Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios, two industry leaders known for their work on MMORPGs, announced today that a Magic: The Gathering RPG is in the works. "The AAA RPG is currently being developed from the ground up for both PC and console," the press release states, and the game's official name, additional details, and an official site will all be revealed at a later date.
If you're the type of person who visits gaming sites, then there's a good chance that you have some Magic: The Gathering cards collecting dust (or bent from use) somewhere in your home. Even if you weren't an avid player of the game, you very likely purchased a few packs because you were drawn to the artwork. Those dangerous beasts, the powerful sorcerers, otherworldly creatures, the dark forests and fantastic settings... They all appeal to our nerdy imaginations, and now it sounds like we'll eventually get to explore those settings for ourselves.
“Everything from the graphics to the gameplay is being targeted for a truly unique AAA game,” said Stephen D’Angelo, CEO of Cryptic Studios. “We’re thrilled to provide Magic fans with an opportunity to explore the game’s worlds and characters through an entirely new lens. Get ready to embark on a brand new journey.”
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, D'Angelo opens up a bit more about Cryptic's vision for Magic: The Gathering: "My intent is to go forward with a Magic game that is not about the card game," he said.
"It's about jumping into the world and the fiction of Magic: The Gathering. Look at Neverwinter. D&D is a pen-and-paper game where people make up characters on paper and tell stories. We took Neverwinter and we didn't copy the rules from the pen-and-paper game, how a strength stat works and so on. We instead created an excellent video game that captured the feeling of that world, of Forgotten Realms."
In the GamesIndustry article, the game is referred to multiple times as an MMO, though in the official press release it is only ever called an RPG. Cryptic Studios has been defined for its work on MMORPGs, however, so I think we can safely assume that Magic: The Gathering's world will be open, expansive, and filled with players who will explore and fight alongside you in real time.
We'll have more on this mysterious new project soon.