Wizards of the Coast has announced another initiative to help assist game stores carrying Magic: The Gathering during the coronavirus pandemic. Wizards of the Coast announced it will provide an allocation of Mystery Boosters to stores that are part of the WizKids Play Network equivalent to a retail value of up to $10 million dollars. That's up from the previous amount of $5 million. To qualify, WPN stores must promote and run a remote Magic event, either via webcam or Magic Arena, and promote and accept Ikoria pre orders via their online sales platform, and then send Wizards of the Coast a means of confirmation.
Wizards is also encouraging players to "be their store's champion." Wizards suggests pre-ordered the upcoming new expansion set Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths from local game stores. Doing so will earn players a code for some additional rewards in Magic: The Gathering Arena. The rewards include a "Be Your Store's Champion" trophy pet, a "Serra the Benevolent" avatar, and a Manavault card sleeve. Wizards also suggests staying connected to other players and stores by playing Magic: The Gathering in online clients like MTG Arena and Magic: The Gathering Online.
The move follows Wizards' decision to suspend all in-store Magic play and to push back the release of Ikoria due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was expected to release on April 24th. Wizards has pushed the release back to May 17th in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand. In Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the date is now set to April 17th. Also, these dates will be for a combined pre-release/release weekend. The dates apply only to the set's tabletop release. Ikoria will launch on the Magic: The Gathering Online and Magic: The Gathering Arena digital platforms on April 16th.0comments
Wizards then moved to allow stores to organize and run tournaments through MTG Arena with an entry fee of up to $10. Wizards also announced a three-week series of Friday Night Magic at Home events running on MTG Arena. Players can take part in these events to get codes for cosmetic rewards from their local game store. Wizards of the Coast says more information about ways players can help support their local game stores is coming next week.
What do you think of these programs from Wizards of the Coast? Let us know in the comments.