a WPN store which unfortunately as you guys know I'm not which is why I don't get Mystery Booster Boxes and you know Spellbooks. But these are the times when the flaws come out. You realize the excessive risk you took that wasn't so obvious before because at a time like this when we really reflect and think about it you realize that, "Wow! A lot of the decisions I made in the overhead, the space, and the lease I signed was a bad move."

New York can't even open anything the whole thing is shutdown. I think actually a lot of states are and by the time this video goes live probably even more states. I'm sure it's going to get a whole lot worse. New York and California have some of the highest rents for retail space in the United States and now they're under mandatory quarantine shutdown. So you have the highest space with products that have the thinnest margins and now you're forced to close temporarily. I mean talk about a one-two punch worst case scenario. The amount of people contacting me sending me messages who own Local Game Stores (LGSs) replied back to me saying, "How on Earth am I supposed to recover from this?"

I've received many messages now probably about five to ten stores now across the United States that told me, "I don't have plans to open back up so do you want to work out a deal to buy out all my inventory because I really have no intentions of reopening after one to two months of no income having expenses deferred." So I don't know why everyone's so excited about student loans, credit cards, mortgages, and rent being "deferred". I really don't get that because deferred does not mean you'll have to pay. If you have a credit card and many of these other things or like a mortgage it just means you'll have to make a payment.

The interest in the bill is still accrued, you still owe, and they're gonna add it on. So many mortgages and loans add on If you have rental space or a lease and shopping center. They're going to add that payment on to the end of your lease or something. Deferred is not as good as it may sound. Now If they forgive it then that's a different conversation but the "deferred" thing is a very loosey-goosey term. It really exposes the risk and danger of doing these LGSs and trying to work with Wizards of the Coast in 2020 during the "Corona Crash". It's dangerous. It really exposes how weak the system is. It exposes how high risk / low reward it is for most people to try to start their own business in the collectible world.

Anyone whose interested in this stuff gets blurred by the enjoyment and passion they have for the products. For the MTG cards, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, you know. Force of Wills and Final Fantasies and I guess Flesh and Blood, Argent Sagas, Exodus', and Cardfight!! Vanguards. You know it really exposes the risk of going all-in into a situation like this because we don't really plan for extreme things like this. It's very difficult for the human brain to really comprehend a very extreme Black Swan event and let me tell you something, this is the KING of all Black Swan events. I mean it's up there with the zombie apocalypse and the end of the world though I'm sure the doomsday prepper people out there are laughing at all this but it really exposes the Phrygian nature of everything. How phrygian everything is.

Yes that is a word I write it on boxes all the time. But seriously everybody it really does show how fragile everything is. It really exposes the dangers of opening up a card store in getting a unit or renting something that's two or three times the space to try to become WPN approved, host tournaments, and go from like a basic store to an advanced or advanced plus Wizards of the Coast store. You know. These are the times that really make you step back and go, "Wow!" I mean is Wizards of the Coast going to step up to the plate? Are they going to bail out all these LGSs and WPN Network stores? Are they just gonna start sending out free product after this to bail them out? Are they gonna adjust prices? I highly doubt it. Should they be required to bail out card stores? Not really it's not their fault either.

Should card stores require or request something special from them to help cushion the blow? Probably, I mean it is a business relationship and If the stores survive and you buy more product which helps Wizards of the Coast. I mean it's a give and take. Every relationship in this world is you know compromise, compensation, and negotiating. I guess If you look at it this way, If you have a card store that costs $2,000 a month rent in a shopping center (my particular Alpha Investment store is $150 month rent) then you have to pay a couple thousand dollars a month just to have that empty space. Not for inventory. Not for warehouse. Not for storage but just to have it. In times like this when things don't function smoothly and easily then that extra overhead will destroy you. It will crush you.

