Wizards of the Coast has built a house of cards. The company, a unit of toy behemoth Hasbro, is best known for trading card game Magic: The Gathering, which is available in several languages. Wizards of the Coast's other offerings include the granddaddy of medieval role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons) and various traditional games, books, and magazines. The company also makes Star Wars games through a license. Through the years, Wizards of the Coast's hobby games have earned a cult following, with children and teens still playing the firm's games with friends into their adulthood. Former CEO Peter Adkison, game designer Richard Garfield, and several others founded the company in 1990.
With Dungeons & Dragons and Magic products representing the cornerstone of the company's and its parent's products portfolio, Hasbro reshuffled its staff in recent years to concentrate on key growth strategies. Specifically for Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro boosted staff to support its push for innovation among its top products. While Hasbro is squeezing a profit out of its overall business, the games maker is investing in product development and sales and marketing at its Wizards of the Coast subsidiary. As a result of the push, Wizards of the Coast in 2009 launched its Duels of the Planeswalkers title for Xbox Live Arcade to build on the Magic: The Gathering saga.
Uber retailers Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys "R" Us remain important customers, generating nearly half of Hasbro's sales. Hasbro promotes Wizards of the Coast and its other games properties through its Family Game Night marketing campaign, as well as by offering consumers other ways to interact with its brands. Outside the retail world, Wizards of the Coast is also working to capture the attention of younger readers by ensuring that their books are in US schools and libraries.
At one time the firm operated about 85 Game Keeper and Wizards of the Coast stores, but parent Hasbro closed them all due to ongoing sales declines and refocused Wizards of the Coast as a game developer and designer. – less