Last week, Cryptic Studios and Wizards of the Coast announced a new upcoming Magic: The Gathering MMORPG. To resolve any confusion: While the initial press release referred to the game as an “RPG,” indicating the possibility of a single-player title, it’s since been confirmed as a “free-to-play, action MMORPG,” according to the official website for the game.
So what exactly does that mean? According to a recent interview with GamesIndustry, Cryptic CEO Steven D’Angelo about “Taking an IP and making it your own,”
“you are pushing the boundaries of their IP in directions that they did not anticipate going. You’re creating dozens or hundreds of characters they didn’t have in their worlds, places they never had to go.”
While he’s mostly talking about his team’s experience with Star Trek Online, later parts of the interview refer to that as “a template the studio is deliberately trying to follow” and D’Angelo himself says that:
“My intent is to go forward with a Magic game that is not about the card game … It’s about jumping into the world and the fiction of Magic: The Gathering.”
So this isn’t Hearthstone, Part II, despite the recent news about Magic Duels. It appears to all the world that this game will be a full MMORPG, with all that entails. Maybe cards will be involved in some way, but you’ll probably be steering an avatar through the world, just like in Neverwinter or Star Trek Online.
Given its card-game origins, however, I’d expect some base aspect of Magic: The Gathering to bleed through. Summoning creatures would be a natural extension of this, running alongside their wizard masters and causing all kinds of havoc. Or maybe you’ll collect cards in the game (and, inevitably, the cash shop), and they’ll double as skills – some that summon creatures or artifacts and some that cast spells – that can be assigned to a traditional hotbar.
What do you guys think? How do you think the Magic: The Gathering MMORPG will look?