That's kind of what's happening. In 2017 about a third or 25-35% (so between a quarter and a third) of all card stores went out of business. During that time so many stores shut down with all the Masters set reprints and I think this is going to be a similar situation. Distributors have already expressed concerns with me about some stores that are on credit 30 day terms that are not going to be able to pay. I guess the point of this video is to reflect on everything in the last 5 years. In my opinion the turning point still remains. I'll never forget when I woke up that one day and Wizards of the Coast announced that they were going to start sending pallets of sealed product to Amazon to sell direct on Amazon and then they remove the MSRP and then of course Amazon essentially became the MSRP.

You know when they sell boxes for $90-95 so that's what the boxes are worth that release and of course with the stores almost paying $80 and some stores paying $85 a box you know at this point in time why would anybody start a new MTG store at this point? I'm trying to come up with reasons like If somebody sat down in front of me right now and said, "Rudy I want you to convince this person to start an LGS". What would you say? How would you do that? I don't think there's any real argument for me to be able to convince somebody to do that now. I just don't think an argument exists to be able to convince somebody to take that path because anyone with any good common or higher level even basic financial literacy is going to realize that it's all about risk / reward, the teeter-totter, and the amount of potential reward is nowhere NEAR the massive amount of risk that has to be incurred to go down this path.

With the water level in the ocean dropping now and all the ships going down with it and we're all seeing whose exposed and whose gonna make it or not it really reinforces that it's just a dying business model. I still wouldn't be doing this If it wasn't for YouTube and all my Patreon supporters, the videos, my eBay sales, and the combination of everything is what makes me successful at it and what makes some other stores out there successful at it. But you have to be able to do the whole package just to make it work Post - Corona Crash 2020. There's just nothing else out there to make this stuff work. I don't know If and/or how there can be a full recovery back to before all this happened because I feel like it's almost a permanent change.

Even when everything stabilizes in the coming months and years I don't think it's ever going to go back to pre 2020 culture and levels. I think we're at a permanent change in culture. It's almost like the handshake when you meet people can almost become like a dying breed. I feel like culture itself is going to be shifted from an event of this caliber. I guess it just really exposes how much on the backs of Wizards of the Coast pumping Secret Lair drops, Amazon sales, no MSRP, and now selling Fetchlands direct to the public now. We knew Fetches were never going to be in a Standard product again but I didn't think it was going to get this crazy.

We got to look at the facts and the facts are that's the direction that they want to take MTG. Now it doesn't mean that the opportunity for collecting or investing in MTG cards is dead. I don't agree with that. I think many strong will survive and I think a lot of very weak financial people are just going to get completely clobbered. If I was in college right now and I was still waiting tables I mean what would I do? I guess it would be just sitting at home sorting MTG cards or playing digital MTG Arena I guess I don't know. The entire service industry is literally shut off right now. It's the same thing with card stores, If you relied on FNM and the WPN store then how on Earth are you going to make it?

If you have five to ten thousand dollar a month overhead then I just don't know what to say. What are you going to do sell extra MTG cards? You sell boxes online and make a dollar a box? It's not enough. You'd have to sell 20,000 boxes at $1 apiece to pay your rent and overhead. What are you going to do, pay your employees? I think the conversation is important and I think it's important for everybody to recognize that going through an actual Black Swan event and how Wizards of the Coast, how the WPN, how MTG prices which are actually holding up surprisingly well, or being a business owner is just not a good idea anymore. In post - 2020 I don't see how that would be any better. So hope you guys learned something.
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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

Hmmm. I mean you're convinced, fine.

Here in NZ, our government is looking at options to keep SBO's from going under, but yet again, this will pass. There will be some businesses that go under in the meantime. but honestly, if that happens it's probably just expediting something that would've happened in the longer term anyway. And that has significantly less to do with the game than with the property market and how healthy an economy is. My two LGSes have been around for, respectively, 20 years, and 8 years now. I have absolute faith that they will return because 1) they have done excellent things to provide great service and a welcoming atmosphere and 2)our government has made a commitment to help businesses like theirs to stay afloat.

