In a Hasbro webinar on December 8, Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams responded to claims that overprinting Magic: The Gathering cards was harming Hasbro’s value. “There is no evidence that Magic is overprinted”, she says, “and the sentiment of ‘Magic needs to cut print runs to support prices’ is a misunderstanding of our business and our customers”.
After conducting a deep dive into MTG, Bank of America stated back in November that overproducing Magic cards was “destroying the long-term value of the brand”. At the time, this assessment caused Hasbro’s share value to drop. The analyst responsible for the report hypothesised that this was partly because too many product releases were negatively impacting secondary markets and causing frustration for collectors and local game stores alike.
Williams refutes the claims in the Hasbro livestream, citing Magic’s print-to-demand approach for most products as one reason Hasbro is supplying cards at an adequate level. “Most of our Magic releases are print-to-demand,” she says. “This means we print and reprint products in a set to support players and customers who want to buy it, usually to play with it.” “After an initial selling period, prior to the launch of a set, all re-orders after that set reflect real demand”, she adds.
“Our average post-launch sales quantity for tentpole premiere sets remains unchanged in 2022 compared to 2021. If our prices for a print-to-demand product rise significantly soon after launch,” Williams says, “ that means we are not adequately meeting customer demand, and we are making millions of players unhappy at their not being able to acquire cards they want to play”.
Speaking about the secondary market, Williams also says “we have no indication that there have been any broad negative changes to interest in trading or post-purchase selling of Magic products”. “It could be easy for someone who is unfamiliar with our pre-release sales strategy to draw a negative conclusion about changes in resale values shortly after the release”, she adds.
Overall, Cynthia Williams and Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks say Magic is in a healthy place. “Magic is bigger than it’s ever been”, Williams says. “It’s on pace to become Hasbro’s first billion-dollar brand.” Despite Magic: The Gathering having its “best year ever” financially in 2021, Wizards of the Coast revenue in 2022 dropped $60m from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022.
For more recent MTG news, find why fans are angry at the MTG 30th Anniversary Edition set. Or, for something more evergreen, we can point you to the best MTG Arena decks, as well as a complete list of MTG Arena codes.