Blaming Others or A Great PR trick

This is (again) an english article since the linked stuff is also in english.
There is some short german part below.

Today I want to talk about the really whiny article which was posted on the WotC mother site, if you do not know which one I talk about, it is this one:


The article whines about the Kozilek and waste „leak“ which happened some weaks ago, which most of you may know about. It tries to tell that such leaks are bad (for everyone) and that it is theft.

Here again the cards:




If you have seen this cards, you most likely also have seen the HUGE discussions which were going on everywhere about the new Mana symbol.
Even here a lot of comments were generated in articles about the new mana symbol, much more than usual, when you cannot win something by commenting.

Also on MTGSalvation, the main site when it comes to spoilers for most people, threads where much longer than they are usually.

Meaning this „leak“ produced A LOT of publicity, especially a lot of hype and this for weaks, which is a good thing for a company trying to sell their cards and not something justifying whining.

If you want you can read the main points of the article yourself, I will not discuss them further, they „speak“ for themselves. Instead I will talk about  two topics:

I. Why this „leak“ might not be one, but instead just a well executed PR stunt.

II. Why leaks are good for us the players, even though they might be bad for WotC.

I Why this „leak“ might not be one.

The linked article uses the „big kozilek leak“, which is HUGE, I admit that, to talk about why leaks are bad in general.

However, for me it is hard to believe that this was really a leak and not a planned PR stunt of WotC themselfes.

1. Leaks became quite rare


There have been way fewer (unintentional) leaks in the last years about magic sets, than there were in the beginning, so it is quite unlikely that we get such a huge leak, when the whole process of covering leaks is better and better organized by WotC, yes they may have been some leaks from time to time, but rarely this huge of a thing and so early at least recently.

2. It is just TOO perfect of a leak (from a PR perspective).


As I said above, this generated HUGE discussions. A lot of people were talking about it everywhere. For this amount of marketing you normally have to pay a huge amount! I think there could have been nothing else leaked from the set which would have given more discussion than the new mana symbol, there is at least one new other mechanic in this set, which was recently leaked, most likely there is even one more new mechanic, but they would have never lead to so much discussion!
(Surge feals a lot less exciting! And the other legends might be cool but they leave a lot less to discuss).

3. The selection of the three cards leaked feels too much constructed!


-We have Kozilek as the first Card using the new mana (and not something different like Emrakul, which is even more a fan favorite), it could have been any creature but it is Kozilek.

We have the 2 cards: Kozilek’s Channeler and Herald of Kozilek the first one pointing heavily towards:
„This new symbol must clearly mean colorless mana“
Where the second one does not interact well with colorless mana as symbols and instead will even lead to confusion, when the new symbol means colorless mana!
(He makes spells 1 generic mana cheaper to cast not 1 colorless, so his 1 will do something different then the other 1s in the card texts…)

– We have the new basic land card without a type.

This means for one that this new symbol is something special and may be something to stay (pointing heavily towards colorless mana).
On the other hand the card is stricly worse than other lands (except from the basic) which is something WotC normally does not want, but this may not be prevented.

Also a colorless basicland is something EDH players wanted for a long time, so this is again something which really will give a lot of discussion and hype!

– The last card we have was a non basic land producing 1 Mana of the new type and comes into play tapped (and is mythic).

So here we have a mythic land which is NOT stricly better than the new basic land, but provides the same mana, this could have meant, that the basic is also not strictly better than other lands (since it does make some special kind of mana instead of pure colorless).
Especially since there are almost no lands producing colorless mana and coming into play tapped. Normaly this is mostly done only on lands producing colored mana, since you do not want cards being strictly better than the basic lands.

When we look at the spoiler we see 6 non basic lands producing this new mana, however this is the one which points the most about this symbol being not just colorless mana!
This card is deliberately not stricly better than the basic, where 4 others are and 1 is actually a kind of a one time mana fix (like a worse/different tendo ice bridge ). So the other lands would have a lot less made people to argue that this symbol is some kind of „eldrazi mana“.

So we have seen exactly this 3 cards at first. Even if the person who spoiled it wanted to spoil the colorless mana, it would have been EXTREMELY unlikely that he would have chosen exactly this 3 cards which lead to the most discussion and arguments!

4. No other cards were spoiled (so early).


There hasn’t been spoiled anything else for quite some time after that initial spoiler or together with it (some expeditions were spoiled a bit later and some other cards, but not as early as this 3 cards!). So why if there is some leak, nothing more or different is spoiled?
Why not also spoil some other cool new card?

5. Similar methods have been used by WotC before.


WotC has used similar methods for „spoiling“ new cards for preview/hype purpose before!
There were some „wrong“ cards in some packaging spoiling a card from the upcomming edition conspiracy, the same was true for some other edition as well.

Maro as one example also likes to play riddles and stuff on twitter for giving out knowledge about new cards as well.

