With the COVID-19 pandemic comes an ever-changing landscape of news and updates in the Magic: The Gathering world. Here are the latest updates from the major online vendors and Wizards Play Network. This article will be updated throughout the week as more changes are announced.
Wizards Play Network March 26th Announcement
On the 26th, the WPN released new updates concerning the Ikoria launch and their WPN Relief Initiative.
The Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths tabletop launch has been rescheduled for May 15th in North America, Europe, and LATM. Prerelease and launch are being collapsed into one date, with both at-home and in-store Prereleases being available on May 15th. In their update, they acknowledge that there are major distribution challenges to be faced, and the possibility of further changes to dates to come.
Additionally, the WPN is rolling out a new LGS Relief Initiative. They have launched a reprint of the Mystery Booster set and are sending an allocation of it at no charge to each WPN member store. There are more details to come. They are also lifting restrictions around organizers taking admission fees for events ran on Magic Arena. WPN member stores will now be allowed to organize and run Arena events with an entry cost of up to $10 per tournament.
Chedy Hampson, CEO of TCGplayer, released a letter the morning of March 26th announcing that they are temporarily pausing TCGplayer Direct effective through at least March 26th at 1pm ET through April 17th at 9am ET. They are continuing to leave the marketplace open. They are also taking steps to help ensure that their fulfillment workers who are unable to work remotely remain on health insurance for at least the next three weeks.
ChannelFireball’s website states that their warehouse is temporarily closed due to the pandemic and any orders placed right now will not ship until they re-open. They are still accepting buylists until April 1st but are currently only offering payment in Store Credit. On April 1st they will be putting the buylist on hold until they are able to resume normal operations. During March they are offering 35% bonus on said store credit as well as various giveaways.
ChannelFireball has also chosen to cancel all in-person MagicFests through at least the end of June.
Star City Games
The last COVID-19 announcement posted by Star City Games was on March 16th announcing the cancellation of SCG Atlanta, Worcester, and Cincinnati. There are no other notices concerning orders or buylists on their website at this time.
Card Kingdom posted on the 25th that they are “temporarily pausing fulfillment operations at our warehouse for the next two weeks starting tomorrow, Thursday the 26th” for the safety of their staff who cannot work from home and in accordance with Washington State’s Stay Home executive order. They are shipping any orders that were placed before March 25th before 2 pm PDT. There is no in-store pick up available. Any orders placed after 2 pm on the 25th will be shipped upon their return to the warehouse, which is currently expected to happen on April 9, 2020.
Currently, their buylist department is continuing to operate. “The only difference will be slightly longer receiving times due to potential shipping delays and our temporary 72-hour quarantine of incoming packages.” Card Kingdom is predicting a processing time of 3-5 days after the packages are marked received, but stress that shipping times might be delayed depending on various pandemic-related factors. There are non-buylist drop-offs happening at their stores, which are currently closed due to Stay at Home orders.
As of March 29th, Mage Market is shutting down all operations for magemarket.com. They believe “the right thing to do is to announce a controlled shutdown of operations and use the little money left to pay all employees extended severances and help everyone to find a new job opportunity.” They are keeping Magemarket.com and its mobile apps available until at least April 30th and will be fully destroying all customer data after six months.
According to a notice on their website, Miniature Market is “temporarily suspending new Buy Back submissions as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you already have an open Buy Back invoice in our system you can still mail it in. We will be processing/paying our pending Buy Back queue as normal as packages arrive. We apologize for the inconvenience and we will post an update when we resume our regular Buy Back functionality at a future date.” They have also closed their retail store, but are currently continuing online operations with the exception of their Buy Back program.
ABU Games has temporarily closed its retail store in accordance with Idaho’s Stay at Home order. There was briefly a banner on the site on the 25th stating to expect shipping delays, which has since been taken down. It is currently unclear how their shipping and buylist departments will be operating during the pandemic.