While Magic: The Gathering has never been known as a cheap form of entertainment, fans of the long-running collectable card game think Wizards of the Coast has gone one step too far with its latest product. Double Masters, a compilation set due to arrive later this year, features a large number of desirable reprints such as Doubling Season and Mana Crypt, cards that frequently fetch high individual prices on the secondary market.
In addition to the set’s clearly desirable contents, however, Wizards’ decision to include 2 rares and foils (at the bare minimum) in each booster pack has naturally led to the RRP of each 36-pack booster box being far above that of what would usually be expected. While the price tag has since been removed from Amazon’s product listing, pre-orders briefly opened last week for $300 USD per box and $16.50 for individual 15-card packs.
Unsurprisingly, the backlash to this has been substantial, to say the least, to the extent that Magic lead designer Mark Rosewater has stepped in to address some of the community’s most pressing concerns. In response to one fan’s complaint that $300 makes playing Magic an unrealistic hobby for new and longtime players alike, Rosewater responded with:
I want to have a honest discussion with all of you. While making Magic the best game it can be is important to us, we are also a business. Part of our job as a business is to recognize all the various audiences and create products to serve them. That’s how we make money – finding player desires and filling them with products.
Rosewater continues to describe how Wizards does its best to create products catering to all tastes and budgets, detailing in another reply that pre-made Commander decks and the Standard format exist primarily to offer an entry into the game where collecting the necessary cards is considerably easier and cheaper.
The reason we have formats with smaller card pools, usually of more recent cards, is to provide players a way to play that lessens the collectible aspect, specifically to make it easier to collect the cards you need. We even provide numerous limited formats that require only purchasing the necessary product in the moment. You can even play Magic: The Gathering Arena without spending any money.
Lesson of the day? It’s impossible to please everyone and by Magic: The Gathering‘s very nature of being both a competitive and collectable card game, there’s always going to be a conflict of interests between both ideologies. Is there a better alternative to the current status quo, though? Let us know what you think in the usual place below!