While the Pokémon Company’s physical card game is regularly updated with new sets, it’s been years since there was a significant refresh of the digital companion platform, where collectors could scan their pulls and battle other players without worrying about damaging their treasured pieces of shiny cardboard. Soon, though, that’s about to change.
Today, following a handful of rumours about plans for a new application’s rollout, the Pokémon Company announced the impending arrival of Pokémon TCG Live, the successor to the old Pokémon TCG Online platform that was first rolled out in 2012.
As was the case with Pokémon TCG Online, players will be able to add digital equivalents to physical cards they find in packs containing unique QR codes. What’s going to set Live apart from its predecessor though is that the application will be supported on phones as well as tablets, which was one of the biggest barriers of entry to getting into Pokémon TCG Online.
In a press release about the new free-to-play game, the Pokémon Company explained how Live’s meant to be accessible to people who are completely new to the game — as well as longtime players, who will be able to transfer data (some, but not all) from their old Online accounts to the new system. While people will be able to move their profiles and game data over to Live’s new servers, many cards predating 2018’s Lost Thunder set will not be playable (though you can transfer them over) at launch. One significant detail that may disappoint fans is that trading functionality will not be not be supported in the new game, meaning that users will only be able to add new cards to their accounts by scanning in QR codes directly or by using in-game currency to purchase new digital cards.
What’s going to be very interesting to see in the coming months is what impact (if any) Pokémon TCG Live has on the casual and competitive game spaces, which have both existed somewhat separately from the collecting space for some time. Everything about Pokémon TCG Live sounds designed to remind everyone that people are still out here doing more with their Pokémon cards than just looking at them, and convince them that maybe they should give it a shot as well.
Pokémon TCG Live will be available to download in the coming weeks.