A new Magic: The Gathering mobile game Magic Spellslingers has launched, seemingly with no fanfare or marketing from Wizards of the Coast at all. The full version of the game, a card battler with a very familiar aesthetic, released for iOS and Android on Wednesday, August 10, and arrived on Steam on August 5. But we’ve heard nary a peep from Wizards about it – not so much as a Like on Twitter.
Magic Spellslingers, by developer Pipeworks Studios, looks to be a less complex, more kid-friendly Free-to-Play card battler, set in the Magic: The Gathering universe and featuring cartoony redesigns of popular Magic: The Gathering planeswalkers like Jace and Chandra. We can’t speak to how it plays, but it sure looks a lot like Hearthstone, doesn’t it? It seems to have an in-game messaging system, though, so it’s already beating MTG Arena in some regards.
Magic Spellslingers was announced in 2019 as Valor’s Reach (named after the stadium in Battlebond), and a closed beta launched under the new Spellslingers name in November that year. But word on the game has been very quiet since then. In fact, the last (and only) post from the verified Spellslingers Twitter account was the one announcing the beta in November 2019.
There’s been nothing since then all the while the game was in its early access/beta form, including now that Spellslingers has fully launched to the public. In fact, there’s been no official word about the full release from anyone involved as far as we can tell. Various devs who worked on the game have spoken about Magic Spellslingers on social media, but official Wizards of the Coast and MTG social channels are dead quiet, and the developer Pipeworks hasn’t posted about it either. All rather mysterious – almost eerie. It’s quiet. Too quiet.
For whatever reason, Magic: The Gathering has always seemed to have a rocky time with tie-in projects. Whether it’s the Magic: Legends MMO that was panned and then scrapped, or the MTG Netflix show which seems to be trapped in development hell, something always seems to go awry.
In this instance though, it’s not like there’s been a super negative reception to the game. Three quarters of the reviews on Steam are positive, in fact (there’s literally only four of them though). This bizarre absence of marketing seems to be entirely self-imposed.
Magic Spellslingers is out now and Free to Play (though naturally there are microtransactions) on Steam, iOS and Android. Let us know if it’s better than Alchemy.