A hugely controversial Magic: The Gathering product released back in October has proven to be the most successful of its kind to date.
For those not in the loop, Wizards of the Coast revealed in the fall that it had collaborated with AMC’s The Walking Dead to deliver a set of limited edition cards bearing the likeness of various characters from the show. Each of these, bundled together in a Secret Lair – products that are only available to pre-order for a minuscule window – features unique mechanics not found on any other card which, combined with their status as legal in several formats such as Commander, has led to criticisms that the company has resorted to making meta-relevant cards far too short in supply.
Despite that backlash, however, Magic product architect Mark Heggen has revealed that the crossover was not only Wizards’ “best-selling Secret Lair drop to date,” but responsible for bringing in the most “new-to-Magic customers of all time.” He continues: “I don’t want to understate how powerful this release was for us in terms of growing Magic and welcoming a new crowd of people in to become tomorrow’s Magic players.”
Powerful words, no doubt, but it remains to be seen just how much of a negative impact this approach to Secret Lair design will have not just on future releases, but also on how fans receive them. Considering attempts to boycott this Walking Dead collaboration largely failed to make a meaningful impact, though, it’s unlikely that any change of trajectory will be happening anytime soon.
It goes without saying, then, that many more Secret Lairs featuring art and characters from other pop culture shows will be making their way to Magic: The Gathering in the months and years ahead. For now, though, let us know what you think of Heggen’s reveal in the usual place below!