The accusation of destroying Magic: The Gathering obviously rankles Hasbro. In an approximately 45-minute webcast, Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks and Wizards of the Coast President Cynthia Williams not only commented on the statements made by Bank of America analyst Jason Haas, but also on the future sales strategy for the Magic: The Gathering brand explained.

Is Hasbro gradually destroying the success of Magic: The Gathering? According to the bank analyst's allegations, this central question was in the room, occupied fans, but above all collectors of rare cards. It can be read in detail here: Analyst: Hasbro destroys Magic: The Gathering.

Hasbro stock reacted with a significant price correction. Hasbro had initially not commented - until now. In a webcast lasting almost 45 minutes, the executive floors took a stand and defended their business practices. According to their statements, the main accusation about too many trading cards is wrong: Overall, there is no evidence that Magic is being overprinted, according to Cynthia Williams, President of the Wizards of the Coast.

Hasbro: Releases are distributed more evenly

The UBS analyst Arpiné Kocharyan had invited to the virtual fireside chat. And Hasbro accepted the invitation. The allegations made against Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast were serious: The central statement was that the toy giant would damage the "Magic: The Gathering" brand in the long term due to its rapid pace of new releases and the sheer volume of new card expansions. This triggered a small tremor within the community – collectors of rare cards in particular were upset. They saw the falling prices in the secondary (collector's) market as clear evidence that Hasbro was printing too many cards. 

Among others, the management level defended itself against this basic assumption: "We understand that some players focus on the collection aspects of Magic, and we are happy when players still appreciate the products years after the initial release," said WotC boss Williams. At the same time, however, she cautioned that the company does not engage in, nor derive any income from, trading or selling aftermarket activities for Magic products. 

If this statement were to stand alone, it could even be misunderstood. As a result, Williams explains that what one hears from local retailers that trade and sell cards after an initial sale is that "like any market for other collectible products, some products and individual cards become more collectible than others." The collection values ​​would change over time - according to Cynthia Williams due to a "variety of external factors". Many of these are completely independent of the number of cards printed.

"We have no evidence that there has been any widespread negative post-purchase change in interest in trading or selling Magic products," the Wizards of the Coast CEO said in summary. 

Hasbro also wants to underpin the statements with numerical relations. According to this, the average sales volumes after the market launch of the central Premiere sets in 2022 remained unchanged compared to the previous year. So there is no indication of too many printed cards. 

There may be a misconception among fans about ticket prices, as Hasbro is trying to explain. Hasbro wouldn't cut back on major releases anyway, they produce on a demand basis, i.e. they print the number that the trade is asking for. If the ticket prices increase as a result of a new release, it could simply be that the contingents made available so far are sold out. Customers are simply unable to purchase the cards they want to purchase or play with.

Wizards of the Coast: Listen to the customers

Another point of criticism the boardroom faced was the price of Magic: The Gathering's 30th Anniversary Edition. Almost $1.000 was called for the 60 cards. Fans were suitably upset, as it also included reprints - albeit not 1:1 copies - of rare cards. Wizards President Williams and Hasbro CEO Cocks said they heard fan feedback "loud and clear." In response, a smaller number of the sets were released. In the case of Magics Warhammer 40K sets, they now also want to throw an adequate number onto the market, which should serve the demand. 

Williams confirms how relevant Magic: The Gathering is for Hasbro: "Magic will be our first billion dollar brand this year". 

The aim is to develop the brand “before the toy industry” and act actively with the sales strategy. "Most of the time, we get it right," Williams said. Every now and then you react, take a step back and pay attention to the feedback from the community. 

The outlook for 2023 for fans is now similar to that for the current year. Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro plan to launch six major releases. But: The publications should be distributed more evenly over the year. Hasbro had apparently planned the density of new releases in the second half of 2022 differently: Williams cites some problems in the supply chain as the reason. In 2023 they want to rely on a release rhythm of about two months - with a few micro sets in between. 

And something else might sound exciting for Magic fans: More crossovers are to be expected - also to "non-magical brands" like "The Lord of the Rings" and "Doctor Who". The company bosses see these collaborations as a primary strategy for attracting new players to Magic: The Gathering.

No less interesting is the statement that the largest area of ​​growth for the trading card game Magic is in the digital area. This means players who play Magic: The Gathering both with physical cards and online "Magic: The Gathering - Arena" - they would spend around 40 percent more than other fans. Incidentally, this successful model is also to be applied to Dungeons & Dragons. 

And Hasbro's share price? It's still in the red zone. It fell by around 30 percent within the five-year period. In mid-December 2017 it was 81 euros, currently it is around 57 euros. 

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