(This post has been updated.)

Wizards of the Coast is partnering with Cryptic Studios and Perfect World to bring Magic: the Gathering into the world of MMOs.

MMOs, or massively multiplayer online game, are a genre of video game in which many players play and interact within the same virtual space. World of Warcraft, made by Blizzard, is the most successful fantasy MMOs in existence, and it remains to be seen whether the MtG MMO will compete with WoW in the same way that Hearthstone (also made by Blizzard) competes with Magic.

Cryptic Studios is a game developer with a significant amount of experience in creating MMOs, especially when utilizing other companies’ intellectual property. They are known for creating the Neverwinter RPG, a Dungeons & Dragons MMO, and Star Trek Online. All three of those games were also published by Perfect World.

In an interview with GamesIndustry, Cryptic Studios CEO Stephen D’Angelo explained his company’s preference for working with other companies’ IP. “It probably shaves about a year off the development cycle because you don’t have to do as much background and story development,” he said. “That significantly lowers your development costs. It also gives you a core focus of what your game should be.”

D’Angelo also confirmed that the player will be taking the role of a Planeswalker in the upcoming MTG MMO: “In the Magic game, our goal is to let people be a Planeswalker, just like it says right there on the back of every package they ever print: ‘You are a Planeswalker.'”

Neither the name of the game nor the release date are known at this time.

The announcement of a Magic: the Gathering MMO appears to be the first product to come from Wizards’ Magic Digital Next initiative, of which one of the goals is to deliver “deep gameplay experiences in Magic worlds and fiction on diverse gaming platforms and genres.” Many players were hoping that MDN would also deliver on an improved online client for playing Magic: the Gathering but, as of yet, there has been no evidence that an new version of Magic: the Gathering Online is on the horizon.

We’ve reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment and will update with their response.

This story is developing…

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