Two people playing magic the gathering
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Airmen Jarred Lawson, 52d Component Maintenance Squadron arrow space propulsion Journeyman from Powell Ohio, plays a game of magic at the Club April 6, 2013. Magic is a card game in which the object is to either overwhelm your opponent with strategy or deplete their life source with brute force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Kyle Gese/Released)

‘Magic the Gathering’ Continues To Polarize Players With New Marvel Crossover Announcement

It’s quite bad when a Marvel x Magic the Gathering crossover fails to excite fans. Wizards of the Coast seems to have done that, as many fans of the card game seem very critical of this announcement.

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On October 23, the official Magic the Gathering website announced an upcoming collaboration between Marvel and MtG. Details still remain scant, but it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll see plenty of fan-favorite Marvel heroes included in the collaboration, especially those featured in MCU franchises.

This isn’t MtG’s first rodeo. Keep in mind that many collaborations with the card game have been announced. There’s the Doctor Who collab set, the Lord of the Rings set, the Final Fantasy set, the Fallout set, and even one for Jurassic Park.

So, what in the heck is going on here? Why are there so many crossovers happening? Part of it seems like WotC’s plan to create their own expanded universe ala Fortnite and the MCU. After all, there’s a lot of potential money in recognizable brands. This might also get newcomers into the card game for the first time. It seems like a very lucrative branding opportunity for the company.

However, many fans remain unconvinced that this is the right direction for WotC to take. The announcement has been met with a lot of criticism from those who see this business move as essentially a cash grab that doesn’t improve the game in any important way. Many fans don’t want the game to turn into Fortnite. Honestly, it would be pretty weird to see Jeff Golblum fighting Aragorn, so I understand this critique.

The criticism got so bad, that MtG’s head designer Mark Rosewater has responded to it. As reported by Eurogamer, Rosewater had previously said that MtG would still remain a cohesive game and not indulge in crossovers. Back in 2018, he said, “We think it’s important that Magic is one cohesive game and not a hodge podge of different things.” Many fans feel betrayed that management is seemingly going against this statement.

Rosewater responded to criticism by defending the new collaboration decisions. He wrote on his Tumblr blog (per TheGamer):

“Often Magic moves in directions I can’t predict. If you asked me ten years ago, as many people actually did, I wouldn’t have predicted Universes Beyond. But now that I’m knee-deep in it, and I’ve seen a lot of data based on the ones we’ve released, I’m a convert. I believe it is something that will bring lots of happiness to Magic players.”

Personally, I don’t see the problem. I completely understand the fears that long-time MtG fans have with this, but I don’t think adding new collaborations ruins the game for anyone and this is simply the reality of engaging with most big franchises. Sure, it might be jarring seeing Doctor Who cards in play for a series that has largely made its own worldbuilding, but, in the words of Bob Dylan, the times are a-changin’.

I may be a little biased, though, because I want a Jeff Goldblum MtG card badly.

(featured image: U.S Airforce/Wikimedia Commons)

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Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has been working with digital media and writing about pop culture since 2014. He enjoys video games, movies, and TV, and often gets into playful arguments with friends over Shonen anime and RPGs. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue,, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: