Adkison saw the potential of the game and asked Garfield to begin working on it in earnest. Garfield was still getting his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania, so he used his free time and a cadre of volunteer playtesters to develop the game.
Magic debuted in 1993 at the Origins Game Fair in Dallas, TX. It was an instant success—players bought up the full stock of what had been believed to be a year’s supply of cards, and a reprint had to be ordered immediately.
As the popularity of the game spread, Wizards continually evolved to meet the needs of the players.
A robust tournament system known as the DCI was developed by Skaff Elias. It set standards for how tournaments were run, and kept track of player’s stats. It was among the first of its kind in the hobby gaming industry.
In 1996, the Magic Pro Tour was born. The Pro Tour is an invite-only tournament structure offering over $1 million in prizes a year. To qualify for the series, there is a worldwide system of qualifier tournaments and large events that allow players to earn a spot on the circuit.
The game was first published only in English, but that would soon change as Italian, French, German, and Spanish were added. As the game grew, six additional languages entered the mix: Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, and Korean.