Recently (like, within the last week) Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, and publisher of various games including Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, reportedly used members of the Pinkerton Detective Agency to pay a visit to the YouTuber @oldschoolmtg who had accidentally received packs from the forthcoming “March of the Machines: the Aftermath” set, due to be released on May .
The YouTuber did what any content creator would in this late capitalist framework: they created content. Crack the packs and show them off. Get to work, doing what they do.
Now, since that story was posted, there have been follow-ups saying that the visit by the PDA was more of a “knock on door and have a chat” kind of visit, rather than the one that fills most minds when they hear of Pinkerton raid. Still, the optics need to be considered. Having the rather notorious detective agency available for these sorts of eventualities reflects rather poorly on WotC.
Especially since it didn’t need to be this way. Just one month earlier, the exact same thing happened to a competitor of WotC, GamesWorkshop. In March, GW accidentally shipped a copy of an unreleased model, Commander Dante of the Blood Angels, several weeks before the model was to be revealed at the upcoming Adepticon event in Chicago, along with a number of other models. The error was due to the old model still having it’s SKU in the system while the new one was being stocked, and they accidentally did the swap. The content creator did the same thing in this case, and posted pictures of their painted model to imgur (here).
“The Day of Revelation has come a little earlier than expected…” Indeed.
So rather than send an agency that was so notorious that the US Congress had to enact legislation (that is still on the books) that prevents members from being employed by the US Government, GW was able to provide a treat to a fan and to the community, and gain some overall good will.
And it likely didn’t hurt their sales: as of time of posting, the model was sold out online despite it’s $55 CAD price tag.
So, lessons learned, WotC? Perhaps…