Connect with us


Roblox doubles down on virtual internships during the pandemic



Roblox goes public at $41.9 billion valuation in direct listing

Did you miss GamesBeat Summit 2021? Watch on-demand here! 

When the pandemic struck last spring, many game companies halted their internship programs. But Roblox quickly switched its program online and kept it going. Now it’s doing the same thing this summer with an even larger class.

And since the company raised $520 million in January and went public in March at a $41.9 billion valuation, the company is flush with cash to hire people, and internships are one of the best ways it can find the right talent. Roblox is in hyper-growth mode, and that is carrying over to its internships. By contrast, many medium-size and small businesses canceled their internship programs as their own employees and businesses came under duress in the pandemic, according to Glassdoor.

Peggy Hsu, the head of university recruiting at Roblox, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the paid internship program is a key to hiring talent for the company, which doubled its number of employees in the past year.

“When the pandemic hit, Roblox decided to come together as we were seeing a lot of people canceling their internship programs,” Hsu said. “We wanted to give these interns an opportunity to come to join Roblox and expanded our program to a fully virtual internship. And by doing that, it allowed us to cast a wider net in terms of the students that we could bring on.”

Above: Roblox CEO and founder Dave Baszucki rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Image Credit: Roblox

This year, she said the intern class will be 130 people, up from about 90 last year. Of those 90 who Roblox offered full-time jobs to, all of them accepted.

“That really speaks to the quality of the program, and the interns had a good experience,” she said.

And while the program is designed to find people to fill much-needed roles at the company, the internship program is designed to engage, nurture, and develop diverse early career talent, no matter where they get jobs, Hsu said. This summer, Roblox will have its most diverse set of interns ever, Hsu said.

“We’re super-excited for this intern class. We hope that this is actually going to be our first class that’s almost even gender, in terms of gender representation,” Hsu said. “And it’s going to be our most diverse class yet in terms of underrepresented minorities as well. And so we’re just super excited about them joining.”

A new class

roblox intern 20200715 1709574

Above: Jenna Bousellam started as an intern and now has a full-time job at Roblox.

Image Credit: Roblox

Three different sets of paid interns in the summer of 2021 will start May 24, June 1, and June 14 for 12-week technical programs such as engineering, product management, data science, and design, as well as other departments.

Last year, Roblox expanded the number of people it hired, such as Jenna Bousellam, who was an intern last summer and is now starting as a software engineer at Roblox. In 2020, Roblox was recognized as a Top 100 Intern Program in the U.S.

Roblox is offering full-time interns an upfront stipend of $1,000 for work-from-home equipment such as a desk or chair.

It probably isn’t as fun as working in person at Roblox in San Mateo, California. But the internship program includes fun activities for Roblox interns including intern socials, team activities, lunch and learns, a welcome dinner, swag, an executive speaker series, and skill builder sets. It also has mindfulness and wellness programming, a project showcase at the end of the program where interns can celebrate and present their work to leaders, a virtual concert, and a trivia night.

“We have a lot of really fun, cool events that are planned,” Hsu said. “We have events that are professional development events, as well as speaker series events and fun social events like virtual concerts, game nights, wellness events, magic shows, and at the end of the summer, we also do a project showcase with our interns.”

Each intern is paired with both a hiring manager and mentor who will provide support and assist with getting accustomed to Roblox.

How to make a metaverse

Above: How to make a metaverse

Image Credit: Roblox

Roblox has expanded its recruiting circle for the internships, as it can now employ remote interns in a wider geographic area. It is also expanding the number of departments offering internships, but it is doing so cautiously.

“We want to set up our interns and managers and mentors for success,” Hsu said. “We do check-ins with all of our interns as well to make sure that everything is going smoothly and according to plan and hopefully at the end of the summer, we’re going to extend a lot of you know return offers to our interns.”

For the 2021 program, the recruitment team partnered with Rewriting the Code and ColorStack to hire nearly as man women as men, and it also recruited underrepresented minorities, with a goal to continue to expand diversity even further in the future.

The company also used Jumpstart to source and host virtual events. Hsu said that interns at Roblox are part of building the metaverse, which is the company’s goal to make an online world where we work, live, and play akin to the virtual worlds of Snow Crash and Ready Player One.

