With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on brick and mortar retail around the world, many companies are exploring digital alternatives as a means of supplementing normal business. As first and foremost a physical CCG, many had expected Wizards of the Coast to record a downtick in Magic: The Gathering sales in the first quarter of 2020 as a result, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, it seems.
Wizards parent company Hasbro has revealed in its latest earnings call to investors that sales of all Magic products saw a significant increase in the first quarter of the year, thanks to “strong sales of new card releases.” In order to get ahead of the curve, so to speak, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner details how physical product shipments were accelerated into the first quarter to “ensure delivery to distributors.”
As fans will no doubt already be aware of, the originally planned release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths earlier this month was delayed for tabletop due to COVID-19, with launch for Magic‘s digital counterpart, Arena, still going ahead as planned. Goldner attributes a large part of Magic‘s revenue surge to the latter’s ongoing success, with analysts yesterday ranking Arena as one of the most important PC titles of the year so far.
Welcome news, then, though it’ll be fascinating to see, going forward, if MTG Arena‘s accelerated rise to prominence will have an effect on the franchise down the road. It could well be the case that Wizards, keenly aware of its growing audience, will opt to prioritize digital in the future, regardless of world events.
What do you think, though? Are you a former paper format purist that’s since switched over to Magic: The Gathering Arena, or will you always prioritize the traditional game? Let us know in the usual place below!