Magic Will Release Two Full Universes Beyond Sets Per Year Starting As Of 2025

Josh Nelson • February 14, 2024

Gandalf, Friend of the Shire by Marko Manev

Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks has plans to push Universes Beyond beyond its current limits. According to a February 13th article published by Dicebreaker, Wizards of the Coast will start churning out full-sized sets from the crossover-heavy initiative in 2025, at a rate of two per year.

Hasbro enacted the start of plans to lay off 1,100 employees last December, a move that marked the beginning of restructuring for the company and its branches, to push further in 2024. Wizards of the Coast employees were not spared from these layoffs. Despite being the highest revenue growers, their teams within Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons took a major hit. Even with the workforce shifting, Hasbro wishes to see even more revenue, in no small part from UB crossovers in Magic.

According to Dicebreaker, in a recent earnings call, Cocks told investors:

"We believe the brands that will be shipping in 2025 have the same carrying power as Lord of the Rings, [...] We think we'll have a similar uplift as we did for Lord of the Rings, and that's underlying a lot of our bullishness on the growth of Magic."

We know Wizards' plans for Magic sets going as far ahead as 2026. However, Wizards may push some of these plans back as crossovers begin to become the main focus for the company. Magic Head Designer Mark Rosewater previously stated his assurance that economic pressures wouldn't put a strain on the creativity of original Magic sets. He has since changed his stance to one of resigned concession and acceptance of the paradigm.

Planeswalkers now take a backseat to the story the game tells. This is a sweeping (albeit non-exhaustive) removal of one of the cornerstones of Magic's canon. In a bold move, this puts Magic's lore in a more passive role when paired against Universes Beyond and what the initiative promises. Economically speaking, this move falls in line with other properties' desires to access licenses of other companies' IPs. For other examples in gaming, see the crossover rosters of Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., or Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

Nevertheless, concerns are mounting with the news that Wizards of the Coast is expected to release two full Universes Beyond sets per year. These sets will be roughly the size of Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth. We know that Tales of Middle-Earth was a financial success for Wizards of the Coast, but some worry that Wizards could stretch themselves too thin too soon with so many sets of that scope. If this doesn't happen while researching the IPs they're working with, then it could happen in finding worthwhile IPs at all. After a time, that finite resource may run dry.

An infographic from Wizards of the Coast detailing Beyond Boosters, used for Universes Beyond sets to come.
An infographic from Wizards of the Coast detailing Beyond Boosters, used for Universes Beyond sets to come.

This year, consumers will see Assassin's Creed releases in "Beyond Boosters", a new type of booster pack, seven cards strong (plus an ad/token card). Beyond Boosters mark an expected trend for smaller UB releases which may or may not be distinct from the pack SKUs for expected "tentpole" releases like the upcoming Final Fantasy set. We will begin to see these packs roll out for Universes Beyond expansions in July.

Josh Nelson wears many hats. They are a music journalist when not writing gaming news. Beyond this, they're a scholar of the Sweeney Todd urban legend, a fan of monster-taming RPGs, and a filthy Aristocrats player. Josh has been playing Magic since 2001 and attributes their tenure to nostalgia, effort, and "aesthetic".