Legends of Runeterra could steal a large portion of MTG Arena’s newer player base

A mass exodus could take place in the near future.

Screengrab via Riot Games

Since the release of MTG Arena, Wizards of the Coast has continually responded to the Magic community in a reactive manner. Riot Games, on the other hand, is taking a more proactive approach toward its launch of Legends of Runeterra. This could be one of the reasons why Magic players jump ship when LoR is released next year.

To say the MTG Arena community is frustrated would be an understatement. But what’s often overlooked is how new players are responding to the drama between WotC and its community. New players trying out the free-to-play Magic Arena want a CCG that doesn’t break their wallet, is fun to play, and is engaging.

There’s a long laundry list of complaints surrounding Magic Arena, but a few stand out above the rest concerning new players.

  • No friends list option.
  • Overpowered cards that need to be banned.
  • Poor navigation menus.
  • No mobile option.
  • A focus on esports, catering towards an existing player base.

There have been other predominant issues, such as performance. But WotC has recently taken steps to improve those problems. And in a newer game, performance issues are to be expected.

Stepping up where WotC has failed, Riot is taking a different approach toward its upcoming open-beta release of LoR in 2020. Riot’s digital card game will feature:

  • A monetization system that doesn’t rely on opening booster packs.
  • Easy to follow navigation.
  • A friends list that allows players to share decklists in and out of the game.
  • The ability to nerf overpowered cards as opposed to issuing a ban.
  • Developed for mobile first, then PC.
  • An organic approach toward esports as opposed to a forced one. 

And now, Riot is taking its interest in what the community wants one step further with its announcement of a Developer Challenge. Riot is asking the CCG community what it wants to see added to LoR, something that hasn’t been done yet. 

The Developer Challenge gives up-and-coming developers in the gaming community a chance to shine and it’ll add a unique aspect to LoR that can’t be found in other CCGs. It also shows new players that LoR will be catered toward them and not an existing player base. 

Initial reviews of LoR have been mostly positive, but there’s still work that needs to be done. The digital card game has, however, caught the attention of several top Magic and Hearthstone streamers. And if content creators are interested, so will new and existing CCG players.  

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Riot isn’t rushing LoR’s release, either. Instead, it’s taking time to fix issues that could potentially cause new players to lose interest quickly, which is something WotC should have taken into consideration when developing MTG Arena.