Pokémon TCG Live, a new digital client for the pocket monster trading card game announced less than two months ago, has been delayed until 2022. The pushback, which also affects several planned soft launches for mobile devices, will ostensibly provide the development teams time to finish the game.
The official Pokémon TCG Twitter account announced the delay on November 4th, saying the mobile soft launch in Canada and global open beta for desktop users were rescheduled for 2022 “to provide Trainers with a more polished experience. We’ll have more to share soon on timing for both this testing period and the full launch of Pokémon TCG Live.”
Pokémon TCG Live is being developed and published by The Pokémon Company with no other teams - specifically any with experience creating digital card games - officially tied to the project, as of yet. The existing Pokémon Trading Card Game Online was developed and is maintained by Dire Wolf Digital, which has adapted several board games to PCs, including Root, Sagrada and Reiner Knizia’s Yellow & Yangtze.
Opinions of Pokémon TCG Online are marred by a glut of bugs and glitches that have been left untreated, a tutorial long out of date with the current state of the trading card game and missing features that players have come to expect as part of a baseline digital experience.
The Pokémon Company has already announced that Live will effectively replace its predecessor, with the mobile app and desktop client officially ending support prior to the new game’s launch. Players’ collections will make the migration through a transfer process that will be outlined in detail closer to Live’s going, well… live. Essentially, cards and decklists that can’t transfer directly will be converted into one of the new game’s many currencies that can be spent on new singles.
Pokémon TCG Live looks to position itself as the preeminent way to play the card game online, supporting both casual battles and competitive matches with a ranked ladder. New players will have access to eight preconstructed decks to help ease them into the current metra as they learn how to play the Pokémon TCG. It’s also the best looking app to date and will support portrait-orientation play, along with cross-platform connectivity between mobile and PC.
Reactions to the announcement on Twitter seemed generally positive with many content to wait longer for the best possible experience. Some reiterated a current frustration that they would have to deal with the janky Pokémon TCG Online client for a few months longer, while others seemed relieved that a rushed development cycle likely wouldn’t lead to a repeat of history and little to no improvement despite a new name.
Code cards printed with branding for Pokémon TCG Live had already been included in booster packs and other boxes prior to the delay announcement, according to the game’s Twitter account. Players will be able to redeem those in Pokémon TCG Online for now while the community waits for more information on their new home.