Brief History of Magic: The Gathering

Stephen McMahon • Magic: The Gathering • Jul 3, 2018 • 0 Comments

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This year, Magic: The Gathering celebrates its 25th anniversary. Since its release, the game of Magic has changed the idea of card games and how we perceive tabletop gaming. It is known as the first collectable card game, which immediately gained success for its deep gameplay and flavourful themes. Magic currently has around twenty million players worldwide.

In 1993 Richard Garfield, mathematician, inventor, and game designer, presented his new game to Wizards of the Coast. Peter Adkison, the CEO of Wizards of the Coast quickly picked up the game and hired Richard Garfield as a game designer. They released the first version of Magic: The Gathering on August 5, 1993.

Originally, the game was created to fill in the downtime between Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. It was quickly discovered that gamers love Magic’s complex system, but simple intuitiveness. Cards started sell in local game stores and players traded them amongst each other. After a couple of years, the first expansion came out for the game, it was called Arabian Nights.

Richard Garfield Peter Adkinson

Richard Garfield and Peter Adkison playing Magic: the Gathering. Taken on March 26, 2010. Flickr


More and more cards began to pour in year after year. New game mechanics were being introduced and more new players started to play the game. Today, Magic is nearing its 80th expansion and has around 12,000 unique cards. Magic has seen a lot of growth in its 25 years in existence. Currently there is an estimated of 8 million Magic players worldwide.

Magic is an incredibly massive game, from its cards, to mechanics, to art, to competitive gameplay, and even its politics. This blog post is just a brief overview of its history. There will be many more blog posts covering the intricacies of the game and what it means to the people around us.


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