We're nearly ready for the official launch of Magic: Arena. It took long enough!
The currently-in-beta card game is set to officially launch on September 26, alongside of the Throne of Eldraine set: the fairy-tale-esque new expansion for Magic: The Gathering paper and digital incarnations alike. In a twist of fate you can actually try out Throne cards early in a "Brawl" event that's live now.
Having played Arena since it was first available, I have mixed feelings on the launch. On paper (ha), it's pretty much a perfect translation of Magic, with modern bells and whistles. No matter how much Wizards of the Coast (and by extension now, Hasbro) has faltered, they can always fall back on the core strength of the game: it's that good and arguably hasn't been surpassed since its creation.
That said, Arena still has some kinks to work out. Performance is constantly an issue, even for high-end machines, with plenty of bug reports of crashing and framerate problems. It's also very barebones in terms of social features, with a complete lack of a friend list and only a wonky "direct challenge" feature.
Hopefully these advancements come toot sweet, because Wizards has been working overtime excessively monetizing the game, more so than any digital card game before it.
Playing Brawl on Arena [Wizards of the Coast]