Pokémon is going all in on Pokémon TCG Pocket with one of its best development partners

Fans of the Pokémon TCG have been salivating over the upcoming release of Pokémon TCG Pocket and what the new mobile experience will bring. While we wait for details, it looks like The Pokémon Company is going all in on this product with a trusted partner operating things.

Pokémon TCG Pocket was a surprise announcement during Pokémon Day, showing a new mobile app that will let players collect, trade, and battle with their cards in a new way. Not only will the game offer free packs to players every day, but it’s also set to provide an alternate, “streamlined” format of the Pokémon TCG experience that will be easy to jump in and out of, ala Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links or Marvel Snap. That idea alone sounds like it will be a hit, and it looks like the teams working on the game know they are about to strike gold. 

Two players pulling a Mewtwo card in Pokemon TCG Pocket.
The project wants to be something people enjoy together. Screenshot via The Pokemon Company

When the game was first revealed, we learned that TPC was partnering with DeNA on the development. If you don’t know DeNa, it is the studio responsible for the wildly successful Pokémon Masters EX, along with some major credits on basically every Nintendo mobile game like Fire Emblem Heroes and Mario Kart Tour, and dozens of other successful projects since it was founded in 1999. Now, it appears TPC and DeNa are gearing up for a long-haul partnership for Pokémon TCG Pocket, as the mobile developer has shifted an existing subsidiary company around to be directly tied to the project. 

DeNA Digital Production was established in February 2020 following the release of the original version of Pokémon Masters as a joint venture between DeNa and TPC designed for “promoting collaboration” between both companies. Now, to help promote the development of TCG Pocket, the subsidiary was officially renamed on April 26 to Pokémon Card D Studio Co. However, the ownership split remains 66.6 percent DeNa and 33.4 percent TPC. 

According to DeNa’s statement, this studio aims to leverage some of the company’s experience on Masters EX to develop and “provide a stable global service” for TCG Pocket. Additionally, the listed subsidiary has a capital of 50 million yen, or around $322,000, though that likely doesn’t encompass its entire operating budget for TCG Pocket or other areas. 

Two players battling in Pokemon TCG Pocket.
This game aims to make the TCG even more accessible to play. Screenshot via The Pokemon Company

Just based on the fact Masters EX has been successful and profitable for almost five years with more than 50 million downloads and a mostly positive reputation since the August 2020 relaunch as DeNa continues to add more content to the game, TCG Pocket seems to be in good hands. Or at least better hands than some other spinoffs if sentiment around Pokémon Unite hasn’t changed and Pokémon Go continues to handle updates like the recent avatar debacle.

We still don’t have a set release date for Pokémon TCG Pocket, though it’s currently set to release at some point in 2024. If you want an early preview of the simplified gameplay, the experts at PokéBeach broke down the available footage and cards to make some guesses.

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