Wizards of the Coast's relationship with the electronic realm has always been turbulent. Sometimes we got classics, other times utterly forgettable trash. Rather than continue with this wishy-washy approach to digitising its franchises, WotC has come up with its very own games studio.
It's hard to say how well this in-house philosophy will work out, but company president Chris Cocks believes it's the best way forward. In fact, the move pretty much signals a "reimagining" of Wizards' entire digital strategy:
We recently created the Digital Games Studio, a group of all-stars led by industry veteran Jeffrey Steefel. Jeffrey's team includes experienced Wizards game designers and industry talent from Dire Wolf Digital, Valve Corporation, Cryptic Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Activision, BioWare, and many others. The Magic Online team is now included in this group, as well as digital art and game design. They're all thinking about how players might tap mana and prepare spells in the future, and I can't wait for you to see what they're working on.
The Digital Games Studio won't focus purely on games — it's looking out for opportunities to enhance its real-world properties with technology also:
We will make your Wizards experiences more efficient, connected, and convenient. From getting matched in a big tournament to tracking your achievements to simply getting friends together for game night, there's a lot that goes into a good experience with a game outside of the game itself. A revamped technology team led by longtime Wizard Arron Goolsbey will be focused on connecting these kinds of in-store and online interactions so you will have cohesive and connected experiences with our games.
The release doesn't mention any specific products, we'll simply have to "stay tuned". I've always thought with the right talent and resources, WotC could put out some quality games and companion apps. It looks like the company is finally taking this part of its business seriously.
Making Moves [Wizards of the Coast]