Blizzard beware, a card game titan may be rising to steal your throne. In a statement released by Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks, the long-standing board and card game developer are planning to redouble their efforts in the world of videogames. With the recent formation of their Digital Game Studio, Wizards of the Coast have hired experienced Magic designers, as well as industry talent from all over to help them crack the digital market.
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Headed by executive producer of Lord of the Rings Online Jeffrey Steefel, this new development team has members from Valve, Activision, BioWare, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Dire Wolf Entertainment and many more studios joining the already established Magic Online team. According to Cocks, the team is currently experimenting with how “players might tap mana and prepare spells”, so be on the lookout for a revamped mana system in this new version of Magic: The Gathering.
With Wizards also owning Dungeons and Dragons, they are also attempting to make new game experiences for that universe, as well as Magic. As such, they have hired esteemed project director David Schwartz to help find unique ways of experiencing these rich game worlds. I could definitely see some kind of HoloLens version of Magic coming out of this push, as well as a VR D&D adventure where one player acts as dungeon master to those wearing headsets.
Magic: The Gathering has never got off the ground in digital form, with Magic Online and Duels of the Planeswalkers failing to make headway among either casual or hardcore card game players. This new direction may see Wizards of the Coast finally rival Blizzard for dominance of the digital card game market, but it will be quite the wait before any of these grand plans actually come to light.