And there have been some other strange „I have been sent some cards“ spoilers made on mtgsalvations before which seamed to be made deliberately by WotC as well.

6. Spoiling colorless mana early makes a lot of sense PR wise!

Take Care

This new colorless mana and how it is only used in the second set (and having cards with different wordings in the same block) is something, which may lead to quite a lot of hate by the players.

Spoiling this earlier to let people cool of (and be glad that it is this version and not one of the other theories) before the edition comes out seams like a really smart move!

Also this way if people are not really satisfied you can blame the person leaking it (as they did in this article) and saying „the confusion is mostly because it was spoiled in the wrong order“!

So you can blame others (partially) for you making something strange/stupid.

Also there may have been some cards spoiled in the recent past (but not that much and not really big stuff and not soo early) and this is the perfect opportunity to denounce people who are responsible for such leaks!

I mean people are much more aware of the leak in this case as when you would use a common being spoiled 2 days ahead of schedule as an example!

7. The cards spoiled would have been previewed by WotC themselfes.


The 3 cards spoiled are (I may be wrong with the mirrorpool) cards which have been spoiled by WotC themselfes at some point. So this were not cards which would have gone to some community websites to be spoiled by them.

I mention this since one of the „arguments“ in the above text is, that leaking cards hurt such websites since their cards could be spoiled.
So having a „leak“ which does not do this, is another hint why this was planed.

II Why leaks are good for us the player.


I still do not think this „leak“ was a real one, but they were most likely other leaks recently and I believe this is not really bad for us players even though the article want us to believe  it is.

1. It gives us more options how we want to apprehend the spoiler season.


Some people like to know the cards as fast as possible. Some people want to dicuss about cards before others on forums, some people do not want to know about the new cards at all and (maybe?) some people want to be spoiled the official way.

So having leaks gives just more possible ways to enjoy the spoiler season.
– If you want to go the official way, only look at their website.
– If you do not want to be spoiled at all, do not go to any spoiling websites.
+ But if you want to be the first to know some cards, if you want to know about the cards as soon as possible, if you want to be able to tell your friends news about new cards (before they know), then you have with leaks also the possibility to go to to get more info sooner.

This last possibility would be a lot less exciting without leaks. (Actually some years ago it was much more „Robin Hood like“ and more was leaked). However, you still have the other options! The leaks do not ruin anything if you do not want to be spoiled by them!

(Of course your friends might be speaking about that etc. but you can tell them that you do not want to be spoiled! I mean I do the same thing with movies friends have seen before me! The same with games they played before me, it is not so hard to do this….)

2. Such leaks (or even the „leaks“) give the communities a lot to discuss!

Big Speaker

We have seen on this site, how this „leak“ gave a lot of discussion points for the community.
On the mtgsalvation forums even more happened, and also on other smaller websites the communities had a lot to dicuss.

And discussion helps the communities (also the small sites with small communities) to steay alive!

In germany there is often a discussion about the death of the german magic community and even though such leaks cannot prevent this themselfes, they can at least help to make them more lively for some time.

If there would have been no „leaks“, the last 3 or 4 weaks there would have been way less to discuss. This actually just made the „spoiler season effect“ begin 1 month before!

3. Less money may be wasted on marketing.

No Waste(s)

It is expensive to plan the spoiler season deciding which card gets spoiled when and how. Writing the stories comming up with the best strategies to hopefully maximize profits etc.
Part of this plan and effort go to waste when (some) cards are leaked.
If this happens enough maybe it will not be worth any longer to actually spend so much  money for marketing/pr for the spoiler season.
This could be good for the players since then more money could go into the tournament szene (GPs etc.) or gamedesign/testing or magic online!  PR is mostly only good for the company and for the players money spent elsewhere would be often better.

4. WotC has less power/influence over fan communities


Giving or not giving a fansite an (exclusive) preview card is quite a big bargaining chip. In germany one of the 2 sites getting previews frequently (planetmtg) had at some point a new user (WotCGermany) it its forum and at least one (not so WotC friendly) thread got locked up some time after that (in a part where this never happened). This event was one of the main factor why a lot of people left that forum. And now the forum can be considered dead.

If preview cards get leaked often they become less important, this may seam to be bad for the small websites getting something less important, but it ultimatively may also mean that they have less to write/show what WotC want of them to write, since they have a bit less power over them and this leads to more „free press“.

5. If they have less effective PR they may (have to) fix some issues!

Make it better

I am aware of the fact that this is (as the less money on PR wasted point) a bit naive. Nevertheless it would be nice if WotC would have to fix some of their issues (Horrible Magic Online Client, badly supported tournament scene outside USA, horrible coverages, the game getting too expensive for a lot of people (T2) etc.) in order to keep their sale levels high.
At the moment they do not really have to care, since people nevertheless buy tons of cards.

