Despite numerous setbacks, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Magic: The Gathering” has experienced a resurgence like never before – it releases new products constantly, each more successful than the last, across numerous formats. So it should come as no surprise that it is about to become a billion-dollar franchise. Hasbro, the parent company of “Wizards of the Coast” has all but confirmed this in a recent statement.
At 2022 Hasbro Investor Day, “Wizards of the Coast” president Cynthia Williams already celebrated the $1 billion revenue buys that “Magic: The Gathering” has brought over the past 12 months, but since that includes part of 2021’s earning, the announcement can’t be considered legitimate just yet. However, as 2022 is coming to an end, and given “Magic: The Gathering‘s” continuing rise in popularity, it seems just a matter of time before the announcement is made official.
Universes Beyond – The Path to Success
This success is largely due to their Universes Beyond “sub-brands” – a way that combines the gameplay of “Magic: The Gathering” with worlds, characters, and stories of other popular franchises. Most Universes Beyond products consist of the “Secret Lair” pseudo-sets, also known as “drops”. It’s important to note that all Universes Beyond products are non-canon and are not standard legal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t usable in other formats, such as Legacy and Commander.
These products launched to great success, starting from 2020’s “Secret Lair Drop Series: The Walking Dead”, the set that is considered to be the grandfather of all “Secret Lair” series. Since then, “Magic: The Gathering” has added other universes to its roster: “Stranger Things”, “Arcane”, “Street Fighter” and “Fortnite”.
But “Wizards of the Coast” isn’t stopping there. Their most recent inclusion of “Warhammer 40 000” will be the biggest one yet – for the first time, a Universes Beyond franchise will release decks specially designed for “Magic: The Gathering”’s popular Commander format. This will come in the form of four unique “Warhammer 40 000 Commander Decks”. These decks, along with the rest of the “Warhammer” product line will be released this October.
But that’s not all – future “Magic: The Gathering” crossovers have already been announced – “The Lord of the Rings” and “Doctor Who” coming in 2023, and “Final Fantasy” and “Assassin’s Creed” coming in 2024 respectively.
New Products Are Great, but Are They Becoming Too Much?
You might notice that the new sets are coming out with increasing frequency, and you would be correct. This has not gone unnoticed, as there are growing concerns in the “Magic: The Gathering” community because of product oversaturation. Most of them have to do with the fact that players and collectors can’t keep up with the product line monetarily, as prices have not decreased in the slightest, and more products mean more money spent on expensive cardboard. The “Secret Lair” sets are “Timeboxed to Demand”, which means potential buyers have a set window of time to purchase each drop, which makes matters even worse.
“Wizards of the Coast” haven’t addressed these concerns just yet, but as the issue is growing, we hope they will think of a solution in the future.