More than an Advertisement?

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.)


  • I’m still wait­ing for the time when they final­ly release M:tg on Face­book so I can destroy all my free time (and spare change) play­ing the game and spam­ming the heck out of my friends with feeds.

  • Thanks for the plug. 🙂 Lots of stuff went right on this one, and you’re right…it’s adding to our bot­tom line nice­ly by pulling in/re-engag­ing all those fringe and lapsed play­ers from yes­ter­year. The big­ger effect is seen even on the paper side, where loads of peo­ple are get­ting back into stores with tons of own­ers telling us how much DotP has meant to them. Mag­ic Online is sport­ing some pret­ty amaz­ing increas­es in new accounts imme­di­ate­ly after push­es on Xbox too. The time peri­od you cap­tured for the OP here was when MSFT was kind enough to make us their XBLA deal of the week, which (pre­dictably) real­ly spiked sales, but even with­out that push, we’ve hung around the top 5 for going on 8 months now, and I think we’ve only been out of the top 10 for a day or two.

    Pret­ty amaz­ing indeed.

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