Wizards of the Coast’s Leeds on the State of the Field
“The state of the economy is impacting every business right now; however I remain optimistic that our industry can grow and prosper in both the short term and long term,” Leeds said. “The inevitable changes forced by hard times will leave the remaining companies and brands stronger and better able to serve the gaming community with great product and service at a reasonable price. Gaming is an activity that can have tremendous entertainment value relative to the cost.”
He indicated that retailers are reporting that diehard gamers are giving up other luxuries but maintaining their commitment to favorite games. As a result, their recent efforts to emphasize both Magic: The Gathering ands Dungeons & Dragons comes at a good time.
“We have an array of initiatives and product releases that will get current gamers more involved with our core brands as well as bring new people in. Particularly in tough economic times, customers will gravitate towards established brands that they trust and have proven play value — a "flight to quality." Then the critical mass effect occurs — more players means more interest by others in playing…and so on.
“We have plans to enhance every aspect of how we take Magic: The Gathering and Dungeon & Dragons to market. Our games, as usual, are getting better and better. The new Pre-Release program is driving incremental revenue to our store base. We are reaching out to schools and libraries to recruit new players who will go back to stores for product. Our advertising and promotion programs are driving a new level of cool. The “Here I Rule” campaign for Magic has just kicked off and early feedback is great. Our digital initiatives are starting to bite. D&D Insider has successfully launched with thousands of subscribers and Magic Online has gone through a user interface face-lift.”