Despite strong sales from one of Magic: The Gathering's recent sets Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, MTG's revenue fell in the second quarter of 2020 when comopared to Q2 of 2019.
Ikoria became the best-selling Spring set of all time, but Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner confirmed in Monday's earnings call that MTG revenues fell down in the quarter, but "the brand is performing well overall and set up for a good second half of the year."
According to Goldner, the decline in revenue this year was due to a variety of factors. Q2 2019 turned out to be Magic's most successful quarter ever due to the release of Modern Horizons in June 2019, while Double Masters is scheduled for August this year.
Hasbro's total gaming category (which includes Magic) revenue fell down 19% year over year, but the combined Q1 and Q2 revenue went up 4% year over year
According to Goldner, the decline came despite the fact that Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths "is going down as the best-selling Spring set of all time". This is impressive considering that Magic's Spring sets over the last three years had been strong with the release of Dominaria in April 2018, and War of the Spark in May 2019. while Ikoria was released during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goldner said that Magic: The Gathering Arena remains strong in Q2: “Magic Arena was up in the quarter,” Goldner said. “We did see over 2.5 billion games played in total [at the end of Q2] which is up from 2.1 billion at the end of Q1.” Goldner continued, “Magic Arena players are still spending about 9 hours a week on average” playing the game, but Goldner noted that the closure of many local game stores hurt MTG's in-person play. However, he said that “the Wizards Play Network stores expanded by double digits in the quarter so, we’re seeing more stores reopening.”
Hasbro CEO also talked about Wizards' partnership with Tencent, which will distribute MTG Arena on desktop and mobile in China, and it's set to begin by the end of 2020.