Hot on the heels of my Barnes’ Best article naming Magic: the Gathering the best game of the 1990s comes some surprising news from Hasbro, the megacorporation that now owns Wizards of the Coast.
Hasbro is declaring that Magic is the “largest game brand” in the United States, to the tune of $200 million in annual revenue. And for those that think that tabletop gaming is dead, that’s double the brand’s 2008 take. The news was disclosed by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner on a conference call to shareholders, and was a bright spot in a report that also saw Hasbro miss its Q4 profit goals. Sure, we’re not talking Call of Duty numbers here but for a tabletop, hobby-facing game this is amazing.
There are a couple of interesting takeways from this. One is obviously that Magic remains a strong, vital brand as it nears its 20 year anniversary. Another is that Hasbro is effectively telling us that Magic is a stronger, more financially lucrative brand on a yearly revenue basis than Monopoly, Clue, Battleship, and other perennial mainstream games in their portfolio. According to the article at ICv2 it’s not clear what exactly this figure is accounting for, but I’m assuming that it includes revenue from the XBLA/PSN games and all products that carry the Magic label including in-store play programs such as Friday Night Magic, licensed accessories, and other channels.
So yeah. Bigger than Monopoly.