By Cody Perez
July 10, 2019
Wizards of the Coast and its parent company Hasbro have announced their sales reports from the previous year. Interestingly enough, MTG sales have continued to grow from the year prior to it, granting the companies hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.
In total, Hasbro made $2.45 billion in revenue for 2018, a massive number that was led by two main forces. Those two being the Monopoly franchise and Magic: The Gathering. Oddly enough, despite owning so many important properties, only those two were profitable for the company.
This is absolutely insane considering Hasbro owns massive brands like Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, and many more. All of those brands weren’t profitable for the company, with Monopoly and MTG sales being the only ones that spelled profits for Hasbro.
Both the physical card game as well as the digital games online were a major part of why MTG sales were so profitable last year for Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast. The sales just continue to grow each year, despite the rise of digital games like Hearthstone, Shadowverse, and the like.
A good portion of this can be attributed to Magic: The Gathering Arena that launched last year in open beta on PC. The latest digital version of the card game (but not the first) has been met with mostly positive response from the community. Well, at least until recently.
Despite being halfway through the year at this time, it is estimated that the entire Magic brand has accumulated at least $500 million in revenue this year. This is likely in large part due to the recent release of the previous expansion War of the Spark that was popular with the community.
Players, both digital and physical, loved that expansion, praising it and resulting in increased popularity online and in brick and mortar shops. This has caused the average player spending in the game as well as the time that is played to increase quite a bit.
On average, each player spends around eight hours each week playing MTG Arena online. That averages out to just around an hour a day, which isn’t a ton of time but it does show consistent play. In addition, the money spent from each player has gone up as well.
The average player is also spending around $75 each year on gems alone in the game. While that may not sound like a lot, those are impressive numbers when you take a look at the fact that there are around three million players in the game currently.
That equals out to around $225 million in revenue based on players spending money on gems in MTG Arena alone. That doesn’t even include how Magic Online and the physical card game is doing. Of course, that is the average amount of money spent each year so some players spend a lot more while others spend much less.
In addition to this, Wizard of the Coast’s parent company Hasbro expects that the game will become even bigger than it already is right now. The expectations from the company is that the user base will grow from three million to around 11 million players across the world by 2021.
That is an insanely number of players to expect but it is possible if the right moves are made from the companies. For one, there needs to be a mobile version released soon as that would usher in millions of more players that would help the players skyrocket towards that number.
In addition, there needs to be fixes for the various issues that are plaguing the game online right now, specifically, regarding the Mastery System. For those who don’t know, the Mastery System is a new way of rewarding players that was introduced with the release of the Magic Core Set 2020 last week.
The Mastery System sounded exciting at first, offering players a chance to get some great rewards throughout various seasons that take place between the releases of each expansion. In a way, it is the game’s answer to the battle passes from other online games like Fortnite and PUBG.
Based on how well you do, you rank up through the Mastery System and receive various rewards at different levels. You also get more and better rewards if you pay for the paid version of the system. Rewards vary from items like booster packs to gold and so on.
Previously, players were already able to do this just by logging into the game each week. There were no need to level up to earn the rewards. As such, many players are frustrated by the experience that you must earn to receive the weekly rewards that were previously so easy to get.
While that is an annoying problem alone, it seems that the Mastery System appears to be broken or at least limited in nature for many players. It seems that the experience that you can gain for the Mastery System each day is capped at a certain number.
Go beyond that experience cap and you won’t be able to gain any more experience towards leveling up your Mastery System for that day. Oddly enough, Wizards of the Coast has stated that there is no cap at this time for the Mastery System, despite players showing otherwise.
In addition to this, the game itself was noted to have some performance issues with the release of the Mastery System update. Wizards of the Coast claims to have fixed this but yet again, players in the community are claiming otherwise at this time.
It is an unfortunate fiasco that is causing lots of trouble for the otherwise successful card game. If Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast wish to see the MTG sales continue to grow, it will want to ensure that all players in the community are having a satisfactory experience online.