The Professor from the popular YouTube channel, Tolarian Community College, sat down with Mark Rosewater, Head Designer of Magic: The Gathering, to discuss the future of the game, the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and more.
The Burning Question
The Professor opened the dialogue on a question that’s at the forefront of every Magic player’s mind – “Is Magic going to be OK?” – to which Rosewater enthusiastically responded “Yes. Magic as you know it is going to continue to exist.”
Rosewater elaborated further, explaining that despite the dangers and inconveniences caused by COVID-19, the Research and Development (R&D) team at Wizards of the Coast (WotC) is still hard at work designing new cards and products.
The Future of Tabletop Magic
Another hot topic that was discussed, was what the future of tabletop Magic looked like, not only for WotC but for the smaller, local game stores as well.
Rosewater explained that despite WotC “leaning” on digital Magic at the moment, they also recognize that tabletop is “the lifeblood of the game” and have every intention of supporting it as best they can.
For local game stores, this means continued free product support, including allocations of Mystery Booster boxes and allowing the preorder of prerelease kits.
We are doing everything we can to make sure, post-pandemic, we get back to where we were pre-pandemic.
MagicFests After COVID-19
Since the restriction on large gatherings, WotC hasn’t said much about the future of large-scale Magic events. When asked by the Professor what MagicFests would look like post-COVID-19, Rosewater responded they would “…slowly ramp up” and “we are not going to hold giant Magic events until it is safe.”
Rosewater clarified that the “safety of our players is our primary concern” and in time, they intend to grow MagicFests in accordance with recommendations from health officials.
Will the Pandemic Impact Future Products?
With a recent “explosion of products”, the Professor took the opportunity to ask Rosewater if any products could get “lost in the shuffle” or outright canceled because of the pandemic. Rosewater explained that some upcoming products may see a delay in their release (such as Jumpstart) due to complications with shipping, but for the time being, they have “every intention of putting everything out [they’ve] made.”
Rosewater concluded the interview with a statement reassuring viewers that the future of Magic is bright, and despite it being a very uncertain time for both Magic players and designers, promised that paper Magic “isn’t going anywhere.”
I wanted to come on the show because I saw that people were scared, and I wanted to say magic is not going anywhere. I cant promise certainty, but the people who make Magic are continuing to make Magic, and its going to keep on chugging… nothing is going to stop us, not even a global pandemic.