Game

Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket devs say it won’t have NFTs

The Pokémon Company revealed a new virtual card collecting game called Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket on Tuesday. After the reveal, fans online expressed concern that the game would contain non fungible tokens (NFTs). However, it now looks like NFTs won’t play any part in the new game. In a statement issued to Polygon, a representative of the Pokémon Company said it has “not developed or approved” any Pokémon NFTs.

Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket is a new game from the Pokémon Company, Creatures Inc., and DeNA, the developers of Pokémon Masters EX. We only got a first trailer on Monday, but it’s already clear the game will heavily emphasize digital card collecting. Because of this, fans wondered if these digital card collectibles could be sold as NFTs. One person called the new game an “NFT scam” and another said that the developers made “Pokémon NFTs in 2024.”

Polygon reached out to the Pokémon Company to seek clarification of the development team’s plans. In response, a representative told Polygon that the company “has not developed or approved of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) related to the Pokémon brand and associated intellectual property” and that any NFTs being sold with Pokémon’s intellectual property “are unofficial and in no way affiliated with The Pokémon Company International or the Pokémon brand.”

You can read the full statement below:

The Pokémon Company International has not developed or approved of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) related to the Pokémon brand and associated intellectual property. Fans should be aware that any NFTs in the marketplace featuring Pokémon intellectual property are unofficial and in no way affiliated with The Pokémon Company International or the Pokémon brand.

The idea of NFTs in a Pokémon game is an odd one. Sure, plenty of game companies have tried to find ways to incorporate NFTs into games and invested in the technology, but overall NFTs in games have been a bust. Fans of video games have rejected NFTs, and the broader crypto market that propped up NFTs also crashed. On top of all of that, NFTs’ need for blockchain technology would provide logistical challenges to development and seems like a mismatched fit for a family-friendly brand like Pokémon.

Also, in the end, it’s just unnecessary. Video game developers don’t need NFTs to create valuable and limited virtual items — just look at how much people will spend on cosmetics in any live-service game. The developers have not revealed many details of the monetization model for this game, but we know that Pocket will be a free-to-play game and players can open “two booster packs every day at no cost,” the release said.

My personal guess is that Pocket will have in-game purchases where people can buy more packs of cards to try and get a coveted card, just like fans do IRL. And just like in real life, people might be willing to spend exorbitant amounts to get the sparkling cards of their favorite Pokémon.



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