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:


Zendikar (2009)

87,610 players attended pre-release events

26,287 players attended launch party events

113,897 total


Shards of Alara (2008)

65,467 players attended pre-release events

25,320 players attended launch party events

90,787 total


Lorwyn (2007)

67,568 players attended pre-release events

29,282 players attended launch party events

96,850 total


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.