ioriyagamimtg said: So, Mr. Rosewater, would you think Magic design/development could stand up and adapt if WotC decided that M:tG game should change its sale model from current method of booster pack lottery to fixed card pack distribution a-la Living Card Games from Fantasy Flight Games? Or do you think Magic would cease to be Magic because of that? Or even cease to be, period? Are boosters and rarities really THAT necessary? I personally and about a gazillion of other players don't need them.
Let’s assume I could snap my fingers and change to the world you ask for. Let’s explore what it would be like.
Drafting is no more as there are no longer randomized boosters. Some players might build cubes but that experience would be player generated and not designed by us. Finding opportunities for “limited play” would be much harder.
The collector market would be significantly reduced. Probably as a side effect of that, there would be far fewer web sites dedicated to Magic and lot less written Magic content.
The biggest noticeable difference though would be the quality of the game. Without our current business model, I have a lot less resources to devote to design. I would have both less time and less designers.
Without any exploratory design, I would probably have to lean on repeating more mechanics and would have less ability to make riskier ideas work.
The development would also take a big hit. Cards would break much more often and having a dominant deck in formats would probably be the norm.
The creative elements would be compromised as well. The art would be of lower quality because our pool of available artists would be different. Worlds would be less fleshed out. There would be less immersion.
There would also be a diminished high end tournament scene. If there were Pro Tours there would be fewer and the prize payout would most likely be lower. There would be way fewer Grand Prix as well. Outside tournament structures might not be there because they lack the web sites to sponsor them.
Supplemental products become harder to do as we have less personnel to make them. Things like experience design would probably just disappear.
All I all, I’m not sure it’s a world that most players would like better.