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.