Magic: The Gathering Announces New Coronavirus Relief Programs

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Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering, is helping stores across the country suffering from low sales due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by ComicBook.com, the company will be providing stores that are part of the WizKids Play Network with up to $10 million in Mystery Boosters, doubling the initial $5 million handed out earlier.

In order to be eligible for this relief program, stores that are part of the WPN network have to organize remote Magic events through webcam or the Magic Arena video game, as well as take Ikoria pre-orders on their online sales platform.

The relief programs were assembled following Wizards’ temporary suspension of all in-store Magic matches in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. In another effort to aid that cause, Wizards also announced it would be delaying the release of its much-anticipated Godzilla-inspired deck, Ikoria: Lair of Behemothswhich was meant to come out on April 24th, but has since been pushed back to May 17th.

Aside from its delay, the Ikoria set also attracted attention from media outlets last week when it was announced that Wizards would be removing a certain card, “Spacegodzilla, Death Corona,” from the upcoming collection in order to avoid obvious connotation with the virus.

In a further effort to help their distributors, Wizards recommends their customers to pre-order Ikoria from their local game shops. To give them a little extra incentive, the publisher promises to include a special code for additional goodies in Magic Arena. These include a “Serra the Benevolent” avatar, a “Be Your Store’s Champion” trophy, and a themed card sleeve. Wizards has also encouraged players to keep things going at a safe distance via their numerous Magic: The Gathering online games, showing us that they’re taking all the steps they can to help stop the spread of the virus.

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