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Magic: The Gathering Arena console release bumped into ‘2024 and beyond’

Xbox and PlayStation versions are delayed, but the Steam launch is still on target for the fall

Jace looks at his hands while a medusa-like planeswalker, corrupted by Phyrexian magic, looks on in key art from MTG’s Phyrexia All Will Be One set. Image: Martina Fackova/Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering Arena, the latest digital iteration of the collectible card game, won’t be headed to consoles this year as expected. Hasbro chief executive Chris Cocks said Thursday that it won’t be ready until “2024 or beyond.” Meanwhile, the Steam release is still on target for fall of 2023.

Cocks made the announcement during a previously scheduled fourth-quarter call with investors, in response to a question asking for more specifics on the Magic: The Gathering’s digital revenue projections for the coming year.

“The biggest thing for Arena is going to be the release on Steam,” Cocks said, adding that the Wizards digital team is working hard to improve the new-player experience before launching that product. “Over the mid-term, we continue to evaluate console — especially the Xbox and PlayStation platforms — and think that will be an interesting opportunity for us, but likely in 2024 and beyond.”

Previously, during an investor call in July last year, Cocks had said Magic: The Gathering Arena was expected to launch on consoles in 2023.

Cocks also made mention of “digital collectibles,” but somehow avoided saying the letters N, F, or T out loud.

“We’re still intrigued by digital collectibility,” Cocks said. “I don’t think you’ll find us going after the passing fad of the minute, but we do think that digital collectibility is going to be a thing and is going to stick, and we do continue to invest R&D about what the right approach is for that — whether doing it ourselves, or doing it through a partner.”

Cocks also added that the development team is working hard to capture the multiplayer Commander experience — arguably Magic’s most popular format — on digital platforms. As far as Hasbro’s financials for the year, Magic: The Gathering continues to be a massive source of income for the company with revenues up 40% in the fourth quarter.

Magic’s performance continues to buoy Hasbro’s profit and loss statement for the year, despite a spectacularly bad news cycle for the Rhode Island-based game and toy giant. In November, analysts at Bank of America accused the company of “destroying the long-term value” of Magic: The Gathering, “killing its golden goose” by overprinting cards — including a set of 60 random reprinted cards that retailed for $999. The whitepaper resulted in a rare double downgrade of the company’s stock.

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