The Pokémon TCG Online inches closer to a final sunsetting now that the developer has announced an official end to expansion support. March 1st will mark the end of official support outside of necessary technical upkeep.
The Pokémon Company, publisher of the physical trading card game and its digital app counterparts, announced on January 31st its plans to end card set development for the older Online app. It claimed resources - likely staff and budget - will be redirected towards the Pokémon TCG Live, which recently launched its global beta stage on mobile devices and PC.
Pokémon TCG: Crown Zenith will be the last set of cards released on the Online app, though the in-game Versus Ladder rewards will continue until the notoriously buggy and slow app breathes its last gasp. The Pokémon Company previously outlined how players can migrate (most of) their collection to Live, and the experience is now a lot cleaner and more reliable - no lost collectibles or missing cosmetics, for the most part.
We still have no clear date for Pokémon TCG Online’s ultimate end - today’s announcement only mentions an “eventual game sunset” along with no plans to update the standard rotation for 2023, nor implement errata for Pokémon Tool cards causing issues in constructed play. In essence, if it’s not emergency maintenance or critical bug fixes don’t expect much attention from developers.
According to the Pokémon TCG Online Senset FAQ, Crown Zenith will launch on January 19th and unlock access to boosters and associated collections and trainer boxes. An additional update on February 16th will include three special collections: Lucario VSTAR, Kleavor VSTAR and Pikachu VMAX. After that, the roadmap runs out, and all signs point towards account migration.
The sunset FAQ linked above contains the procedure for merging accounts, along with what will and will not survive the transfer. Pokémon TCG Online, developed by Dire Wolf Digital, has been in use for over a decade and was definitely showing its age. The publisher claimed it was simply time for a major overhaul in order to implement a better card-logic engine, 3D graphics, duplicate protection on cards and other features now standard in other digital TCGs. It also allowed the addition of a battle pass and new premium currencies more in-line with contemporary live-service games.