If I were Cryptic, I would be terrified for Magic Legends right now. Like, all hands on deck, perhaps we should go back to the drawing board kind of terrified.
Why? First, there’s just no enthusiasm out there for it. Oh, there was a whole bunch of excitement — including some from me — when this MMOARPG was announced a year ago as Cryptic’s secret project. Hugely popular IP, experienced developers, an actual MMO… yup, it was checking off some good boxes there.
Then Cryptic quickly dropped the “MMO” portion altogether, downgrading this to a multiplayer Diablo clone, which was… fine, it’s their decision. Didn’t make me happy, nor MMO players looking for a massively multiplayer game from a studio that specializes in such things, but it’s their choice.
And then it spent a year haphazardly putting out underwhelming dev diaries and videos… just every once in a while. The result of this was to reinforce this notion that this is a substandard Diablo-esque game that doesn’t really have that Magic: The Gathering feel nor much in the way of a unique hook.
Finally, Cryptic should be scared after seeing the absolute lackluster performance of Torchlight III — another game under its wing that downgraded from an MMO to put out a multiplayer ARPG. And from where I’m sitting, Torchlight III had more in the way of personality and interesting hooks than anything we’re seeing from Magic Legends.
The proof is always in the pudding, of course. If Magic Legends is downright fun to play and offering a lot more than we suspect at this point, it could generate a wave of word-of-mouth publicity and establish it as a sleeper hit (or better) for the studio. But honestly, I do NOT see that happening. If Cryptic was more proud or sure of this game, we would have seen a lot more from it by now, but we haven’t. I’m guessing that there are a lot of hard talks going on in the office and that 2021 could see some major changes and/or delays for this title.