Published in


5 Reasons Why Magic the Gathering: Arena is Growing

From physical to digital

Magic The Gathering has been the king of trading card games in physical form for many years, and with MTG Arena growing every day, soon it may be the king of digital card games as well.

This is not the first digital game Wizards of the Coast releases for MTG(Magic the Gathering). Prior releases like MTG Online and MTG Duels never even got close to the numbers MTG Arena is already reaching (over 3 million), so what changed? That’s exactly what I will try to answer with these five points.

1. The Digital Game Is Good

One of the most important reasons for the success of MTGA(Magic the Gathering Arena) is that it has a good client. It's very well designed, simple and intuitive, making sure any player can quickly jump into the game.

Most notably, the client has a very easy-to-use deckbuilding interface with lots of functionalities to make sure a player can find what he needs easily, an essential feature for any trading card game to succeed.

MTG Arena in-game animation. Source: Wccftech.

The game itself is quite impressive: it has good animations and graphics, but most importantly it runs very smoothly, both in performance and on the actual flow of the game; no easy task for a game as complex as Magic.

Not only does the game have a lot of rules, but the turn structure itself is also very complicated, with players having the ability to essentially do something at any point of the game if they can. While it may be easy to just say in real life “Before you do that! I play!”, in a digital game, it's a very different story. If the mechanics that allow this to happen are done poorly, it will most likely make the game feel very slow and not enjoyable to play. Thankfully MTGA has a very easy to use “control system” that is very intuitive for new and old players.

If any of the above points were done poorly, most likely the game would not have reached over 3 million players in 2020.

2. Pandemic

While the Covid-19 pandemic hit the physical trading card game industry very hard, it ended up pushing TCG(Trading Card Games) players over to the digital option out of necessity. It may not be the best of reasons to have an increase in player base, but it for sure is one of the big ones.

MTGA Mythic Invitational Logo Source: Reddit.

3. Esports Money

MTG Esports scene was already starting to take off in 2019 culminating in the Mythic Invitational 2019 with a total prize pool of 1 million dollars for the participants. Currently, with the rising popularity of the game, there are more and more tournaments with monetary prize pools being organized around MTGA.

Most of these tournaments are accessible to any player. All you need to do is register and play, with a good example being Star City Games tournaments, as they run a weekly $5k tournament which is sure to be a good encouragement for someone to try out MTGA.

And that's really the whole point. With more money being invested into the E-Sport scene around MTGA, more players will be interested in picking up the game to try and win some of it. No doubt this is a very good reason why more and more players are starting to take up MTGA.

Livestreaming MTGA. Source: YouTube.

4. Twitch

In 2019, Wizards of the Coast invested heavily in giving MTGA exposure on Twitch by sponsoring big streamers to try out the game. The investment paid off and they hit a record 100k viewers on the Mythical Invitational tournament stream. MTGA is very easy to see and understand what is going on because the game was successfully designed to be that way. With some very easy-to-use extensions on Twitch, a viewer can see each individual card and read the effects that it has, helping to understand the game and bring them back for more.

Because of these reasons, the number of new MTGA streamers and viewers has really taken off ever since, and it keeps increasing each day.

MTGA mobile trailer Source: Magic the Gathering YouTube.

5. Mobile Release

The last and likely most impactful reason for the future of MTGA is the mobile app. Having a good mobile release means the game is accessible to a lot more people, and that is sure to boost the number of players exponentially.

The only drawback of the mobile version is that it seems to be quite heavy so it will not run on every phone. With some performance tweaks, however, in the long run, the availability of a mobile version is sure to be a big factor in the growth of Magic the Gathering Arena.

Source: Steam Database.


The future looks bright for MTGA. If you are a fan of trading card games, or you are simply curious and want to try it out, now is probably one of the best times to do it as the game is going to steadily continue to grow, and with more players joining, the number of tournaments and the size of prize pools are sure to increase, so more opportunities for everyone to make some Esports money.




Celebrating video games and their creators

Recommended from Medium

New 2020 SLT Tournaments

Creating A Cooldown System in Unity

FIFA 21 Invisible Goalkeeper Glitch Will Make You Go Mad

Looking back at 2021: the year of play-to-earn

Africa Game Developers showcasing at East Africa Gaming Convention

The Last of Us: Game Diaries, Part IV

Gameplay Journal Entry #4

Failing Like A Champ

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Hardcore Gamer, Writer, Manga lover, all-around positive person ^^

More from Medium

The Long Road to Pokémon Legends: Arceus Led to a Much Needed Boost

The Art of Cameras in 3D Games

Pokémon Legends: Arceus Fixes the Pokémon With the Franchise

Screenshot from Pokemon Legends: Arceus. The female trainer runs from an Electivire.

An Ode to My Favourite Character in Elden Ring