Skip to main content

Magic: The Gathering's Fallout decks are probably its most successful Commander release yet, says Wizards

Fallout’s here to do some business with four big decks on its hip.

Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Dipping into other worlds beyond Magic: The Gathering’s core multiverse has paid dividends for the trading card game, according to Hasbro’s CEO Chris Cocks. During a recent investor call, Cocks praised MTG’s continued financial muscle and tied it, in part, to the early success of the recent Fallout Commander crossover.

“I would say Fallout has been a great set,” Cocks told investors. “I’m a little bit of a fanboy, so I’ll try not to preen a little bit too much - I’ve been playing it since the ‘90s. It’s probably our best-performing Commander set ever, whether it’s a Universes Beyond set or not.

Cocks only qualified his acclaim slightly by mentioning that Universes Beyond Commander sets, composed of four preconstructed decks that players can slap on the table right out of the box, tend to sell a bit below MTG’s “overall premiere sets”, such as the recent Outlaws of Thunder Junction. Fallout won’t reach the meteoric $200 million in sales that The Lord of the Rings-themed Tales of Middle-earth achieved in six months, but Hasbro isn’t expecting every one of its crossover releases to top the last. At least, not yet.

How to play One Piece TCG for absolute beginners Watch on YouTube

Fallout’s Commander decks hit just in time to capitalise on the pop culture craze surrounding the recent TV series, produced by Amazon. Starring Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell and Aaron Clifton Moten, the eight-episode first season adapts Fallout’s post-apocalyptic send-up of US consumerism, the military industrial complex and - amidst it all - a wacky wasteland. Jonathan Nolan’s screen story builds on the official lore of the video game franchise, while MTG’s four 100-card decks instead draw on characters, locations and items throughout its history. It’s more of a love letter than a contained narrative, similar to 2022’s Warhammer 40k Universes Beyond decks.

Hasbro hasn’t released any exact numbers on how well the Fallout Commander decks are performing even though they hit store shelves on March 8th, over a month ago. But it does point towards the company’s professed reliance on using Universes Beyond releases to draw in new players even as they monetize expensive collector boosters and an increasing volume of alternate art treatments to existing cardboard slingers.

Cocks said that 2024 will not match the heights of last year, but the future remains bright thanks to impending crossover sets with Final Fantasy and Marvel. MTG’s growing audience in Japan - the second largest of MTG’s global demographics - is expected to devour the Final Fantasy Universes Beyond set, which will include protagonists and villains from every video game in the decades-long series. Marvel’s turn to play in the TCG sandbox will reportedly fill several sets, beginning in 2025 and stretching into 2026. When Disney’s cultural production juggernaut parks in your front yard, you don’t make a fuss about the ruined grass.

Read this next