Mark Rosewater has spoken up in defence of Magic: The Gathering’s Universes Beyond product line, using his personal blog to warn a fan not to “confuse internet chatter with majority opinion”. “Universes Beyond products have been doing great”, Rosewater says. “There are a lot of players excited for it.”
Rosewater’s defence of Universes Beyond (UB) was sparked by a submission from Tumblr user Joyscultpor. “I just wanna say, while I’m fully aware a lot of the MTG community is concerned about UB products, me and my partner have been discussing potential cards in the Doctor Who EDH decks with autistic ramble mode in full throttle ever since the announcement on the 30th-anniversary Twitch stream”, they tell Rosewater. “I almost feel kind of guilty being this excited for a product so heavily reviled”, the poster adds.
Universes Beyond is a series of MTG crossover products which turns settings and characters from other IPs into unique or reskinned Magic cards. While many can be found in Secret Lair drops, UB cards have increasingly shown up in other Magic products. MTG Transformers cards were recently found in Brothers’ War Boosters, while Wizards has announced (and in some cases, released) Doctor Who and Warhammer 40k Commander decks. Meanwhile, the MTG Lord of the Rings crossover will span an entire set.
According to Hasbro (and Rosewater), UB has seen enormous success so far. Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams has previously made it clear that major crossover products are a key part of her plan to grow Magic financially, and she predicted the Lord of the Rings Universes Beyond set would be “one of our biggest sets ever”.
Similarly, Williams and Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks recently pointed to the sell-out Warhammer 40k crossover decks as a sign of the series’ success. “I can’t overstate how important Universes Beyond is”, Cocks said in a December investor stream after sharing that the Warhammer Commander decks were on their third demand-driven reprint.
While some Magic fans, like the poster who reached out to Mark Rosewater, show great enthusiasm for the crossovers, there are others who express worry and frustration. One member of the latter group replied to Rosewater’s post, accusing (with some profanity) UB of “diluting the Magic brand”.
In the past, Rosewater has also spoken up in defence of the UB Transformers cards. In October, responded to ‘gatekeeping’ comments and asked fans not to use the term ‘real’ to differentiate cards they do and don’t want to play with.