Winter is coming… And it’s bringing a change to competitive gaming.
From my point of view, things have recently really started due to the recent lawsuit by Judges of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ against Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), and Privateer Press’s (PP) recent announcement regarding their Press Ganger program.
A breakdown of the Wizards of the Coast ‘Magic: The Gathering’ case is Here.
Basically, Judges of their (WOTC) tournaments, feel they are treated as employees, and should be due recompense, due to WOTC controlling the Judge program, and are in overall control of the tournaments and Judges duties during those tournaments. WOTC, of course, feel differently.
And given Privateer press’s recent announcement regarding their winding down of their Press Ganger program, which can be found Here.
So the way I see things is on one hand we have a company who expect a group of loyal fans and supporters to act as employees and to run big tournaments, without them benefitting from the rights and entitlements of employees.*
And on the other hand, (it looks like at least to me), that we have a company, that’s (A) trying to avoid a similar situation with their Press Gangers, and (B) partially using it as part of a cost cutting program. As they’re also planning on no longer releasing cards with their models, instead relying on digital downloads and a print on demand program.
So given what’s happening with these two game systems/ companies, what’s in store from other companies.
I’m looking at Paizo’s Pathfinder Society and WOTC Dungeons & Dragons organised play, to see how things play out. Both rely on fans and volunteers to run and promote their systems.
Are we entering a period of gaming where more and more game companies will be leaving it up to the game stores to promote and run their systems. Instead of their previous fan base/ volunteers. I’m aware some systems already have an organised play system in place with game stores, such as X-wing by Fantasy Flight Games and Friday Night Magic by WOTC, as in my local meta.
But what about others such as Privateer Press, who relied on their Press Gangers for promoting and organising tournaments (big and small), and who’ll now be leaving things up to the brick and mortar stores.
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop further.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave
* I’m aware previously WOTC have rewarded judges and volunteers, with limited edition cards, playmats, and other such merchandise, for their contributions and effort during and after tournaments.