Magic: The Gathering Artist Suspended After Fan Art Plagiarism Claims About New Card
Wizards of the Coast have suspended a freelance artist after discovering claims that they plagiarised fan art during the creation of artwork for a new Magic: The Gathering card.
The art in question can be found on the new reprint of Crux of Fate, available as part of the new Strixhaven set. The card features an image of two dragons – Nicol Bolas and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon – engaged in battle. The image of Nicol Bolas is almost identical to a piece of fan art created by Kitt Lapeña, which they uploaded to DeviantArt in 2016.
Lapeña, who uses the name Scarypet online, posted a video to Twitter that demonstrates the lengths of the plagiarism. While the pose Nicol Bolas is positioned in on the card is not identical to Lapeña’s fan art, by simply rotating the dragon’s limbs you can see that the silhouette and even many of the fine details of the artwork are identical.
In response, Wizards issued the following statement: “It has come to our attention that the card Crux of Fate from the Strixhaven: School of Mages Mystical Archive may overtly feature Magic: The Gathering fan art and the contracted artist did not receive permission for this incorporation. These actions do not reflect the values of Wizards, and, as a result, we will be suspending future work with Jason Felix until we have been able to bring this matter to successful conclusion.”
If you’re not a Magic: The Gathering player, you can try it out easily via its digital variant, Arena. Available on PC/Mac, it has also just come to iOS and Android.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.