magic_logoA new generation of counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards is creating a major stir in the community of dedicated players and collectors. Counterfeit trading cards and games are not a new phenomenon but what makes these stand out is the quality with which they replicate authentic cards.

The potential of mass-produced counterfeit cards is certain to be of concern to Wizards of the Coast and parent company, Hasbro, for whom Magic: The Gathering is a major contributor to the bottom line. Such cards could steal away significant retail business. In fact, the recent addition of holofoil stamps to rare Magic cards is likely a response to just that continuing problem. Reports also suggest that Hasbro (which, unlike smaller game companies, has the necessary resources and expertise) is working with local authorities in China to shut down the source of these new cards.

For the active collector and investor, however, a high-volume distribution network isn’t necessary to create havoc. Counterfeits of the rare and most in-demand cards have already been found in the resale stock of local game stores and being offered on eBay. The concern is that the affect of this artificial supply on secondary market prices will be amplified by panic—buyers afraid to buy and sellers dumping cards before the market completely tanks.

Further, the secondary market is known to support many dealers and shops, and also to be an important source of cards and a financial tool for tournament players.

Will this latest challenge affect the viability of Magic: The Gathering as a product? What will be the impact on casual players, active traders, and WOTC? What do you think?

[via StarCityGames]