Magic: The Gathering Arena Dev Addresses Brawl Mode Blunder

Magic the Gathering

Players of Magic: The Gathering Arena were greeted with a nasty surprise upon login yesterday.

The title, a digital version of the popular tabletop CCG, has enjoyed an influx of gamers new and old as of late, thanks to the arrival of latest set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. Boasting hundreds of new creature cards – including some featuring Toho’s Godzilla and friends – and several new keywords, hype surrounding the game’s second major expansion of 2020 has proven to be considerably higher than that of poorly-received Theros: Beyond Death earlier this year.

While paper format purists will have to wait an additional month to get their hands on the set due to manufacturing delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Arena players also found themselves unable to partake in day one of launch due to a blunder on the developer’s end.

Brawl, the Standard-legal singleton counterpart to Modern’s Commander, is a standalone mode in Arena that encourages folks to compete against others with cards from their own collections.

Wizards of the Coast confirmed prior to the launch of Ikoria that Brawler’s Guildhall would be free-to-enter for the first four weeks of the set’s launch, though many were quick to point out the opposite. An entry fee of 2,000 gems (premium currency) or 10,000 gold, rather than the promised waiving of such costs has since been labelled an oversight by the developer, with WotC stating over on Twitter that: “This is definitely not intentional, Brawlers’ Guildhall will again have no entry fee this month. We’re getting this fixed asap!”

A welcome response, for sure, though the misstep has since had the knock-on effect of once again reigniting debate over Wizards’ monetization of Magic: The Gathering Arena. Unlike drafts, Brawl requires that players use cards they’ve already spent real money to obtain. Fans of the mode, therefore, believe adding an additional cost on top is simply unnecessary and far from consumer-friendly.

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