Magic: The Gathering is once again seeking to expand beyond the realm of trading card games. The massive franchise now hopes to branch into MMOs. Announced last night during The Game Awards, Magic: Legends is an MMORPG based off of planeswalkers.
Hold the hype
Before we even start to get excited, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. First of all, the most cardinal rule of game trailers must be remembered: no gameplay, no hype. The Magic: Legends video only shows a slowed-down CGI film, which seems pretty characteristic of MTG these days. While these sorts of trailers tend to generate hype, it feels like an unnecessary amount of funds is spent on them instead of paying R&D to balance their card game (here’s looking at you, Oko, Veil of Summer, Once Upon a Time, Field of the Dead…).
Speaking of funds, many people who play the card game will most likely be disappointed by this news. This announcement makes MTG and Wizards of the Coast look like they don’t care about the paper card game anymore. Rather, it feels like an attempt to distance itself from the original brand and make a cash grab.
Thing is, planeswalker fatigue is at an all-time high after Oko and War of the Spark. Telling people this is based around planeswalkers, then, seems like a poor decision. Players have asked for fewer planeswalkers for months, and instead, we not only get more, but a whole game based around them. And if Magic: Legends isn’t meant to appeal to MTG players, then who is it meant for?
In addition, the other times TCGs have tried to make spin-off games haven’t exactly gone well. Gameplay tends to shallow or ill-designed, character designs are limited, and many assets feel stapled onto the shell of another game for branding purposes. I’ll keep an open mind, but it’s important to also have a level of speculation.
It’s okay to be curious about the game, but there’s a lot going against it right from the get-go. Little information, a poor basis, and bad timing all make Magic: Legends look bad. I’d love for Wizards to prove me wrong, but we’ll have to wait and see. If you want to sign up for the open beta or learn more, check out the official site.
What do you think of this announcement? Are you going to give this new MMO a shot? Let us know down in the comments below!