Just a few days after Wizards of the Coast announced the details of the collaboration of Magic: The Gathering and The Walking Dead, the company addressed the widespread community backlash during Thursday's stream on the official MTG Twitch channel.
Following WOTC's announcement earlier this week, fans took to social media to express their concerns over the promo cards featured in the crossover Secret Lair product. Unlike other crossover promos that were silver-bordered, The Walking Dead cards are black-bordered, so they can be used in Commander and other Eternal Constructed formats. Criticisms also addressed how cards featuring characters from another IP could ruin the immersion of the game's lore. Many also criticized Negan as a terrible character to include in the game for being savagely brutal in the show.
On Thursday, WOTC's Senior Communications Manager Blake Rasmussen, Director of Magic R&D Aaron Forsythe, and Product Architect Mark Heggen discussed the new Secret Lair, and addressed the fans' concerns.
Forstyhe said that the decision to make The Walking Dead cards legal in Eternal formats made sense to them because the zombie series could make sense as cards that fit into MTG's gameplay.
"The world is kinda Magicadjacent, a world full of zombies and combat. It wasn't a stretch for us to imagine what a card would look like," Heggen explained.
They also addressed concerns over the limited availability of The Walking Dead cards, and explained that if the crossover cards become playable and are in high demand, Heggen explained that WOTC could print cards that are functionally the same, but with art set in Magic's multiverse.
Forsythe said that MTG is two things: a game system and an intellectual property. Secret Lair x The Walking Dead is an example of trying to peel the game system away from the IP, Forsythe explained. He said that Wizards already peeled the IP away from the game system through comics.
Hegged added that none of The Walking Dead cards or any future crossover products will be part of MTG canon. All the MTG cards that feature characters from another IP will feature a different holofoil stamp at the bottom to indicate that they are not a part of Magic's lore.
Earlier today, the Commander Rules Committee announced their decision to not banThe Walking Dead cards from the Commander format.
Secret Lair x The Walking Dead will be available for preorder on October 4-12 on secretlair.wizards.com for $49.99/£49.99/€54.99.
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