Today Wizards of the Coast is launching its Magic: The Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 for the PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network.  ICv2 caught up Paul Levy, WotC’s Brand Manager for Magic: The Gathering to talk about the new “Magic Celebration” and the ways in which WotC is attempting to integrate its digital and paper M:TG releases, which includes previews of the new 2012 Core Set included in the Duels games as well as codes that can be redeemed at participating brick and mortar stores for potent physical promo cards (see “M:TG Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012”).

Looks like Magic Celebration is the new thing on this Fact Sheet?  Will you be able to provide any details on it?
With Magic 2012 we are really integrating our digital and analog offerings for the first time with Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 and Magic 2012 Core Set.  Magic Celebration will bring those players together on September 10 at Wizards Play Network locations around the globe in an event unlike other we’ve ever had.  More information about the specific event details will be released later this summer.

This promotion
back in 2009 was reportedly very successful at bringing in new or resuming Magic players to stores.  Why did it take two years to do another promotion to bring Duels players into Magic stores?
We utilized the promo card redemption program in June 2009, June 2010 and November 2010 to coincide with the launch of the original Duels of the Planeswalkers on each of the three platforms.  Each time we have offered the promotion, it was extremely popular with both players and retailers, and we are excited to offer it again with the launch of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012.

The ‘09 promotion also included a voucher for Starter Decks.  Is there going to be a second phase of the Duels promotions that offers Starter Decks?  If not, why the difference between the ‘09 promotion and the ‘11 promotion?
We provide sample decks to our retailers to be used at their discretion.  The sample decks this year have been redesigned and include some preview cards from the Magic 2012 Core Set that will release on July 15.

Additionally, we have a new promotion with Duels 2012 this year where players who get far in the single-player campaign receive a special invitation to Magic Celebration.

What is the crossover between Duels players and Magic players?
There is a lot of crossover between paper and digital players.  So much so that we consider them to be one unified community of Magic players and created the Magic Celebration event to bring them all together!

What percentage of Duels players are ex-Magic players?
We know that Duels of the Planeswalkers is making Magic accessible again to players that have lost touch with the game over the years.  While we don’t have specific numbers to quantify how many players have returned to the game, we do have a lot of feedback from players raving about how Duels has brought them back into Magic because it’s so easy for them to play at their own pace and on their own schedule.