The idea of a Diablo clone set in the world of Magic: The Gathering sounded like a match made in heaven. Magic: Legends actually turned out to be a disaster from the onset.
Developer Cryptic Studios announced Magic: Legends, the free-to-play action RPG, will shut down on October 31. The planned console release will cease production as well. All players who spent money during the open beta will receive a full refund and the in-game store will be shut down immediately. Later this week, all items in the game will be purchasable with free in-game currency until the servers go offline.
In the studio’s official statement, executive producer Steve Ricossa said their vision of the game “missed the mark.” Despite this, Ricossa is proud of what the team achieved and thanked IP owner Wizards of the Coast for letting them explore Magic Universe in a new genre.
“We learned several valuable lessons along the way, and we will use them to improve Cryptic’s future development efforts,” Ricossa said.
Troubled Launch for Magic: Legends
The game launched in open beta on March 23 and met with instant criticism. Magic: Legends’ official Reddit page saw players blasting the game’s micro-transactions and performance among other criticisms. One user posted uninstalling the game after the first arena due to an entire class being locked behind a paywall.
The referred to class is for the Dimir Assassin. As PCGamer explains in their article on the game’s closure, the way to acquire it is not easy nor cheap. It is a rare random drop from booster packs that cost about $3 each. The class can be purchased with free in-game currency, but the price is nearly unattainable without extensive grinding.
The cash grab found in the game didn’t end there. Magic: Legends sells cosmetic items, player boosts, character services, as well as a battle pass. These all range from $5 up to $25. Combine this with daily limits on resource gathering and it’s easy to see the player base’s discontent. It also appears many of these concerns were raised by alpha players, but saw no changes implemented in the open beta.
One Last Hoorah
If the player concerns didn’t turn you away or you want to try it yourself, you still have time. Players can still download the open beta and play up until the game’s closure. The game features six playable classes, five of those are free to use. Players must strategically build a deck of spells that gets drawn at random during fights. While players were expected to manage mana for spells, feedback seemed to say it’s a non-issue. You can traverse and battle across the Magic universe in solo or with parties of three. Playing will only allow you to see what might have been though. Cryptic says there is no plan to revisit development, but as Justin Bieber once said, “never say never”. You can check out the game’s open beta cinematic trailer below.
Magic: Legends was in development for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.