If you frequent Magic: The Gathering’s official site you may have been surprised to find that Wizards of the Coast put up ‘spoilers’ for the entire set of New Phyrexia in one go. The reason they did this, as opposed to the slow progression of daily cards we’ve seen in the past, is that the “God Book” for the set was leaked on the internet. Yesterday WoTC announced that the people responsible had been discovered:

We regret to report that the New Phyrexia spoilers posted prior to April 25 were done so without authorization of Wizards of the Coast, and that the sources of the leak have been discovered. We have received confessions from both Guillaume Matignon and Guillaume Wafo-Tapa describing what happened and apologizing for their actions. Two other players—Martial Moreau and David Gauthier—have also been identified as being involved.

You can read the full press release on Magic’s official site.

And you can take the Jump for my thoughts on the issue.

There is a good deal of discussion online about whether this is even a problem. People argue that seeing the whole set at once won’t discourage anyone from buying booster packs for the set. That’s probably true, in previous instances all cards were revealed (through official channels) by the time the set was available in stores. But there are two other issues here.

The first one is that WoTC interacts with a number of independent companies (mostly websites, but as you can see from the release some print media as well) and allows them to reveal cards from upcoming sets, which in turn drives spoiler-hunters to those sites and subsequently back to Wizards of the Coast’s, building hype along the way. The reveal of the full list completely undermines this, and those companies that had made legitimate deals with WoTC are now out that many hits to their sites. There’s no point in going to a site to see a spoiler that you already knew about.

The second is an issue of integrity. When a company releases classified information to a critic or journalist with an expectation of discretion any breach of that trust is grounds for action. If nothing else, because a company can’t set a precedent of inaction, that would almost guarantee repeat incidents in the future. WoTC has taken steps to reprimand the people responsible for the leak, but has not pursued legal action so far.

Lastly I think that this story is made particularly sour because the people involved are Pro Tour winners, and one of them is the current reigning champion. Add to that New Phyrexia’s significance to Magic’s timeline, and you end up with a bad situation all around. I think that, business aside, if there is a way to hurt a company’s feelings, then this is the way to do it.

The Author

Rodrigo

Rodrigo

Nobody really knows what Rodrigo's deal is. He is a perpetual enigma, an unknown quantity, the X factor. He's the new kid in school, the unlisted number, the person all your friends talk about, but you've never met. How can one person be so mysterious, you ask? THAT IS ALSO TOTALLY A MYSTERY! You can try to keep tabs on him on twitter by following @fearsomecritter, but that probably won't help.

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6 Comments

  1. thedexter102
    April 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    The first thing that is worth noting is this hurts Wafo-Tappa’s chances for the Hall of Fame this year and Matignon’s reputation on tour. I wouldn’t be surprised if either of these guys didn’t show up to the next pro tour. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had their DCI cards revoked either. As Evan Erwin said this is illeagal, and those behind it should be punished.

    However what makes it interesting is the fact that these guys are playing at the top of their game and are a big insparation to the next generation of players including myself. I’m disappointed with both players but hope however that they do not get kicked from the Pro Tour but do take a heavy penalty for what they have done.

    • April 30, 2011 at 12:16 am — Reply

      They are banned from DCI events for one and three years, I believe, so yes, they’re not going to be pro-touring any time soon.

      • thedexter102
        May 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm — Reply

        It’s a shame,

        I still can’t quite belive that this is real. It’s just stunning. Any way it’s nice to see Magic get talked about on the site.

        Keep up the good work.

  2. April 30, 2011 at 12:37 am — Reply

    It’s really big of these guys to step up the way they did, but I honestly don’t believe it’s their fault. Every single early image I saw of the “God Book” was Japanese (I think) cards. He writes for a French magazine, there may be something more going on than initially hinted at.

  3. CxOrillion
    April 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm — Reply

    I knew I recognized the names of the involved players, but i hadn’t realized they were pro tour players. Are we aware what kind of action was taken against the players? I am wondering what kind of punishment would be doled out to them, since a slap on the wrist all around won’t really discourage future leaks most likely

  4. CxOrillion
    April 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm — Reply

    Oops. Sorry didn’t see Rodrigo’s response. Still I think this is fair, and maybe even a little lenient on WotC’s part…

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