In a world that's anything but normal, we hope to maintain some normalcy around our games, our events, our streaming shows, and the community that is so important to so many of us right now. During this time, we are striving to keep players and local game stores going, keep them connected, and, yes, bring some happiness into their lives.
With that in mind, we're discussing two items today with the caveat that this is an evolving situation, and some details may not be ready yet, and we will share those as soon as possible:
- Changes to the release schedule for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
- Relief initiatives for local game stores
Changes to the Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Release Schedule
As parts of the world recover from COVID-19 while others are still dealing with rising numbers of cases, we've come to accept that we cannot celebrate the release of a set in the uniform way to which we've become accustomed. For the safety of those working in our distribution and shipping centers as well as in acknowledgement that some places simply cannot open their doors, we will be rolling out the release of Ikoria as such:
- April 2 – Ikoria Debut, trailer launch, (7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET/2 p.m. UTC) and the start of previews
- April 10 – Last day of previews
- April 16 – Ikoria released on Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic Online
- April 17 – Prerelease/release in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
- May 15* – Prerelease/release in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia/New Zealand
*Also includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam
For this release, we'll be combining our Prerelease and Release weekends—stores can sell any products on those dates and can still let players play Prerelease at home.
For areas outside of Asia, it's apparent that many, if not most, places will not be open for business, and our ability to ship to those locations is equally affected. While we're doing everything we can to minimize the disruptions and make it possible to enjoy Magic, we're putting the safety of everyone who works to get Magic from Wizards and into your hands first, including distributors, retailers, and more.
We will continue to monitor these dates and make updates as necessary.
We also recognize the burden this will place on local game stores. While we do encourage players to preorder from their local store wherever and whenever they can, we also recognize that timing and world events may not make that logistically possible, so we're making a few additional moves that we hope will help.
Local Game Store Relief Initiatives
Since the onset of the pandemic, we've been exploring multiple ways to help local game stores. Today, we are discussing two things we hope will help.
First, we have launched a reprint of Mystery Booster and will be allocating these boosters to WPN member stores—at no charge. Again, we'll have more details next week, but know that when you purchase one of the reprinted Mystery Boosters from your local game store later on, every single dollar you spend on it will be going straight to them.
Second, from now until at least June 1, we are allowing local game stores to take admission fees—up to $10—for tournaments they run on MTG Arena. Make sure you're connected with your local game store online and then check to see if they'll be running any digital tournaments during this time.
There will be more information about how you can support your local game store next week. Please stay tuned as we share more details on these and other initiatives to come.
We will continue to share our plans with you, even when we cannot share all the details. The situation continues to evolve, and we appreciate you bearing with us. We will make it through this the same way the Magic community has tackled so many things—together. In the meantime, stay safe, stay connected, and stay tuned.