US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

COVID-19 Pandemic Boosts Sales, Popularity of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering

One challenge faced by nearly every household in the US has been that of entertainment: with many activities off-limits due to pandemic-related safety concerns (baseball games, concerts, large-scale family gatherings) or restricted (new movies and television shows), people have had to finds new ways of ending the tedium of staying at home.

A solution to this problem for some has been a surprising one: an increase in the sales of both Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks and accessories and of sets of Magic: The Gathering cards. These games – popular in the 80s and 90s – might seem to be odd choices for a sales resurgence, given the traditional notion of these games being played by small groups of people sitting around a table… the perfect setting for spreading the coronavirus.

However, a number of factors have spurred interest in D&D and Magic: The Gathering:

  • Players quickly discovered that games could be played “together” on Zoom, permitting virtual dungeon crawls from the safety of one’s home (without needing to obtain a periapt of health)
  • The popularity of podcasts and other social media posts featuring gamers, including noted celebrities – showing others that it was possible to play them remotely
  • The publishing of Magic cards with characters and themes from other TV shows and other pop culture phenomenon
  • The announcement by Wizards of the Coast (the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons) that it would offer free materials for download – allowing new players entrance to the world of RPGs

Thus, for many Americans, regular gaming has been a saving throw against boredom, while also offering new entertainments to people who would never have considered the hobby.

For more information, see Freedonia Focus’s Toys & Games: United States report.

  Consumer Goods      Covid-19