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25, Apr, 24

Three-Year MTG Mega Announcement Is Surprisingly Controversial

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Most of the time, the future of MTG is a complete mystery. For much of the game’s 30-year history, players have been lucky to know anything that’s a year down the line. Currently, however, MTG players know almost every set that’s released until the far-off year of 2026! This vast amount of information is thanks to a blockbuster preview panel of Gen Con during 2023.

Hosted in celebration of MTG’s 30th anniversary, this monumental preview panel gave players an unprecedented look into the future. Not only was 2024 charted, potentially in full, but the set list for 2025 was completely spoiled too. Wizards even went above and beyond to mention 2026 and the conclusion of the three-year Metronome Arc.

At the time, this smorgasbord of information was heralded as one of the most exciting times in Magic’s long history. Despite this initial reaction, eight months on, it appears that player sentiment has waned. Rather than being the new normal going forward, it seems this MTG mega announcement may be surprisingly controversial now!

Announcements on Announcements

Ashling the Pilgrim | Lorwyn
Ashling the Pilgrim | Lorwyn

Throughout 2024, it seems that MTG players have constantly been looking toward the future. When Ravnica Remastered was coming out, players wanted Murders at Karlov Manor instead. When that set rolled around, all eyes turned to Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Before Thunder Junction even got going, Bloomburrow was threatening to steal its thunder out from under it!

Thankfully, while players have always wanted the next best thing, each set has still managed to impress. This is especially true for Outlaws of Thunder Junction, which stole the show with an awesome aesthetic and fantastic cards. Post-release, this set is still the talk of the town and making major waves, even with leaks vying for attention.

In theory, this fascination with future sets isn’t uncommon, however, 2024’s sets are nonetheless unique. Since sets and details have been revealed early at multiple conventions, the hype cycle for these sets is rather askew. The further you look into the future, the more apparent this warped perception becomes.

Due to this warped perception, it’s unclear whether or not the Gen Con mega announcement was actually good for MTG. Hoping to find out exactly that, Tumblr user Elderaktis recently asked MTG’s Lead Designer that very question. Taking to Blogatog, Elderaktis asked, “How was the response to you guys revealing 3 years of sets at once? Do you think you might do it again?”

Unfortunately for those hoping for even more information about the future, Mark Rosewater didn’t give a concrete answer. Instead, Rosewater turned the question around on their community. “I’m curious what all you think. Did you enjoy it? Should we do it again?” As usual, Question Marks were quick to eagerly respond to this prompt, providing some potentially valuable insight.

Curiously Controversial

Curious Obsession | Rivals of Ixalan
Curious Obsession | Rivals of Ixalan

With only 52 replies on the Tumblr post, this feedback hardly covers the entire MTG player base. That being said, the responses were surprisingly split, with both a lot of love and hate for this bold announcement. Unfortunately, this doesn’t exactly help Wizards figure out whether or not they should do it again.

As expected, the two sides of this argument are fairly straightforward, however, there is some nuisance. On the positive side, the Gen Con mega announcement was a great deal of fun, and hugely exciting upon release. Alongside this hype-building detail, it’s also just nice to know what’s going on in the future.

Beyond simply enjoying knowing what’s going on, the surplus of information may keep some players around for longer. Since we’re returning to Lorwyn in 2025, some players may elect to hang around and keep playing until that release. Alternatively, knowing what’s going on allows players to pick and choose what they follow, hopefully preventing product fatigue.

As much as some MTG players are happy to know what’s on the docket going forward, others felt Wizards went too far. With sixteen sets being announced and teased, it’s entirely unsurprising that many players were left feeling “overwhelmed.” Unfortunately, this prevented the information from being properly digestible, efficiently defeating the announcement’s purpose.

Beyond being confusing, some Question Marks noted that the immense three-year release announcement may be detrimental to some sets. As Bassimelwakil comments, this could be especially true for the many unique top-down sets, rather than the return sets. While there was undeniably a high peak of excitement around their announcement, it appears the luster of these sets wears off worryingly quickly.

The Future of Future Reveals

Witness the Future
Witness the Future | Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Ultimately, considering this small segment of the MTG player base is split, there’s no telling which way Wizards will go. Without a crystal ball, sadly we can’t peek into the future to find out ahead of schedule. Ultimately, we’re just going to wait until later this year, probably around August, for any potential new MTG announcement.

Realistically, Gen Con 2023 was likely a one-off to celebrate MTG’s impressive anniversary. Since then, it appears that Wizards’ own MagicCon conventions have taken over the announcement and preview panel duty for MTG. If this is the case, we’re likely in for a lot of smaller announcements each year, rather than one overwhelming special.

Read More: Massive Modern Horizons 3 Leak Reveals Blue Moon Effect!

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