How Do Trading Card Games Make Money?

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By Ralph Torres

In recent years, trading card games (TCGs) have become increasingly popular. From Pokémon to Magic: The Gathering, TCGs have amassed a huge following around the world.

But how do these games make money? Let’s take a closer look.

Card Sales

The most obvious way that TCGs make money is through the sale of cards. Players purchase booster packs, starter decks, and individual cards to build their own decks and compete against other players. These sales generate revenue for the TCG company.


Some players collect cards simply for their aesthetic or sentimental value. The rarity of certain cards can drive up their value significantly, with some cards selling for thousands of dollars. This creates a market for collectors who are willing to spend large amounts of money in order to complete their collections.


TCG companies often organize and sponsor tournaments where players can compete against one another for prizes. These tournaments can range from local events with small prizes to international events with large cash payouts.

Entry Fees

Players typically pay an entry fee to participate in these tournaments, which generates revenue for the TCG company. These fees can range from just a few dollars to several hundred dollars depending on the size and prestige of the event.


In addition to entry fees, TCG companies may also secure sponsorships from other businesses looking to reach the TCG community. These sponsorships can provide additional revenue streams for the company.

Digital Games

Many TCGs have expanded into digital formats such as mobile apps and online games. Players can purchase digital packs and decks in these games just like they would with physical cards.

In-Game Purchases

These digital games often include in-game purchases such as booster packs or special decks. These purchases generate revenue for the TCG company and can be a significant source of income.


Digital games also provide opportunities for advertising revenue. Companies can pay to have their ads displayed within the game, providing an additional revenue stream for the TCG company.


In summary, trading card games make money through a variety of channels including card sales, tournaments, digital games, and sponsorships. With the popularity of TCGs continuing to grow, it’s clear that these games are here to stay.