Magic: The Gathering Online reimbursement will end as of the next update, according to MTGO Director Worth Wollpert.
‘Look, MTGO has a unique problem – it’s created an online economy but without any of the traditional levers used to control markets’, Wollpert says. The ‘economy’ is that of ‘tickets’, a product available within the game used to enter events, but also traded for other online products amongst players.
‘The biggest problem we face, and this is important in an election year, is that of deflation. Every time we reimburse someone’s entry fee because lag made them click through their blockers step, or the program crashed and they timed out, or a bug meant that they didn’t gain life from their Zulaport Cutthroat… sorry, there are too many consistent, fixable problems to list them all…’ Wollpert stares sadly into middle distance, fondling his terms of employment.
Each time a reimbursement claim is successful, the player recovers their tournament entry fee – but also keeps their opened product for sealed and draft events.
‘This drives down the purchasing power of a ticket, or ‘tix’. The market is flooded with free cards, undermining the price of those cards, which makes investors less likely to spend money on digital cards, further reducing the price’. This, Wollpert says, has led to the drop in value of cards like Splinter Twin, once worth over ten ‘tix’, and Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, which has cost more than fifteen.
‘To stabilise the market, we have decided to suspend our reimbursement program indefinitely. This will increase business confidence and guarantee the continuing profitability of MTGO.
This giving out of ‘free’ cards has to end. People pay their entry fee knowing that they are playing on a substandard platform that is frankly an embarrassment in 2016, and that it could crash at any time – they accept the risk, and have to deal with the consequences. How dare they demand to be compensated when they still gain the enjoyment of drafting eighteen cards before the program randomly logs them out?
It’s absurd to think that your five tix might be able to buy two Tireless Trackers one week but three the next – who is going to buy Tireless Tracker if their value drop so much almost overnight?’
When pressed on other options, Wollpert is less forthcoming.
‘I mean, sure, we could make sure the program worked properly. Or we could keep reimbursing people as we improve the program. But realistically, we have a captive audience and can do whatever we fucking want.’
ORCs contacted declined to comment, though one anonymous source claims that WoTC were taking the profits to Isengard.