CCGs are collectible card games (aka trading card games or TCGs), such as Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon.


Our initial exposure to Magic Digital Next came a little over a year ago in a presentation by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. At that time, we saw it only as a new Magic: The Gathering product, albeit a sophisticated one for a range of players. From a new article posted online by Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks, we now learn, though, that Magic Digital Next (though not specifically named in the article) is just one part of a more comprehensive digital strategy update being pursued by WOTC.

Cocks describes “adjustments to and increased investments in our digital teams” as the “biggest move” currently underway at the company. WOTC has created a new Digital Games Studio with significant new outside talent, the existing Magic Online team, and digital art and game design staff.

But these changes don’t pertain just to Magic. Rather, WOTC is looking to apply a digitally integrated experience to all its games (including Dungeons & Dragons), incorporating such elements as augmented-reality games, MMOs, tournament organization, home game management, and other “unexpected settings, genres, and platforms.”

We are reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games… We will bring our characters and worlds to other games and experiences… We will make your Wizards experiences more efficient, connected, and convenient.

Perhaps we might hear more about this initiative from Hasbro leading in to New York Toy Fair.

New fellowships are available for research at the The Strong’s National Museum of Play. The idea is to support researchers accessing the museum’s library; collection of toy, doll, and game artifacts; and video and electronic game resources. The G. Rollie Adams Research Fellowships will provide academic professionals, independent scholars, museum scholars, and advanced graduate students at the masters or doctorate level with $500 per-week stipends. Applications are due April 20th.

What can you do with your Mythic Rare Magic: the Gathering card that was just banned from tournament play? White Wizard Games recommends you send them that no longer valid card to them in exchange for a free copy of Epic Card Game.

When Wizards of the Coast announced a new list of banned and restricted cards from Standard play on January 9th, Rob Dougherty and Darwin Kastle of White Wizard Games — both Magic the Gathering Pro Tour Champions and inductees into the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame — decided to offer an exchange deal for two of the rare cards banned from play. Emrakul, the Promised End, a mythic rare card which sold for around $20 was banned for being too “scarily powerful”, facing little resistance and ending games too quickly. “She was the world-ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard,” reads the announcement from Wizards of the Coast. Smuggler’s Copter, a rare card that sold for about $10, was banned because it “shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format’s diversity,” according to WotC.

In an announcement about the promotion, Nathan Davis of White Wizard Games writes, “When your $10 rare gets banned from Standard, that is a bad feeling. When your $20 mythic rare gets banned, that is an even worse feeling.”

Brazilian players who purchased a copy of any of the banned cards between December 10th and January 9th at Bazar de Bagdá, one of Brazil’s largest MtG game stores, may return those cards to the store and be refunded in store credit. Willy Edel, owner of Bazar de Bagdá, is also a Pro Tour Player and in the Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group (Savage Worlds RPG) is recruiting for a part-time Production Assistant, by which the company apparently means they will do a little bit of everything: project management, marketing, sales, customer service, and graphic design. Working remotely is a possibility.

Panda Game Manufacturing needs Account Managers to work with publisher clients, one with an Asia focus, one with a France focus, one with a Germany focus, and one general. Also the company is looking for a Project Manager. Everything is remote.

Asmodee North America (Fantasy Flight Games) is looking for a Legal Assistant, an Application Developer, a Help Desk Support Technician, and people to work in the FFG Games Center. All positions are in Roseville, Minnesota.

In Rhode Island, there’s a Design Manager position available with Hasbro Gaming. Duties involve coordinating between market feasibility, production, licensing relationships, and other aspects of product development.

Hasbro subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast, has a several openings, including Software Developer, Program Manager, and Digital Marketing for MtG in Renton, Washington; Community Coordinator in Spain; and WPN Senior Store Lead in Germany.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesSend White Wizard Games your recently banned Magic: The Gathering “Emrakul Promised End” or “Smuggler’s Copter” cards and the company will send you an Epic Card Game Starter.

Murder-mystery party games from Freeform Games populate the latest deal at Bundle of Holding, four each in the Smaller Groups and Bigger Groups collections. A previous Elven Papercraft deal for print-and-play terrain also remains available.

To celebrate the company’s 6th anniversary, Greater Than Games will be giving away prizes in a miniatures painting competition and at events in local game stores January 21-February 19.

The Giveaway Geek is giving away Emergence from The Emergence Team and Arkham Horror: The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games.

