I hate spoilers, although it’s not exactly what you may be thinking.
I’m not a big fan of hype. I don’t jump on whatever fad is coming around this season. I’m by no means a hipster but I’m more the type of person that have seen many things come and go over the years and I’d rather not waste my energy on the “next big thing” when another “next best thing” is just around the corner.
The Magic community has been barraged by spoilers this week, not just from Oath of the Gatewatch but also by the newest Star Wars movie as well as those of us that have been shaking and taking peeks at our Christmas presents.
There are several types of spoilers and today I’ll address just two. There are spoilers from Wizards themselves and actual leaks.
I totally understand why Wizards of the Coast releases periodic spoilers. They use these daily spoilers to hype the game and get players interested in purchasing their newest product. Without these spoilers interest would fade, purchases would go down and the game would eventually die. They are a necessary evil to keep players talking about the game, free advertising if you will.
Leaks are a bit different but achieve the same result. Leaks are when a person, either affiliated with Wizards or not release pictures of product without the permission and not yet made available by the parent company. These types spoilers are made for an entirely different reason, self promotion.
Leaks are put out there for a bit more of a selfish reason but still achieve the same effect. The recent wave of leaks sent a shockwave across the internet among the Magic community and really got people talking about the new cards coming out. I’ll admit, I was curious and took a look at the new cards.
Wizards sent a shot across the bow of those that leaked and/or peeked at the spoilers. In this article by Trick Jarrett where he went on to describe leaks as “self serving” and “looking out for the good of yourself.” My response to these comments would be “Isn’t that why Wizards releases spoilers? To serve the company and look out for the good of the company by hyping their products in order to boost sales?”
Wizards cannot control the community. They may be able to force players to play with certain cards in competitive or casual environments but they cannot change how we think or what we want from the game. The community is diverse and has many motivations in regards to what they enjoy most about the game of Magic.
A great example of this is the Commander format. At one time, Commander was just a format players may had heard a friend of a friend play. Now it’s a full fledged format, propped up by Wizards and their continual release of premade decks available wherever you by Magic. Wizards saw our interest and chose to make money from it rather than allow the secondary market to thrive from a lack of reprints. It’s a good business move, one that was beneficial for both the supplier and consumer.
The only negative thing I can see coming out of these leaks are this; certain sites and sources of Magic related content who were promised certain cards to leak would had their promised spoiled card ruined. I’ll go on the record by saying that if Paper Champion ever became popular enough to receive rights to spoil a card from Wizards and have that card leaked by a third party, I don’t think it would be that big of a deal.
These promised cards are released to these sites who receive thousands of hits daily. They are generally popular enough that not spoiling a card would really have no effect on traffic or revenue. In the end, does it really matter? After all, there is always another bigger, better set to release in the horizon.
In conclusion, I ask you, does it really matter who is releasing the spoilers?
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