Wizards of the Coast’s last attempt at a free-to-play Magic: The Gathering game, Magic Duels, led a short but troubled life. It’s still playable on Steam but won’t be receiving any new updates or other development. Now the company is going to the well one more time, with a new digital game, Magic: The Gathering Arena, which could be set to carry on Magic Duels’ legacy.
That’s some speculation on our part, of course, and we don’t have much to go on. The Tweet announcing the new game doesn’t provide much beyond a logo and confirmation of the game’s existence, but it’s hard to imagine a digital CCG being produced in 2017 that wouldn’t be a free-to-play title. In any case, we’ll have to wait a while to find out any details; a full announcement of the game will take place in a month’s time, on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. PDT via the MTG Twitch channel.
Magic Duels had its ups and its downs, so I’d wager that Wizards of the Coast will be doing its best not to repeat the same mistakes it made with the earlier title. Another thing to consider is some kind of compensation in Arena for Duels players who could feel left behind. Normally, I’d say that a company doesn’t owe players of a “dead” game anything, but ceasing development on one game and announcing its replacement — both of which will likely use the same game for a framework, in this case Magic: The Gathering — shortly thereafter could lead to some hard feelings. And probably more than a few cases of “I spent money on the previous game and you stopped supporting it, so why should I spend money on this one?”