I have never been a huge Magic: the gathering fan. at most I am a very casual player. I have never been able to wrap my head around Collectable card games. . . never been able to make this card work with that card. . . never been able to deck build. . . I'm just not good at it. I do keep up with it though, just so I can know what is going on in that side of fandom.
Wizards is releasing the newest core set (called Magic 2010 or M10) tomorrow, and strangely I am excited about it. You see its the theme that is pulling me in. It feels like magic felt years ago. I don't feel so lost in the years and years of meta plot, they have striped it and went back to its roots so to speak. It feels like a fantasy card game about wizards casting spells at each other. I'm actually excited about it.
Another thing Wizards has done is considerably change the rules in an attempt to defeat bloat, and make the game more accessible to new or casual players. I think this is a step in the right direction.
Interestingly this is not the first time Wizards has taken this approach to one of its flag ship products. Just over a year ago Wizards of the coast released Dungeons and dragons 4th edition. It was a major upgrade, and while players are still debating if it was necessary or if it was actually an improvement, it made an impact on the market. At the same time there was a decision made to scale back their setting centric products (still in D&D) and strip away 30 years of meta plot from them to make them more approachable. It seems that this is the chosen thought process at wizards of the coast at the moment, and I think it may actually be a viable business plan.