Magic Online update, world tournament begins

Wizards of the Coast outlines future plans for games based on collectible card game at world championship tournament.

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Today marks the beginning of Wizards of the Coast's "Worlds" event in San Francisco, California. The best players of the publisher's Magic: The Gathering collectible card game have gathered here to compete for a prize purse worth $1 million, and Wizards of the Coast representatives are also on hand to provide updates on the future of Magic-licensed games. The tournament is also the site of several computer kiosks running Magic Online, the online PC version of the game that is continually updated in tandem with the card game.

While the Magic card game continues to thrive and grow among fans with continuous updates, which come by way of "expansion sets" that include the upcoming Champions of Kamigawa set (scheduled for release this October), the game's creator, Richard Garfield, emphasized his hopes to see the online computer game and the collectible card game converge to essentially be completely unified.

Marketing manager Kyle Murray echoed Garfield's remarks and assured GameSpot that Wizards remains committed to supporting Magic Online and has an entirely new online infrastructure in the works that will likely be launched next year. Wizards may also launch a new Magic Online retail product next year as well. In the meantime, the current game will continue to come in for miscellaneous feature additions and tweaks per the requests of players. It will also receive general card and rule updates whenever new expansion packs are released. The Champions of Kamigawa expansion, for instance, is planned to launch within a few weeks of the printed card expansion, if not around the same time.

Magic Online was originally launched in 2002 and continues to be a popular service that lets players challenge opponents from around the world using virtual decks of cards. For more information on the game, consult our previous coverage.

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