Wizards of the Coast sent agents of Pinkerton to the home of a YouTuber who allegedly leaked cards from the next Magic: The Gathering set.
Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro have had a controversial series of events in the past year. Just recently, Hasbro was called out by Bank of America for overmonetizing the Magic: The Gathering brand. Another big issue was the Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License revamp issues raised by creators and fans. The latter concern may have even affected the box office performance of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
But it seems this series of unfortunate events is not over for WotC, as a Magic: The Gathering fan leaked the March of the Machine: The Aftermath set on his YouTube videos.
On April 20, 2023, a YouTuber with the handle "oldschoolmtg" shared an unboxing video with collector booster packs of March of the Machine: The Aftermath, leaking details of the upcoming epilogue to the main set, March of the Machine.
Apparently, this was unintentional as he received these collector booster packs in error instead of the March of the Machine cards. Still, the revealed cards and details for March of the Machine: The Aftermath quickly went viral on social media through other Magic: The Gathering fans and content creator.
It would not be long thereafter that YouTuber oldschoolmtg would find out Wizards of the Coast’s reaction to the leaks. According to his recollection of events, Pinkerton agents arrived at his home and startled his wife, who then proceeded question them and recover the March of the Machine: The Aftermath products.
Pinkerton (currently operating as Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc.) is a private detective and security agency established in 1850. Originally named North-Western Police Agency, it has a history of working for private organizations and the U.S. government up until the Anti-Pinkerton act in 1893. For those unfamiliar with U.S. history, the Pinkertons should be familiar as antagonists to fans of the Red Dead Redemption games. It has since become a private security and consulting firm as a subsidiary of Securitas AB.
The April 20 videos that leaked the March of the Machine: The Aftermath cards have been taken down. The Magic: The Gathering YouTuber requested clips and screenshots of said videos to be removed on the behest of WotC. Additionally, he posted an update to clarify the situation:
Just to clear the record: It wasn’t stolen product. As far as I know, nothing was stolen. What I believe happened is that the names are too similar – March of the Machine and March of the Machine: [The] Aftermath. And somebody screwed up and sent the wrong cases to the gentleman that I bought the boxes off of.
He goes on to relay that he was provided with contact information to speak with a representative of Wizards of the Coast. The representative was apparently very cordial and apologetic of the incident, and that they would work something out to compensate for the March of the Machine: The Aftermath products the YouTuber paid for, as they clear up the unintended leak and advanced shipping of the microset.
However, it appears the controversy between WotC and MTG fan oldschoolmtg is not over yet. Days after the first incident, oldschoolmtg posted an update. Apparently, the Pinkertons returned and approached the YouTuber’s neighbors to ask questions. He states on his update video:
Harassing my neighbors is unnecessary. This whole thing is unnecessary. I’m not sure what my next move is gonna be and I don’t want to talk about any specifics… if Wizards [of the Coast] have just called or emailed me, we could have handled this totally civilly. I would have cooperated…
They did not need to send these, you know, Pinkertons to my house. And they definitely didn’t need to go to my neighbors' houses and try to grill them for information. This is nobody’s business except mine and Wizards of the Coast and my neighbors definitely shouldn’t be involved.
March of the Machine: The Aftermath is an experimental micro-set intended to serve as an epilogue to the main March of the Machine card set and lore. Aside from adding new cards, the storyline behind this micro-set will close out the events of the four-part Phyrexian arc. It will reveal the fate of Dominaria and the Planeswalkers who fought in the war, as well as possibly setting up the next major storyline.
The March of the Machine: The Aftermath will have 50 regular cards with around 180 alternate versions of those cards, with variations such as showcase, etched foil, extended art, and halo foil designs. Aside from the physical release, these March of the Machine: The Aftermath cards will also have a digital release for Magic Online and Magic: The Gathering – Arena.
Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering micro-set March of the Machine: The Aftermath is targeted for release on May 12, 2023.