The past couple of weeks have been a maelstrom of change here at LegitMTG. This maelstrom has led to a number of questions regarding the future of the website. Certainly, with all of the changes, there have been a number of questions to the tune of:
“Is LegitMTG going away?” “Is LegitMTG dying?” “LegitMTG is still around?!”
After some deliberation, I reached the conclusion that it’s only natural to have those kinds of questions, but still- being written off so quickly was a shock. Certainly, we’ve lost a great deal of talent recently, so I guess I can see where those thoughts are coming from, but with so many people and so much talent still at LegitMTG, I would never expect the site to just go away. That’s part of the reason why I’m here today- to answer those questions for you and dispel some of the rumors surrounding the recent changes in the site.
First, I believe introductions are in order. We’ve all had our fair share of goodbyes over the past few weeks, and drowned in that was my own “hello!” My name is John Douglass, some of you may recognize me from one of the few articles I have written for this site in the past, some from my work as the Executive Producer of the now retired MTGBridge podcast. Currently, I am the Content Manager (and self-proclaimed Executive Producer) of LegitMTG. As a Magic player, you can find me playing at FNM and grinding everything from PTQ and Grand Prix circuits to the StarCityGames Open and Invitational series. I play every magic format imaginable, but my favorites are Modern, Team Rochester, and Modern Masters draft.
Before we delve into those answers, let’s recap all of the things that have happened in the last couple of weeks for those of you who need to be caught up. On July 21st, I offered to take over as Content Manager for Jason Bailey- one of the most influential Content Managers the community has ever seen. During his time with Legit, we saw an unprecedented increase in content quality and writer development. On July 22nd, Jonathan Medina the owner of the store and website LegitMTG.com announced that he would be leaving the magic community and as a part of that, would be selling the LegitMTG.com brand in the near future. While I’m sure negotiations are in the works with regards to that sale, the brand still belongs to Jonathan, and he’s still here lurking in the background, but the fact remains that Jon is leaving LegitMTG.com. Many people rightfully identified Jon as the owner and figurehead of the brand, and his leaving as a major blow to the community.
If that wasn’t enough, it set in motion a series of other departures from the website including financial writer Corbin Hosler, 20 Tweets Author and veteran punsmith Sam Davis, and ultra-talented artist Polish Tamales. Each of these hurt the site as there were many ideas and projects that would be left unfinished (my Catch Me If You Can spoof starring Polish Tamales and the Hasbro copyright lawyers would have been Oscar worthy), but none would sting so much as the departure of LegitMTG Community Manager Heather Lafferty, @RevisedAngel– who has moved on to be the community manager for GatheringMagic.com. Heather had such a good read on the pulse of the community, you would think it was OD’ing in a Vegas hotel bathroom. For those that did not see Jonathan as the figurehead of LegitMTG, they undoubtedly saw Heather in that role, as she was the one dealing more directly with the community. It was from her brilliant mind that the 20 Tweets series was spawned, and her role in the development of the site could never be overstated.
Where We Stand
Now, let’s address those questions!
LegitMTG is still around? Absolutely! We’re going strong too, especially after reeling from such a major blow. If you haven’t yet, check out our latest articles- Trevor Holness’s article about Magic’s Hall of Fame induction process is insightful, articulate, and doesn’t pull any punches. Nat Moes just started a series about getting into vintage- one that has me wanting to go out and buy moxen as I sit on my laptop refreshing the editor’s email inbox waiting for the next installment to come in. We’ve recently launched the LegitMTG Event Calendar, a replacement for the now defunct mtgmom.com- which will be updated through 2013 by the end of the week. There are many more quality articles and series currently in the works as well, including a cube building article that I am very excited about, but I don’t want to spoil anything just yet. Compulsive Research with Scotty Mac is still live every Monday night and continually brings in more and more viewers as we bring in star-studded guest after guest (Including the likes of Reid Duke, Jay Boosh, and Willy Edel). Erin Campbell’s wildly popular podcast, The Deck Tease is still here and pushing the boundaries of podcasting greatness.
Is LegitMTG dying? I understand where the concern is coming from. Even as a member of the Legit family, my initial response was the exact same. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I read “the bottom is falling out” in reference to what was happening to the brand. I assure you, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
LegitMTG was one man’s vision- the dream of Jonathan Medina. The magic community is growing rapidly- 12 million players and counting. Of those, only a small subset were professional players. Yet, every major magic website featured articles almost exclusively for and by those pros. LegitMTG was created to give a voice to the community, or rather to let your voice be heard. Jonathan’s dream attracted a lot of talent to the site- talent that forever changed the landscape of the Magic community. The Legit brand was built from the ground up, and was built solely for you. So to say the bottom is falling out would imply that some terrible fate has befallen the community, which as far as I can tell hasn’t happened yet- although the Magic community’s Armageddon gets closer and closer with each spoiler season if you believe what you read.
Where We’re Headed
I’m not a smoke and mirrors kind of guy, and Legit has never been that kind of site. I’m not going to sugar coat things, losing the people we’ve lost in the past few weeks hurts. The Legit family has worked incredibly hard to make the brand what it is today, and the loss of any one member of that family would have hurt, let alone several at one time. Having said that, the hard work put in by everyone here- whether it’s an innovative way to interact with the community in 20 Tweets or some crazy Misthollow Griffin brew, has shaped the brand into what it is now. The loss of those things in no way detracts from the ground we’ve covered or what we’ve accomplished- it simply means we have to find new ways to grow, something that we do on a daily basis anyway. The day that Legit becomes content with our offerings and decides we don’t need any more contributors of articles and ideas is the day I’ll buy into all of the “LegitMTG is dying” talk. I can assure you, that day will not come on my watch as I am a firm believer in taking risks and trying new things.
So what’s changed? Well- truthfully? Not much. As a magic player, I know that speculation can be a lot of fun and guessing how things will change is something that we do with each new set, so I know the “business as usual” news is rather unexciting. On the other side of the coin, the future of Legit is anything but unexciting. LegitMTG is still here, still producing content- the dream is still alive. We’ve got plans in place to take risks, try new and exciting content, and to innovate yet again with community involvement. Our article lineup is changing, but the quality of the content is not. The vast majority of the people whose articles you’ve been reading, whose podcasts you’ve been listening to, and whose streams you’ve been watching are still around. Jonathan’s interest in selling the brand and not just the site or the inventory means that whenever it sells, the integrity of the site isn’t changing, regardless of the buyer.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That’s right, I’m quoting Kelly Clarkson. I could have gone with Neitzsche’s original quote, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” but then I wouldn’t have had an excuse to include a picture of Kelly Clarkson in this article and Neitzsche was a little…off. Regardless of which version of the quote you prefer, I’ve realized the validity of these claims in seeing the resolve of our current and aspiring contributors. LegitMTG is growing and is in a much better place thanks to everyone that poured their heart and soul, their time and talents into it. For those that contributed so much and have moved on to other creative mediums, for those that still write, record, and brainstorm for the brand, and especially for you, the community- we show our gratitude by continuing to reach for new heights, and maintain the course for greatness that you have set us on. As long as there is Magic, there will be a thriving Magic community. As long the Magic community exists, LegitMTG will be here to ensure your voice is heard.
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