Imagine it’s 1993. You were up late last night working on your ongoing Dungeons & Dragons campaign. You’re sitting behind a DM screen, waiting for your players to show up, miniatures and maps and notes arrayed in front of you. Then they come in, sit down, and all they want to do is play this weird new card game they’re suddenly obsessed with. It’s all your players want to talk about or do. One of them mentions how much they spent on several boxes of the stuff, but you’re sure you heard the number wrong. It’s apparently called Magic: The Gathering. Magic is the ur-trading card game, both originator and most successful example of the genre. But its history with video game adaptations doesn’t really match the endurance of the cardboard original. Digital card games exploded in popularity with the success of Hearthstone, doing things Magic’s cardboard-bound form couldn’t. Magic: The Gathering Arena, a free-to-play Magic video game adaptation that went into open beta last year, is in a strange position. It’s an attempt at translating the game from tabletop, where it dominates, into a digital CCG that has to compete with games like Hearthstone and even appeal to their… Read full this story
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