And it is understandable, why should they fix stuff which is expensive, if people buy their stuff anyway?
Yeah some people are complaining, but when the money does not speak they do not have to listen.


Deutscher Teil:

No understand

Ich hoffe die Bilder haben euch gefallen, wenn nicht könnt ihr mir das gerne mitteilen.
Ihr seid auch herzlich eingeladen auf Deutsch hier zu diskutieren was ihr denkt über Leaks und ob ihr glaubt dass Kozilek und Waste tatsächlich echte Leaks waren.

Kurze Zusammenfassung zum Artikel:

In einem verlinkten Artikel beklagt sich der Community Manager von Wizzards of the Cost darüber dass Karten geleaked werden, also dass Personen Infos über Karten von  kommenden Editionen zu früh bekannt geben.
Er nimmt darin das Beispiel vom farblosen Mana und Kozilek zur Hand, das ja viele Diskussionen ausgelöst hat.

Ich glaube nicht wirklich, dass dieses Kozilek Beispiel ungewollt war, da es zuuu gut dazu geeignet war um Leute über die kommende Edition diskutieren zu lassen und so gratis Werbung zu generieren, und erläutere meine Ansicht genauer.

Nachher erkläre ich noch wieso ich solch Leaks für gut halte für uns Spieler.

Das wars auch schon.

Über Tigris

Schweizer Magicspieler.
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5 Responses to Blaming Others or A Great PR trick

  1. Ormus sagt:

    Ich glaube nicht, dass der Leak gewollt war – und ganz sicher nicht der zweite Teil, denn eine der Karten wurde inzwischen auf einer Fansite gezeigt (und sollte dort auch erstmals zu sehen sein).

    Und ich teile auch deine Meinung nicht, dass Leaks gut sind. Ich habe auch eine Vorschaukarte für euch (übrigens für Silvester) – wenn die woanders schon zu sehen war ist das sehr traurig. WotC betreibt einen großen Aufwand und internationale Büros um die Vorschauwochen konstant zu befüllen, synchronisiert das mit eigenen Lore Artikeln usw. Wenn solch ein Aufwand zu oft verpufft, dann wird WotC einfach diese Maßnahmen streichen. Stell dir mal vor, WotC bereit wieder ein Preview Panel vor, mit Stream im Netz und so – und dann sind die Karten schon bekannt. Doofe Situation für alle, die Leute vorne und die Zuschauer!

    Und was die Argumentation von einigen betrifft, dass dies kein theft / Diebstahl ist: Die Aktion ist definitv illegal, denn die aktuellen Leak Karten wurden sehr wahrscheinlich aus der Produktionskette entnommen und zwar ganz sicher ohne Erlaubnis.

    • Tigris sagt:

      Welche Karte wurde auf einer Fanseite gezeigt? Mirrorpool?
      (Ich meine nur dass diese 3 Karten gewollt gespoilt wurden, andere (unwichtigere) nicht, sonst würden sie nicht so einen Artikel schreiben).

      Ja du hast eine Vorschaukarte für uns, die wird was 5-10 Kommentare verursachen?

      Also viel viel weniger als das Leak gemacht hat! Und deine Vorschaukarte wird von den meisten Leute so oder so zuerst auf MTGSalvation gesehen werden, selbst wenn es Leute sind die Magicblogs lesen.

      WotC sollte lieber grossen Aufwand betreiben um Magic online besser zu machen, oder die Turnierszene (ausserhalb der USA) etwas zu beleben etc.

      Ich fände es ja super wenn WotC diesen Aufwand streicht, weil man wirklich lieber an anderen Orten investiert das ist sicher.

      Die Leute die das Previewpanel schauen sind selber Schuld wenn sie die Karten schon kennen es war ihre Entscheidung.

      Wenn ich im Internet von Harry Potter das Ende nachlese bevor ich das Buch lese dann bin ich auch selber Schuld.

      Illegal ist nicht gleich Diebstahl.
      Es ist auch illegal in der Schweiz am Sonntag wäsche aufzuhängen, wegen dem begeht man dennoch nicht Diebstahl wenn man dies macht.

  2. MoppMopp sagt:

    also der goodbook leak war gewiss nicht gewollt, aber die drei Karten passen zu gut zusammen. Es fällt nur eine Präsentation weg… Es ist auch nicht einleuchtend, warum nach auf einmal ein Diebstahl aus der Produktion dahinter stehen soll? Prüft wizards das nicht? was soll das Motiv sein? nee, ich stimme dem Artikel zu.

    • Tigris sagt:

      Klar war der das nicht, und ich glaube auch einige der kleineren Leaks war ungewollt, sonst wäre gar kein so ein Artikel erschienen.

  3. Tigris sagt:

    Wie es scheint gibt es auch viele andere kritische Stimmen zu dem Artikel:

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