Fun fact: "Cranial Extraction" can mean either the removal of something from a cranium, or the removal of a cranium from somewhere else.

Wizards of the Coast staffs up for digital push

In a shocking turn of events, Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast, recently announced that they’re doing something. The meat is here:

Since joining Wizards of the Coast last summer, I’ve had the chance to talk to many passionate employees, partners, and fans about their experiences with our games and their hopes and dreams for our future. We’re channeling this passion as we make some exciting moves to bring players bigger and better experiences. The biggest move involves adjustments to and increased investments in our digital teams that will give us the capability and flexibility necessary to fully realize the enormous potential of our games.

Here’s what that means:

We are reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games. 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.

We will bring our characters and worlds to other games and experiences. What would it be like to throw fireballs as a Planeswalker in an MMO, or quest for treasure with your friends in a D&D augmented-reality game? We want to play games like this too, so we hired David Schwartz, an industry veteran with 25 years of experience leading projects at Microsoft, Electronic Arts, THQ, LeapFrog Enterprises, and Midway Games. He is building a publishing team to explore partnerships and collaborations that will bring Magic and D&D to unexpected settings, genres, and platforms.

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.

Our staff here at Stately Play have a collective three life-ages of the earth in fond memories of WotC games, but there’s a lot of disappointment in some of their past ventures into the digital space, or failures to venture there (am I the only one who remembers what was code-named The Goblin Game, which sounded awesome?). We’re excited to see them committing more resources to an area in which we think they have a lot of room to grow.

Liked it? Take a second to support Stately Play on Patreon!