The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

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The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  zoroptoeame on Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:22 am

It is very clear that the pro-tour is a marketing tool. I follows the exact same structure as sports leagues, where championships and players are promoted to bring more interest to the league itself. *Come see our brightest stars and you too can be like them!!* In major sports this strategy generates money by selling tickets, television rights, shirts and other assorted goodies. Players of these extremely popular sports work for private business (FIFA, NFL, NBA), and their salaries are determined by the simple law of supply and demand.

How much is a Ronaldinho, a Brady or a Kobe worth? What someone will pay for them. What happens if team A does not want to pay? They proceed to go to team B. If for some insane reason the NFL stopped paying it's players you can bet that a new league would pop up and offer them more money. They'd market their stars heavily and try to take a piece of the tickets/advertising/shirts pie. Pretty soon you'd have two leagues playing in the same area with similarly good players. The NBA and ABA was one such case.

How is Magic different? There are no competing leagues.

Kids want to be like Mike. They want to bend it like Beckham. Yes, the star system is fueled by stars, but does anybody actually believe the stars created the system? No, the system created the stars. The marketing created the heroes.

What would happen if Hasbro decided to cancel the ProTour? Nothing.

Anybody know a 6 year old that wants to play control like Buehler? How about an 8 year old that can RECOGNIZE Kai, Zvi, Finkel, kenji, Ralph, Oliver on the subway? I mean, have you SEEN Magic players in a group? Not the most awe-inspiring sight.

Since all WOTC revenue is generated through selling its own product there is no room for competition. This is a simple and very clear monopoly. Now, since they invented/own/create/produce the game I have no problem with them having a monopoly. If they didn't pay RnD there would be no Countryside Crushers to fawn over.

I am part of the extremely extremely small percentage of magic players who can recognize some of the big-name players. I might even be able to pick a couple from a lineup, but that is as far as it goes. I avidly read SCG and magicthegathering and KL will be my second Pro Tour. This, by definition, makes me pretty much a freak. I mention this to point out that I'm not a complete stranger to the game, I am, if anything, pretty well informed. When the Hall of Fame thing started I looked over the list of names... and drew blanks. I have had to look up the profiles of at least TWO members of each of the classes to know who they were.

These are the greatest players of all time. Freaking hall-of-famers and I, a fanboy, have no idea who they are.

To move the world you need a very long lever, and the players have none. I'm sorry, but how many boosters do you think will not be sold if the Ruel Brothers stop playing? Kenji? Kai? Finkel? (oops, sorry, forgot).

I like to be informed of the pro tour, but if magic does not generate enough revenue to keep about 40 people in the world earning money as *professionals* I don't really care. I don't feel bad when told that a 25-30 year old man can no longer play cards with monsters printed on them for a living. You can't pay the mortgage with Magic? Get a job.

Hasbro owes "pros" nothing. We play a game because we love to play it, not to make a living. The two greatest players ever no longer play because real life interfered. This is sad, but it is a fact. Did WOTC sell less boosters?

Nope.

Trying to strong-arm Wizards is the worst thing you guys could do. You have no lever. Hasbro owes you nothing. Stars are made by being featured on magicthegathering.com. By definition, the guy that gets his face posted there IS the star.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Raph on Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:55 am

I don't think you understood anything about the issues discussed here. Please read the *sticky* messages before you post.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Luke on Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:44 am

Without Pro's a lot more falls down.

What about genuine businesses and traders set up to encourage growth of magic players. All the hard work the self-employed do the keep themselves afloat. The amount of times I've used pro-players as a selling point or a point of reference to what this game can give you in return for what you put in!

What would happen if Hasbro decided to cancel the ProTour? Nothing.

Well, I'm sure a lot of people might feel less enthralled to push their limits on the game, less people would consider it a competitive game of fun and fustration. More kitchen magic would be played, decks would generally get lazier and less persuit of building stronger decks would come of it. Less coverage and the lack of a need to report events, less interest in the game and eventually a loss of interest altogether with the competitive state of MTG thus the withdrawal of the need to have the DCI!


Anybody know a 6 year old that wants to play control like Buehler? How about an 8 year old that can RECOGNIZE Kai, Zvi, Finkel, kenji, Ralph, Oliver on the subway? I mean, have you SEEN Magic players in a group? Not the most awe-inspiring sight.

