My old, beloved (and slightly grubby) copy of Pokémon TCG on Game Boy. (Image: Nintendo Life)
Soapbox features enable our individual writers to voice their own opinions on hot topics, opinions that may not necessarily be the voice of the site. In this piece, Ryan explores the idea of a Pokémon TCG video game reboot and why now could be the perfect time for such a release…
Considering just how many Pokémon games are out there, and how good The Pokémon Company has always been at hoovering up every last penny from its global army of fans, it’s pretty surprising to realise that the official Pokémon Trading Card Game has only ever been adapted into video game form twice – and even then, one of those was exclusive to Japan.
While the ideas might not always be for me, I’ll always appreciate Pokémon being used in new and interesting ways – like an app that helps kids to brush their teeth – but we’re talking about a series that isn’t afraid to recycle old ideas whether fans care for them or not. There have been a whopping eleven Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, for example, and between main series entries, remakes, spin-offs, and mobile titles, fans of the franchise have become used to seeing a small handful of new Pokémon experiences launch each year.
© The Pokémon Company
These classic Pokémon cards are making a comeback this year.
So how come the Trading Card Game format – an already-established game in its own right that has shifted a staggering 30.4 billion cards over the last twenty-five years – has been used so little? Would a new video game based on the card game make sense? Would it generate the insane levels of revenue the company would expect and help to shift even more physical cards? The answers to those latter questions are ‘probably’ and ‘quite possibly’, but I’d argue there’s never been a better time for the Pokémon gods to give it a go.
As you’ll likely hear countless times over the next few months as new products hit store shelves, this year marks Pokémon’s 25th anniversary. A “very special” year of celebrations has been teased (Katy Perry’s already on board, for starters) and knowing how much The Pokémon Company likes to revisit the past, you can be sure there’ll be some nods to where the series all started thrown into the mix. Indeed, on a fittingly topical note, some iconic Pokémon cards are being rereleased as part of the fun.
Suddenly, a whole community of players who would meet up at clubs or game shops to play and trade can no longer do so
That’s a good enough reason for a TCG video game reboot in itself, but of course the anniversary falls at a weird time with the COVID pandemic raging on; while video…