Mage has announced that it will cease its marketplace operations over the next month. Mage Market will stop all transactions this week; though it, along with the Mage mobile apps, will continue to be accessible at least until the end of April.

“After a month of consideration we’ve decided to proceed a shutdown of all operations for,” said CEO Peer Richelsen.

“COVID-19 has impacted our company and overall hobby industry in a way no one could have predicted nor prepared for,” Richelsen continued. “We’ve experienced 60% less revenue—in a crucial time of our company, where every single dollar matters.” However, “we’ve not found a way to build a profitable business fast enough in order to survive such global crisis and revenue fallout.”

“My cofounder Malte [Delfs, CTO] and I believe that in these times, the right thing to do is to announce a controlled shutdown of operations,” Richelsen concluded, “and use the little money left to pay all employees extended severances and help everyone to find a new job opportunity.”

Mage, a German company, began in 2016 as a card marketplace with the name Snapcardster. It was part of the Winter 2019 cohort of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based accelerator program that invests in and advises small companies, and accepted seed funding from both Y Combinator and angel investors from Twitch.

Last Summer, Mage relaunched their marketplace with new “ask” and “bid” features, along with plans for North American and European warehouses. The North American warehouse had trouble getting off the ground due to visa issues and was “paused” earlier this year, around the time they also announced a controversial financing option with Klarna.

COVID-19’s Continuing Impact on Magic

COVID-19—the novel coronavirus—has wreaked havoc on the global economy. Over 3.3 million people filed unemployment claims in the United States alone last week and some financial institutions are predicting a 24% contraction of the US’s economy in the second quarter.

Like many in-person industries, tabletop Magic has been hugely impacted by the rise of COVID-19. In much of the United States and Europe, many of the local game stores that form the backbone of Magic have been forced to shut their doors to prevent the spread of the disease. Similarly, online Magic retailers like ChannelFireball, Card Kingdom, and Mage (before today’s announcement) have all paused their warehouse operations. Wizards of the Coast has also delayed the release of Magic’s next set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, from mid-April to May 15 and cancelled or delayed multiple premiere level events, while both ChannelFireball and Star City Games have cancelled their tournaments until at least mid-May.

Many of the businesses that rely on tabletop Magic are bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s economic impact. While Mage Market is the first major Magic company to close its doors, it likely won’t be the last to go out of business before COVID-19 begins to fade.

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