Wizards of the Coast just announced a great new development kit for new stores joining the WPN, their Organized Play initiative. Let’s see what they have to say…
Gateway to Core
One of the challenges of being a gaming retailer in the Wizards Play Network is making the shift from Gateway to Core. To help Gateway stores make this transition, we’re introducing a new program appropriately entitled “Gateway to Core.” This program will help teach stores that offering organized play is the best way to grow your community of players and attract new Magic customers. It will also help prepare the store to begin offering Friday Night Magic. As a program intended to help newer or less experienced stores grow their understanding of organized play, it will be available exclusively to Gateway stores.
The kits provided through this program will contain materials and information to help educate Gateway retailers about the benefits of running frequent, quality events, and suggested best practices for making that happen. An introduction to Wizards Event Reporter is also provided. The Gateway-to-Core program will function similarly to the current League model, with no day-specific requirement for hosting events. Finally, the program will provide Magic token cards to be provided to players as a reward for participating in the store’s organized play events.
PHD will post an announcement soon, with instructions for Gateway-level stores on how to schedule Gateway to Core in their Wizards Event Reporter.
Since its modern inception with Innistrad, the Magic League program has evolved with kit materials and mechanics changing with each expansion and core set to match the new themes. Throughout these changes, we’ve kept a watchful eye on League, and have identified it as a program that needs to be re-imagined.
Even before the official launch of the League program, stores around the world were running successful events of their own design that replicated the goal of League play. It’s a perfect place for fun formats like Commander and Planechase that don’t fit well with a traditional competitive environment, or to debut a new set in an open play environment. Over time, we’ve grown to trust and rely on our Core and Advanced stores to implement their own take on League without the need to follow to guidelines or adhere to a specific course of action for their play.
Because of this confidence in our Core and Advanced stores to successfully and independently implement league play, we’ve decided to update our support for Magic Leagues. We will continue to offer League to our stores as an officially sanctionable Organized Play option through Wizards Event Reporter, searchable through the Store and Event Locator. However, we’re transitioning league materials to an all-digital download option. Magic 2014 – Core Set marks the last physical League kit to be offered to stores. Starting with Theros, WPN locations will be able to download a digital asset kit along with Trade Marketing Kits. By offering League assets digitally we’re able to provide a wider range of options for stores to select from as well as better flexibility as the many of the materials will allow for customization.
Wizards know that many stores understand the value of offering League as a safe introduction to the world of Organized Play, and a great way to help prepare players for participating in events like the Prerelease, Friday Night Magic, and other, more formal events. Wizards feel these changes recognize this expertise and will continue to support stores in their League efforts.