Funnily enough this game isn't about self-image. The decks are awe-inspiring and I admire the intelligence and genius of the pros. Not there 'hawt' looks!

Take Kai Budde for example, no offense to him but he is ugly as sin, but the guy is a clear genius! I've been keeping track of his successes and decks since I knew about the pro-circuit.



Just a bit of food for thought!
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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Ullis on Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:06 pm

zoroptoeame

Thank you, someone who's making sense.

To the people who has created this site/idea:

Pro Tours, price payouts and such, is a service. Wizards does not have to to this, they do it to promote the game and to give players some kind of reward for being good at it.

So, why not just accept this as it is? Wizards are doing us (I should say you as this is targeted at whining "pros") a great service, so instead of whining like spoiled children on christmas eve who did not get the Transformer they wanted, you should thank them.

Just stop complaining as quickly as possible and you might just get away without anyone noting this.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Luke on Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:31 am

Ullis wrote:
Pro Tours, price payouts and such, is a service. Wizards does not have to to this, they do it to promote the game and to give players some kind of reward for being good at it.


Of course they don't have to do this, Wizards don't have to release any other sets either. Wizards could shut down MTG.com tomorrow. But the point is that if they trim our Pro-Tours and leave our pro-players feeling less motivated to push themselves then it will have a detrimental effect on the competitive side to the game.

That's my 2 cents!
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.

Post  PV on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:38 am

Ullis wrote:zoroptoeame

Thank you, someone who's making sense.

To the people who has created this site/idea:

Pro Tours, price payouts and such, is a service. Wizards does not have to to this, they do it to promote the game and to give players some kind of reward for being good at it.

So, why not just accept this as it is? Wizards are doing us (I should say you as this is targeted at whining "pros") a great service, so instead of whining like spoiled children on christmas eve who did not get the Transformer they wanted, you should thank them.

Just stop complaining as quickly as possible and you might just get away without anyone noting this.

I don't want to sound rude, but why are you even here if you think like that?

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  sin_plague on Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:52 am

Luke wrote:Take Kai Budde for example, no offense to him but he is ugly as sin, but the guy is a clear genius! I've been keeping track of his successes and decks since I knew about the pro-circuit.

I resent this remark.... afro

as for the other people on this thread with the exception of raph, pv, and luke... I have to agree with pv on this... why are you even here? can't you spend your time better elsewhere? this place is for the players who obviously care for the game a tremendous amount more than you...

loss of the pro tour would mean loss of revenue for hasbro in the hundreds of thousands... everyone is affected by it one way or another... from dealers, to players, to the new cards that are released... wake up and smell the coffee... because hasbro cannot afford to get rid of the pro tour... the financial losses alone would simply be staggering...

so no more of this 'we should thank our lucky stars that they still give us pro tours' crap... because we were here before they were... and they need to treat us with some respect... no commodity can thrive without a fanbase... getting rid of the pro tours would be like committing seppuku

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People aint to bright

Post  janos_wuryon on Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:21 pm

As I have read more and more about this I am stunned at the depth of ignorance people bring to these forums. There are some simple facts about this issue that are overlooked.

1. The choices, right or wrong, of the OP brance of WOTC/Hasbro are motivated by business motives. PT's cost money and offer no chance of making money. GP's, if well attended , could be break even events. It is obvious that WOTC will continue to "tweak" this system until they find a way for it to not be a loss.

2. Those players who are pros and those of us who are working to get to that level ( I am in the later group) have not only the right but also the responsibility to stand up and take steps to make the OP program as healthy and beneficial for them as possible. TO do any less would be tragic.

3. I believe there is a falacy that exists that the game is carried on the back of the casual gamer. That is not true at all. I know casual gamers and they spend the least of any players that I know. Going to the occasional event, playing in some Pre releases and buying a few packs doesnt generate the revenue that keeps the game alive. there are two groups who are the life blood of the game. Group one are New players who have to buy there way into the game with fresh cards and event fees. Group 2 are the aspiring pro's. We travel to play in large events, play in 3-5 events a week, buy singles to compete and packs to draft. We pump far more into magic than we ever get back all to win a plane ticket and a blue envelope. Then when we get to that point we keep paying to try and stay there. These are the people who keep magic on the shelves not the "casual" gamer still rocking his 75 card elephant deck....