Gary Wang, a 2020 infrastructure team intern, said that he deployed three projects in 10 weeks. And Bousellam’s internship project for Roblox Studio is still being used by creators.

Many of the interns are huge Roblox fans who grew up playing Roblox. Many interns apply to Roblox because they have a personal connection to the product, as they grew up with it or have family members who play.

Over time, Roblox has seen increasing numbers of acceptance rates, with 100% in 2020 versus 80% in 2019 for those that receive a Roblox return offer.

Turning an internship into a job

peggy hsu 2

Above: Peggy Hsu is head of university recruiting at Roblox.

Image Credit: Roblox

Bousellam had started looking for an internship in 2019. She started applying to many in March 2020, but by that time, many companies had decided to cancel their programs.

“I applied to Roblox and saw that they actually expanded their program,” Bousellam said. “I applied to over 100 different positions. There were very few spots. And they were the only one I heard back from. This was my last summer I had a chance to do an internship. It was great to see them expand their program. The interview process was super fast, because it was like really close to the internship time to start. And then I ended up getting the job offer. And that was really exciting because they were the only company I heard back from.”

She got a 10-week internship in the summer of 2020. Bousellam spent the first couple of weeks making a Roblox game, as she wasn’t familiar with the platform. Then she went to work on a feature for the Roblox Studio, and she studied the platform.

“I had never worked on a codebase that large,” she said. “It required a lot of learning and understanding to see what product managers and designers do with a codebase that large. It was definitely different than what I learned in school.”

She had to work with managers via Zoom and Slack. She acknowledged there were problems like not being able to directly communicate with people in person.

“I still felt connected with the team,” Bousellam said. “My mentor would be there for me to ask questions and help me if I was stuck on anything.”

Hsu said Roblox tries to break the teams into smaller groups and then arrange casual virtual lunches with the interns. The interns also hosted their own events. This year, the team will use more virtual event spaces inside Roblox itself for those events.

roblox intern Screen Shot 2021 04 22 at 6.56.44 PM2

Above: Jenna Bousellam did a remote internship at Roblox in 2020.

Image Credit: Roblox

Bousellam said she returned to school to finish her degree in computer science at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She graduated in December and then got an offer to start a full-time job at Roblox. She started in January and now works on a feature for an international program.

During her internship, Bousellam worked on East Coast time, even while many of Roblox’s staff were on Pacific time. The company was flexible that way, as it was with its start and end dates based on school schedules. Bousellam said she will move from New Jersey to California now that she has started her job.

Roblox chose to play people the same amount as if they were employed in California at the company’s headquarters, even if they’re working remotely from another part of the state.

“We wanted to be as flexible as possible and encourage students to apply here,” Liu said. “We’ve increased our numbers every year as we are in hyper-growth mode. We really want to find great talent that will join Roblox full-time. Our intern program gives students a taste of what it’s like to work at Roblox.”

Upcoming summer interns

Roblox's user-generated game characters.

Above: Roblox’s user-generated game characters.

Image Credit: Roblox

Erick Dolores will do a software engineering internship this summer on the database infrastructure team. He is studying computer science at Swarthmore College, majoring in computer science, minoring in education. At Roblox, he will be on the Database Infrastructure team.

He has been playing inside Roblox since 2012, and he had only done a little bit of programming inside Roblox. As he got older, he stayed with it, playing for hours at a time on Roblox because it was a way to stay in touch with his brother and sister. It was also inexpensive as a free-to-play platform. Dolores used to play a Roblox game called Natural Survival, about surviving a natural disaster, and more recently he’s been playing a game called Big People.

“It was one of my first introductions to programming,” he said.

He has one more semester to complete. He already did some internships at Electronic Arts and Autodesk. Like Bousellam, Dolores had an internship with a website that was canceled in 2020. Dolores also hopes to do well this summer and then get a job at Roblox.

“I can really see my career starting off at Roblox,” Dolores said. “I think the internship is a great way to figure that out and learn in the company culture and the product programming experience.”

Disclaimer: My daughter did a communications internship at Roblox a few years ago and she worked on a podcast, among other things.


GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it.

How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Incorta nabs $120M to power business data analytics




Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.