All of that says nothing for what Wizards does about post CoVid though. They're absolutely doing the right thing with paper gaming right now because people are dying from this and it spreads so damn easily. Afterwards, there is no reason at all to think the game will die in paper form.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 week ago

toctheyounger wrote:
1 week ago
I have absolute faith that they will return because 1) they have done excellent things to provide great service and a welcoming atmosphere and 2)our government has made a commitment to help businesses like theirs to stay afloat.
Wish I could say the same for my government. Sadly I don't think a $2 trillion stimulus package will be enough to save every small business in the United States. I feel as though most of the money is going to go to businesses that don't really need it, mainly the bigger corporate businesses who already have the cash flow to weather the current storm we're in. A lot of the LGSs that do close down as a result of this will be the ones that were unable to receive financial aid from their government which is sad since there's a lot of great communities and livelihoods that are about to be shattered.

The Collectibles Market isn't as strong as we perceived it to be as COVID-19 has directly exposed how massive sectors of our global economy and way of life are incredibly weak. Most of the U.S. economy runs on zero margin of error with no backup plan. Hopefully everyone learns their lesson from this situation and stops living paycheck to paycheck, payday to payday, quarter to quarter, and really start thinking about the future. Our entire civilization is clearly not healthy and needs some serious retooling. Loan forgiveness and deferment really needs to be taught to young adults before college.

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Post by Ulka » 1 week ago

Please focus on facts and not doomsday spouting. There is enough fearmongering going on in the world. If this continues in this fashion I will look into the possibility of infractions for trolling.

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 week ago

I think that saying Magic is dead and all LGSs are gonna close because of this is a massive overstatement.

Yeah it's kind of rough that they won't be able to run any events until May but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will be forced to be closed and not sell product until then. Stores make money off selling singles and not just event entry. Albeit that's me assuming shutdowns will be lifted before then.

I guess what I should be saying is that it's jumping to conclusions too early into the situation before we know how long it'll last

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Post by toctheyounger » 1 week ago

FWIW while I think things might seem bleak out there, there's ways round the situation for LGS owners.

I pulled into mine a couple days ago before NZ locked down to pick up some singles. I wanted to put some money in his pocket beforehand, so I did. We got talking about the scenario and the logistics of working around an enforced social isolation, and we worked some things out.

He is going to be selling singles online from his house, and arranging couriers to pick up orders as they come through. There may well be a delay with that as it's far from an essential service, but he can still keep money coming in and that's important from a business standpoint. On top of that he's looking at facilitating drafts through a dedicated discord channel as well as a Modern and Pioneer league. Now this guy isn't a business major or anything, he's a collector who loves the community and does what he can for it while making a living for him and his family. If he can work this out, there's any number of other store owners who can, too.

The point is all of his customers were already part of the discord server, and he;s encouraging them to band together to make it all work. That's what's needed right now. Our hobby is more than just numbers in an account, overheads and income for WOTC, it's a community, and we need to remember that and keep those bonds strong while they need to be. And that means supporting your LGS and your community any way you can when they need it most. We can weather this, the sky is not falling.

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Post by Card Slinger J » 6 days ago

Let me ask you a question about a hypothetical scenario and I'm being serious. Say you were someone who doesn't know what Trading Card Games / Collectible Card Games are and you just recently heard about Magic: the Gathering in 2020 even though there's more gaming options to choose from nowadays compared to how few there were when MTG first made it's debut in 1993. What would you do? Would you pick up a Starter Deck, go to your LGS, and learn how to play or would you move onto a different hobby being fully aware of the actual LGS environment?

What If you had the chance to start all over again? It's always about risk vs. reward. Say you lost your Paper Magic collection in a natural disaster / global crisis or someone managed to steal it from you without your consent. Is the risk to go through it all again really worth the reward? How much of a mental toll would it take to recoup the losses made? These are the types of questions MTG players don't ask themselves enough of these days. Don't get the wrong idea I'm not trying to poke fun at Tolarian Community College on YouTube when he goes about saying, "Many Magic players ask the question..." I figured it'd be good food for thought.

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