One of the biggest names in magic today, British magician Drummond Money-Coutts, is breaking into the tabletop game market and is turning to Israel to make his newest game digital.
Also known as DMC, this British-born magician, card shark and heir apparent to the Latymer Barony is billed as the “magician of choice for royalty, presidents and prime ministers. Coming from a line of bankers managing the prestigious nearly three-century-old Coutts & Co. bank, DMC chose to break into the magic scene, and has seen considerable success. Though known among magic aficionados, he shot into the mainstream in 2018 with his successful Netflix series Death By Magic, where he recreated magic tricks that had killed magicians in the past, including the legendary Harry Houdini himself.
The show was a hit, though not renewed for a second season – something DMC said was understandable.
“As with any television show, you never have enough time, never have enough rehearsals,” he told The Jerusalem Post while visiting Israel. “Our head of safety wasn’t qualified and we had a lot of things going wrong. We’re all thankful it hadn’t been much, much worse.”
But then COVID-19 happened.
As was the case in many industries, and especially in the entertainment sector, magic took a big hit during the pandemic. Live performances were made difficult, and work became harder to find.
But many people took up hobbies or new projects during the lockdown, and DMC is no exception.
“I took up a number of projects during COVID,” he explained. “One of them is a card game called ZILCH!, something I created and have been selling this year.”
The card game markets itself as a fast-paced card-based word game and is described by DMC as a “21st century love-child of UNO and Scrabble.” Its rules are simple and easy to pick up, though there are different skill levels for more experienced players, and can be played by two-eight players.
Since its release, ZILCH! has been a massive hit, quickly selling out.
“We made thousands of units, sold them, and now we made many more in the run-up to Christmas,” DMC explained, adding that he plans to start shopping them to bigger distributors around the world.
Currently, the game can be bought on DMC’s website, store.dmcmagic.com, for £15 (approximately NIS 61.40).
But he also wants to take his game to the digital era, and that is what brings him to Israel.
At the advice of a friend, DMC decided to pitch ZILCH! to an Israeli gaming start-up.
The Start-Up Nation is no stranger to the gaming industry, especially in mobile games. Companies like Playtika and Plarium have become major players in the mobile gaming industry, putting out popular casual gaming titles as well as more story-focused ones like Raid: Shadow Legends.
As a skill-based card game that is easy to pick up, ZILCH! seems to be a great fit.
However, breaking into this new market has not taken DMC away from his true passion of magic.
“There’s a show inside of me that we were just about to make pre-COVID that is very, very different from anything that’s ever been done before,” he explained. “It’s in many ways the opposite of Death by Magic. It’s a very beautiful genre. It’s something I’ve been doing privately for many years and will change everything.”
DMC was unable to share any more details, but that’s to be expected, and not just because of how far along this new show is at this time isn’t clear.
Because after all, a magician never reveals their secrets.