As Wizards of the Coast continues to navigate their more product-intensive strategy for MTG’s expansion, it seems that there is finally some hard, decisive cutback. Unfortunately, these cutbacks may not be the ones that players wanted. With the release of Dominaria United on September 9 of this year, Wizards of the Coast will no longer be printing MTG cards in specific languages.
MTG Language Changes
On July 18, Wizards of the Coast revealed that three significant languages would no longer see MTG card printings. Despite these cutbacks, Wizards of the Coast has stated that they will “continue to fully support Wizards Play Network stores with WPN events and promos, though promos and other products will be in English.” The three affected languages are as follows:
- Traditional Chinese
Hopefully, despite these cutbacks, players affected will be able to continue playing the card game in its English printing. Knowing how vast the MTG community is, players may likely begin to translate cards to these languages online, creating a source for the players affected to continue playing the game that we love. Fortunately for Russian and Korean players, official translations will still be available for Standard-legal products.
Magic: the Gathering Arena Changes
Alongside the MTG language change to paper cards, MTG Arena will also be affected. Fortunately, Korean and Russian will continue to see support on MTG Arena. While Traditional Chinese will no longer be supported, Simplified Chinese will still be available.
Fortunately, the continued support of MTG Arena in these languages means that Korean and Russian players will have access to official translations for Standard-legal products released through the support of MTG Arena. This will help avoid a language barrier for players picking up newly released Standard legal products. However, we will see an effect on these languages for any cards not printed on MTG Arena. This language change will heavily affect Commander product and sets that see Alchemy printings. Sets like Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate will be particularly problematic, as the paper and Arena versions of these cards do different things. With some cards following the exact paper printings, like Displacer Kitten, and others seeing significant changes, it will be difficult for Russian and Korean players to know whether the paper version of an MTG card works the same as an Alchemy version.
Wizards of the Coast plans to continue supporting the following languages:
- Simplified Chinese
While not all MTG products will be printed in these languages, Wizards has stated that premier sets will continue to see treatment in all of the languages above. You can see Wizards of the Coast’s official statement concerning the MTG language change here.