ROSWELL, Ga. — Hundreds of participants converge on a Roswell game store in order to participate in a weekend-long prerelease event for the newest Magic the Gathering trading card set.
Super Games Inc. was founded in 2006 by Jim Sorel. It started with a mere four employees and has grown to over 40.
“I would say that [Super Games is] one of the premiere collectable trading card game tournament stores in the Southeast and also a prominent online seller of singles for those games.” said Sorel.
A large scale prerelease event for the next Magic The Gathering card set “Battle for Zendikar” was held across the nation at local gaming stores such as Super Games. The prerelease events began at midnight on Saturday Sept. 26 and continued until Sunday night, offering players playtime with the set that was released the next weekend. Massive preparation goes into these prerelease events, with Wizards Of The Coast, the company behind Magic the Gathering, providing the cards and the rewards for the events to the local gaming stores.
When asked about the preparation that goes into a prerelease, Sorel said “We’ll have somewhere between four and 600 people over the course of the weekend playing in those events, so it’s a hectic and busy weekend. Probably the most fun for players because it’s the excitement of seeing the new cards.”
“Staffing can be difficult because we have a midnight flight and six different tournament events over the weekend with hundreds of people,” he added. “It’s a lot of long hours for people and learning the new cards.”
Another function of Super Games is to buy collections of single cards from patrons and reselling those cards at the store and shipping orders across the world.
“One of my many different responsibilities at Super Games is that I sit down with a potential seller and evaluate the condition of their cards and offer an amount based off of the condition.” said Super Games manager Jason Elkins.
The actual release of the new set of cards occurred Oct. 2, when players could purchase single packs, $100-$120 boxes of packs and single cards they might need for the deck they’re building.
“Now us being a singles store we will open hundreds of boxes ourselves and the labor time to sort and price and inventory all of that stuff is a lot but we do that ‘cause we’ll sell more than a thousand presales of singles of a set,” said Sorel. “But the most fun people have is opening their own boxes and packs.”
Super Games gets customers from around the world attending their events and buying product.
“There was a gentleman from Denmark who once a year at a conference in Atlanta, and this is going back eight or nine years, found us via a Wizards of The Coast or something and was amazed at the size of the store and all the tables and all the singles we had,” Sorel said. “Once a year for a good seven years he would come in and spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on singles and boxes and stuff that he could not get back where he lived. For a good six-seven years in a row he would come back and it would be the same drill, he would have all sorts of specialty items he was looking for that he knew we carried.”
Vinny Maiello, 25, a return customer of Super Games, said, “I played Magic for years before I knew of something like Super Games existed, was great finding a place that had people with the same hobby as I did.”