Magic Online Press Release

Posted in Arcana on May 9, 2003

By Wizards of the Coast

MAGIC: THE GATHERING ONLINE EXPANSION DELIVERS MORE FEATURES FOR MORE PLAYERS

Wizards of the Coast to preview Magic Online 2.0 game at E3 Expo

May 9, 2003 (RENTON, WA) – Magic: The Gathering Online, the official Internet edition of the premier trading card game (TCG), will be significantly updated this summer, with expanded features for both new and experienced players. Publisher Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), will preview Magic Online 2.0 at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles May 14-16, and launch the new version of Magic Online at the end of July.

Magic Online 2.0 will feature a completely redesigned interface with options for new and experienced players. The designers have added an artificial intelligence (AI) to the game's tutorial, and skill-building options that take players beyond the basic concepts of the Magic game, such as strategies for building a powerful deck with which to battle opponents.

An expanded observation feature will enable players to post their games for others to watch – a great way to learn how to play or improve your Magic skills. Players can also now acquire and trade the game's avatars, and Wizards is expanding the number of tournament formats with new team tournaments for new players and a premier events room for the highest-level of competition.

“Building on last year's successful launch of Magic Online, Magic Online 2.0 will offer more features for players of all levels and hundreds more cards to play with,” commented Joe Hauck, Vice President, Wizards of the Coast. “Magic Online brings the fun of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game to the growing community of online players.”

The Magic Online game broke new ground in the gaming world when it was introduced in June 2002. It is the first trading card game to have a major following online, with more than 12,000 official tournaments each month for players to participate in. Players can build their decks and strategies choosing from 2,099 unique digital Magic cards. Wizards estimates that there are more than 70 million Magic Online cards in circulation.

The launch of Magic Online 2.0 in July 2003 will coincide with the release of a new Magic core card set, offering 350 new Magic Online cards to players.

Existing players will be able to upgrade to Magic Online 2.0 just by connecting to the game server after launch, at the end of July. Players existing card collections will remain intact. New players will be able to download the game software for free at www.magicthegathering.com or purchase a Magic Online 2.0 CD-ROM at retail. The retail version will come with an extensive manual and player-friendly rulebook for online play, and two decks of physical Magic cards – offering players the option to play tabletop too.

The Magic: The Gathering trading card game made its debut in 1993, and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year as the premier trading card game. There are more than six million Magic players in 52 countries, and the game has been translated to nine languages since Wizards first published the game a decade ago.

Combining the dynamics of a card game with the excitement of trading and collecting, the Magic game offers fun for every level of player. In the Magic game, players try to reduce their opponent's score from 20 to 0, casting from their deck creatures, spells, artifacts and other cards of varying power-levels and abilities in a series of attack and defense moves.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), is the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories. A leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products, the company holds an exclusive patent on the play mechanic of trading card games.

Magic: The Gathering, Magic and Magic Online are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a division of Hasbro, Inc. 2003.

This press release will appear after 10 AM Eastern time.

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