March 10, 2015

Our Vision For Magic Events


With millions of you attending Pro Tours, Grand Prix, and in-store events each year, there's always a lot happening in Magic organized play. We're often informing you of the "what": upcoming events, and improvements we're making to them. This weekend at Grand Prix Liverpool, I spoke to many players about the "why" behind events, something I'd like to share with the rest of you today.

Why Run Events?

Whichever format(s) you enjoy playing, Magic is a wonderful game. This isn't just because we have some of the best designers in the business. It's also because of the passionate community Magic has around it.

Whether it is through a game of Commander at Friday Night Magic or the tense moments before a Pro Tour Top 8 announcement, Magic brings people together. This is why we run events—to give our community opportunities to share the fun as one.

What Are the Goals of Events?

We believe that Magic is the best strategy game in the world, so when you attend a Magic event, you should have the best possible time. As such, our primary aim for all events is delivering you an excellent experience. We want you to feel the excitement of knowing your next Grand Prix is only a week away, the pleasure of telling stories of close games with friends new and old, and the comfort of stepping into a welcoming environment where you feel immediately at home.

Our secondary aim is for events to support the thousands of game stores across the world that give the Magic community a warm and inviting home. Each store is the hub for players in that area, and we believe that is something worth supporting. In this way, Magic's community will continue to have great places to gather, grow, and share the game you love.

These two aims are applied to every decision we make when it comes to our events. From the staff we hire to the contents of your Prerelease pack, we always ask ourselves:

  1. Will this lead to a better experience for the players taking part?

  2. Does this help support the stores our community call home?

If we can answer with a resounding "YES!" to both of these questions, then we know we're on the right track.

Putting It into Practice

To illustrate how we're putting players and stores first when it comes to events, here are a few examples of what we're focusing on right now:

Grand Prix: You want to plan ahead for these festivals of Magic, which is why we announce cities and dates many months ahead. You want to just show up and play, so we're collaborating with tournament organizers to open preregistration even earlier. You want to know what to expect when you arrive, which is why we're committed to getting event information online sooner (often in multiple languages), including more details—such as maximum capacity and registration bonuses.

In-store events: You wanted to see what's coming up at Prerelease events, so we've started making videos (again, in several languages) showing these details. You wanted more opportunities to find your path to the Pro Tour, so we're bringing them to you with Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifiers in your local store. And stores also receive regular coaching from our 50-strong global WPN support team—who help every game store in the world continually improve the quality of experience they give their players.

Bringing Everything Together

Organized play exists for a very good reason: to bring the Magic community together. We do this by always keeping first the players, then the stores who host them, in mind when making decisions. By delighting the former and supporting the latter, we will create play experiences that rival any other form of entertainment and ensure Magic's continued success.

Note, though, that the aims we have for events do not exist with an "end" in mind. We will never say we are "finished" with the events we offer you, that there are no further improvements or additions to be made. But that doesn't deter us from trying to reach the impossible goal of a perfect event experience: because "good enough" is not good enough!

How Can I Help?

We've been creating organized play opportunities for you for many years, so we have a good idea of what makes these successful and where we can further improve. However, we'd be lost without continual feedback from you, our dedicated players.

We're sure you share our vision of an even brighter future for Magic events, so would love to hear ALL your feedback on those you attend. Whether it's a little problem we can fix for next time, or something extra a store did that really made you smile, we want to hear from you—on Facebook and Twitter, by email, or through the website.

You can also speak to us in person at events, as many of you did at Grand Prix Liverpool, and your feedback on that event has been invaluable. Please keep your comments and suggestions coming, to both us here at Wizards, and to the organizers who run events for you, so we can make Magic events even more magical.

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