4. Finally in conclusion if actions taking by WOTC/Hasbro are left unaddressed by those they impact and it leads to the loss of the OP system then the game will die a slow death. No High level play means no websites with articles and no secondary market thus businesses drop magic as a main revenue source. Once the businesses leave the dearth of Information impacts the newest generation who only have the casual player to look to as a reason to play ( 75 card random piles are not gonna keep todays youth intereted for long) soon they stop playing and then the new player numbers dwindle and die. Once these groups cease to exist the game will be unprofitable for WOTC/Hasbro and then new product ceases to be produced. And in the end the casual gamer, like the cockroach is left alive at the kitchen table, tapping lands to play his animate wall spell so he can get in their with his wall of flame, pumped 4x and beat his buddies all elephant deck again!!! wow what fun!

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Ullis on Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:43 pm

PV

I'm gonna let you choose the answer to that question (might be a combination though):

1. I'm bored a work
2. I feel moraly obligated to end this because the motives are obviously very selfish
3. This gives me a good laugh

janos_wuryon

Yes, you are probably absolutely right about that. The only problem is that you are underestimating Wizards. We are talking about a multi-million dollar company with millions of customers all over the globe, from Sweden to Japan.

Just answer this question: What makes you think that Wizards are not aware of the consequences of this? Obviously they have planned this for years, and obviously they have done research after research after research. If the results of this research would have indicated that they would loose money/players/whatever, do you honestly think that they would have gone through with this?

Also, the motives behind this from the pros who are making a living off Magic, is appearently to guard thier lifestyle. If I were making a living traveling all over the world playing a game I like and that I'm good at, why the hell would I wanna go back to unpacking meat at a grocery store?

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Prof_Hydra on Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:53 pm

sin_plague wrote:so no more of this 'we should thank our lucky stars that they still give us pro tours' crap... because we were here before they were... and they need to treat us with some respect... no commodity can thrive without a fanbase... getting rid of the pro tours would be like committing seppuku

Please don't be naive. They don't have to treat you with respect or hand out prizes or anything unless they think there's value in doing so.

I think you're right that downsizing the PT is long term suicide, but it does provide a lot of short term gain so I can why someone might have made the decision.

janos_wuryon wrote:1. The choices, right or wrong, of the OP brance of WOTC/Hasbro are motivated by business motives. PT's cost money and offer no chance of making money. GP's, if well attended , could be break even events. It is obvious that WOTC will continue to "tweak" this system until they find a way for it to not be a loss.

Correct. Correct. Wrong. Wrong.

GP's don't and will never make money. You don't run big tournaments to make a profit, you run them to generate interest in the game and create revenue through regular sales to the player base you grow. At least in Europe anyway and those tournaments are nearly always 1000+ players.

janos_wuryon wrote:
3. I believe there is a falacy that exists that the game is carried on the back of the casual gamer. That is not true at all. I know casual gamers and they spend the least of any players that I know. Going to the occasional event, playing in some Pre releases and buying a few packs doesnt generate the revenue that keeps the game alive. there are two groups who are the life blood of the game. Group one are New players who have to buy there way into the game with fresh cards and event fees. Group 2 are the aspiring pro's. We travel to play in large events, play in 3-5 events a week, buy singles to compete and packs to draft. We pump far more into magic than we ever get back all to win a plane ticket and a blue envelope. Then when we get to that point we keep paying to try and stay there. These are the people who keep magic on the shelves not the "casual" gamer still rocking his 75 card elephant deck....

Don't underestimate the power of the casual market. It's the biggest market as far as I know. The other groups you mention are also important and these are the guys that probably won't be around if the PT is downsized to the point no one really has any interest in it anymore. At that point the game starts to dwindle and die.

I don't agree with the tone of the other posts as there seems to be a bit of random trolling against 'whining pro's' but one point is valid - you need a lever.

