Arguably the most popular Trading Card Game in existence, Magic: The Gathering is considered to be the most successful TCG (Trading Card Game) with over 20 million players as of 2015. The numbers continue to grow as the game escalates and expands from the traditional tabletop game to an immersive online game.

It was initially designed to be played during the occasional downtime in gaming conventions, little did the folks at Wizards of the Coast knew that Magic: The Gathering will later become a massive franchise. Magic: The Gathering has already released 16,505 unique cards as of December 07, 2016, having the most number of specially designed sets of playing cards in any TCG.

The number of cards will only escalate with every expansion pack released, with the latest being Hour of Devastation adding 184 cards in July of 2017. An upcoming block or expansion called Ixalan will see a pre- release event this 23-24 of September, Ixalan will add 279 more cards to Magic's massive universe of fantasy TCG.

Competition

Wizards of the Coast recently released a new free-to-play digital card game rooted in the popular Magic: The Gathering TCG. Developed by Wizards of the Coast's in house Digital Games Studio, it is set to deliver the full rules implemented in the original card game and will also have ongoing support for new cards.

WotC has produced several digital versions of the famous trading card game, "Arena," will be the newest entry and will be Wizard of the Coast's answer to the growing competition of online TCG.

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It is designed to be entertaining and eye-catching, the game aims to get the attention of spectators and eventually increase the number of people playing Magic. They would want people to stream MTG matches and probably hope that it will turn out to be an Esports thing.

Just recently online TCG games like "Gwent" from CD Projekt and "Hearthstone" from Blizzard Entertainment have been gaining momentum as more and more players talk about the aforementioned online TCG's. These games were a notch above WotC's old "Magic Online," "Hearthstone" as an example had game boards with better style compared to the plain backdrop you see in "Magic Online." Furthermore, "Hearthstone" had better animations and had way cooler special effects than "Magic Online."

An answer

Wizards of the Coast know well enough that Magic: The Gathering has already amassed a multitude of players since its conception, devoted and dedicated since day one who remains entranced by the lore printed in cardboards. Though, one cannot disregard that today's generation of players lean heavily towards digital gaming and some of them find playing these conventional TCG's boring.

WotC answers with "Arena" to keep the lore of MTG's multi verse alive for today's generation of players. Those who would like to give the game a go can sign up at MTG's website for a closed beta test run. Both long time MTG players and newcomers can have their voices heard and help shape the future of the game through the said event.