Konami, Not Responsible for the Secondary Market?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 by reasoning13
“Tour Guide being at $200 is not the fault of Kevin or Konami. It’s the fault of people who agree to pay $200 for the card. It only has the value that people think it has.” – Paul Kite

Yeah, because limiting supply has no effect on price.

Of course, now Tour Guide is closer to the $100 mark because of the beneficial re-ruling. But again, this positive effect was not Konami’s goal, merely Konami’s means to obtain greater profit.


Konami and Price Discrimination

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2011 by reasoning13

Because Konami has a monopoly on the Yugioh CG, it’s able to increase prices up to the point of marginal consumption, eliminating consumer surplus, so it can maximize profits. This is called first degree price discrimination.[1]

The Japanese player base is less willing to spend hundreds of dollars to play than the American player base and so, the price that optimizes profit for Konami is different in the different regions.

Normally price discrimination is impossible because of competition and arbitrage, but because of Konami’s monopoly on the Yugioh CG, competition is not a problem and Konami ingeniously solved the arbitrage problem by not allowing OCG cards in the TCG.

You might object that the price of a pack of yugioh cards is no greater just because the best cards in the set are more rare. This is generally true, but if what you want are copies of a particular card, then you’ll have to buy more packs to obtain it.

Viewing this in the abstract, then, you have to pay more money, on average, to Konami to obtain a copy of Pot of Duality if Pot of Duality is a Secret Rare than if it is common. That is, Konami has raised the price of obtaining a Pot of Duality, in accordance with price discrimination, to maximize its profit.

Why not just raise the price of packs instead of bump up rarity? Making competitively desirable cards more rare has the added benefit of allowing price discrimination of its own.

Casual players and children generally aren’t willing to spend as much as competitive players on yugioh products but also desire cards like Pot of Duality less. An increase in the price of yugioh packs would price many casual players out of the game and therefore purchasing packs, or at least they would purchase fewer packs.

That’s Konami for you, ingeniously malevolent.

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_discrimination#First_degree_price_discrimination

The Ultimate Theory of Yugioh

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2011 by reasoning13

The First Example

Let’s say you and I are playing a duel of yugioh, and for the sake of argument that we both are playing the exact same deck.

Furthermore, we will play precisely the same in any given situation. In fact, we will always make the optimal play. That is that we will crunch the numbers and make the play that gives us the best chance of winning statistically. So that in any given game position, were the opposite player in each positions they would make the same play as was actually made by the other.

In this environment, what is the chance that I will win? Well, assuming no ties, the answer is .5. Were we to play an infinite number of games, I would win half the time and you would win half the time.

That is because our skill level is the same. As such all of our duels are determined by luck and solely by luck, which makes sense since we are both winning 50% of the time.

The Second Example

Suppose now that we introduce misplays. That is that in certain situations I will crunch the numbers incorrectly and make a play that was not the one that gave me the best chance of winning but one that gave me a lesser chance of winning.

In our analysis of the games we will play now, you will have a greater chance of winning than .5. That is, you will win more than half the time as you will play a perfect game and I will not. I will, of course, have less of a chance of winning than .5 and, assuming no ties, our chances of winning will add up to 1. I hope this concept is clear to everyone.

As you play a perfect game it is clear that any time you lose it is due to luck and solely to luck.

But what about me? Well, actually, we can go through the games we played and each time I lose we can attribute it either to a decisive misplay or luck.

That is that each game I lost was lost either due to luck, as in I played perfectly, or I made a misplay but the misplay was not decisive, that is, irrelevant. Or I lost because I made a decisive, fatal, misplay. That is, had I played perfectly, optimally, I would have won but I did not play perfectly and so I lost.

But this brings us to a radical conclusion. That is, that every game is determined either by skill alone or by luck alone. That is you can never lose due to a combination of lack of skill and bad luck. You can only lose due to either a lack of skill or bad luck.

And this principle is groundbreaking and earth shattering.

Let us call the number of games we play G and for the sake of argument G will be constant and will equal 10 and there will be no aberrations.

In the first example, our games might look this, with M being that I win and Y being you win:


But if we break this down into the number of games determined by luck versus the number of games determined by skill we see this:


That is, all the games were necessarily determined by luck as we both played optimally.

The second example would look more like this:


As I misplayed and you did not.

Let’s look at the luck vs skill determination.


As you made no misplays, any game I won was necessarily won by luck and any game where I played perfectly and still lost was necessarily determined by luck. And any games where I made a fatal misplay were, again, necessarily, determined by skill.

