Since the moment it was announced in October, 30th Anniversary Edition has been a controversial product, to say the least. In one fell swoop, Wizards of the Coast managed to anger supporters and haters of the Reserved List. On the one hand, Reserved List supporters hated 30th Anniversary Edition for reprinting cards like Black Lotus. On the other hand, however, Reserved List haters despised 30th Anniversary Edition for its obscene $999 price tag. Rather than bringing the MTG community together in celebration, 30th Anniversary Edition instead united the community in hated against Hasbro.
Due to the price tag and the product being so controversial, MTG players and influencers alike campaigned against the product. Across social media, players would frequently demand a price reduction or the abolishment of the product entirely. Harnessing their audiences, YouTubers such as Rudy from Alpha Investments even told their followers explicitly to not purchase 30th Anniversary Edition. “I ask you all, love-hate. However you are, please do not buy it. If you do not vote with your wallet, we all lose.”
Following the widespread condemnation from the MTG community, 30th Anniversary Edition was left with a huge question mark over its head. With so many players against it, surely the product was going to be an unmitigated disaster that had Hasbro reeling. Scalpers and collectors couldn’t buy out every copy of this $999 product on their own… right?! Unfortunately, that appears to be precisely what has happened, as 30th Anniversary Edition reportedly sold out in around 30 minutes. That is, so long as you believe Wizards of the Coasts account of the sale, and many players do not.
“The 30th Anniversary Edition Sale Has Concluded”
Once 30th Anniversary Edition became available for sale yesterday, Reddit was quickly overwhelmed with posts about it. Unlike the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit’s deal, however, these posts weren’t complaining about issues or players celebrating their allocation. Instead, Reddit was awash with posts piling on additional complaints and bemoaning the death of Magic as we know it. Even as the sale was going on, MTG players kept up their damning hatred of this exceptionally expensive product. Despite all this condemnation, however, 30th Anniversary Edition still sold out in minutes, as many players sadly expected would happen.
Taking to Twitter to share the exciting news, Wizards of the Coast announced “the 30th Anniversary Edition sale has concluded, and the product is currently unavailable for purchase.” Following this statement, many players were simply bemused by the wording of Wizards’ announcement. With Wizards neglecting to specifically say “Sold Out” many players started to suspect that instead, the product had been prematurely pulled from sale to save face. After its tumultuous announcement and following the hype train, Wizards had a lot to answer for with 30th Anniversary Edition. Thanks to this, the product didn’t have any choice but to sell out, or else Wizards and Hasbro would be ridiculed to no end.
In multiple posts across the various MTG-flavored subreddits, players have been accusing Wizards of fixing the 30th Anniversary Edition sale. On the MTGFinance subreddit, for instance, u/coelomate mused that “sale has concluded” is something “you totally say when your hot product sells out…” Following this damning accusation, u/DarthTiberius93 pointed out that this supposedly extraordinary sale paled in comparison to the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit. “There was never a line longer than a few seconds when I simulated checking out. Plus unlike the countdown kit, the website gave no issues or signs of crashing. Combine that with ‘currently unavailable’ makes me think they pulled the sale to give it the illusion of selling out.”
Furthering this point, u/coinloop shared their experiences of almost buying the 30th Anniversary Edition. “I had a queue of about 3 minutes or so when I simulated buying about 2 minutes after open. Well, at first, it said ‘about 9 minutes,’ but it only took three at most.” While an easy purchase process is usually something to be celebrated, it’s the opposite of what Wizards promised for 30th Anniversary Edition. Leading up to the sale, Wizards made an explicit point to warn fans that demand would be immense. Stating “you must be online at that time if you want to get your copy,” Wizards made the hype seem monumental. Judging by the reports from players, Wizards’ expectations of the interest in this product may have been somewhat overeager.
Too Good to Be True
As if suspiciously low queue times weren’t bad enough, other players noted that miraculously, 30th Anniversary Edition sold out everywhere all at once. “Apparently, the EU store sold out at the exact same time, which is a first for their limited products from what I’m hearing,” u/BillieEilishNorn highlighted. Supporting this argument, u/Bob_The_Skull chimed in to say “This + their Shopee storefront in Singapore only having sold seven copies are the big red flags that this went poorly to me.”
From these accounts, it appears that the sale of 30th Anniversary Edition really didn’t go to plan. As u/Bob_The_Skull went on to point out, however, without confirmation from Wizards, official sales numbers are unknown. “Either way, anyone on either side of the argument (‘it sold out vs.’ ‘wizards took it down because it wasn’t selling’) who thinks they know definitively how it went is fooling themselves. We will find out in a few days when word leaks out from WOTC.” Unfortunately, as u/Bob_The_Skull highlights, this means we just have to wait and see what damage has been done.
In the interim, we can safely say there was some demand for 30th Anniversary Edition. Even amongst the suspicious circumstances, some MTG players were really looking forward to the product, after all. Some players have even gone so far as to interact with scalpers to get their hands on 30th Anniversary Edition. While not every copy of the product sold via eBay has been snapped up, a few have already. Selling for disgustingly inflated prices, these sales seem to indicate that maybe there was demand after all.
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