By Anni Simpson on September 8, 2017 at 10:05am
Wizards of the Coast announced yesterday that they are releasing a free-to-play version of "Magic: The Gathering Arena." By the time the full game is released, all of the cards used in standard will be accessible. Wizards also hopes to add 1,000 new cards every year following release - a fairly aggressive goal.
There are a few separate goals for "Arena" that are not available through your typical Friday-night "Magic" tournaments in the same way, one of which is the ability to stream the game on platforms such as Twitch. If "Arena" is popular on Twitch, it would at least even the playing field (no, I am not proud of that pun), between "MtG" and other digital card games like "Hearthstone." Another goal includes creation of a new game engine which can keep up with the evolving nature of "Magic" and the impact new card abilities have on the meta of the game.
That means the shackles are off for our industry-leading designers to build and create cards and in-depth gameplay around new mechanics and unexpected but widly fun concept. Wizards of the Coast
According to IGN, "Arena" follows the physical game closely by using identical representations of the cards and providing the cards available in the current standard rotation. However, other behaviors are more automated. For example, if you play a card that interacts with others, the appropriate cards are highlighted in your hand.
Players interested in scoring early access can apply to the closed beta or receiving priority access to the beta by participating in the "Magic Online Ixalan" pre-release.
IGN Wizards of the Coast