Former Wizards of the Coast Employee Reports on Shady Magic: The Gathering Pricing


by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Sep, 3rd 2019

The Magic: The Gathering community has been up in arms since the latest reveal of the State of the Beta. Specifically, regarding how Wizards of the Coast is handling the Historic cards in the game in the future. The changes to how you craft them are upsetting for many.

Former Employee Claims There Are Shady Pricing Methods

Perhaps in response to this, a former employee of Wizards of the Coast spoke out about the alleged shady Magic: The Gathering pricing methods. Former employee Jonathon Loucks posted on Twitter some unexpected claims that reveal that cases like the Historic wildcard situation aren’t new.

According to Loucks, there were two separate occasions during his time working on the other video game version of the popular card game Magic Online where the shady Magic: The Gathering pricing came into play. During those occasions, the developer struggled to figure out how to price various features.

The company announced the higher of the two prices that it was debating between to the public. This led to the community complaining about the poor pricing that was chosen, and then the company retracted the original pricing in a public statement.

The company then announced a change to the lower of the two prices that it was already debating about. To this end, it makes it seem like the company purposefully chose the higher price and then changed it to the lower price after receiving immense backlash.

According to Jonathon Loucks, he believes this could be the same type of shady Magic: The Gathering pricing methods that the other digital version of the card game MTG Arena could use as well. This would, of course, correlate to the current situation in which players are upset.

Previous Possible Examples of the Shady Practices

This adds possible credence to the theory from many users that these shady Magic: The Gathering pricing methods are used to present a terrible option to players so that they are willing to accept the bad option than they would have initially.

While this is still pure speculation based on reports from a single former employee of the company, some cases are similar to this that could provide support for the theory. For one, the Mastery System released with the launch of the new Magic Core Set 2020 expansion earlier this summer.

The Mastery System was exciting from everything we heard previously as it offered a steady stream of content and rewards for players to enjoy each season in between new card sets. It was very similar to the successful battle pass that Fortnite other and online games already have.

As such, players were excited for it, especially since there were free and paid battle pass options. When the system finally did arrive, it was found that the rewards and everything was negative for players who didn’t pay for the paid version and those who didn’t play every single day.

The community was in an uproar for a while regarding this shady situation until Wizards of the Coast finally gave in and announced changes. From there, the company changed how the Mastery System worked to make sure that the previously offered weekly experience and booster pack rewards were back life before.

This has confirmed that the theory is true, that Wizards of the Coast will release the worst option to make players more willing to accept another option that is, technically, better but might not be a good option either.

Controversy Over MTG Arena Historic Wildcard Pricing

Regardless, there is still the question of how the company will handle the current historic situation. The developer is facing backlash from the community surrounding how the Historic cards are handled.

For those who don’t know, the Historic match format is a new one that will be added to the game later on this year in November. It will follow the upcoming fall expansion Throne of Eldraine and change up the way MTG Arena works with its exclusive game mode for players to enjoy.

It will be the answer for players who are tired of seeing their favorite cards disappear every year in the fall when the new Standard rotation rolls out. At this time, with the release of each new fall expansion, older expansions are rotated out.

For those players who had favorite and strong cards that are rotated out, they have nowhere to use them, especially in the digital card game.

To combat this, the Historic mode is releasing to give players who have to enjoy older card sets the chance to keep using them forever.

To do this, players will need to craft the Historic version of the current cards that they want to use. Those cards cost one wildcard to craft to their collection, which is standard and accepted by the community right now.

But with the release of the State of the Beta blog post last week, it was revealed that this pricing would be changing with the release of the Historic match format in November. It will then cost two wildcards instead of one for players to get the cards that they want.

This is suddenly making something that players can already do for cheaper cost more, which is understandably frustrating for the community. At this time, Wizards of the Coast has yet to retract that announcement and opt to keep the same pricing it has.

So, in case the two wildcards cost does stay, it is recommended that players take advantage of the cheaper cost now until November while they still can. And it is also recommended to keep giving feedback to the company in the meantime so that this change could happen, especially if Loucks’ claims are correct.

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