Fans of Magic: The Gathering eager to get this quarantine over with and head to their local game stores for some paper matches will have to wait longer than originally anticipated. Unfortunately, Wizards of the Coast announced recently through their Wizards Play Network (WPN) that they’ve extended the suspension of in-store play until June 1st. They cited the safety of the Magic community in the face of COVID-19 as the reason for extending the suspension.
The WPN looked into their data and concluded, “there is no incentive to run or report any play, whether online of offline, or to resume in-store events before it is safe to do so.” This extension follows the closure of most game stores around the world as a measure against the spread of COVID-19.
Wizards of the Coast has so far implemented several measures to help various retailers hit by the quarantine stay afloat and build a community on the web. They’ve also emphasized that stores should be promoting Magic: the Gathering Arena and other remote ways to play.
The WPN announced plans to allocate $5 million worth of Mystery Booster sealed product to stores as well. And recently, they added they would double this if 70% of stores ran an event or promoted Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths online.
Wizards also let stores sell Ikoria Prerelease Packs to people who want to play at home. They reminded stores to track these numbers as the “At Home Prerelease” metric. This metric will count for future product allocations, alongside prerelease numbers from the last three sets.
Players have also been able to join Friday Night Magic at Home on Magic: The Gathering Arena, while stores have received special codes for exclusive cosmetics to reward their community for participating.
As for this suspension, as stated above, it’s currently extended to June 1st, but if that should change, we’ll be sure to let you know.