In a news article released yesterday, Wizards of the Coast announced changes to their Friday Night Magic promotional card program, ditching their current, long-running tradition of foil, alternate-art Magic: The Gathering cards from recent Standard sets in favor of foil, double-sided tokens. The Magic: The Gathering community overwhelmingly gave negative feedback to this decision, and in a new article from Daily MTG Editor-in-Chief Blake Rasmussen, the company elaborated more on its decision.
In his article, Rasmessen stressed that despite anecdotes and feedback from players and employees of local game stores, data exists which shows that having relevant, playable Friday Night Magic promos has not affected attendance of said events. He also restated Wizards of the Coast’s commitment to creating a more diverse environment for players new to Magic: The Gathering, and that in order to do so – Friday Night Magic would be re-imagined as a format more welcoming to newer, casual Magic: The Gathering players.
In addition to this article, Rasmussen is – at the time of writing this article – responding to concerns and criticisms on his Twitter feed, echoing the sentiments expressed above.
The communities response to this follow-up article is much the same as it was with yesterdays, with many enfranchised players and community representatives worrying that this move will only alienate an already discontent player base.
Wizards of the Coast really needs to improve their ability to communicate with the player base, because this isn’t the first time they’ve written one article and then had to immediately follow up with another article explaining their intentions.
I really don’t appreciate the implications Rasmussen gives in his article that if I want to play competitively, I should play in Standard Showdown rather than Friday Night Magic, which typically varies in format from store to store. Standard has been an absolutely hot mess ever since Kaladesh came out and it doesn’t interest me or much of the competitive playerbase. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into playing Standard if I want to play competitively – especially as the rewards structure for Standard Showdown is geared primarily towards bringing newer players in.
Additionally, if data exists that shows the feedback players have given to this change is misguided, then Wizards of the Coast needs to show that data (or at the least how they collected that data) instead of only giving their interpretations; it goes against their recent pledge to greater transparency to do otherwise.
What are your thoughts on this follow-up from Wizards of the Coast? Let us know in the comment section below.