This post has been updated with content from official press release.
Last year, Wizards of the Coast received a fair amount of grief with regards to the IAP model they chose for their Magic 2015 app and despite some changes, it seemed like Hearthstone continued to steal its thunder (and players*).
Well it appears those tides could turn as today WotC has just released Magic Duels, their highly anticipated brand new Magic: The Gathering app.
As was revealed at PAX East earlier this year, this new Magic Duels app is not just the latest entry in the series, but actually a whole new platform on which future digital releases of Magic will launch. Gone are the annual new apps, going forward, new content will continue to be added to this single app. And the icing on the cake, despite their PR folk saying it couldn’t be done…IT’S A UNIVERSAL APP!
Finally mobile Magic players will be able to duel it out on their iPhones as well. Hearthstone added iPhone support earlier this year, so it is great to see this surprise option come for Magic players as well.
The app is completely free to download and every single card (hundreds) is earnable.
The game offers an extensive solo campaign which includes a great series of option “Skill Quests” which help new players learn the game and earn some initial in-game currency to purchase booster packs. There are also a number of multiplayer modes (including the return of fan-favorite Two-Headed Giant!).
“Today marks the dawn of a new digital experience for Magic: The Gathering,” said Drew Nolosco, lead designer for Magic Duels. “We have listened to our player community and feel that we are delivering the best digital Magic game yet. In addition to releasing on the iPhone, Magic: Duels provides an engaging storyline, allowing players to walk in the footsteps of five of our most iconic Planeswalkers and uncover their never-before-told stories.”
New features include:
- Regular updates from corresponding Magic set releases
- Hundreds of new cards from the upcoming Origins set, including powerful Planeswalkers
- Virtually endless solo gameplay against thousands of AI opponent decks
- Expanded multiplayer options including Two-Headed Giant Mode
- All-new Skill Quest tutorial system that teaches gameplay quickly and easily-just like learning from a friend
- Deck Wizard offering step-by-step deck construction guidance for new players, and an advanced Deck Builder allowing experienced players to build from scratch
- 100% earnable content means players can play free!
Will this bring back players who may have defected to Hearthstone?
I guess time will tell, but this latest offering certainly appears to hit everything the fans have been asking for.
So clear off a little space (the app is a hefty 1.02 GB) and download Magic Duels today.
* I don’t have any hard numbers that support this jumping of ship from Magic to Hearthstone other than anecdotal evidence of lots of chatter on my social network feeds.