Another version of this story originally appeared on The Discard.
Magic: the Gathering is nearing its 25th anniversary, and with that, it feels like we’re getting announcements left and right. The most recent news? Today, publisher Perfect World Entertainment announced that developer Cryptic Studios will be releasing an official Magic: the Gathering MMORPG.
Cryptic Studios is creating a Magic: The Gathering MMORPG! Hear more about it with Cryptic CEO Stephen D’Angelo: https://t.co/
— Magic: The Gathering (@wizards_magic) June 7, 2017
While a release date has not yet been announced, according to the press release, “Cryptic Studios is currently ramping up production in its Los Gatos headquarters for the development of the game.” They have announced, however, that the game is in development for PC and console. Specific consoles have not been stated, but Cryptic Studios has released prior games on Windows, PS4 and XBOX One, so it seems likely their newest game will see a similar release.
A Magic: the Gathering MMORPG should come as little surprise. Cryptic Studios previously developed the popular MMO Neverwinter based on D&D, an IP that is also owned by Wizards of the Coast. Magic: the Gathering’s lore is well-suited for role playing games, and it has already been translated into non-TCG games (to varying degrees of effectiveness).
In May, NeoGAF users predicted that Cryptic Studios was in fact working on a Magic MMO, and it looks like we did not need to wait long for confirmation.
Beyond today’s announcements, we can only guess what direction the game will take. Magic’s 25 years of world building provides a large number of possible planes and story lines to pursue. For his part, Cryptic Studios CEO Stephen D’Angelo stated in his gamesindustry.biz interview, “It’s about jumping into the world and the fiction of Magic: the Gathering.”
Early reactions on reddit have been mixed, though largely positive, with some players exclaiming that Magic: the Gathering is perfect for an MMORPG. Still, others are voicing concerns that they would rather see Wizards focus on making a higher quality digital card game.
It’s important to note, however, that this is not likely to distract from a new digital card game or updated version of MTGO, since it is being developed by Cryptic Studios, not Wizards of the Coast themselves.
A successful Magic-branded MMO could potentially turn more players onto the worlds of Magic, and perhaps bring them into the card game proper. For now, however, we’ll await further announcements.