When I first heard that wizards were making magic, I thought it was a no brainer, what else do wizards do after all? Then it was explained that it was Wizards of the Coast, and that the magic in question was actually Magic: the Gathering in digital form as a video game. Again, not really a surprise, there have been 14 Magic: the Gathering video games since Magic: the Gathering for PC came out in 1997. 20 years later there have been countless (again 14) iterations including:
- Magic: The Gathering
- Magic: The Gathering: Battlemage
- Magic: The Gathering Online
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014
- Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015
- Magic Duels
You can see why maybe I was not shocked to find that the Madden of card games was making another game. However, there are some interesting tidbits of information to be found, for one, this will be the first video game made by their new in house studio Digital Games Studio.
From everything that has been announced, Wizards of the Coast will be attempting to create an experience that will be friendly to streamers, no doubt looking at the cash cow of Hearthstone and wanting their piece of the payday pie. But with Magic: the Gathering‘s pro tours able to hit paydays of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, following the trend into e-sports and making their digital presence more stream friendly seems like a smart move.
It will be interesting to see how Magic: the Gathering Arena will differ from their past games, especially Magic Duels, which included up to date releases of cards sets. Wizards of the Coast has said that they intend to keep the game true to the feeling of the table top game and community of Magic: The Gathering, and I for one, am very excited to see how they will implement constantly shuffling while staring with cold dead eyes into the face of your opponent.