Hasbro Investing In Long-Term Refresh For MTG Arena With Emphasis On Commander And Collectability

Hasbro CEO calls out multi-year digital project for MTG Arena during first quarter financial report

Hasbro, parent company of Wizards of the Coast (WotC), has released its First Quarter 2024 Financial Report.

The Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment continues to be the bright spot for Hasbro overall. While revenue for Hasbro declined 24 percent in the Q1, WotC and Digital Gaming saw a growth of seven percent driven by Magic: The Gathering, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Monopoly Go! Monopoly Go!, from Scopely, crossed over $2 billion in lifetime revenue and 150 million downloads, breaking records as the fastest growing mobile game ever.

“Magic: The Gathering saw healthy growth in Q1, driven by timing sales for our latest release, Outlaws of Thunder Junction, and strong demand for Fallout Commander. Q2 is an important quarter for Magic with the releases of both Outlaws of Thunder Junction and Modern Horizons 3 — what we expect to be our biggest set of the year,” Hasbro Chief Executive Officer Chris Cocks said. “While we expect Magic to be down for the year after a record 2023, we maintain our long-term bullishness on the brand, based on the continued robust fan engagement and a killer lineup of new Universes Beyond collaborations, including upcoming sets in 2025 for Final Fantasy and Marvel.”

MTG Arena was down a bit in Q1, but Cocks attributed that to the client not having a remastered set like it did last year during the first quarter with the release of Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered. Barring that discrepancy, MTG Arena would have been roughly in line with the overall property. Notably, Cocks mentioned that Hasbro has a multi-year plan to invest in the areas of social-based play and collectability in the hopes to refresh the platform.

“We continue to invest in Arena, we continue to mimic all the card sets that are inside of it, and we are also investing over the long-term to refresh the platform, so you will be hearing more about that over the coming next couple of years,” Cocks said. ” It will be a long-term digital project. When you look at Magic and where our growth has been, a lot of that growth has been in social-based play like Commander and in collectability. So, certainty we will be investing in those areas on the digital platform over the long-term.”

Cocks also touched on Universes Beyond products during the Hasbro First Quarter 2024 Earnings Conference Call, singing the praises of Fallout Commander and looking forward to Final Fantasy and Marvel releases in 2025. He said Fallout Commander is probably the best performing Commander set ever, but Commander products tend to be a lot smaller than premier set releases, so you have to weigh that accordingly.

“In terms of a long-term view on Universes Beyond, I think Final Fantasy and Marvel are going to be pretty significant sets. I would put them in the same league at least as what we saw with Lord of the Rings,” Cocks said. “Marvel is just a huge IP, we’re going to be doing multiple sets with the Walt Disney Company on that, which we are pretty excited about. Final Fantasy is huge inside of North America and Europe, but our sales in Japan will probably dwarf what we did with Lord of the Rings because of the resonance it has in that market, which you should remember is the No. 2 market for Magic, and the No. 2 market overall for trading card games.”

Cocks summarized Hasbro’s view on Magic as pretty healthy, with engagement reaching pre-pandemic levels. Commander Fallout is doing well and Outlaws of Thunder Junction is off to a promising start. Q2 is a big quarter for Magic with the release of Modern Horizons 3 at the end of the quarter. Cocks thinks signs are pointing in the right direction for Hasbro.

Read the press release from Hasbro.