Players have been clamoring for a mobile version of Magic the Gathering Arena for quite a while now, and with good reason. In an age where both Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra have 1:1 clients for both iOS and Android, MTGA is the odd one out.
Seeing how the PC and Mac clients are built in Unity, we always knew it was only a matter of time before Wizards of the Coast released the game on mobile platforms. But their initial announcement was made months ago, and we were given only a placeholder “fall of 2020” release date. Not much to go by. Still, it was positive news. Having the ability to play your favorite game on the go is incredibly alluring. How many times have you seen someone play a bit of Hearthstone on the bus or while waiting in line at the supermarket? Maybe you’ve done it yourself if you’re an avid CCG fan.
Fortunately, we’ve finally been given a quick glimpse of the mobile Magic the Gathering Arena port in action. You can see it in the video below:
It’s not much, but we’ll take it! The most important thing we can gather is the fact that it really does look like a 1:1 port of the desktop client. Of course, the fact that it’s all powered by Unity should provide a seamless transition from one platform to another. Players can expect all of their favorite cards, ranked play, and full-fledged MTG duels on the go. Cross-platform play (and progression) is also a no-brainer. Not only is it already available in Hearthstone and LoR, but it’s pretty much the industry standard at this point.
An Updated Take
Translating Magic the Gathering Arena to mobile devices is arguably the hardest task a developer can be given. It’s easier to port over a MOBA than it is a card game as complex as MTG. There are so many cards, possible outcomes, board states, combos, and interactions that it’s all a bit too overwhelming.
Now imagine all of that on a five to six inch screen. Not exactly a stellar experience.
Wizard of the Coast (and the MTGA development team) surely had their hands full, and we know very little in regards to whether they’ve succeeded or not. In any case, don’t expect a flawless experience from the very get-go. It’ll probably take many iterations and updates to make the game feel as fluid and engaging as it’s currently on PC. Still, we should get there in due time. It’s a gargantuan challenge, but not one that’s impossible to solve.
You can expect a redesigned interface (something that’s more mobile and touch-friendly) and — hopefully — a more stable and bug-free experience.
The fact that they’re showing it off doesn’t necessarily mean its release is right around the corner, but we are inching closer towards their initial Q4 2020 statement. This means players can expect the mobile version of Magic the Gathering Arena to drop in the next two to three months! We’ll bring you more news as soon as something pops up!
In the meantime, make sure to log in and start grinding as the Zendikar Rising expansion has finally hit live servers!