Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight for the COVID-19 coronavirus, which continues to wreak havoc across the globe. The death toll keeps increasing day by day and most countries are now in some sort of lockdown, with governments encouraging everyone to stay at home and practice social distancing. And as the pandemic gets worse, it’s beginning to impact many businesses in unusual ways.
For instance, Wizards of the Coast, who are responsible for the popular American trading card game Magic: The Gathering, announced this week that they’re removing a card from the upcoming Godzilla-inspired set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Why, you ask? Well, because the card in question is titled “Spacegodzilla, Death Corona,” and quite obviously, that name now has a very, very negative connotation.
Explaining the decision to remove it, here’s what Wizards of the Coast said in a recent statement:
Months ago, when Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths was finalized, the world was a very different place. As we all adjust to a world altered by the spread of COVID-19, the word “corona” has taken on a new meaning.
In context, the card we’re about to show you made sense when it was originally conceived—”the Corona Beam” is Spacegodzilla’s traditional breath weapon. However, we were unable to change our printing in time to address the new meaning of corona. The initial printing of Ikoria will arrive on shelves soon and this card will be part of the set, but we are taking steps to remove or change the card where possible.
First, all reprints of Ikoria will remove this card. Second, we’ll be renaming the card on Magic: The Gathering Arena to Spacegodzilla, Void Invader. Finally, Magic Online, which will be offering the special Godzilla Series Monster versions of cards only in Treasure Chests, will not distribute this card.
Everyone’s health and safety are important to us during this time. For more on how Wizards of the Coast is addressing COVID-19, please click here. Stay safe, and we appreciate your understanding and patience.
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As explained above, “Death Corona,” isn’t a tasteless joke but rather, references the character’s “Corona Beam.” And clearly, the designers had no way of predicting that it would soon take on a twisted meaning due to a global pandemic. Still, given what’s happening in the world, Wizards of the Coast are choosing to remove it and that’s probably for the best.
Like they say, though, the initial printing will include the card, so if you happen to get your hands on it, you may find yourself with a new collector’s item, as all reprints will have it removed and after that, it’ll be pretty tough to find. In other words, if you manage to snag one of the original versions, you may want to hang onto it.
But tell us, are you happy that Wizards of the Coast is removing this Magic: The Gathering card? Or do you think they should’ve left it in? As always, let us know down below.