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Prerelease Changes June 18, 2008

Posted by Norm in Casual.
Tags: , , ,

Wizards of the Coast announced today that it will be making changes to how it handles prereleases, full article here. What I gather from the announcement is that they are going to make more prerelease locations available and only six days before the release of a set instead of two weeks. 

My first thought is that this is a move to maintain the momentum and excitement surrounding a prerelease by making the cards available shortly after the event. I both like and dislike that fact, one yes we’ll have less of a wait before being able to get our hands on additional booster packs, but there is always an excitement opening packs far in advance of the actual release. 

I wonder if Wizards is trying to keep prereleases to very small contained events and not the large massive turnouts that you see. This could be a focus on recruiting new players and making the release less competitive and more local. I think this approach has its pros and cons. I really like the large turnout prerelease environment. You get to see a lot of Magic players all over the region in a formal organized setting. I like playing against new and different players, it keeps things fresh. However I don’t like how unorganized some of the prereleases have been. Slow start times, not enough product, poor location, etc have made some prereleases lacking in my opinion (this isn’t always the case). I felt this way especially for Lorwyn when I was only able to participate in one flight. So making the crowds more managable will be an interesting approach. I wonder how Professional Event Services is going to handle this news?

I also wonder how prizes and giveaways will be effected? If there are less people does that mean I can only participate in one flight at my local store? What about the opportunity to draft, pick up a preconstructed deck, or squeeze a two headed giant flight in? These are all great options available at prereleases. I would hate to see them go away. 

Don’t get me wrong I’m not one to call halt to a change but I think that this announcement could have done a better job of explaining what they have in mind. 



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