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James "Jim" Lin is a former Magic playtester, designer and developer for Wizards of the Coast. He worked at Wizards of the Coast from 1993-2002.


In the late 1980s, Jim was one of the playtesters from the University of Pennsylvania that Richard Garfield tagged to help get the Alpha card set (and game rules) ready for public consumption. He also provided card texts voor Alpha.[1] Together with Skaff Elias, Dave Pettey and Chris Page, he later formed a subset of the Alpha Playtesters referred to as the "East Coast Playtesters". Together, they designed the Ice Age and Alliances expansions.[2][3]

Starting in 1995, he led design and development efforts at Wizards for all trading card games other than Magic. In this role, he served on an advisory council guiding product launches and strategies, and played a key role in developing Wizards’ strategy for its launch of the Pokémon trading card game. Starting in 1999, Lin became the Senior VP of R&D at Wizards with responsibility for design and development work on all Wizards’ products, and served on an advisory council guiding all product strategies and launches within WOTC.[4][5]

Jim Lin is currently working with The Pokémon Company International.





  1. John Carter (December 25, 2004). "The Original Magic Rulebook". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (June 11, 2007). "Here’s the Kicker". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (August 2, 2004). "Duelist Flashback: "In Control" By Jim Lin". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater (July 03, 2006). "Making Magic: Of Ice and Men". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (August 28, 2020). "Drive to Work #769 - Jim Lin". Blogatog. Tumblr.