The next console iteration of the popular Magic the Gathering card game, Magic Duels: Origins, will be free to play.
Magic Duels: Origins was showcased at the Microsoft’s recent ID@Xbox event. It has since been announced that the title will be a timed console exclusive, arriving on Xbox One in July and then on PlayStation 4 “later this year.” Magic Duels: Origins will, however, be released on PC and iPad at the same time as the Xbox One version.
The official description says, “Magic Duels will launch with the exciting new storyline featured in the upcoming Magic Origins set, and will continue to expand with regular downloadable content that reflects the latest sets. Multiple play modes, including fan-favourite Two-Headed Giant, along with a true Free-to-Play experience will delight both new and returning players.”
Magic Duels: Origins will also feature a solo battle mode with endless AI opponents, a quest system with new challenges every week, and a new Deck Builder.
The release of Hearthstone proved that free-to-play card games can be profitable, while still avoiding potential pay-to-win issues. Of course, each developer may approach the free-to-play angle in its own way. It will be curious to see how Magic Duels: Origins fares. Collectible Card Game and Living Card Game fans may be curious to see if other franchises will start pursuing a digital release.