Previews of the upcoming Magic: The Gathering micro-set March of the Machine: The Aftermath are being released. However, some fans are trolling Wizards of the Coast on social media and calling for a boycott of the products due to the recent incident involving Pinkerton agents.
WotC (and by extension, parent company Hasbro) apparently hired the Pinkerton agency to resolve an unintentional leak of the March of the Machine: The Aftermath cards through an MTG fan's unboxing videos on YouTube. Allegedly, the Pinkertons came on too strong by going to the YouTuber’s home, startling his wife, and asking harassing questions to his neighbors.
A number of fans of Magic: The Gathering felt WoTC and their hired Pinkerton agents overreacted to an honest mistake.
WotC began sharing previews of the March of the Machine: The Aftermath cards on their official Magic: The Gathering website and social media channels.
— name (@strawhat199) May 1, 2023
While some fans have expressed their interest and excitement for the cards revealed, the majority of the responses on social media such as Twitter are making fun of the actions taken by Pinkerton agents hired by WoTC. Some have made parody MTG cards depicting the Pinkertons breaking the fourth wall and mocking that they will come to the players’ houses, as they did to resolve an alleged accidental leak of March of the Machine: The Aftermath boxes.
Furthermore, on the Magic: The Gathering sub-Reddit, MTG fans are driving a "No Magic May" boycott. The initiative is apparently inspired by how the Open Gaming License controversy with WotC’s other major brand Dungeons & Dragons spurred users of D&D Beyond to cancel their paid subscriptions. The negative feedback to the OGL 1.1 and OGL 1.2 provisions also led to some D&D fans to boycott the live action Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie.
— Wesley - BLACK LIVES MATTER (@WesleyDontTweet) May 2, 2023
While the Magic: The Gathering brand does not have a similar D&D Beyond service, there are official digital versions of MTG such as Magic Online and Magic: The Gathering Arena that bring in revenue to WotC. The boycott initiative proposes to pause digital purchases for 30 days on these platforms.
Plus, there is also a suggestion to expand the boycott to physical sales of Magic: The Gathering by foregoing attendance all of May’s Friday Night Magic (FNM) store events and buying from the secondary market of singles, packs, and boxes of the trading card game.
And as far as the Pinkerton incident that served as the impetus for this negative reaction to Magic: The Gathering and Wizards of the Coast, YouTuber Dan Cannon (aka oldschoolmtg) posted an update on his channel stating:
I am talking to legal counsel. I don’t know what my next move is going to be yet. I’m just kind of weighing all of my options and seeing, trying to see it from everybody’s angle and everybody’s perspective. And trying to figure out what the best move is to make everything with this whole situation resolve as civilly as possible.
Cannon also finally posted unboxing videos of March of the Machine Collectors boxes and card packs.
Referring back to the WotC-hired Pinkerton raid and harassment due to the accidentally leaked Aftermath cards, he stated:
I’ll let everybody know as I get closer to a decision or as I make a decision of what’s going on next after I get some good conversations and with some legal counsel here and see what I decide.
Wizards of the Coast’s March of the Machine: The Aftermath micro-set for Magic: The Gathering is set to be released on May 12, 2023.