Saturday, September 1, 2018

Nose Ring and Everything

I used to date this really cool woman. She was studying Indian religion, had a nose ring, and she was a good kisser.  After a while I noticed our dates were always on weeknights. She was seeing other guys, which was fine, because we were just starting out, but I was a little miffed I was in the week night time slot.

I mean what kind of ranking as a dude do you have to have to be a Tuesday night date? If I were a TV show (checking the TV guide website) I would be re-runs of House. Who gets her attention on Friday? It drove me a little crazy, so I brought it up, and she told me I was right to question my inferior slot, and we stopped seeing each other.

Wizards of the Coast has been busy making products for mass market. These aren't just differently packaged products, but new items designed to allow players to completely avoid hobby game stores. The word we use is disintermediation. Some are game events in a box, but others are just really cool exclusives. I know Wizards of the Coast is by far the coolest, nose ring wearing of all game companies, but I think your Friday night time slot is moving to Tuesdays, you know, metaphorically speaking.

If the last year hasn't been a wake up call for game stores, with a deteriorating Magic environment, you should take note that your relationship may be in trouble. You're certainly not exclusive, and it does seem like all the creative energy is going to Wizards of the Coast's other suitors, while we get a lot of reruns, like a boring Tuesday evening.

If you still have a store after the last year, my guess is you're well diversified, brand spanking new, or just do Magic better than everyone else. If you're hemorrhaging cash or just starting out, take note that diversification is a strong survival strategy. You can certainly play into the supporting role of a Tuesday night date, but with shrinking Magic margins, and disintermediation, the writing is on the wall. She's just not that into you.

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