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Magic: The Gathering Online Game

by Thomas on Nov. 6, 2001 @ 11:10 a.m. PST

Depth and diversity of play, combined with 24-hour access to opponents and continual events, will make Magic Online the ultimate online competition. Wizards of the Coast to Release Magic: The Gathering® Online Game. Pressrelease below!

Wizards of the Coast Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS), is bringing the official Magic: The Gathering® game, the best competition-based strategy game ever created, to the growing community of online gamers. Wizards of the Coast plans to release the Magic: The Gathering® Online game in Spring 2002, and will simultaneously begin hosting official Magic Online leagues and tournaments.

The Magic: The Gathering game is the most widely played trading card game, with an active base of more than six million players in 52 countries and 80,000 official tournaments each year. In the Magic game, players become the game designers, choosing from thousands of creatures with unique battle abilities, building their decks and crafting strategies. With the regular release of expansions, no two games are ever alike - delivering unmatched play value.

"With thousands of creatures, constantly evolving game play and a continual stream of player events, Magic challenges players like no other strategy game," said Kyle Murray, Magic: The Gathering marketing manager. "Magic Online will be the complete recreation of Magic for online players. Add to that 24-hour access to opponents and the highest number and quality of organized events and Magic will be the ultimate online competition."

In the Magic Online game, players will be able to purchase digital cards and trade them with other players, build and customize their decks and organize their card collection right on their PCs. A wide range of game rooms will allow players of different levels to find just the right environment for them, from casual pick-up games to highly competitive tournaments. Players new to the Magic game will be able to observe games in the "Casual Play" room. Built-in tutorials and practice rooms will help get game-play underway quickly.

To ensure the best human-to-human competition, the Magic Online game will feature fully integrated, enforceable rules. "It will be like having the highest-level tournament judge watch over every game," explained Jeff Donais, Magic: The Gathering tournament manager. "Being able to enforce the game mechanics means we can now deliver a true Magic experience online, too, with legitimate player rankings and the most exciting tournaments for online players."

Wizards selected interactive games developer Leaping Lizard Software Inc., in Gaithersburg, Maryland, as third-party developer of the Magic Online game. "Magic is one of those rare properties that every development studio dreams of working on," commented Leaping Lizard Chief Executive Officer Chris Green, the lead designer for Magic Online. "Our team is comprised of dedicated Magic players. We are extremely passionate about this project."

Wizards plans an extensive beta-test of Magic Online beginning later this fall. "We're intent on getting every detail right," added Wizards' Murray. "Player feedback is absolutely critical to building the best Magic Online game."

The Magic: The Gathering Online game will be released in English in Spring 2002 and will support head-to-head play, multiplayer games, team play and drafting. Players will be able to play with cards from recent Magic expansions like the InvasionTM, PlaneshiftTM, ApocalypseTM, OdysseyTM and Seventh EditionTM sets, as well as future Magic expansions, keeping game-play fresh and constantly evolving.

Invented by Richard Garfield and first released in 1993, the Magic: The Gathering game is played in 52 countries by more than six million players. "There is an incredible community around Magic that keeps growing," said Garfield. "Magic is a true gamer's game, and having access to the official Magic - with the trading dynamic and all of the other important game mechanics in tact - will be a huge boon to online players."

Magic: The Gathering trading card games are available in nine languages. There are approximately 80,000 Magic: The Gathering trading card game tournaments hosted annually by the DCITM players' organization, the governing authority for all officially sanctioned Magic tournaments.

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