As a community we're fairly sure that continually cutting the budget of the PT is very bad for the long term future of the game, but unless you can prove that they're going to continue to do so because of the short term benefits it offers.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  TheInfamousBearAssassin on Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:47 pm

Most people here love the game, but very few people involved in this drama love each other, which is the crux of the matter. Hasbro and Wizards do little, if anything, simply for gratitude to the players. The players don't compete and buy packs out of gratitude towards Wizards for making the game they love. No one is 'whining', and it's childish and frankly idiotic to try and portray what is simply business this way. No one should "just shut up and be grateful" because they're not getting something for nothing. If your idea of a successful business model involves telling your best customers that they're spoiled kids for telling you their demands (information that marketing companies usually charge hefty fees for), you should just go ahead and start working on your dumpster-diving skills now, because that's going to be where you get your bread in the near future. In the customer-seller relationship, it's the customer who wields ultimate power, since they're the ones who actually control the other's livelihood. No one that's still in the game has made enough money playing the game to call it their actual job- no one. The only ones to come close were Finkel and Budde. Almost everyone else is bleeding money for the game. Hasbro can be as tight-fisted as they want, but they're doing themselves a disservice in the long-run.

The Pro Tour is still- was still- in a growth phase. The steps to increase the payout and promote the pro tour to new players were important acknowledgements of this. What's going on right now is a step backwards and sends a very damaging signal to the thousands and thousands of players who try to get onto the pro tour every year. And janos is right; casual players simply pay less money for fewer cards, because they don't care if they run a bunch of one-ofs, if their choices are inferior, if they even win or not. This is obvious just from observing market forces; only a handful of casual cards ever attain a high price; usually only a few really neat Legendary critters such as Akroma, Visara or Serra Avatar. The major driving force in card price is what's winning in high-competition tournaments. Start killing off the reason to buy cards for the pro tour and it trickles down to lower levels of competition, at least without steps to correct this by broadening support for PTQ, GP and Championship-level competition.

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Benefits beyond Us/Them

Post  janos_wuryon on Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:33 pm

To respond to Mr. Jones comments on my earlier post, I was refering to the casual player as I know them. True there may be different version of the casual player and perhaps even if there are enough of them then a few purchases will go along way. ( maybe even supporting the game in a way I didnt think they did.) Regardless, I believe the focus of the games marketing should be to maintain a forum for serious competition ( thus supporting the pro and aspiring pro) player base while at the same time devoting an equal or even greater amount of energy in enticing new players to join the game and leave them the option to pursue what ever path they want ( casual, local competitor, pro player).

Wizards can serve the casual base by producing all the "junk rares" they have made for years as well as keeping up the work they do with "story" and theme. The card production decision support the casual guys well enough. I work as a judge at local and prerelease events and deal with the casual guys frequently. They prefer interesting mechanics, prevailing themes and good story to competition and "high Level" play. THey are sufficiently supported by these things.

Finaly the comment by Mr. Jones about the tone of the posts interests me. While I firmly agree that these posts can easily descend into mindless, pendantic and useless bickering, ignoring the input of people because they present themselves poorly is a bad message to send. This action by the pro community to create a "union" to present issues to WOTC can serve to create an essential component in the community. That peice is the connection between the established and the struggling, the pro and the aspirant. I sincerely hope this message is taken to heart by all the pro's involved in this forum. This movement not only will allow your positions as pro to be heard by WOTC but allow you to become accessable to the Magic community in a much more profound way then before. Your responses to posts and interaction with people can go a long way to changing the negatively held notions about "pros". While im not expecting any one to coddle the ignorant ( I certainly wont) I believe that the the Pros behind this movement should make sure their efforts apply in all directions from Hasbro VIP's to tournament scrubs. Not only will every one gain a better understanding of the future path the game needs to take but the potential increase in player support may go a long way to creating the "Lever" needed to enact some real changes.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Ullis on Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:51 pm

TheInfamousBearAssassin wrote:Most people here love the game, but very few people involved in this drama love each other, which is the crux of the matter. Hasbro and Wizards do little, if anything, simply for gratitude to the players. The players don't compete and buy packs out of gratitude towards Wizards for making the game they love. No one is 'whining', and it's childish and frankly idiotic to try and portray what is simply business this way. No one should "just shut up and be grateful" because they're not getting something for nothing. If your idea of a successful business model involves telling your best customers that they're spoiled kids for telling you their demands (information that marketing companies usually charge hefty fees for), you should just go ahead and start working on your dumpster-diving skills now, because that's going to be where you get your bread in the near future. In the customer-seller relationship, it's the customer who wields ultimate power, since they're the ones who actually control the other's livelihood. No one that's still in the game has made enough money playing the game to call it their actual job- no one. The only ones to come close were Finkel and Budde. Almost everyone else is bleeding money for the game. Hasbro can be as tight-fisted as they want, but they're doing themselves a disservice in the long-run.

