Following on from the success of Pokémon Go, the Pokémon collectible card game could be the next big smartphone hit for the pocket monster franchise. Although not announced by the Pokémon Company or Nintendo, a new report claims that the long-time card game will be making its way to a smartphone near you.
Over the past decade, real-world card games have shown themselves to be incredibly popular in the digital world. Whether you look to classics like Magic the Gathering, or more recent standouts like Hex and Hearthstone, the format works well in a digital form. There’s no reason to suggest that Pokémon couldn’t offer the same, especially considering its popularity as a franchise elsewhere in the gaming world.
Not much is known about the game at the moment, though the Wall Street Journal’s report (via UberGizmo) does claim that the Pokémon Company itself will be involved in its development. It has declined to comment on the rumor, so anything we say for now will be speculation.
The most obvious question to wonder about is whether the original game’s format of energy and abilities will carry over to the new digital version, or whether the developers will look to draw inspiration from games like Hearthstone, which streamlined traditional mechanics to much success. It seems likely, though, that whatever guise the game comes in it will look to leverage the massive collection of existing Pokémon in order to sell card packs.
It seems hard to imagine such a game would capture the casual audience that was so excited during the initial launch of Pokémon Go. That game’s blend of real-world ‘gameplay’ and nostalgia helped rocket it to revenue of more than a billion dollars in its first year.
That said, the Pokémon card game has maintained a solid fanbase over the past couple of decades and with the growth of online card gaming as a genre, it’s possible it could be a reasonable success if indeed it is in the works. There’s certainly a lot of source material to draw from.