Since launching in 2018, MTG Arena has steadily improved with new cards, formats, and features. Thanks to this steady improvement, following Arena’s launch on PC, a mobile port was eventually released in March of 2021. Offering an equivalent experience to the PC client, this mobile port made MTG Arena more accessible than ever before. Due to the success of this release, MTG players were quick to ask, where would MTG Arena launch next? Steam or the Epic Games Store looked like the most obvious candidates. However, Wizards wasn’t quick to announce future plans for MTG Arena. Instead, players were merely left to speculate as the months ticked on and Arena stagnated somewhat.
Thankfully, in 2022, Wizards of the Coast renewed their focus on MTG Arena. Defining it as a cornerstone of casual and hybrid player growth, Arena has recently received new features and enticing sets. This includes Explorer Anthology 2, which featured much-requested stables for the Explorer format. Additionally, Wizards also recently introduced Gold Packs to MTG Arena, which made the game more viable for free-to-play players. Thanks to these changes, MTG Arena went from strength to strength throughout 2022, and Wizards isn’t stopping there. Following a recent statement from Hasbro’s CEO, it appears big things are in store for 2023!
Is MTG Arena Coming to Steam in 2023?
Back in December of 2022, Wizards finally confirmed that yes, MTG Arena is launching on Steam in 2023. This tantalizing tidbit was revealed by WotC president Cynthia Willians who, when speaking to UBS, revealed Arena’s new player experience was also being significantly improved. While this announcement was one many players wanted to hear, unfortunately, Willians didn’t provide a timeline for this long-awaited update.
“So in 2023, Arena will refactor our new player experience to improve onboarding for new players and help them quickly find the play experiences that appeal to them. This will reinforce our acquisition efforts and maximize the impact of our launch on Steam, which is the biggest gaming platform in the world outside of mobile.”Cynthia Williams
Despite the lack of a concrete date from Williams, players obviously hoped this update would arrive sooner rather than later. After all, MTG Arena’s Steam launch appears to have been in the works for some time already. Back in July 2022, for instance, Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks announced the company’s intention to launch MTG Arena on Steam to investors. At that time, no specific release date was announced beyond a vague 2022 window. While Wizards missed this release date, the existing development work had fans hoping for an expedient release.
Unfortunately, it appears MTG Arena won’t be coming to Steam as quickly as players hoped. Speaking to investors during a recent conference call, Cocks revealed Wizards is now planning to release MTG Arena on Steam in Q3 of 2023. “The reason for the timeline to get to Q3 is we’re reinventing what the new player experience is,” Cocks told investors, explaining the revised release date. On the bright side, this is at least a narrower release date than we’ve previously been given in the past. On the not-so-bright side, however, it does mean we have at least five more months to wait before the Steam launch.
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What to Expect From MTG Arena’s Steam Release
Similarly to the mobile release of MTG Arena in 2021, the Steam release is expected to offer players an equivalent experience to the current PC client. In theory, the Steam release should be almost identical to the current release build of Arena. The only difference should be that players can log in with a Wizards account instead of logging in with a Steam account.
Alongside launching on Steam, during the fireside chat, Cynthia Williams also spoke briefly about the refactored new player experience. This new and hopefully improved new player experience is seemingly planned to launch alongside, or ahead of the Steam release. Unfortunately, however, the exact dates have not been confirmed. Additionally, the content of this new player experience has not been detailed. During the fireside chat, Williams only revealed that it will “improve onboarding for new players and help them quickly find the play experiences that appeal to them.”
With Wizards playing their cards close to their chests, it’s currently unclear what this refactored new player experience will look like. It’s entirely possible that it will merely be an overhaul of the Color Challenge. There is the possibility, however, that this refactored experience will be more structured, potentially even a dedicated campaign.
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Is MTG Arena Coming to Consoles in 2023?
To continue MTG Arena’s steady expansion, Wizards of the Coast has also announced their intention to launch Arena on consoles. Previously, Wizards had announced tentative plans to launch on consoles “sometime in 2023,” however, since this initial announcement, the console ports have been delayed. In their recent Q4 conference call to investors, Chris Cocks stated Wizards was now targeting a “2024 and beyond,” release date for MTG Arena on consoles. Alongside revealing this revised release date, Cocks stated that Wizards was specifically evaluating “Xbox and PlayStation platforms.” This may be bad news for Nintendo Switch fans, which many players feel is the perfect platform for Arena.
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