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Magic: The Gathering Arena gets a Steam version in May, much earlier than expected

A console-compatible version for Xbox and PlayStation is still a ways off

A Puck-like, pale-skinned humanoid nymph creature wearing a red crown — not unlike the MTG icon itself — wields a multicolored spell in official art from Magic: The Gathering’s Throne of Eldraine set. Image: Chris Rallis/Wizards of the Coast
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Magic: The Gathering Arena, the latest digital incarnation of the popular collectible card game, arrives on May 23. That’s a fair bit earlier than the expected fall 2023 release, which was mentioned to investors earlier this year. The announcement was made Friday during a presentation at MagicCon Minneapolis.

MTG Arena launched into early access with a PC client in 2018, while versions for mobile devices — including Android and iOS — came years later. A client for Steam, however, puts the world’s most popular trading card game onto one of the world’s most popular gaming storefronts. It’s a combination that is likely to dramatically increase the community of digital Magic players internationally, as well as here in the United States.

While MTG Arena is technically free to play, you still do have the option to purchase in-game currency to buy new blind packs of cards. The game has kept pace with physical card releases for years now, with some sets even going to digital first.