I met with Adam Dixon, Brand Manger at Wizards of the Coast for Magic: the Gathering, at PAX East for an update on all things Magic.
"There's been a lot of exciting news here at PAX. What's in store for Magic: the Gathering players this year?"
"Magic: the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is coming to iPad! Planechase 2012 and the Magic 2013 Core Set are coming out this summer, and we just announced Return to Ravnica."
"What improvements have been made to Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013?"
"We received a lot of feedback from players wishing they could tap lands themselves. So for the first time, players will be given the option to tap their own mana. New Magic: the Gathering players can jump right into the game play, while more advanced players will be able to have complete control. There's also an updated UI (user interface). Additionally, D13 is packed with more story elements, information about the individual Planeswalker's backgrounds, and the planes from the Magic Multiverse."
"What is the Planechase mode like? Will it use the old Planechase, or the new Planechase 2012?"
"Planechase 2012. If you liked Planechase in paper, then you're going to love it in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013."
"Last year players who purchased Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 could receive a promo card. The game also featured cards from the Magic 2012 Core Set, along with in-game advertisements for the Magic Celebration."
"There's going to be a similar promotion this year too. Players will see a lot of cards from the Magic 2013 Core Set in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 so that when they walk into a brick and mortar store for Friday Night Magic or the Magic Celebration they'll recognize many of the cards they see in person."
"I take it that the Magic Celebration last year was a success? Did Magic receive a significant number of new DCI memberships? How much of the player growth can be attributed to Duels of the Planeswalkers?"
"Magic has had an overwhelming amount of growth in the past four years. I can't give out any internal data, however last year's Magic Celebration was a smash hit. There were a lot of new players entering stores for the first time."
"Speaking of new players, if I have a friend who I'd like to teach Magic to, do you recommend that they start with an Intro Pack or Duels of the Planeswalkers?"
"Duels of the Planeswalkers. The game has an incredibly easy tutorial, handles all the rules management, and allows players to always find someone to play with. They can play the game at any time by either by themselves with the single player campaign or hop online to play against another human."
"Duels of the Planesalkers 2012 received plenty of DLC to keep its users engaged, and just went gold last week with all of the DLC included at a bargain price. Can we expect a similar trend with Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013? Will the franchise be a yearly release moving forward?"
"Yes. I can't give any specifics, however there will be plenty of updates. There will be a yearly Duels of the Planeswalkers integrated with each core set."
"Who creates the decks in Duels of the Planeswalkers? What goes into the card selection for DLC?"
"Our R&D takes care of all the card choices. There's extensive play testing to ensure that none DLC is overpowered. Stainless Games makes it all come together with a great user interface."
"Wow! What made R&D decide to bring multicolored cards to the core set?"
"That's something Mark Rosewater and our other R&D members will be discussing later in their articles on DailyMTG.com."
"For years, the only Magic merchandise that players could get their hands on was t shirts and UltraPro accessories. Why the big change?"
"We've had numerous requests from both retailers and players alike for officially licensed Magic: merchandise. We want people to engage with Magic, as a lifestyle brand. So we decided to seek the best companies to fulfill this demand. Companies like Red Monkey, which creates high quality hand-made leather accessories."
Note: Check out the complete list of officially branded Magic: the Gathering merchandise.
"Sounds like its an amazing time to be a Magic: the Gathering player. Thank you so much for your time."
Related Article: CEO of Stainless Games on Wizards and Magic
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Catch up on Magic's latest set, Dark Ascension:
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