As you can see then just as, assuming no ties, M+Y=G, that is, the number of games I win plus the number of games you win equals the number of games total, so do L+S, the number of games determined by luck plus the number of games determined solely by skill, equal G, the number of games played total.

I hope this insight is appreciated by the community as much as I appreciate it. It really affects how you view the game and it has a number of implications for banned list design.

Konami and Profit

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2011 by reasoning13

Konami’s goal is to make profit and as much profit as possible. Let us not be fooled into thinking of Konami as a benevolent overlord that cares only for its players. No, Konami cares about its players only to the extent that it impacts its bottom line and no more.

Everything Konami does is to maximize profit, whether that be banned lists or new sets and anything Konami does that benefits the players is wholly a happy coincidence.

Intellectual Property Crime

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2011 by reasoning13

Konami would like for you to believe that peacefully taking your own property, turning it into something that others desire, and selling it for a price that the customer is willing to pay is a crime.

Konami, however, gets to threaten to use violence which lets it sell pieces of cardboard for a hundred times the cost of production.

Which do you think is the criminal?

The Crisis of Artificial Scarcity

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2011 by reasoning13

Artificial scarcity describes the scarcity of items even though the technology and production capacity exists to create an abundance.”[1]

So saith Wikipedia. And this is precisely our situation, is it not? The cardboard exists for us all to have an abundance of Pot of Dualities and the like, and yet we do not.

Why is Konami so cruel as to make our playing materials so scarce and so costly to obtain? How many men have felt unable to give yugioh a try simply because the price to obtain a competitively viable deck was so high? And unnecessarily so. Why would Konami do this? Do they not want more players of the game?

The answer is basic economics. The greater the supply of a good, the less it will be able to fetch on the market, ceteris paribus. If they were to print more Pot of Duality the amount they could sell the packs for would plummet, as one only needs so many Pot of Dualities.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. An apple farmer in a small village may choose to artificially cut his production of apples. After all, if he flooded the market with apples, the price each apple could fetch would be minimal.

But normally a competitor would see that there is still a demand for more apples. And where this is excessive demand, there is profit and so he would move into the industry, increasing the supply of apples and making the consumer better off.

What would happen if a competitor to Konami in the production of Pot of Duality emerged? You can be sure that Konami would pull out the gun, as it always threatens to do. No one dares to butt in on Konami’s turf.



1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity

Our Enemy, Konami

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2010 by reasoning13

Recently Konami sent a cease and desist order to our friends at BYOND to get them to take down Duel Monsters Unlimited. This gives us an excellent time to contemplate the nature of this entity known as Konami and its relationship with the game of Yugioh.

This organization known as Konami claims a monopoly right over Yugioh. No one is to buy or sell yugioh cards or products without Konami’s permission. In this way Konami functions like organized crime with yugioh as its product. If you dare to compete with it you will be met with violence. And as this case shows, there will be violence.

“What do you mean Konami is violent?” you may ask. And I will respond, what is a cease and desist order but a threat of violence? What is that? You do not see the violence? Ah, they have done a good job hiding it indeed but there is an elephant in the room and it is a gun.

Let me show you. According to wikipedia, a cease and desist order is “an order or request to halt an activity, or else face legal action”. And what is legal action but violence? If BYOND did not comply with Konami and they took them to court and found them “guilty” BYOND would be ordered to stop competing and pay Konami money and if they refused they would face dire consequences. A cease and desist order then is a threat of violence, “get off our turf or we will mess you up”.

Like a shopkeeper hiring the mob to threaten neighboring shops, Konami does not compete, it strong-arms.

Konami has constantly assailed the consumer in numerous ways. Through ridiculous prices for what amounts to little more than slips of cardboard, through horrendous banned lists and through the worst card design that has ever befallen a game.

But, you say without Konami where would we be? Surely Konami has been the greatest benefactor of the Yugioh players. It provides us with tournaments, cards and banned lists.

And I reply, that there is one thing which Konami is good at. It is good at crippling you, handing you a crutch and then convincing you that you couldn’t walk without its help. It is indeed true that Konami provides us with services but it does so only after having secured its monopoly.

A highwayman waylays a man in an isolated place, springing upon him from the roadside holding a pistol to his head. “Your money or your life.” The robber claims no right over the money nor any great dignity beyond what he is. But as he takes the money he leaves the man and pesters him no more.

Konami, however, has no such dignity. It is always and everyone holding the gun.

“Any animal however loathsome will resist if stepped upon. Are men less than snails or worms? I have some resistance in me, I know that you have. You have been robbed.” – Haymarket Martyr

“The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Come, let us rise.” – Mikhail Bakunin

“I do not ask that you place your hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.” – Etienne de la Boettie