Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by Scott Thorne on August 30, 2021 @ 3:05 am CT
I received a few comments on last week’s column, agreeing that this is the worst state they have seen the supply chain in during the game industry’s history, but that the industry will recover probably in 2022 (see "Extinction Level Event?"). Also, the JIT supply chain adopted by both game stores and the U.S. manufacturing economy as a whole may need to adapt.
Among all the announcements regarding new releases (see "‘Magic: The Gathering’ Release Calendar For 2022/2023"), new Secret Lair sets, new benefits for WPN Premium stores (and I do not begrudge Premium stores their additional benefits; they put in the extra work to make their store Premium, and should reap the promised benefits from WotC, as well as the benefits that come from having a well-kept store), and the relaunch of the Store Championship program.
Upcoming 'Magic' 'Universes Beyond"), is that they focus on current players. Universes Beyond products could bring in some fans of WotC's other properties towards buying a Magic set, as Adventures in the Forgotten Realms did with a few D&D players, but a new Kamigawa, more Secret Lairs, more Masters, and Commander-focused sets target current players rather than new ones.
Although Magic is more popular than ever and certainly has room to grow (see "Sales Surge in Q2"), coupled with the fact that it is far easier to sell products to a current customer rather than recruit a new customer, it makes financial sense for WotC to release more products targeted at its existing base. Especially with the growth rate Magic has seen the past few years; it appears to have a player base hungry for product.
I've heard of stores so hard up for introductory product that they are taking bulk cards and building demo decks to give away to customers showing an interest in Magic. The question then is, how good of a use of the store’s time is doing so? On one hand, the store is taking the initiative in creating promotional items that could draw in new customers. On the other hand, building demo decks to draw new customers in is a pretty labor-intensive activity.
Would you like to see the return of company provided demo decks, or is there a different route you think companies should pursue? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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