The Crisis of Artificial Scarcity

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.





One Response to “The Crisis of Artificial Scarcity”

  1. Elex127 Says:

    One word: Zeitgeist.

    On that note, you have my complete and utter support.

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