At HasbroToyShop.com, get 15% off all Marvel-branded items with promo code “HERO17”. That includes Marvel Chess and Risk Captain America Civil War Edition, both already 50% off.

Decision Games is offering three games of the customer’s choosing for $99.

At Amazon, Pirate Den from Crash Games is 50% off and The Godfather: An Offer You Can’t Refuse from IDW Games is 56% off.

From True Dungeon, get a free 2017 Treasure Chip with every $250 token preorder, or six treasure chips for every $1,000 of preorders.

BoardGamePrices is giving away Scythe from Stonemaier Games.

Toys “R” Us has Magic: The Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers for $15, which is something like 63% off its original price.

The Board Game Vault is giving away Pyramix from Gamewright.

CMON is giving away a prerelease copy of Kingz.

Drumond Park (UK) is giving away two games, Gross Magic and Articulate.

Life 96.5 of Sioux Falls is giving away a family game night package every day January 13-March 31.

To someone who complete’s its board game challenge challenge, Art of Boardgaming promises $50 of games or game.

ACD Distribution is giving away The Others.

The Kansas City area, already blessed with several really nice game stores, now has another in the Shawnee Mission area. Mission: Board Games represents the realization of a dream for owner Mason Hans, who’s also a native of the area.

New in the small town of Peace River, Alberta is Tapped Out Gaming and Trading, a shop that focuses on Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon.

Board game cafe, Alchemy, opens soon in a 17th century building in Derby, England.

Game On, which carries tabletop games, video games, and comics, has opened a fourth location in Grand Island, Nebraska.

D20: A Bar With Characters has just opened in Kettering, Ohio. It’s open to 1:00 AM (midnight on Sunday) with a large selection of craft beers, or family-friendly mocktails during daytime hours.

New at the Three Rivers Mall in Kelso, Washington is Mythic Escapes, a game shop with in-store escape rooms. This is Mythic Escape’s second location, the previous one in Vancouver.

Retail Games

level-up-lounge

In Wyandotte, Michigan, near Detroit, the owners of the Biddle Blend coffee shop opened a gaming space upstairs, which they call Level Up Lounge.

The game shop, Broken Sentry, opened recently in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Opening soon in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis is Pieces, a bar, a restaurant, and a place to play board games.

Well Played’s opening is scheduled for early 2017 in Asheville, North Carolina. It’ll serve board games with locally sourced snacks. Also craft beers and coffee.

Liverpool, England has a new board game cafe, Sugar and Dice.

Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresThe 2016 World Chess Championship in New York ended with Magnus Carlsen of Norway still at the top, though as I watched the match proceed, I was starting to wonder if he had it in him. After seven draw games, the first win went to challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia. But two games later, Magnus scored a win of his own, and at the end of the 12 regulation games, all was tied. The tie-break rapid games were where Magnus showed his strength. The first two settled on draws but the next two went to the champion. Still, an impressive performance as well by Sergey and a very interesting series of games.

In the women’s Chess circuit, Ju Wenjun of China finished ahead of the Women’s Grand Prix, qualifying her to face Hou Yifan also of China in the 2017 Women’s World Championship.

Chris Cadman of Scotland took home the Silver Perudo Cup trophy of the World Perudo Championship (Liar’s Dice) in London.

The Top Chess Engine Championship was won by Stockfish. The score in the final 100 game match was Stockfish 54.5, Houdini 45.5. In third place was last year’s digital champion, Komodo.

Many Rubik’s Cube world records have fallen recently:

The team from Greece won the World Magic: The Gathering Cup surpassing other top 8 finalist teams from Finland, Australia, Ukraine, Panama, Belarus, and Belgium.

Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon Launches Feb 3rd

The release date for the Sun & Moon Pokémon TCG set has been announced! Launching on February 3rd, 2017, the set features 140 all-new cards. Over 40 brand new Pokémon unique to the Alola region are included in the set, as well as many Alolan variants of classic Pokémon. New Pokémon GX cards are now in play as well – rare Pokémon each with an attack so powerful it can only be used once per game!

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesEarlier in November, the National Rifle Association suggested to its members that they could make board games more interesting by using them for target practice. The organization even posted online a print-and-shoot alternative to Candy Land, “Target Land”. Hasbro complained and the NRA has since removed the article from its website.

The Magic: The Gathering collection of Cassius Marsh, linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, was stolen out of his car. He hasn’t gotten them back yet but Wizards of the Coast did send him some replacements.

