He also said that we'd never see crossovers in Magic years ago too, 'cause it wouldn't make sense, and yet here we are with 5 UB sets/SLs within a couple years and now he says "well you can give a sword to a squirrel and block an eldritch horror" as a reason why UB should happen. You see the problem with quoting a man that has said two very contradicting things? Unfortunately, he changes his mind often. Change happens and it's almost never for the better.
If they wanted to get rid of the Reserved List they can do it at any time and has been for some time now. The potential legal fallout (which I don't think there would be much of, personally) will come nowhere close to the profits they'd make printing Mox and Black Lotus or the myriad of other RL cards.
That seems like a weird agreement. They'd be using only their own IP, on a card which they designed in their system. And no one at Wizards has said "Oh, we can't do that because of the licensing agreement," even though that would be a straightforward and simple explanation if it were true.
The reason they added foils was because they were actively seeking to circumvent the reserved list and people got mad. It was fallout from Wizards clearly demonstrating their dislike of it.
And as soon as someone even made one small peep about it what did they do? They didn't grow a spine and kept doing it, but instead decided to reinforce the Reserved List further. If they don't like it they can get rid of it at any time, which has always been the case. Literally nothing is stopping them and any random lawsuit will be peanuts compared to how much they'd make.
They hate the RL like I hate myself being overweight. If I don't do anything about it to make myself healthier then do I really hate it or am I just looking to complain and give the illusion that I care? Have they tried to go around it? Yes, but then they back right off at first sign of trouble like a skittish cat.
They've stated explicitly (or at least MaRo has) that the TWD cards can be printed as in-universe equivalents. Why they are not included in this update is unclear and quite a shame.
Likely licensing issues. Every year they have to renew it if they want to keep using it, likely even with Magic versions as the characters name would appear on it (if they do Godzilla template with the "real name" being below the fake name.) They probably didn't renew that license this year, and if they do want to use it it will likely show up next year, if they do want to make Magic versions of TWD.
Here's another card that's not being mentioned. Zilortha, Strength Incarnate, we still don't have the actual Magic card for it, even though we actually know the name of the card. We're past a year at this point of this card existing and no sign of it.
Edit: not to mention that they generally consider the original reserved list a big (if not their biggest) mistake.
They say it is, but the way they act about it kind of contradicts that. Like when they added foils to the reserved list, which originally they could reprint foils of them.
This would've sufficed if they only did UB in Secret Lairs. But it doesn't address the "no Magic universe equivalent" issue for cards in the upcoming UB sets. I doubt they're very keen on "fixing" this since it would mean a lot of extra work. But for me, this step alone isn't enough to get me back into MtG.
This fix is more of a side step, personally. It doesn't fix that we will have hundreds of UB cards that will need Magic versions. At some point we'll just have a Magic set dedicated to UB cards and giving them Magic versions.
Of course the simplest solution to UB is to not do it or make them silver bordered.
Not including TWD cards is quite odd here, as if they are given completely new art and wording would have no connection to the IP, so I doubt licensing would have a play in not redoing them.
You'd be surprised how weird licensing can be. I play one gacha game where they can't even upgrade a character because the licensing only included what was initially agreed on. It likely has some stipulation to not be included in boosters or something and they'd have to license the TWD later if they want to do do, which would cost more money every time they want to do so.
This is part of the reason the UB Reserved List is a likely thing even with this solution.
Hey Mark, My LGS is currently concerned about the lack of Draft boosters that they have been able to order for recent sets. Can you please assuage our fears that Wizards is phasing out draft boosters? I personally don't enjoy set/collector boosters, because I don't like opening packs without drafting them (not to mention those boosters have cards I can't get in draft boosters, which is an entirely separate complaint).
Strixhaven’s draft booster shortage was a combination of trying to gauge set booster reaction during a pandemic along with COVID-related printing issues. We have taken steps to adjust the percentage.