Incorta, an analytics platform designed to speed up data ingestion, this week announced that it raised $120 million in funding contributed by Prysm Capital, with participation from National Grid Ventures, GV, Kleiner Perkins, M12, Sorenson Capital, Telstra Ventures, Ron Wohl, and Silicon Valley Bank (in the form of a credit facility). CEO Scott Jones says that the capital, which brings Incorta’s total raised to $195 million, will be used to expand go-to-market operations and meet demand for Incorta’s analytics products.

According to a recent IDC study, 70% of CEOs acknowledge that their organization needs to become more data-driven, with 87% saying that becoming more agile and integrated is a top priority over the next five years. Meanwhile, new research from Ventana Research highlights where companies struggle most with data analytics. Fifty-five percent of organizations report that the most time-consuming task in analytics is preparing the data. According to Ventana, 25% of organizations combine more than 20 data sources in their data preparation activities and 39% uses more than 104.

Incorta, which was founded in 2014 by Oracle veterans Hichem Sellami, Klaus Fabian, Matthew Halliday, and Osama Elkady, offers a solution that aims to help companies to acquire, enrich, analyze, and act upon business data. It can make upwards of tens of billions of rows of data “analytics-ready” without the need to pre-aggregate, reshape or transform the data in any way, connecting to enterprise apps, data streams, and data files via over 240 integrations.

Above: Incorta’s management dashboard.

Image Credit: Incorta

“The unprecedented events of the past year highlight the importance of modern data analytics in today’s business environment — platforms and tools like Incorta that deliver data to users directly without costly systems and processes like data warehousing … severely limiting speed and agility,” Jones said in a press release. “After hitting a major inflection point in 2020, Incorta is now scaling fast to meet global demand for modern data analytics in the cloud.”

Data transformation

Ninety-five percent of businesses cite the need to manage unstructured data as a problem for their business. Problematically, 80% to 90% of the data companies generate today is unstructured, according to CIO.

Incorta addresses this by offering an enriched metadata map combined with smart query routing. The result is a repository for analytics and machine learning — one that can be run on-premises, hosted by a cloud provider, or delivered as a fully-managed cloud service. Incorta can run as a complete standalone data and analytics pipeline or as a component within a larger analytics and business intelligence tech portfolio, depending on an organization’s data analytics needs.

“Companies have an increasing need to gain insight and make decisions from data with speed and agility, and Incorta provides this mission-critical solution with a differentiated offering,” Muhammad Mian, cofounder and partner at Prysm Capital, said in a statement. “Prysm is excited to partner with an exceptional management team to support the growth of a product that is at the intersection of attractive long-term trends: the explosion of data, digital and cloud transformation, and business intelligence modernization.”

Incorta’s latest round of fundraising, a series D, comes after a year in which nearly 60% of the company’s new revenue came from organic expansion with existing customers across media and entertainment, social, high tech, ecommerce, and retail markets. Incorta recently launched Incorta Mobile, a data analytics experience for mobile devices, as well as partnerships with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, eCapital, and and Tableau. And it established a footprint North America, the Middle East, U.K., and Japan.


VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact.

Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:

  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more

Become a member

Continue Reading


Crossplay will be the key to the $42B double-A market



Mechs need bayonets, too.

Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.

Binary is back in the video game industry — not for coding, but for development strategy, with the focus being on super-hits or indie games, with not much in between. Launch the stores or subscription services on any of your consoles right now, and you’ll find the latest menu of triple-A fare gracing the homepage or independent critical darlings that have found their niche audience, but not much in between. An industry that pulled in nearly $140 billion in 2020 alone has neglected one of its most substantial markets: the middle.

A swell of middle market games often follows a new console launch, and now we are at the beginning of a new wave which represents a $42 billion opportunity. (For the purpose of my thesis here, I am referring to games that cost $9-$35.) From 2008 to 2012, iOS went mainstream, and tentpole triple-A games ruled the roost. Meanwhile, the “niche” middle market vanished from the retail shelf as direct downloads on consoles and Steam took root. Since 2012, free-to-play emerged on mobile with the “niche” or “genre” titles that used to comprise the middle market, and the development of HD games became exceedingly expensive.

