Magic: The Gathering Arena, the popular digital version of Wizards of the Coast’s collectible card game, will soon be available on the Steam online platform.
Magic: The Gathering Arena (often shortened to MTG Arena) had its Open Beta on September 27, 2018 and fully released by September 26, 2019. While it was initially only available for Microsoft Windows PCs, a macOS version was launched in 2020 and later, Android and iOS in 2021. MTG Arena became a huge hit for casual and professional Magic: The Gathering players, with the first big esports event with a $1 million prize pool held during PAX East 2019.
What has been revealed so far with MTG Arena’s move to Steam’s digital online store and platform? Check out the details below.
Plans for MTG Arena to be available on Steam had been announced as early as 2018. However, no definite dates were given, even after the game became available on the Epic Games Store in 2020. By 2022, Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro gave a tentative target of late 2023.
But it seems development has moved up and MTG Arena will now officially hit the Steam platform this May.
MTG Arena is coming to Steam on May 23rd! Visit the link below to get more info and add it to your wishlist.
— MTG Arena (@MTG_Arena) May 5, 2023
In May 2022, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocks stated:
The Hasbro Board was a great partner for me and the team at Wizards of the Coast. When I joined Wizards in 2016, it was a small but profitable business for Hasbro. It had been on a previous growth run but had been plateauing. The big question at the time was, what would drive the next leg of growth?
Ted and Rich with our full Board, including our late CEO Brian, challenged me to think bigger. They were supportive when we needed to significantly turn over our technical leadership and engineering ranks and greatly ramp up our games industry recruiting. As we made progress with what ultimately became Magic: The Gathering Arena, our digital version of MAGIC: THE GATHERING, they saw potential for our IP in more digital expressions and pushed us to "Go Big" in our aspirations. Ultimately, the "Go Big" growth plan expanded beyond digital trading cards to encompass our other great brands, particularly DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.
Later on Hasbro’s Investor Day October 2022, CEO Cocks also remarked how the company plans to grow its profit margin by further leveraging the physical and digital entertainment franchises:
We see a big opportunity to unlock value at Hasbro with 50% profit growth over the next three years fueled by special emphasis on direct, digital and immersive entertainment experiences all informed by a category-leading investment in data analytics and customer insight.
With Magic: The Gathering Arena becoming available on the Steam platform, it opens up a new revenue stream from gamers who otherwise would not have played the game. After all, studies over the years suggest that a significant number of players prefer to play games on the Steam platform than anywhere else.
According to WotC, the Steam client version of MTG Arena will retain the cross-save progression from previous versions. However, it should be noted that while the game will be available on the Steam store, it will only be the Windows PC version. No word has been given on whether it will be available for the Steam Deck (or if there are plans to develop a port for that device).
Steam users can currently add Magic: The Gathering Arena to their wishlist. The full release of MTG Arena on Steam is scheduled on May 23, 2023.
For new and veteran Magic: The Gathering Arena players, there are free codes for bonus packs and exclusive cosmetic skins available. And just logging in to the game will net 3 booster packs from the recent Phyrexian Invasion cycle (Phyrexia: All Will Be One, March of the Machine, and March of the Machine: The Aftermath).