Since launching the Wizards Play Network (WPN) as its new organized play program (see “Wizards Play Network”), Wizards of the Coast has registered over 138,500 active players for Magic: The Gathering (an “active player” is one who registered for a DCI-sanctioned tournament in the previous 12 months). The new system was put in place last June largely due to feedback from retailers and to streamline the tournament organization process using new digital technology and resources.
“This record speaks volumes about the growth and health of our customer base and retail channel, and we can’t thank our judges and organizers enough for their support,” said Wizards of the Coast VP of Organized Play Chris Galvin.
The new system added new formats to the list of officially recognized tournaments and places a greater emphasis on grassroots tournament organization. This shift in emphasis was a significant factor in WotC opening up Magic pre-release tournaments to brick-and-mortar retailers starting with the Shards of Alara pre-releases in October 2008 (see “WotC Opens Up Pre-Release Events”).