The huge games audience has established diverse tastes as evidenced by the success of Steam and the introduction of the Epic Games Store. The larger publishers do not see a enough shareholder return to justify the lower budgets and eventually revenues, even when a title is a success. Indies can’t afford to lose focus on their own primary platform, and often lack sufficient capital, know-how, and experience shipping to know how to make the necessary investment needed to successfully publish their title.

Above: Mechs need bayonets, too, in Iron Harvest, one of Deep Silver’s double-A games.

Image Credit: Deep Silver

Who will succeed in this category? We already have proof that the mid-market can be very successful, with the likes of Devolver, Maximum, Deep Silver, THQ Nordic, Jagex, etc. The better question might be what development strategy will drive outsized success — and I believe the answer is crossplay titles. Among Us is a great example of games with mid-tier pricing, enhanced by cross-play.

Not only does the middle market constitute the most rational place to invest from a strategic standpoint, but it also represents one of the most creatively fertile landscapes in the industry. Oftentimes, mid-market development teams are smaller, with 20-40 strong employees, working with budgets that amount to only a fraction of the budget of a triple-A title.

Blockbuster games require a massive investment of both time and money, creating anxious publishers that need huge returns with each and every title to appease shareholder expectations. On the other end of the spectrum are indies that have little funding—and most often modest returns—with creators that prioritize art over broad (or sometimes even narrow) appeal. Between the bloated environment of the megahits and the arthouse independents, there are slews of great games waiting to be made … and played, right in the middle.

Targeting the middle market opens up a whole new world for publishers, allowing them to focus on passionate fans of genres residing outside of the triple-A bell curve. Double-A games do not need to appeal to everyone and can instead focus specifically on dedicated audiences. By avoiding the hit-driven publishing model, a middle market publisher can make novel, distinctive and creative games while still managing consistent profits.

PUBG Season 4.

Above: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds didn’t start as a game but as a mod for Arma 3.

Image Credit: The PUBG Corp.

At the same time, middle market titles can and often do become huge hits. Battle royale didn’t come from a triple-A game. Instead, it came from modders like Brendan Greene, or Dean Hall who had the creative freedom to paint outside the lines and make an engaging, compelling game without the creatively oppressive requirement of appealing to massive audiences. When authentic creativity is freed from having to drive massive financial returns, that is when the true magic often happens.

While much of what I’ve said so far has been true for years, there are two factors that make the middle market especially lucrative at this moment. First, the excitement surrounding the launch of a new console generation and the rise of PC games only exacerbates boom-or-bust publishing, leaving an even more pronounced gap between triple-A and indie games.

But more important, the emergence of crossplay technology makes it possible to uncover significantly larger audiences. The math is simple: games that allow people to play with their friends across any platform will have a larger built-in audience than those that do not. Perhaps more importantly, crossplay connectivity allows for broader, more frequent and more authentic human connections, elements that are particularly important during this period of pandemic isolation.

Based on this, it is clear that crossplay is the greatest force multiplier to come to the video game industry since the second controller.

So far, crossplay enablement has been limited to big budget titles, but its power will be even more pronounced as it enters the middle market. Multiplayer games count on substantial player bases, which triple-A games can easily generate. But for smaller games, that player base is much harder to acquire, especially when players are spread across as many as four separate platforms. By combining the player bases from all of these platforms, and implementing the crossplay technology right from the start of a title’s life cycle, far more games will reach that tipping point of sustainability and profit.


Above: Zorya is an upcoming crossplay game.

Image Credit: TLM Partners

The capability to play with friends across consoles has created a real need and expectation among gamers, one that has increased user engagement and subsequently resulted in higher impact on in-game monetization. Take Epic Games: with its implementation of crossplay in Fortnite, the developer and publisher found that the average monthly revenue-per-user who crossplayed its battle royale game was 365% higher than non-crossplayers. So what does this all mean? Well, simply that more engagement with crossplay gives developers the opportunity and freedom to remain creative and continue launching new content for players to enjoy on a regular basis.

Audiences are going to look for even more personal and diverse content as we get deeper into this console generation, and the current $42 billion mid-market opportunity is only likely to grow. By offering a larger number of distinct titles, publishers targeting the middle market will be able to command the attention of triple A-level audiences while avoiding the same risks assumed by big budget developers. Add crossplay functionality into the mix, and you have the best of both worlds: creative, engaging mid-budget games attracting huge potential audiences and driving outsized financial returns.