And look at that, part of it came from their focus on a new product. As for the Covid related issues it was a year in, every business should have had that figured out, many did within two months with little issues. If it didn't exist, or focused on, more draft packs would have been made. We've seen them turning focus away from draft packs as we've gotten two new boosters they want to push in the last two years (collectors and set, and more so now with set). They have increasingly wanted people to buy less draft packs, but more of the new expensive stuff. It's no surprise a business wants you to spend more on the pricier products.
Draft booster print runs have gone down because it's the pandemic and no one is drafting in person, so Wizards can get away with less draft boosters. With how big Limited is, this will not last for very long.
But that didn't happen with M21, Ikoria, Zendikar, Double Masters, Jumpstart, Commander Legends, or Kaldheim. Yes, Core Set and Ikoria shipping out was fudged up due to the pandemic, but a full year after the pandemic started they start doing it? Also, people also buy them just to open, not necessarily to draft.
If people buy set boosters that's gonna shift some volume that way. There's not a shortage of draft boosters as far as I can tell and neither of those products is a limited print run, so it's not like people are being forced to buy set boosters to get their cards.
No, they are not forced to, but them adding more incentives to set boosters can be taken as either them not selling well (wouldn't be surprised by this, they do feel a bit redundant) or they are doing well and they want them to do even better to shift away from draft packs.
Anyway, I'd say this is a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can get something similar for the non secret lair products too.
It is most definitely a step in the right direction, when it comes to their willingness to reprint UB. My issue is why it took them so long to make this announcement or not think of this sooner. The answer already existed, either with reprints or the Godzilla format, and yet it seemed they wanted to stick with the FOMO idea many gacha/AAA video games stick with nowadays.
Perhaps they got some research that did not bode well for UB or even the game in the long run with previous policies.
Them putting these in the list is honestly, what I think is, them looking to push set boosters more and likely trying to get rid of draft boosters.
They won't get rid of draft boosters. Limited is a big enough part of Magic that the monetary losses would be significant. If even a product like MH2 is designed to be drafted, then drafting is just too much of a moneymaker to get rid of.
Them decreasing the quantity of draft boosters with Strixhaven proves they are okay with less of them though. Then there's the rumor that MH2 will have less draft boosters as well, but we'll see if that rumor is true in a bit.
So it took them *checks date* eights months since the release of the Walking Dead Secret Lair to finally come up with a solution to not only those cards, but also Magic versions of them when six months before that the solution already existed with the Godzilla versions of cards. So it took them 14 months to find a solution that already existed to a problem that didn't need to exist in the first place. By pushing this idea out they are acting like they fixed something when in reality what they did is ignore the actual previous solution.
Is this a solution? Yes. Is there any reason why the base card(s) need to be from another franchise rather than it being a Magic card first? No.
Them putting these in the list is honestly, what I think is, them looking to push set boosters more and likely trying to get rid of draft boosters. It's far better for them to sell packs that cost $6-$7 rather than $4. It's also them showing they are not 100% confident in UB if they're going "you can find these elsewhere in product you'll probably actually buy" though you'd have to open a ton of them to do so.
I don't know how easily this kills the "Crossover Reserved List", most definitely damages the idea of it at least, as they won't be tossing in every UB card in there and it will take a lot of time to go through them all. With how hard it is for them to reprint some cards, like fetch lands, I bet the same issue will arise for the more expensive UB cards that end up as Vintage/Legacy staples. "Sorry, we're not reprinting Kermit or the Red Stapler any time soon." This is evident by them saying they can't do it for The Walking Dead SL, likely because the contract made up didn't include that, shows we do still have the "Crossover Reserved List" already.
On a personal note I'm still not going to enjoy the Magic version of a card technically being based on UB card, while artistically it may be better, I will still get to look down and go "Oh, this is actually Gandalf (or Mickey Mouse) I'm playing with" and I still do not want that.
Quote from From the Article »
This upcoming Universes Beyond Secret Lair (it's worth the wait to hear about, we swear)
So confident in it that they have to add in a "we swear it's good" is almost pathetic on their part.