What I’m Planning for Prerelease
By putting together creative, one-of-a-kind play experiences for their community, Magicsur Chile has rapidly become one of South America’s premier game stores.
We asked owners Daniel Ortiz and Inti Acevedo what they were planning for Eldritch Moon. Here’s what they had to say.
The success of a Prerelease can be measured in different ways. If we sell out, that is one way. If it generates profits, that is another.
But there is an element that is difficult to measure with numbers: if we create an experience that remains in the memories of players over the years.
To do that, we imagine an event that we would like to be part of as a player. A unique and special environment. We think of a Prerelease as a Magic festival.
We make a special effort with every new Prerelease, and afterward we evaluate what worked and what did not. Here are a few things that have worked, and that we plan to repeat for Eldritch Moon:
1. We’ll Focus On Our Midnight Prerelease
Some activities we can repeat throughout the weekend, but there will always be some that we will perform only at our midnight event. The first tournament is the most important to us and it is the one we focus on most.
For Shadows over Innistrad, our idea was to transport players to Markov Manor, turning our shop in “Magicsur Manor.” The store was dimly lit and players were guided to their tables by candlelight.
This even helped us sell out our remaining events—when our midnight event began, we still had 30-40 seats available for the rest of the weekend.
But once we published these photos on Facebook and Twitter, we sold all seats that remained! We do not think this was a coincidence. Because it was a success, we’ll do something similar Eldritch Moon, but draw on the zombie theme for costumes.
2. We’ll Tell a Story
Our plan develops as we discover new information about the expansion. Now that we know what will happen to the characters and Innistrad, we can build the atmosphere we want.
The zombie theme will be central to the experience at Prerelease. Our players will travel to Innistrad, become zombies, and help Liliana try to defeat Emrakul.
We may have a zombie costume contest and zombie-themed refreshments like “brains” made out of snack food. We will also use much of the marketing materials received from Wizards of the Coast.
Some of the activities will be a secret. Players will know most of the activities in advance, but if some of them come as a surprise, they are more likely to create long-lasting memories.
3. We’ll Know the Value of Our Events
Our true competition is other forms of entertainment: cinema, video games, concerts, etc. That is why we consider it is a mistake to compare ourselves with other stores in terms of entry fee and prize support.
If we reduce the registration fee beyond what is reasonable, it becomes difficult to preserve the quality of each tournament and create a great experience.
We want our events to have a professional feeling and be sustainable over time—from Eldritch Moon to Kaladesh and beyond.
4. We’ll Get the Fundamentals Right
Our more elaborate ideas depend on the simple things, so we get everything prepared on the night prior. We use a checklist with everything we need so nothing slips by.
This helps us start the tournament on time—each player’s time is valuable, so we always start at exactly the advertised time.
We also prepare our announcements, with information for new players, as well as research new mechanics like “Meld” so that we can quickly explain them if players have questions.
New mechanics, twists in the story—players attend Prerelease because they want to feel and experience new things. By offering new activities at our store for every Prerelease, we can give players a gaming experience that transcends the daily life of a game store!
Store Stats: Magicsur Chile
- Location: Santiago, Chile (Population 5 million)
- WPN Level: Advanced Plus
- Size:1,300 sq. ft.
- Website: www.magicsur.cl