MTG Arena Coming to Mobile This 2020
MTG Arena, the digital version of the Magic: the Gathering, will be coming to smartphones sometime this year.
This news comes from the most recent investors’ earnings call by Hasbro. The company reported that MTG Arena was a primary revenue driver in 2019. Hasbro plans to maintain this growth in revenue through the release of MTG Arena on mobile devices. “We profitably grew revenues across regions…” says Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, “…we drove growth in MAGIC: THE GATHERING supported by the successful launch of Arena and we executed at a high level during the holiday season.”
Hasbro owns Wizards of the Coast, the publishers of Magic: The Gathering, as well as other tabletop games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
MTG Arena’s transition to the mobile market has been part of the game’s long-term goals. One of the earliest signs that the game will be coming to smartphones is a job posting about a year ago for a Senior Software Engineering Lead. The job posting indicated that the candidate has to have “game development experience in multiple platforms” which included Windows, iOS, and Android.
The job posting has long been filled, as the page for it has also been taken down since. Given a year of continuous development, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the mobile version of MTG Arena is coming soon.
This development strategy is also in line with what the fans want. Ever since the release of the game, many players have been requesting for a mobile port. Fans like to compare MTG Arena to another popular card game, Hearthstone, in pushing the idea of MTG Arena on mobile. With the upcoming release of Riot Games’ Legends of Runeterra on mobile devices this year, and the Android port for Gwent coming this March, the competition is getting stiffer for MTG Arena in the mobile market.
Paper to Digital
Aside from MTG Arena, Wizards of the Coast have also been actively publishing other MTG-inspired games for mobile. NetMarble recently published Magic: Manastrike for Android and iOS. Wizards also plans to convert their other tabletop games into video games this year. This includes the Dark Alliance game for Dungeons & Dragons, as well as Magic: Legends, an MMO set in the Magic: The Gathering universe.
Turning their physical games into digital doesn’t mean Wizards of the Coast is giving up on their physical games. In fact, their video games help drive sales for physical products. The video games essentially act as advertisements, introducing people to the game. In fact, MTG Arena alone helped increase the sales of the printed cardboards last year. With the game going mobile, more people will be exposed to MTG, leading them to stores eventually.