Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Magic Digital Next

Yesterday my good friend joekewwl tipped me off to the fact that Wizards of the Coast is somewhere in process of creating a brand new Magic the Gathering digital initiative. He referenced this article published earlier this year, which in turn is based on a press release from Hasbro. joekewwl also mentioned that this project, which is referred to as Magic Digital Next, may already be looking for a select group of players to playtest this at some point in the future.

As you can see from the above graphic, this new digital project would be geared for casual and competitive players looking for a well polished digital experience but that isn't quite as all encompassing as Magic Online. The article states that this is no doubt driven by the success of Hearthstone, which is streamed around the clock, available on just about every platform, and has a very successful e-sport franchise. Furthermore,

"while the paper version of Magic may be doing better than ever before, its digital offerings are weirdly split between two products which at best are kinda-sorta OK. Magic Duels is their free to play side which is largely targeted towards players new to the game, but judging by reactions of hardcore Magic players, many of the restrictions the game has keeps them from getting invested. Meanwhile, Magic Online exists in a constant state of jank and inexplicably is only available for the PC."

I for one would love to see Wizards of the Coast actually launch a well-polished and competitive digital product that could be favorable compared to games like Sol Forge, Hearthstone, or Eternal. Unfortunately, Wizards has a proven track record of bad decisions when it comes to digital offerings, so unless Hasbro is willing to make a significant investment in such a product, I feel that any such new game may come as too little too late.

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