Magic: The Gathering Is Off To A Great Start Financially In 2020

Magic: The Gathering

Hasbro announced yesterday that revenues for Magic: The Gathering were up significantly in the first quarter” of 2020. The companywhich owns Magic‘s publisher Wizards of the Coast, attributed this success to strong sales from the release of sets Theros: Beyond Death and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. This increase in revenue also comes in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Magic: The Gathering, alongside other Hasbro game properties like Monopoly, contributed to the 40% rise in revenues in the first quarter of 2020. The financial report from Hasbro says that “players are taking advantage of new ways the Wizards team has launched to play MAGIC games while in person play events are not happening. Where possible, events have shifted to digital play via the Magic: The Gathering Arena platform.”

In a recent interview, Hasbro’s CEO Brian Goldner revealed that the number of games played on Arena has exceeded 700 million. He also said that Arena saw its strongest period of growth since launch in Q1.

This is consistent with Magic‘s efforts to promote play on Arena and on Magic: the Gathering Online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Arena, players can participate in Friday Night Magic tournaments run by their local game stores. Similarly, Channel Fireball, a major Magic retailer and content site, hosts weekly MagicFest Online tournaments for competitive players.

On the other hand, Goldner predicted that COVID would negatively impact sales in Q2, since many US states implemented quarantine measures in March.

It remains to be seen whether Magic: The Gathering‘s strong Q1 performance and the efforts of WotC will help local game stores stay afloat. After all, the pandemic has forced organizers to cancel several major paper events and has also caused WotC to delay the paper release of Ikoria. As always, though, we’ll keep an eye on things and let you know how they unfold as the year continues on.