MTGO Set Release Changes Announced
Wizards recently released the State of Magic Online address on dailymtg.com, and Senior Manager of Digital Product Chris Kiritz announced their plans for MTGO for this year. One of the most noteworthy changes is that with the upcoming April expansion, Amonkhet, the release of expansions moving forward will coincide with the release of the physical or “paper” Magic products, unlike in the past:
“We want to make your Magic Online experience as awesome as we possibly can for 2017 and beyond. First and foremost, this starts with getting cards into your hands sooner than ever before. For Amonkhet‘s release, this means we’re starting Magic Online events on Monday, April 24, right after the paper Prerelease!
Yes, you read that correctly. You will be able to play in Amonkhet Magic Online events the Monday after you attend your local in-store Prerelease. Furthermore, Amonkhet products will be on sale in the Magic Online store simultaneously with paper on Friday, April 28. And this change isn’t just for Amonkhet, but for future sets as well.”
This is exciting news for players who participate in digital Magic. Historically, most sets have not released on Magic Online for a month or more following their street release date around the world, leaving MTGO players lagging behind in the newly developing meta games following each release. While players are playing new decks at local events such as Friday Night Magic and competing in Pro Tour Qualifiers or Grand Prix events leading up to the Pro Tour, Magic Online players are left in the dust.
Players of all skill sets and backgrounds opt to play Magic Online for many reasons, including but not limited to the convenience of playing from home; grinding out Planeswalker Points; and drafting or testing decks at a time convenient for them. While the Magic Online team has drawn a lot of heat in the past for being slow to fix problems with the Magic Online client and it’s performance, a subset of Magic players remain diehard users of the service in order to play Magic where otherwise they may not be able to.
The State of Magic Online article goes on further to promise more exciting features, improvements and events including the $100,000 Magic Online Championship starting March 3rd, as well as advertising the Vintage Super League showing on twitch.tv/magic on Tuesday evenings. Lastly mentioned was that the Magic Online team is now a project under the wing of Wizards’ new Digital Game Studio focused on branching out Magic into other digital formats. Little is known about the Digital Game Studio other than it being a renewed focus on bringing Magic to more people in different ways.
Check back here on QueueTimes for more Magic: the Gathering news developments and coverage of the upcoming, highly anticipated releases of Modern Masters 2017 in March and Amonkhet shortly after in April!