Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Surfeit of Riches

If you are a CCG player that is. More specifically, if you play Yu Gi Oh or Magic or both. The pre-release dates for the next Yu Gi Oh set, Absolute Victory, have been announced for April 30-May 1, while the pre-release for the next Magic set, New Phyrexia, runs the following weekend, May 7th and 8th.

A lot of comic books shops that carry Magic as well are complaining about the timing of the New Phyrexia pre-release, since it coincides with the annual date for Free Comic Book Day, always the first Saturday in May. FCBD, as it is called, it typically one of the busiest days of the year for comic book stores, with many seeing three to four times a normal day's foot traffic. Since they often need to add addt on staff to handle the customers for FCBD, adding on an addition big event such as a Magic pre-release can strain the staffing of smaller store to the breaking point. Many comic stores also won't have the space to host both events and will need to decide on which one to focus. Needless to say, they don't like having to make this decision as both events bring in lots of customers and sales.

WOTC's take on the event is that the customer bases are different enough that there isn't enough overlap to cause problems and that the Magic customer differs from the comic customer. This is, of course, nonsense as the prime customer base for both is young males. However, stores do have the option of running the pre-release on May 8th, which still makes for a hectic weekend and probably cuts into attendance for stores running it on Sunday, since many of their players who would attend a Saturday pre-release will likely default to a competing store running one on that day if the comic shop opts for the Sunday tournament and Sunday tournaments have a track record of pulling in significantly less attendance than Saturday ones do.

Still, for a number of years, the two events have co-existed, though I believe past Magic pre-releases generally took place the weekend before FCBD. Still, I'm just happy I don't have to deal with a Yu Gi Oh pre-release on the same weekend as well.