Jake Hawley is the Founder and CEO of TLM Partners Inc., a technology and executive outsourcing company whose clients include 2K Games, EA, Microsoft, Rockstar Games, Skydance, Sony, Starbreeze, Nomadic VR, RedPill VR, and Warner Bros.


GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it.

How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

Continue Reading


Magic: The Gathering’s Adventures in the Forgotten Realms delves into Dungeons



Magic: The Gathering's Adventures in the Forgotten Realms delves into Dungeons

Where does your enterprise stand on the AI adoption curve? Take our AI survey to find out.

I once feared Magic: The Gathering would kill Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast ended up saving it, and now, the granddaddy of trading card games is heading to the Forgotten Realms of Faerûn — and its Dungeons.

Today, Wizards of the Coast is showing off more cards from the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set, which launches July 8 on Magic: The Gathering — Arena and July 23 in paper. In addition to bringing the likes of Drizzt Do’Urden, Tiamat, and Lolth the Spider Queen to Magic, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms introduces Dungeons to the card game.

Senior game designer James Wyatt (who also worked on two of my favorite D&D books, the 3rd Edition City of the Spider Queen and Draconomicon) and worldbuilding designer Meris Mullaley showed off a handful of the set’s cards to the press last week. And the three Dungeons and their Venture mechanic showed how the Magic team is approaching fitting Realmslore into the set.

Dungeon delving

Above: The dungeons of Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

The Dungeons are adaptations of existing D&D modules and campaigns that have appeared in 5th Edition (among others):

“Whenever you have a card that tells you to Venture into the Dungeon, what you do is you pick one of these Dungeons, and you put a marker at the very top room. And every time you Venture, then you can move down a level — farther into the Dungeon — by one room,” Wyatt said in a video briefing.

Each player has their own Dungeons, so they could be exploring the Lost Mine of Phandelver at the same time (so, two people could be doing so in a 1-on-1 game, or three of four players could be in a Commander match). You can have one, two, or all three active at once. When you Venture, you could either go deeper into one or begin exploring another.

These Dungeons offer choices. You choose which one you want to delve into and which path you take. The Tomb of Annihilation has you sacrificing cards, artifacts, and life to gain a horrific benefit (which fits the theme of the lich Acererak’s deathtrap). I also find adding this dungeon interesting because Acererak was a card in Spellfire, which was D&D‘s failed answer to Magic back in the 1990s.

Halaster’s dungeon gives you more choices, but it takes longer to get through it (as befits the numerous levels of Undermountain).

“If you choose Dungeon of the Mad Mage, you’re really in this dungeon for a long time exploring the holes of Undermountain,” Wyatt said. “You need seven Ventures to get all the way through, but you have lots of choices to make as you go along the way.”

Dungeons are a neat way to capture the flavor of D&D within Magic. Undermountain has been a mainstay of the Realms since The Ruins of Undermountain boxed set in 1991; since then, TSR or Wizards of the Coast has published several campaign sets, adventures, game books, and even a board game about these halls.

The Magic team is using its existing combination of creatures, artifacts, and spells to take advantage of these Dungeons.

FR Venture Dungeon cards

Above: These cards work with Dungeons, giving you benefits or helping you get through them.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

“There are a variety of cards that interact with Venture in interesting ways, including all the way down to Common [rarity] with things like Shortcut Seeker, hitting that classic trope of ‘look, there’s a trapdoor under the rug,’” Wyatt said. “Venture is a strong theme across all rarities, so there’s lots of opportunity for players to experience the thrill of exploring Dungeons.”

I asked if the Dungeons had special loot attached to them, such as a Sphere of Annihilation for the Tomb of Annihilation. A Wizards spokesperson on the call said we’d have to wait and see on that.

Give me land, lots of land

Another way to capture the flavor of the Forgotten Realms is with lands. The Basic lands all have some art or text reference to Faerûn, even if it’s not obvious at first glance.

What’s really interesting are some of the alternate land cards. One example is Evolving Wilds, a Magic staple. This treatment captures the style of classic D&D modules such as The Keep on the Borderlands (it even has the lavender-ish coloring).

FR lands

Above: The Basic lands reference the Realms in their art and their text.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

The set will have nine of these lands, eight of them with new names.

