Cryptic Studios and Perfect World, two companies with plenty of experience making online worlds, are creating a Magic: The Gathering massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG or just MMO).
Wizards of the Coast, which owns the popular card game franchise, announced the project today. It is promising a triple-A game, although it did not offer many details other than that it is coming out for unspecified consoles and PC. Wizards of the Coast said it will reveal more details and the game’s title at a future date.
Magic: The Gathering the card game has more than 20 million players. It has its own lore that has developed over its 24 year history featuring Planeswalkers, characters that can travel between different worlds and dimensions. While we’ve seen Magic games before, most of them have been digital versions of the card game like the Duels of the Planeswalkers series and Magic Duels, a free-to-play game available for Xbox One, PC, and iOS.
We have seen a few Magic games not based entirely on cards. Battlegrounds from 2003 featured real-time combat, while Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest for mobile combined elements of the card game with match-three puzzle and PRG mechanics.
“It’s Magic: The Gathering like you’ve never experienced before,” said Bryan Huang, the chief executive officer of Perfect World Entertainment, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “We are ecstatic about the direction of the game Cryptic has been shaping. It’s always been a dream of ours to bring Magic’s Planeswalkers to a modern RPG.”
Cryptic and Perfect World teamed up with Wizards of the Coast on Neverwinter, a free-to-play MMO for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It is based on Dungeons & Dragons, the paper-and-pencil role-playing game that Wizards of the Coast also owns. The MMO has more than 15 million registered players.
Crpytic has also created notable MMOs like City of Heroes and Star Trek Online. The studio is working on the Magic MMO at its Los Gatos office in California.
Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is still king of the MMO space. While it doesn’t report player numbers anymore, we know that its last expansion, August 2016’s Legion, sold 3.3 million copies in one day. Other notable MMOs include Final Fantasy XIV and The Elder Scrolls Online.