How old is Magic: The Gathering?

Magic: The Gathering is almost 30 years old.

Image via Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering is one of the most popular collectible trading card games on the market and offers some of the most intricate and exciting gameplay around. Players can customize their decks to their liking and challenge friends in intense duels. 

Hundreds of new cards are released every year, meaning players can return after a hiatus and be bombarded with new mechanics and concepts. This is an exciting structure that keeps the game fresh, which is needed considering MTG is almost 30 years old.

Mathematician and game designer Richard Garfield created MTG in 1993, meaning the game is now 28 years old. Garfield originally approached Wizards of the Coast, the publisher behind MTG, about a board game called RoboRally. Wizards of the Coast was unable to produce at the time due to cost restraints, but it did tell Garfield about its desire for a game that required minimal equipment that could be played at conventions. 

Garfield already had a backlog of games he created throughout the ‘80s and used these older ideas to create what eventually turned into Magic: The Gathering. MTG officially launched in 1993 and Garfield signed on as a full-time game designer for Wizards of the Coast in 1994. 

Since its creation, there have been 21 “core” sets of MTG cards and 88 “expansion” sets, including the most recent Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms released in July. There are already two more expansion sets revealed to release later this year and MTG has shown no signs of slowing down. 

The next time you play Magic: The Gathering with a friend, remember that you’re enjoying a game with almost 30 years of history.