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Magic: The Gathering to get Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings expansions

Universes Beyond is a new series of Magic cards

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Hasbro is taking big swings with its Magic: The Gathering brand. Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks announced on Thursday the launch of Universes Beyond, a new series of cards that will feature crossovers with other franchises. They will include the Warhammer 40,000 franchise and characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

The partnership with Games Workshop is quite a a surprise. The United Kingdom-based company has had an incredible resurgence in recent years, with plastic kits in short supply around the world. It has also experienced a massive bottleneck in its card-based products. There’s no word on whether Wizards will be lending its expertise to help resolve that shortage, which has resulted in scalpers charging exorbitant prices for sets of cards online.

Middle-earth Enterprises, formerly Tolkien Enterprises, gives Wizards access to certain works by Tolkien. That includes The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy’s characters. Polygon has reached out to Wizards of the Coast, Games Workshop, and Middle-earth Enterprises for more information.

The announcement was made Thursday during a Hasbro’s investor call.

Update (1:00 p.m. EST): An earlier version of this story said that Wizards of the Coast’s first Universes Beyond set would be a Dungeons & Dragons crossover, announced in September. That is not the case, as that set will stand apart from this new initiative. That appears to have been misstated during today’s investor call. We’ve updated the article to reflect that new information.