The Pro Tour is still- was still- in a growth phase. The steps to increase the payout and promote the pro tour to new players were important acknowledgements of this. What's going on right now is a step backwards and sends a very damaging signal to the thousands and thousands of players who try to get onto the pro tour every year. And janos is right; casual players simply pay less money for fewer cards, because they don't care if they run a bunch of one-ofs, if their choices are inferior, if they even win or not. This is obvious just from observing market forces; only a handful of casual cards ever attain a high price; usually only a few really neat Legendary critters such as Akroma, Visara or Serra Avatar. The major driving force in card price is what's winning in high-competition tournaments. Start killing off the reason to buy cards for the pro tour and it trickles down to lower levels of competition, at least without steps to correct this by broadening support for PTQ, GP and Championship-level competition.

Most of what you're saying is correct. Only problem is that your conclusions are way off. First of all, I'm 99% sure that the good japanese guys make a living off magic, and so is the Ruel brothers. Also, wizards gives tons and tons of things; promoes, player rewards, FNM gateway and more. Pro Tours are for such a limited part of Magic that I can understand that Wizards/Hasbro would want to downsize, but I can also, to some extent, understand players who are actually gaining something off Pro Tours.

However, this does not make what MtG Players Union does anything more than bitching.

I think that were not getting enough money for drinking milk, and I think I'm gonna start a website about it and protest outside every farm I see. Anyone willing to join me?

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Luke on Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:06 pm

Oh man, this looks like it's turning nasty.

I'm going to summarize my views and take the backline.

Basically, Wizards stopping one Pro-Tour a year in my eyes is a mistake and will be bad for the competitive community. I'm on this forum to get my views across to likeminded people and get involved and active in the debate against scrapping one Pro-Tour a year!

I enjoy everything about the pro-circuit, I like reading up on my favorites and knowing that there are gamers out there dedicating lots of time to this game to make it a more challenging experience for us all.
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Casual Play

Post  kcolloran on Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:21 pm

I suppose it depends on how you define casual player. If you count anybody who's never played on the Pro Tour as a casual player than yes. But if the definition of a casual player is someone who doesn't follow the PT than no. I've never played in a pro tour, PTQ or grand prix. I don't really play any of the main constructed formats. But the amount of money I've spent on magic has gone up significantly since I've started following the pro tour. Mostly that's because the PT encouraged me to take up limited magic which means that I'm buying packs on a consistent basis. As someone who used to just play kitchen table magic it was enough to buy a few packs every now and then, but now I play FNM 3-4 times a month which is 9-12 packs a month, plus prereleases, local limited events and the occasional single for standard (or my cube). On a one-to-one basis the players who play in tournaments on a regular basis spend much more than people who simply play around the kitchen table. The only reason the casual player is important is because of numbers. But to think that the pro tour only has an effect on the people who play on the pro tour or even the PTQ circuit is a mistake and ticking off the base of tournament players would be a very bad idea.

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Casual players defined?

Post  gleemax on Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:14 pm

I think the crux of alot of arguments is where the line is drawn between the pro/casual player. I think both sides would like to set that line higher so as to include as many people for their case as possible. I like to use the actual definition provided by Wizards. A pro is a person with 1 pro point or more. Everyone else is casual. If you watch a baseball game and follow your favorite players does that make you a pro? Even if you score big in some basketball tournament, it doesn't make you an NBA player. Really there should be three divisions, but if we're going with a strict either or group, then to me you’re a pro if you have at least 1 point, and your a casual all the other time. Even if you’re not currently a pro by wizards definition, I'll give you that status if you've ever had a pro point.

Now onto the matter of who buys what. I'm sure WotC has done marketing research into this and has based decision off that research (they're not a dumb business after all). But, until WotC shares that information with us, we're not gonna know for sure. Everyone has their own experiences and prejudices that color those experiences. So everyone will "remember" a time where they can prove that their side buys more product.

