Wizards of the Coast Shutting Down Magic Duels

By Jeff Francis
Magic Duels shutting down

Magic: The Gathering has been wildly successful as the game essentially created the collectible card game genre and made its parent company, Wizards of the Coast, a mainstay in the gaming industry. However, the game's success in the mmo market has been less spectacular, even though Magic Online is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Wizards of the Coast recently announced the development of a M:TG mmo in partnership with Cryptic, but such good news is being tempered by some sad ones as well. Wizards today announced news of Magic Duels shutting down.

The Magic Duels shutting down announcement was made in a blog post today by Jeffery Steefel, vice president of digital game development for Wizards of the Coast. He notes that more M:TG digital products are coming, such as a new game that will be premiered at HASCON in September. (This game is not the Cryptic mmo.) He goes on to write, "These are all exciting beginnings, but with new beginning comes one ending. In order to make room for the next generation of Magic digital products, Amonkhet will be the last new content update for Magic Duels. Hour of Devastation will not be released on the platform.

Magic Duels is still downloadable and playable, but our digital teams are focused on the next generation of Magic digital gaming. We're proud of what Duels accomplished, and we'll be using what we learned from that game to make even better Magic experiences in the future.

We are excited for the next lineup of Magic digital products currently in development and we are grateful for the fans who made Magic Duels a success. So I want to send a big thank you to Magic Duels fans who have been an important part of our community and of the game's success since its release in 2015. We've enjoyed growing with you, and we hope you'll join us as we move into new digital gaming spaces."

Personally, the news of Magic Duels shutting down is surprising. The free mmo has been extremely steady on Steam, averaging 3,000 players per day, and this number has been fairly constant for the last couple of years. I guess that Wizards of the Coast figures that they're not getting enough return on their investment to justify keeping the game going. This is especially true as their upcoming games are likely to generate a lot more revenue due to their being new and fresh.


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