deadly dispute
11, Jan, 23

WoTC Called Out for Being "Most Delusional Company Ever" in Top MTG Trending Video

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Article at a Glance

MTG personalities across the community ‘excitedly’ Tweeted out across their social media channels that, for what may be the first time in history, Magic: the Gathering has topped the trending charts on YouTube. A recent video discussing the game, in part, is the number one trending gaming article on YouTube as of the writing of this article. The content in the video, however, is not praising the ingenuity of the world’s largest card game but is instead labeling Wizards of the Coast as a ‘delusional company’ following a series of controversial decisions.

Wizards of the Coast Trending in Gaming

MoistCr1TiKaL is one of the most prominent social media influencers in the gaming space. He has recently spent a lot of time discussing various scams and questionable decision-making from companies in the digital entertainment space. One of his most recent videos, talking about Wizards of the Coast, covers, in his words, “two major fumbles they’ve had in the last month.” Wizards of the Coast’s decisions for their Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons brands have received significant backlash from their respective communities.

Both of these events were ones we have covered in the past. While we only covered the D&D debacle recently, The MTG-related event was one we have covered extensively.

MTG 30th Anniversary Edition

Before discussing the actual topic at hand, YouTuber MoistCr1TiKaL identified his own investment in the brand:

“While I’m not a huge Magic: the Gathering player, like actively competing in like MTG Arena or anything like that, I did get into collecting the cards. Throughout all of 2016 I spent it trying to collect every Masterpiece from the Kaladesh set, and I do have that finished as well as Amonkhet as well. So, I was a big collector of Magic: the Gathering and a big fan of the property”

The 30th Anniversary Edition controversy has been kicking around for quite a while now. In MoistCr1TiKaL’s words, for those who were unaware of what may be the most controversial product in MTG history, this is what happened:

“Last month, Wizards of the Coast pulled down its pants and planted their stinky a** in the face of every Magic: the Gathering fan. They announced the 30th Anniversary set for Magic: the Gathering. It was supposed to celebrate 30 years in the business. However, it was a complete disaster for so many reasons.” – MoistCr1TiKaL

In summary, the most significant points of contention for the 30th Anniversary Edition are as follows: the packs themselves outpriced the majority of the MTG community at a record-high $999 for four packs. You receive MTG cards that are not legal in sanctioned play for that record-high price. It did offer versions of some of the most expensive cards in MTG history (which can be worth as much as $800,000 (in their legal forms) according to sales history), but strictly as collector’s items. Finally, there is no guarantee that, at this high price point, you will even open the cards you are interested in owning. This, among other controversy, even led to a scathing report on Hasbro’s stock from the Bank of America.

“You get randomized cards, so you don’t even really get the cards you want, you’re still gambling on them for a thousand dollars. So, you could get actual popsicle sticks in your pack but you paid a thousand dollars for it and, not only that, none of the cards are legal. You can’t use any of the cards. They’re fake.” – MoistCr1TiKaL

At the end of the day, it seems that these 30th Anniversary Edition sales did not go exactly as Wizards of the Coast planned. Many state that the success of this pilot product would have drastically changed the direction of Magic: the Gathering as a game and praise the community for their stand against such a controversial product. If you want to read more about the 30th Anniversary Edition, the links scattered throughout this section of the article can give some more context.

Read More: MTG Players Fear Magic “Changing Forever”

D&D’s Licensing Problems

The Deck of Many Things by Volkan Baga

In a recent Fireside chat primarily discussing the MTG brand, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast representatives stated that Dungeons and Dragons are under-monetized. Because of what just happened regarding MTG’s 30th Anniversary product, this, understandably, worried the community:

“The community’s outrage here is warranted 100% because their idea completely shuts down pretty much everything that made this game so popular.” – MoistCr1TiKaL

While Wizards of the Coast owns Dungeons and Dragons, other third-party entities can make products and money that interacts with the IP. This is due to an open gaming license that allows them to create content under the IP. Because of this, D&D, as an IP, makes a lot of money that Wizards of the Coast does not see.

“Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro started to realize that Dungeons and Dragons, being their biggest IP, isn’t super well monetized when you look at the actual nitty-gritty of it. It’s estimated that Dungeons and Dragons has pulled in about 1.3 Billion. However, they have only seen around 100-150 million in revenue from D&D.”

According to these estimations, Hasbro only sees about 10% of D&D’s overall profit in a year. These recent changes seem to be done in an effort to see more revenue from the D&D IP.

Long story short, Wizards of the Coast wants to introduce a new license that replaces this open gaming license. In an effort to, in YouTuber CritCrab’s words, “monetize the people who create their own content better than them,” a new licensing agreement is in the works that will implement a bunch of changes:

“Three things that you’re immediately going to have to do is you’re going to have to agree to these new terms coming out, you’re going to need a badge on your work, and you’re going to need to report everything that you’re selling using the D&D property as well as report all of your earnings like 50 grand plus.” – MoistCr1TiKaL

Sure this is irritating, but not really what the community is upset about. Any business making a ton of money in the space will now be expected to pay royalties to continue making content:

“January 4th, a journalist named Linda Codega stated that received the new OGL from a reputable unnamed source. You will owe 25% that exceeds $750K.” – CritCrabs

The community’s main issue with this new license is Wizards’ of the Coast’s new ability to, with 30 days’ notice, terminate the agreement with any entity as they desire.

“Let’s get to the change that is, by far, the scariest one for the community. In here, it says one of the caveats is the company can modify can modify or terminate this agreement for any reason whatsoever provided we give 30 days notice. With this in here, it’s them saying “okay, it doesn’t really have to be $750K. As long as we give you 30 days notice, we can come swoop in and terminate this whenever we want.” There’s just no security. There’s no stability for anyone that is making third party D&D content. If all of these leaks are accurate, if all of these leaks come true, I absolutely could envision this being the end of Dungeons and Dragons.” – MoistCr1TiKaL

We took a much deeper look into this topic earlier this week. If you want to read more about it, you can do so here.

Why is This Happening?

While no one really knows for sure, MoistCr1TiKaL gives this background before diving into the D&D drama discussed above, which was the main focus of this trending video:

“Hasbro’s not doing so hot financially. They dropped 40% and they’ve had to cancel quite a few projects.”

It’s well known, at this point, that Magic: the Gathering is the single largest money maker in Hasbro’s entire portfolio. We have multiple reports of the game making over a Billion dollars last year in what was MTG’s best year ever recorded financially. Dungeons and Dragons also has a lot of monetization potential, according to Wizards of the Coast. It’s a shame that controversy like this is the thing making MTG trending across the internet. It’s hard to know what the future is going to hold at this point, but the community’s perspectives on this matter suggest fans will not take this lying down.

Read More: MTG Players Want To Cut Their Cards In Half?!

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