Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons to see price increases in Australia.

Since the earliest of days Wizards of the Coast (owned by Hasbro) supplied product to Australian wholesalers, but also sold product directly to retailers as well. Back in the giddy days when I ran a game store in Brisbane buying Magic: The Gathering product directly from WotC on pre-release would net you a very tidy discount.

Over time that discount has eroded, and now it seems that the ‘Wizards Direct Sales Program’ is coming to a close. The argument being that “today’s distributors are faster, more efficient, and more reliabe“. Not necessarily cheaper though.

Why the change? In a message to the Wizards Play Network from admin Mitchell Thompson he explained “The program simply uses more of our resources than can be justified by the value it delivers to retailers“.

On top of this we’ve read reports from wholesalers who have indicated that there have been changes to regions, exclusive product lines, and new distributors introduced. While that all might sound like a good thing, one point to note was that the discounts offered to suppliers have also been slashed.

So in short, Wizards of the Coast is charging more for their products to wholesalers, who in turn are charging more for their products to retailers, who in turn are charging more for their products to you the consumer.

In an industry that already got hit by a speeding train in 2020 this certainly isn’t the kind of news retailers were hoping to hear as we round the year out.

While we’re not expecting to see changes on shelves until the end of the year or the start of 2021, we can confirm that some wholesalers have announced anywhere up to a 17% increase in prices on WotC products already.

Higher prices on Magic: The Gathering boosters has the potential to drive even more players away from the paper game and into the digital domain, perhaps a result that WotC are genuinely looking for.

Higher prices on Dungeons & Dragons products could see consumers looking at cheap imports either from the UK or the US, further impacting local retailers.

Any which way it’s something of a bleak picture for all involved. The real question I’d like to ask is why? Are Wizards of the Coast experiencing some kind of financial hardship? Or is this simply a case of cutting away the chaff to increase profits?

Sadly the day of the $200+ AUD booster box is here.

Liked it? Take a second to support ATGN on Patreon!

Add a Comment