“We’re calling this the Classic Module land frame. These are borderless module lands featuring art that is reminiscent of the cover art from classic Dungeons & Dragons adventure modules,” Mullaley said. “They’re all lands. There’s nine of them. This one is Evolving Wilds, but the other lands are new, with names that were created to sound like adventures.”

Seeing some of the Basic lands did raise a concern. The Forest doesn’t scream Forgotten Realms to me, and the text doesn’t add any flavor; it looks like it could fit into any other Magic set.

“We did a full concept push for this set, like we do for any Magic set. Obviously there’s already a ton of art exploring what the Forgotten Realms looks like. There’s not necessarily a ton of of art or color art establishing the look of specific geographical regions like the Evermoors, or the Spine of the World, or the High Forest,” Wyatt said. “So all of these lands — almost all of these lands — do actually point to specific places that we developed in the world guide, though I think that forest right there is an example of elven architecture, rather than a specific place, so that was also one of the areas we explored in the world guide.

“If I’m remembering right, the cycles of lands include one of each land type in the Underdark, one that shows a settlement of various peoples of the Realms, one that is just a wilderness area, and one that includes some ruins of ancient civilizations. So there’s definitely a lot of Realms flavor, sometimes not obvious in there, but in there.”

Who’s the set for?

FR card treatments

Above: Card treatments for Adventures in the Forgotten Realms include borderless art cards, special art cards that look like D&D stat blocks, and illustrations that hark back to 1st and 2nd Edition styles.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

As Mullaley and Wyatt showed off this batch of cards, I wondered (as did others on the briefing) who this set was for. Is it for Magic players, enticing them into something new? Is it for Realms fans who Wizards wants to push into Magic? Or folks like me, who enjoy both of Wizards’ big properties?

“I think that for someone who is familiar with Magic and not familiar with Dungeons & Dragons, it will be like encountering a completely new plane that we’ve created for the first time for a Magic set,” Mullaley said. “It’s for Standard play, so it’s built to work with all of the other sets in Standard. And while we created a few new mechanics that were kind of inspired by Dungeons & Dragons play for this set, for the most part, it plays like a Magic set, and it’s got the creature types you’ve come to expect and be the Standard exciting Magic gameplay, and the flavor of the world happens to be Dungeons & Dragons.

“So we’re hoping that, as you’re playing this, what might be a deep cut reference for a friend of yours might be something that sparks a bit of curiosity for you.”

One card that worries me is a Legendary character, the Dragonborn knight Nadaar, Selfless Paladin. They’re a character created for this set. But why would you need to make characters when you have official material going back to the “Grey Box” set of 1987 and Realms fans want characters they’ve come to love over the years, such as The Simbul, the dastardly wizard Manshoon, or even gods such as Bhaal?

“Hopefully, we can do both,” Wyatt said on mixing known and new characters together. “We have a lot of goals, putting Legends into a set, including hitting nostalgia, but also hitting various diversity milestones, trying to make sure that that we’re reflecting our audience and the game as it is now, not as it was 25 years ago. So, yeah, we definitely trying to do both.”

Yesterday, Magic head designer Mark Rosewater posted a blog with a number of hints and teases that addresses my concerns. These include:

  • a Legendary creature that makes a Legendary Hamster creature token (this must be Minsc & Boo, the beloved duo from the Baldur’s Gate games)
  • a card that creates a Legendary creature token named Vecna (while Vecna is more associated with Greyhawk than the Realms, the lich is a popular figure in the D&D community and was part of Critical Role’s story)
  • a creature with a death trigger that makes an equipment token (this could be a Gelatinous Cube, with the remains of an adventurer inside it)
  • Spend this mana only to cast Dragon spells or activate abilities of Dragons (this could be from an Orb of Dragonkind)
  • Creature — Bird Bear (this must be an Owlbear)
  • Creature — Elf Spider (this must be a Drider, the drow that Lolth curses to be part elf, part spider, and all horror)
  • Legendary Creature — Devil God (this must be Asmodeus, who’s been playing with the Realms for some time now)
  • Legendary Creature — Beholder

Also yesterday, Wizards of the Coast put out a list of folks who will have card previews and the date they’re showing them off.


GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it.

How will you do that? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and “open office” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

Become a member

Continue Reading