For many of us at Wizards of the Coast, working on The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ has been a dream job, which is wild to think about, because working at Wizards of the Coast is often our dream job. Getting to work on one of our favorite pieces of literature in the context of our favorite game has been everything we could have hoped for.
This set, and the past few years working on it, have been incredible. We've worked with some of the most caring stewards of this fabled world at Middle-earth Enterprises (MEE), and together, we've built something we are immensely proud of—and incredibly excited to reveal to the fans in just a few days.
We are unabashedly excited to do just that, to reveal this updated vision of The Lord of the Rings through the lens of Magic's gameplay and values. The look and feel for the world, the characters, the weapons, the locations, and the story moments will be intimately familiar yet fresh and relevant to a wide audience.
Some characters may look different from previous depictions—and that's intentional. Great works of art like The Lord of the Rings are only enhanced by having multiple interpretations in the world. We believe ours will bring joy to many, many fans of both Magic and Tolkien. This fresh update was a conscious choice made in partnership between Wizards and MEE and was driven by two guiding principles:
- Diversity: The Lord of the Rings is about the different peoples of Middle-earth coming together to fight Sauron, finding strength in their diversity. Fans of all backgrounds have been enjoying these stories, characters, and locations for decades, and we wanted this set to reflect on that broad inclusion.
- Originality: The goal of this set is to express the story and setting of The Lord of the Rings through Magic: The Gathering Countless prior efforts have painted vivid pictures of this world, but our goal is a modern take on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, lovingly crafted for an ever-expanding fandom.
Our hope is that more people will see themselves reflected in the characters and that players and fans can find immense joy in telling these familiar stories through gameplay.
These decisions were made consciously and with great care, reverence, and love for The Lord of the Rings. You'll hear in the coming weeks from designers, developers, art directors, and more who worked on the set, and we hope our passion for The Lord of the Rings comes through not only in what we say but in what we've created.
We're also appreciative of the artists and designers who helped bring this joint vision from Wizards and MEE to life, following our direction to craft some of the most astounding art you'll ever see.
The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a set we're incredibly proud of and proud to have lived in over the past few years. So, tune in tomorrow, May 30, at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET for the debut of The Lord of the Rings: The Tales of Middle-earth on twitch.tv/magic and YouTube. We can't wait to take this long-awaited journey with each and every one of you.