Tuesday, March 17, 2009

VtES History: Backing A New Look

Wizards of the Coast to Alter Card Backs in Vampire Game

Renton, Wash. (April 26, 1995) -- After reviewing customer comments, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. has decided to change all card backs in the newly named Vampire: The Eternal Struggle(TM) (V:TES) Deckmaster(TM) game. When the game -- formerly titled Jyhad(TM) -- debuts this summer, the cards will have the game's snake "biohazard" symbol and the new name on a green marble background. The old card backs featured the word Jyhad on green marble.

"Changing the card backs doesn't affect how the game is played. Although you'll be able to see the back of the tail card in your opponent's hand and the top vampire in the crypt, you won't know what the cards are," says Matthew Burke, V:TES Project Coordinator. "Changing the card backs doesn't make Jyhad cards obsolete."

The Duelists' Convocation will allow both Jyhad and V:TES cards in tournament play. Under Convocation rules, players will be able to use any combination of card backs during tournaments. The creator of the card game, Richard Garfield, agrees with using the two sets in tournaments. "I think the Duelists' Convocation rules allowing the use of both card backs goes a long way toward making the [Jyhad and V:TES] cards compatible," says Garfield.

Wizards of the Coast realizes that by allowing both cards in tournaments, some players will take advantage of the different card backs and use some of one design to mark their cards. The Duelists' Convocation plans to crack down on dishonest competitors. "We will instruct Judges to look for this sort of behavior during tournaments. If the Judge finds a player is cheating by marking cards, the Judge will interpret this as a declaration of forfeiture," says Steve Bishop, Director of the Duelists' Convocation.

Besides changing the card backs, Wizards of the Coast is also adjusting the game's rules. "We rewrote and reformatted the rules for easier reading," says Burke. "We also have added new variant rules to increase the pace of the game for those who want to play quick sessions." The new version of the rules will appear in instructions that accompany each V:TES starter deck and also in a new player's guide, Darkness Unveiled(TM). The guide is due out this September.

One month prior to that, the game's first expansion set, Dark Sovereigns(TM), will be released. More than 100 cards will make up this expansion, which explores the rich myths and folklore of vampires in Europe. The set will also introduce players to new vampires and new categories of vampires.

Earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast signed a contract with White Wolf, Inc. to change Jyhad's name to Vampire: The Eternal Struggle after recognizing that the game's title wasn't always distinguishable as vampiric. The card game, in which players are vampires fighting an ancient war, is based on White Wolf's storytelling game Vampire: The Masquerade(TM).

Wizards of the Coast is a young game company based in Seattle, Washington. The company created a worldwide sensation when it released its first trading card game, Magic: The Gathering(TM), in August 1993. Since then, more than 500 million Magic cards have sold around the globe. In April 1994, Wizards of the Coast opened a second branch in Glasgow, Scotland. Several months later, the company expanded into a third office in Antwerp, Belgium. The company currently employs close to 200 people in its three locales.

(Magic: The Gathering(TM), Jyhad(TM), Deckmaster(TM) and Darkness Unveiled(TM) are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Vampire: The Masquerade(TM) is a trademark of White Wolf, Inc.(TM). Vampire: The Eternal Struggle(TM) is a joint trademark of Wizards of the Coast and White Wolf).

Carrie Thearle
Media Relations
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

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