Non-Magic: The Gathering IPs will become more common within the game as Wizards of the Coast announced Universes Beyond, a new brand within the popular collectible card game meant to bring non-WotC properties into the game of Magic.
Under the Universes Beyond brand, WotC will introduce a yet-unnanounced number of non-MTG franchises to the game such as J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Games Workshop's popular sci-fi game, Warhammer 40,000. The controversial, previously-released Magic x The Walking Dead Secret Lair cards are being grandfathered into this MTG sub-brand.
"We are all fans of these other universes. Many of us imagined what it might be like to play a game of Magic with Gandalf the Grey, sketched out how we might translate the One Ring to Magic, or wanted to build a deck around the mighty Space Marines," comments the company in the official announcement. "In many ways, Universes Beyond is us living out those dreams of our own."
Wizards of the Coast says, despite the Universes Beyond brand being within Magic: The Gathering, the specific cards themselves will have a slightly different look and branding than traditional MTG cards. The company is promising that the card frames will be "distinct" and points out that the cards themselves will feature a holofoil stamp that looks different than those of normal Magic cards.
The company also points out that the cards will be sold not just in their Secret Lair line, but across all normal Magic channels as well.
"The Warhammer 40,000 Commander decks, for example, will be available everywhere we currently sell Commander decks, as will The Lord of the Rings product," WotC explains. "We may occasionally do associated Secret Lair products related to the main release, like the Secret Lair Godzilla lands when Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths came out. There will also be the occasional standalone product like The Walking Dead, but the intention is to typically make Universes Beyond as available as any other Magic product."
WotC says that the Universes Beyond cards will not be Standard legal, but failed to specify if they would be also be illegal in any of the other Magic: The Gathering formats such as Modern and Legacy. They did point out, however, that the cards will be employing the same treatment as with the Ikoria Godzilla cards, which were re-skinned existing cards, as well as that used with the The Walking Dead cards, which were original and unique to the product.
The company states that "Universes Beyond represents an exciting, new, and, yes, different take on Magic" when it finally invades the game in 2022.