The design team behind popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering (a Deckmaster product) has confirmed that the creative expansion of the universe in which the game takes place is over.
Mark Rosewater, on his unofficial blog ‘Suck Out All The MaRo Of Life’, explained that this decision had been a long time coming.
“We have slowly been experimenting to see how little new creative content is required to continue to sell product.” Rosewater explains. “Card design is hard – you have to write flavour text, commission artwork, think up cool names… So bit by bit, we have been reducing the amount of new content in each set, and everyone has been loving it!”
Going forward, they will only base their expansion sets around existing planes. Given the impressive sales statistics of sets like Return to Ravnica and Modern Masters 2, it seems that the MTG community agrees with Rosewater’s position.
The most recent release, Dominaria, is a set filled with reprints such as Llanowar Elves and nostalgic throw-backs like Shanna, Sisay’s Legacy. The set has been very successful.
In an exclusive fax interview with GasMTG, Rose Watermark elaborated.
“We’ve been taking our lead from Hollywood. Not just in terms of pilfering their ideas – Ixalan was just a Pirates of the Caribbean/Jurassic Park mashup – but in adopting their overall strategy.”
“All the money goes into revisiting existing franchises – look at the dross that’s come out of Marvel or The Hobbit and tell me that people will pay for interesting new ideas.”
But surely people will get bored if the rich background of Magic stagnates?
“Look,” Rosie M responded, “People just don’t get excited about original content. They want the same old thing repackaged and sold to them again and again. We printed Legion Conquistador two sets in a row. Back to back. The fact that we got away with that says it all, really.”
So the same planes will be revisited over and over again, developing their stories further each time?
“Hahahahahaha!” chuckled The-Rose-Who-Knows. “We’re not even going to do that. Eventually, we’ll get to the point where we return to each plane entirely through reprints.”
That sounds like a pretty bleak future for the game.
“Oh poor, simple fool,” he replied. “We’re just giving the people what they want. And they give us what we want: truckloads of cash. I’m not even writing this – I have servants who writes faxes for me. I have servants who write faxes for my servants, so you couldn’t be talking to me.”
And then what?
“Once we’ve done that for a while, we’ll just claim that every card is ‘Iconic’. Then we’ll reprint the same set year after year – I hope you enjoy Iconic Masters 2022. I really hope you do.”