Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Scott Thorne provides some retail analysis of the recent Hasbro results.

Hasbro sales for the third quarter were pretty interesting (see "Big Gains in Hasbro Gaming in Q3"). Total sales for the company are up 11% for the year, including a 19% drop in April , May, and June (see "Hasbro's Total Gaming Sales Down 19% in Q2"), and a 40% increase in WotC sales in the first quarter (see "Hasbro's Total Gaming Business Up 40% in Q1"). D&D sales for the third quarter are up about 20% and Magic sales are up  “double digits” , although the company did not specify what percentage of those revenues  came from digital sales of the product line.So looking pretty impressive so far for the year and, based on the interest showing in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and Commander Legends, not to mention Commander Legends Green (see "Preview: 'Magic: the Gathering' 'Commander Collection: Green'"), I expect to see Hasbro/WotC closing out the year up by double digits. So what can we conclusions or inferences can we draw from this:

  1. "Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play". Players of both Magic and D& D, as well as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, as well as board games and miniatures games (Games Workshop’s stock is up about 125% over the past year) keep buying products for their respective games. Here in Illinois, even with the epidemic and restrictions on groups getting together, our store is seeing sales on a par with 2019, and if we were not taking the hit from restrictions and people leery about going out, we would likely have seen a record setting year and I have heard similar stories from other stores. Players appear to have migrated to at-home play as well as play on platforms such as Discord and RollD20. I also find it interesting that, despite. as I pointed out last week the increase in online sales (see "Rolling For Initiative -- Getting in the Spirit Again"), our store is seeing steady, socially-distanced foot traffic during the summer and throughout the fall.
  2. Organized Play. Despite the importance that WotC, The Pokemon Company, and Konami put on Organized Play, the lack of it in the short term, does not appear to have hurt Magic and D&D and Pokemon sales (Yu-Gi-Oh! on the other hand, has taken a hit with the lack of Organized Play, again for the foreseeable future, as, without tournaments,  our foot traffic of Yu-Gi-Oh! players has dwindled to next to nothing, save for the release of really anticipated products such as Maximum Gold (see " Konami Reveals New Premium Gold Rare Set for 'Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG'"). Despite the ability to play in sanctioned tournaments, players have kept up a steady demand for premium and limited Magic releases such as Mystery BoostersDouble Masters, and Jumpstart. Daily, we get calls or messages for the above. Customers buy packs and booster boxes daily and weekly despite not having any Organized Play events in which to participate. It appears players have not only moved their play in home but WotC was correct in creating the Set boosters, as players still embrace the pack opening experience.

Is this a long term change in the OP dynamic? How will this affect stores built around the OP model? If OP does not come back soon, do stores built to serve it transition to a different model? Let me know what you think by emailing