Quote from void_nothing »I can unequivocally say this one's not true. Germany is one of the countries where Magic is popular and Germany also happens to be the country besides the US where the Western genre was biggest in the early to mid 20th century. Other countries across Europe would also be likely to "get" Western tropes. Can't say for sure that's true everywhere but I know Japanese pop culture loves cowboys (look at the American pro wrestlers who performed there in the 80s-90s).Quote from mikeyG »I think a Western set has two issues that it would need to overcome.
1) Regional Interest. Westerns as a genre historically have great popularity in the US, but less so abroad.
I don't think that disproves my point. I only said that the popularity of Westerns is centralized in America, and less popular overseas - not that there doesn't exist places in the world outside America that Westerns are known or held popularity at one point. I think there's a global recognition of the genre, but the interest in it varies wildly depending on region (with America obviously being the largest audience for it), which can affect global interest in the setting. It's not impossible to do, but WotC would be wise not to overestimate the interest in Westerns in foreign markets and carefully layer in additional concepts popular in regions where a Western setting itself may not be a draw. Which they have been doing in recent sets where the setting itself may not be as understood/appreciated/etc on its own.
And I think it's a mistake to reflect on Westerns' popularity 25-75 years ago because the genre (in film, anyway) has been slowly fading for the better part of the past 50 years. It sees momentary surges in popularity, but those are rarely sustained and typically fail to hit historical highs (which, in fairness, would be nigh impossible given the prevalence and popularity of the genre from 1910-1980). That said, there have been some successful attempts at adapting the genre to modern audiences so it's definitely not an entirely dead genre, just one that is heavily tied to a time and a place and that may pose a challenge for WotC should they adapt it.