In 1997 Wizards of the Coast was a privately held company, best known for the world's number one selling adventure trading-card game, Magic: The Gathering. Founded in 1990 by Peter Adkison and several other young professionals, and bolstered by the success of Magic, the company has grown into the largest adventure gaming company in the world. The idea behind the game is to combine a fantasy-playing concept with a trading card format, where players can buy and sell collectible cards, similar to baseball cards. Wizards released Magic in 1993 and it was an instant success. Since then, an entire sub-culture has developed, where those who play the game do it as more of a hobby than simply a card game, dedicating a significant amount of time and money. .
In order to distribute their product, Wizards had initially built a widespread network of small hobby, game, and comic shops. Along with their popularity, they have since expanded into larger chain stores such as Toys "R" Us, Barnes and Noble, and Target. Likewise, the design and manufacture of the game initially started small with a single source supplier, but has grown significantly in order to be able to keep up with demand. Until the late 90's, the success enjoyed by Wizards had been founded solely in the popularity of Magic and related "spin-off" products. To add breadth to their product line, and to reduce competition, Wizards solidified its position in the adventure gaming market by acquiring two of its most significant competitors- 1) Five Rings Publishing and 2) TSR (the creators of Dungeons and Dragons). .
Peter Adkison's vision for Wizards of the Coast was to establish games as a fun entertainment choice for people of all ages. (http://www.wizards.com/whatis/main.asp?x=founder).
Because Wizards of the Coast is only in one business, its corporate and business strategies are identical. They consist of the following components:.