For example (and I'm not making this up) this weekend I went to a Mor release event where they're were a few pro attending (lvl 2 and maybe a lvl 3). After the end of the matches, I was talking with one of them about the PT Hollywood and whether or not they'll do a vintage PT once extended changes up. He flashed me his uber deck with signed original duel lands and library of Alexandra and he was trying not to be a dick so he quickly passed over his signed Black Lotus. Anyway I point this out to make the argument that he probably wasn't hurting for money (they also talked about attending at PTQ that was over 300 miles away). Anyway, I was asking if they pre-ordered they're box of Moringtide and saw how Starcity was giving away a Black Lotus and he responded that they "never" buy a box. I thought that was weird since I, who am a casual player by my definition of lack a pro point despite playing in GPs (I just suck), always buy at least 1 box & 1 fatpack, of every set, along with a couple of packs every time I go to target or my local store Upon further investigation I learned that they draft off of what they're test group wins and occasionally have to buy a pack or two so they never need to actually purchase a box and in fact don't seem to buy much other than tournament entry fees.

Now this is just my personal experience, I'm sure other people have different ones. But based on this I can say casual players buy more packs than pro's do. Is it correct to generalize that across the board? No. That's called prejudice and that's what everyone seems to be doing. Yes there is an overall answer, but I don't think anyone here know it. I'm pretty sure WotC knows, but they're not telling right now.

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Post  PV on Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:21 pm

The question isn't if pros buy more than casual players, the question is, will the buyers - regardless of who they are - buy the same they are buying right now if pro players and pro tours don't exist?

Pro players might give wotc 0 money directly (though some of them do - I buy fatpacks all the time and some boxes from time to time, I play sealed tourneys, pre releases, etc), but that doesn't mean that their existance (and of the PT) doesn't give wotc money in the end ^^

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Slightly different perspective.

Post  jolt6346 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:37 am

I think the pro tour actually does drive a lot of money into the game even if indirectly.

The fact of the matter is that magic has in part survived as long as it has because it has a subculture that is entirely its own (especially when compared to most other ccgs). It can also be argued that the center of this culture is the pro tour. This is especially true when one thinks of the "unofficial" casual formats that occasionally get proliferated out to the "common player" (which often in turn leads to an ask wizards question the next day where a casual player is absolutely bewildered by what they had read just a week prior). For example, one could argue that the cube increases single sales as many players buy singles of cards that are likely before their time. This is especially true when one considers that the bulk of "competitive casual" formats tend to involve limited in some way shape or form. Without the pro tour, I doubt that many of these aspects of the subculture would be seen in the common public.

Along these lines, i feel that magic purchases are actually likely distributed on a bell curve with pros (who can support these formats with winnings) and true casual players (who dont make a big deal of buying packs) buying proportionately little while Semi-Pros/PTQ Players/whatever term you want to use for that sort of midlevel player driving a lot of the sales. Since these players want to go from that state to the pro level, its possible that the cut of a pro tour could adversely affect sales since it would actually discourage that midlevel player from buying cards.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  kcolloran on Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:06 am

I think Jolt6346 has hit it exactly right. I think it's the midlevel players, those of us who follow the PT but aren't on it, but who play in FNM all the time and go to prereleases and PTQs that spend the most money. And it's insane to think those players won't be influenced by what happens to the pro tour.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Joey on Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:46 pm

Luke wrote:Oh man, this looks like it's turning nasty.

yeah.... Crying or Very sad


honestly, i can see where a lot of the pros are coming from, and i agree (not 100%, more like 98%), with what they are trying to do. but on the other hand i have heard in casual conversation, random chats, irc, etc... more than a few magic players, and fans (yes magic has fans, Very Happy ) voice comments that indicate that the the way things are going arent settling well with players outside of the "pro" range...

things like *please dont take my head off for this, im just writing things ive heard or discussed (argued) with other people*:

-these pros sound like children who have had their toys taken away
-what? making money playing a game isnt enough, they want more?
-im a magic player, and this union isnt saying anything about the things im concerned about
-those guys are speaking for a select group, yet claim to represent everyone
-who gets to travel allover the world, play games, and still B*tch about it?
-etc...

before i get PM'ed to death: im not saying this is my point of view, just things that ive heard people saying, and discussing.

this shows a few things, among which are:

1. the players union is having one huge positive effect, in that it is sparking thought, discussion, and debate (and at least 2 fistfights that ive heard of) throughout every level of the magic playing community, ALL OVER THE WORLD. which i believe will ultimately help in finding/creating an ideal situation for everyone, hey if 100.000 magic players all over the world are thinking, talking, arguing about things, then odds are sooner or later a few good ideas will pop up (like this site for instance)

2. not all level of magic players, agree with the opinions, and concerns of the pro community.

