The number of players participating in pre-release and release events for Magic: The Gathering was over 113,000 for the recent Zendikar release, 25% more than for Shards of Alara, the fall 2008 release. Zendikar also topped Lorwyn, the fall 2007 release, by 18%.
Magic: The Gathering, Zendikar was an exceptionally strong release, with vintage chase cards (see “M: TG: Zendikar has Vintage cards”) and riding momentum from the 2010 core set release (the first core set to include new cards).
The pre-release and launch party player counts for the fall sets over the last three years are as follow:
87,610 players attended pre-release events
26,287 players attended launch party events
Shards of Alara (2008)
65,467 players attended pre-release events
25,320 players attended launch party events
67,568 players attended pre-release events
29,282 players attended launch party events
Magic: The Gathering is the #1 collectible game in the hobby and #3 at mass (see “Top Q3 2009 Collectible Games”), the highest level it’s reached in years.