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana ordered the Indiana Gaming Commission not to take action against a senior center for handing out prizes such as cookies and toilet paper to the winner of Euchre card games. Though the collection of an entry fee for the games would be considered gambling under Indiana law, the Commission said it never had any intent to do more than inform the senior center of what it was doing wrong.

nra-target-landA police detective in New York City was caught on camera wagering the freedom of his prisoner on a roll of dice. Referring to someone being held in the detective’s car a few feet away, a bystander said, “If you ace out right now, you gotta let him go,” after which the detective blows on the dice and throws them.

Proposed revisions to Poland’s gaming laws would define as gambling any electronic game (or game employing a mechanical device) that involves any amount of luck (even if luck is not the predominant factor) and has any prize (including non-financial awards, such as the right to proceed to the next game). It would seem that caught in this broad definition would be online Chess and MtG tournaments, even those without cash prizes.

A West Yorkshire domestic abuser jailed under new English coercive control laws was said to have, among other things, “intensively instructed” his victim in Chess, even threatening to kill her if she failed to capture a particular piece.

In Arkansas, a brother and sister pair are facing charges for conspiring to have a minor smuggle tobacco and prescription drugs in to a jail hidden in a Chess set.

Someone stole a Chess set brought back from Europe by a late World War II veteran. The man’s son said the Chess set was awarded to him by a German baron. Also taken were two swords that the father collected while stationed in the Pacific theater.

China Labor Watch, says it investigated several factories in China and found poor working conditions and violations of Chinese labor laws. According to the organization, the factories make products for Hasbro, Mattel, and Disney.

The European Court of Justice has found the shape of a Rubik’s Cube not eligible for trademark protection. The court determined that the Cube’s ability to rotate was essential to the protection sought but should instead be the subject of a patent.

Korean mobile game developer iPeoples is suing Korean mobile game developer Netmarble Games for patent infringement and unfair competition, claiming the latter company copied the design concepts of the board game, Blue Marble, for which the former has an exclusive license. The thing is, Blue Marble is just a knock-off of Monopoly.

Leder Games was taking payments for preorders of the reprint of Vast: The Crystal Caverns but PayPal froze their account.

Before the World Chess Championship, the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen, called on Microsoft Norway to help defend his team from cyber infiltration. Apparently, he was concerned that Russian hackers might attempt to aid his challenger, Sergey Karjakin. Meanwhile someone is squatting on domains incorporating Sergey Karjakin’s name. He plans to sue.

The organization that ran the World Chess Championship in New York, Agon Ltd., was unsuccessful at getting a federal court to stop unlicensed competing websites from broadcasting live moves from the tournament. The websites argued that the information was freely available via social media. A Russian court also rejected a similar effort by Agon to restrict broadcasting of moves from the earlier Candidates Tournament (which determined the challenger for the World Championship). The Russian court ruling, which came after the Candidates Tournament finished, found that the moves were already in the public domain and did not constitute a trade secret.

After one of the games of the World Chess Championship, Magnus Carlsen ditched the required press conference. Based on his contract, that move may cost him 10 percent of his prize money.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Ignatius Leong’s appeal of the World Chess Federation’s finding that he sold his vote in the organization’s presidential election. Not only was the 2 year ban instituted against him by FIDE upheld, he was also ordered to pay 5,000 Swiss francs in arbitration costs.

The National Chess Championship of India was kicked out of its venue, the Lucknow Public School, mid-tournament. Several leading contenders quit in protest.

Twenty year-old Chess Grandmaster Yuri Eliseev died after falling from his 12th floor apartment in Moscow. He was attempting parkour.

According to police, Joseph Hammond of San Antonio wouldn’t stand for his opponent walking away from a Dominoes game. He followed and shot at the man several times.

One person was killed and several others wounded in a drive-by shooting of a Dominoes game in the Bahamas. The alleged perpetrators have been arrested.

A woman playing dice on the street in Chicago was shot in the head but survived. Others weren’t so fortunate. Dice game shootings resulted in fatalities in Birmingham, Detroit, Chicago, and Oakland.

A man who was already on probation was apprehended by police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas smoking marijuana in a stolen car. He claimed to have purchased it an a dice game unaware that it was stolen.

Someone set up a fake Smyths Toys Facebook page, offering a sweepstakes for a $300 gift card and collecting email addresses.

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