About Magic Burnout, Bank of America and our relationship with the game
18/11/22 0 comments
Bank of America's report highlighted the weariness and frustration that a portion of the community has with Magic today, and it might be a good time for us to rethink our relationship with the game.Edit Article
On product burnout and perpetual hype
95 different productscame out in 2022, not counting cosmetics like Chandra's glove, or the pins and other accessories, which were on sale throughout the year. Earlier this year, very shortly after Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty was released on the tabletop, Wizards announced it would reveal the first previews for Streets of New Capenna during the WeeklyMTG program. The decision already seemed rushed anyway, but not only did the company reveal the first spoilers that week, it also presented the most important card cycle of the new set: the Triomes.
not all products have the same target audience and not every new set is for everyone, and a person who plays mostly Standard won't be interested in Commander products, and perhaps the Pioneer Challenger Decks won't attract them. Likewise, a player will be much more interested in a Set Booster than a collector, who might prefer Collector Boosters, with slots dedicated to foils and alternate versions. Although coherent, this argument ignores the
singles, a product which most players tend to look for in marketplaces. There is also the Secret Lair issue — they are "luxury" products, collectibles, aimed at players who want exclusive versions of cards for their decks or people who really seek to collect everything in the game, not to mention their use to attract audiences from other franchises through the
Universes Beyond. But when you release a batch of them quarterly, the "special product" isn't that
specialanymore, and loses its purpose when 48 of them come out in a single year.
content creators. To remain relevant on social media, there is a need to keep up with the hype train and always seek the latest news, regardless of the importance of the product that has just passed and the impact it may have within the game. It is necessary to be aware that, in a few weeks, new cards will be released that will have to be analyzed and "current best deck in the format" will no longer be the best when such a card announced in the new set, which launches in 45 days, will change everything — there's no more time to ponder what's happening in the present and think about
todaybecause the content creator needs to deliver what their audience wants, and most audiences tends to care about what will come out
tomorrow. And for both categories, being aware of all the news when they keep coming is exhausting, in addition to bringing the feeling that no one, from players to retailers to content creators, is properly managing to enjoy the product the new product who just hit the shelves.
The Bank of America report controversy
“The author of the report is betting on investors, and Wizards seems to be betting on players.”
- Rich Stein
Hasbro is a company, and Magic: the Gathering is a product to be sold, and it has never been as commercial as it is today. Yes, Wizards invests in players, after all, they are the ones who consume each new release, and their offer in recent years has been so incessant to the point some say they see it as a deliberate act of exploiting the worst symptoms that a game can have in the human mind, such as
fomo(the fear of missing out). If that's the image the company conveys when it announces a new set, promotional deck, or a $1,000 anniversary edition, there's no way to say it's investing in a mutually beneficial relationship with its loyal player base. Whether we agree with Jason Haas' perspective, or Rich Stein's article, or both,
with or without the Bank of America report, it's clear there is something wrong with how Hasbro has been managing Magic: The Gathering, and it's likely that this report leads to some changes for the 2024 release window as the company cares about their shareholders, be it a decrease in the number of products per year, or the number of reprints present in them. Or maybe both, or neither.
It's time to reassess our relationship with Magic
Are you still having fun with Magic?