3. that the pros/played reps/etc... need to exercise great caution in deciding which direction to take this, since its clear that not all magic players/fans agree with them. on thing a pro in any sport/field cant afford to do is do things that alienate his fans. i dont not think for a minute, that Raph for instance would ever do anything that he thinks would harm magic, but sometimes things happen by accident if your not careful....

4. there is a possibility that the people will see the player union the wrong way (pros just want a better shot at more cash, etc...)

im not writing these points to P*ss people off, just to bring attention to some things that i think need to be considered by the players reps when they talk to Wotc in KL. this players union started as a response to the changes to the PT, but its possibly ended up heading towards something ( i wish i knew what) that might change magic as we know it.

man i hope things go really well in KL....

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Prof_Hydra on Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:12 pm

PV wrote:The question isn't if pros buy more than casual players, the question is, will the buyers - regardless of who they are - buy the same they are buying right now if pro players and pro tours don't exist?

Pro players might give wotc 0 money directly (though some of them do - I buy fatpacks all the time and some boxes from time to time, I play sealed tourneys, pre releases, etc), but that doesn't mean that their existance (and of the PT) doesn't give wotc money in the end ^^

Hiya, this was the point I was trying to make (badly unfortuantely Sad ) in the 1 day MTGO log off thread.

My understanding is that the PT is the top end of an organised play platform that drives sales throughout nearly all levels of the game. The changes in funding have damaged sections of this platform but it will be a while before we see the effects (principally players becoming less competitive and less willing to spend both time and money on the game because there is less to aim for).

If you want a lever you need to show this.

They only did something about the affinity mess when all the TO's started complaining hardly any people were showing up to their tournaments. This is the same except it will take longer to see the effects and be harder to recover from them.

There is no need anyone to be nasty about this. We all want the same thing - a healthy organised play platform. At the top end people need to have the opportunity to earn enough money to make it worthwhile to devote the time and effort into playing the game. At the lower ranks people have to have the opportunity to have a realistic shot of moving up the ranks. Knock out any of the links and it won't work any more.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  Luke on Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:18 pm

Prof_Hydra wrote:
PV wrote:The question isn't if pros buy more than casual players, the question is, will the buyers - regardless of who they are - buy the same they are buying right now if pro players and pro tours don't exist?

Pro players might give wotc 0 money directly (though some of them do - I buy fatpacks all the time and some boxes from time to time, I play sealed tourneys, pre releases, etc), but that doesn't mean that their existance (and of the PT) doesn't give wotc money in the end ^^

Hiya, this was the point I was trying to make (badly unfortuantely Sad ) in the 1 day MTGO log off thread.

My understanding is that the PT is the top end of an organised play platform that drives sales throughout nearly all levels of the game. The changes in funding have damaged sections of this platform but it will be a while before we see the effects (principally players becoming less competitive and less willing to spend both time and money on the game because there is less to aim for).

If you want a lever you need to show this.

They only did something about the affinity mess when all the TO's started complaining hardly any people were showing up to their tournaments. This is the same except it will take longer to see the effects and be harder to recover from them.

There is no need anyone to be nasty about this. We all want the same thing - a healthy organised play platform. At the top end people need to have the opportunity to earn enough money to make it worthwhile to devote the time and effort into playing the game. At the lower ranks people have to have the opportunity to have a realistic shot of moving up the ranks. Knock out any of the links and it won't work any more.

Craig Jones

A good summary I think!

We all want the same thing - a healthy organised play platform.
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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  bsushort on Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:28 am

Prof_Hydra wrote:
PV wrote:The question isn't if pros buy more than casual players, the question is, will the buyers - regardless of who they are - buy the same they are buying right now if pro players and pro tours don't exist?

