Artists Begin Magic: The Gathering Boycott Due To Fewer Perks

A number of established artists have begun a Magic The Gathering boycott of real-world events thanks to a decline in perks normally set aside for guests. Their problems largely come down to recent changes in the way guests are compensated for their appearance which creates several financial risks.

Magic The Gathering has been around since the early ’90s. The collectible card game has proved exceedingly popular, expanding into regional, national, and even worldwide tournaments. Of course, the game has its own convention circuit and these conventions (like any other) attract their fair share of guests. Changing conditions at these conventions have led to a number of renowned artists to begin a Magic The Gathering boycott.

Guests at conventions typically receive some perks, such as amenities, for their attendance. These can range from partially or fully compensated travel, lodging, and occasionally an outright payment for showing up. These guests may also peddle their wares, either selling autographs and/or other products that they have available.

An open letter by over two dozen professional artists lists the reasoning behind their Magic The Gathering boycott. Previously, their flight and hotel would be covered by an event. A break room, free large table in the expo hall, and a place to safely store their equipment would also be made available. A Thursday dinner with convention organizers and a Sunday group event with the event’s staff would also effectively take care of two meals, further reducing the burden of travel.

In their open letter, the artists explain that they would previously break even or lose money when attending an event like a Grand Prix. While many (if not most) of their expenses may have been covered, time spent at a convention also meant that they would have less time to work and generate income.

The perks for guests have now been reduced to a smaller table arrangement and limited covering of lodging (if there’s any at all – it’s not always clear). Additionally, the artists are finding themselves being asked to hold panels, art classes, and the like without any sort of compensation. This further compounds the issues that they are facing and are some of the factors leading to their widespread Magic The Gathering boycott.

The artists behind the cards of Magic The Gathering are keen on attending conventions and meeting fans, even if it costs them a little money. Unfortunately, consolidation of the convention circuit’s events into fewer, larger organizations has resulted in a decline in accommodations and the costs have simply become too great for them. It is their hope that word of their Magic The Gathering boycott of events will spur event organizers to reconsider.