Wizards Press Release

Posted in Feature on January 14, 2002

By Wizards of the Coast

WIZARDS OF THE COAST ANNOUNCES CARD REDEMPTION FEATURE FOR SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED MAGIC: THE GATHERING® ONLINE GAME

In gaming industry first, Magic Online will enable players to redeem digital cards for physical cards

JANUARY 14, 2002 (RENTON, Wash.) – Adding excitement for players of the new Magic: The Gathering Online game, Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), announced today that its Magic Online game will include an innovative feature that enables players who have collected full sets of online cards to redeem them for full sets of physical Magic cards. Magic Online will be the first online game to offer players such a feature.

Collecting online cards will enable players to expand their repertoire of gaming strategies. Players will be able to purchase, trade for and win online cards. Once a player collects a full set of online cards, they will have the option to trade those cards for physical cards or to retain the cards in their online collection. Wizards will track each online card on a secure master game server, ensuring authenticity of the cards.

“Our R&D team came to us with the idea of building a card redemption feature into Magic Online and we saw it as a way to give players even more,” explained Wizards’ Nathan Sherman, brand manager for Magic: The Gathering. “Magic Online redemption gives players the ability and flexibility to play with the online cards or the physical cards. It’s about giving players as many options as possible.”

In the Magic game, players become the game designers, choosing from thousands of creatures with unique battle abilities, building their decks and crafting strategies. At the launch of Magic Online, the Seventh Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey and Torment card sets will be available, totaling approximately 1,500 cards. New card sets will be released approximately three times a year. Magic Online cards and physical Magic cards will be released simultaneously. Wizards will redeem full sets of both the regular and premium Magic Online cards.

Magic Online will offer 24-hour access to other players in an official Magic environment. A wide range of game rooms will allow players of different levels to find just the right environment for them, from casual pick-up games to highly competitive tournaments. To ensure the best human-to-human competition, the Magic Online game will feature fully integrated, enforced rules. Wizards plans to host official tournaments and other Magic Online events on a regular basis.

There will be no monthly subscription fee for Magic Online. Players will be able to purchase a starter game, which will include the online game CD, a certificate good for one online theme deck, a Magic: The Gathering rule book and the Magic Online player manual, for $14.99 (retail). Or, players can choose to download the game at no cost, go into a “free room” to play a sample game with a limited number of cards, and then move on to purchasing a theme deck and other cards when they are ready. Cards will be offered at $3.29 for 15-card booster packs and $9.99 for 60-card theme decks, the same price as the physical cards.

Magic Online is being developed by Leaping Lizard Software Inc., and is scheduled for a spring release. The game is currently in beta-testing.

The Magic: The Gathering game, invented by Richard Garfield and first released in 1993, is the most widely played trading card game, with an active base of more than six million players in 52 countries. Magic: The Gathering trading card games are available in nine languages. There are approximately 85,000 Magic: The Gathering trading card game tournaments hosted annually by the DCI™ players’ organization, the governing authority for all officially sanctioned Magic tournaments.

Wizards of the Coast is the worldwide market share leader in the trading card game and tabletop role-playing game categories. A leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products, as well as the owner and operator of one of the nation’s largest specialty game retail chains, the company holds an exclusive patent on the play mechanic of trading card games (TCGs).

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, Magic, Seventh Edition, Invasion, Planeshift, Apocalypse, Odyssey, Torment and DCI are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast Inc. 2002 Wizards. Purchase of Magic Online cards is subject to the terms and conditions of the User License Agreement.

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