Pro players might give wotc 0 money directly (though some of them do - I buy fatpacks all the time and some boxes from time to time, I play sealed tourneys, pre releases, etc), but that doesn't mean that their existance (and of the PT) doesn't give wotc money in the end ^^

Hiya, this was the point I was trying to make (badly unfortuantely Sad ) in the 1 day MTGO log off thread.

My understanding is that the PT is the top end of an organised play platform that drives sales throughout nearly all levels of the game. The changes in funding have damaged sections of this platform but it will be a while before we see the effects (principally players becoming less competitive and less willing to spend both time and money on the game because there is less to aim for).

If you want a lever you need to show this.

They only did something about the affinity mess when all the TO's started complaining hardly any people were showing up to their tournaments. This is the same except it will take longer to see the effects and be harder to recover from them.

There is no need anyone to be nasty about this. We all want the same thing - a healthy organised play platform. At the top end people need to have the opportunity to earn enough money to make it worthwhile to devote the time and effort into playing the game. At the lower ranks people have to have the opportunity to have a realistic shot of moving up the ranks. Knock out any of the links and it won't work any more.

Craig Jones

I think most of us here agree that the Pro Tour is a marketing tool and that it does in fact help move product through its existence. However, the changes recently made to the Pro Tour system are fairly minor. The people (and I include myself in this group) that view this as an overreaction to these changes feel that only a handful of people are directly affected. The loss of one Pro Tour just makes it harder for pros to remain on the gravy train. As a PTQ level player, I had no delusions of ever making it to that level, thus I see no way in which these changes significantly affect me (and by extension assume most other players of my level feel the same way).

I personally see no way that these changes could cause the Pro Tour to implode. The draw is still there for players of my level and ambition, and it is harder to profit but not impossible. Thus, all of these arguments about "WotC will suffer when the Pro Tour doesn't exist" seem absurd because these changes are not going to kill the Pro Tour. Sure some may see this as the first move in a series of steps that does it in, but I'd say those people are either unrealistic pessimists or alarmists who think they can use such hyperbole to convince people to support their cause through fear that they might just be right.

If you want to make the argument that these changes are detrimental to the game, you need to stop talking about the pros perspective and start telling people why it harms the little guys. What does a PTQ player or casual player lose from these changes. I've yet to see any realistic statement to that effect, and until I do I see no reason to see this as a mistake by WotC. Instead, I see it as a slightly controversial decision that happens to have upset a very vocal minority.

PV wrote:I don't want to sound rude, but why are you even here if you think like that?
The reason is that everyone here wants what's best for the game, even those who disagree with the opinions this board was founded on. If this forum is to represent WotC's audience and present our opinions of their decisions, then it needs to include all of those opinions.

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  sin_plague on Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:00 am

bsushort wrote:
If you want to make the argument that these changes are detrimental to the game, you need to stop talking about the pros perspective and start telling people why it harms the little guys. What does a PTQ player or casual player lose from these changes. I've yet to see any realistic statement to that effect, and until I do I see no reason to see this as a mistake by WotC. Instead, I see it as a slightly controversial decision that happens to have upset a very vocal minority.


how about the loss of the mss system? garnering new players and support for the game? does that affect no one as well? the loss of a single pro tours impact won't be felt for some time... simply because it affects so many levels subtly and otherwise... less card sales... less tournament fees... less interest in the game... now that mid-level pros can play at ptqs some people won't even decide to play in them...

all of these effects are cumulative... and they trickle in so its harder to analyze their true impact until a couple years from now we look back and say 'wow.... missing an extra pt a year (after they've already been cut before) actually does have a huge impact on the game'

people need to stop looking at the immediate effects and start thinking long-term... this attitude of 'oh it doesn't affect me' just doesn't fly... it does affect each and everyone of us in some way... from single card prices to the ptq player trying to get on the gravy train...

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

Post  gleemax on Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:19 am

biggest harm to the little guy that no one seems to be talking about= no more amateur prize at GPs. They took that $5000 and applied it to the top level prizes instead, so now there's even less incentive for the casual player thinking about going pro to try and go pro. Not alot of people really expect to score at the top during their first GP (unless they are a genius or an ass), but quite a few amateurs believe that they might be the best amateur ata GP and simply strive to get into that top 10. Now, that hope is gone. No

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Re: The power of the lever, or exactly what does Hasbro owe anyone?

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