Rembert Parker of Reader Copies in Anderson, Indiana read Scott Thorne's column talking about the most recent Magic: The Gathering Pre-release event  (see "Rolling for Initiative--A Sense of Space, Customer Space") and had this to say about his own store's experience with players leaving early.

Our store also saw an increase in the number of players, and we are already familiar with the case of the disappearing customer. Our store has always had a few customers who simply came in and got their packs and left or who left early. We, at least, did not see any significant increase in this weekend's Magic Pre-release.

It is likely that customers who leave early do so for one of two reasons:

[1] Players decide they have no chance at winning prizes. This can occur after customers look at their cards or play in the first round and realize that they cannot put together a competitive deck with the random cards they pulled. It can also be affected by the prize distribution at the end of the tournament (Wizards of the Coast requires stores to give out packs that average two packs per player, but some stores heap these in such a way that most players won't get anything--our store simply gives every player 1-4 packs at the end based on how they finished in the final standings so there's always something for everybody).

[2] Players are in a hurry to get to another store so they can enter another tournament. Since the cards don't go on sale until next Friday, players can maximize the number of packs they get early if they simply dash from store to store, picking up more cards. This is also affected by the guild packs WotC is using again--a player who wants to collect all five guild packs without paying premium prices online will need to somehow attend five events in two days, which requires some dashing around, limiting play time.

Overall, players liked the new cards a lot and thought the Pre-release was more fun than the Return to Ravnica Pre-release. We'll see how that translates into sales next week!

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of