Six months ago I posted that Magic on Xbox Live was a Trojan Horse of sorts: an online ad calling on lapsed players to come back to Jamaica. You know, all of you millions of players from the 90s or early 00’s that have given up the game: try it again! Fall in love with the easy XBox game, want more, then get back into buying the cards (whether physical or online).
It seemed like a reasonable supposition. And to some level, no doubt it’s true.
Then a friend linked this today: XBox Live’s topselling titles. Duels of the Planeswalkers, #1. Now, I have no idea what time period that sample measures: the week? the month? But regardless, it’s half a year after release, and this game has serious legs. A lot of people have been playing this game who were just curious about it, or got roped into buying it to play with friends. Duels turned out to be more than just an ad, and I imagine it’s contributing nicely to Hasbro’s bottom line, more than even they expected.
In any event, the success speaks not only to the power of the brand, but also some good game design choices: supporting the trifecta of co-op, single player, and competitive play supports different kinds of players, and encourages the network effect growth that multiplayer games (online or not) can do best.
(No, I don’t have any Hasbro stock anymore.)