Rather than simply updating the existing title, the MAGIC ONLINE III team is rebuilding the game from the ground up. The new game features much greater accessibility and flexibility for the players. Veterans have more control over how they play the game while new users get a smoother introduction to the online world of MAGIC: THE GATHERING (MTG). The look of the game has taken a big step forward as well with all new 3D avatars and a card-zoom feature that brings the beautiful fantasy art to life. Many of the interface elements can be resized, repositioned, or even minimized giving the player unique control over how the game is presented.
New players can look forward to getting a helping-hand from the online mentor program. Mentors will lead new players through the initial stages of learning to play MAGIC ONLINE III. Whether they need answers to simple questions or a guided tour of the game, the mentors are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance. This is in addition to the online adepts who are already available to provide live customer service assistance to players.
"What hasn't changed is the depth of strategy," commented Justin Ziran, Brand Manager for Magic Online III. "With thousands of cards to choose from and virtually endless possibilities for decks Magic Online continues to be the deepest strategy game available with one of the most dedicated fan bases on the net."
An open beta is scheduled to launch in Q2 of 2006. Players from all over the world will have a chance to test-drive the new game and get a first-hand look at the new features.
Magic Online was first introduced at E3 in 2002 and since then has amassed one of the most active online gaming communities, with more than 250,000 registered user accounts, daily events and more than two million matches hosted monthly. Casual games are available 24 hours a day. Hosted events for all levels of play provide players with the opportunity to win digital cards and other unique prizes like Avatars - special characters that give you unique abilities in Vanguard events. Enhanced tutorials and practice rooms are available for new players. New MTG card sets are released approximately every four months, offering players endless strategies to add to their digital decks.