I am super excited about where we are today with the Pokémon TCG Online and what we have accomplished. Though it may not seem to the casual observer that the March game update was noteworthy, it was actually a significant milestone for the game. We completed the deployment of the new game UI and updated the server technology used to run the game client.
Additionally, we began alpha testing our final core game feature: Tournaments. Though we will consider the core game features complete once we move beyond the alpha testing of tournaments, we will continue to work to implement improvements to the overall game experience. These improvements will range from usability improvements to expanded functionality, some of which we believe will truly excite and surprise the community.
There are still opportunities for polishing the new UI, and we will continue to address these as resources allow. We’re planning some cosmetic improvements for the next game update, focused on improving the coin flip presentation and the end of match experience. We’ve also seen a lot of feedback from the community about the presentation and functionality of the Trade section. While we don’t have anything in store for the next build, we’re planning to deploy some significant improvements to this area of the game over the next few months.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to finally see Tournaments in the game. Seeing the excitement in the community as we roll out testing sessions has been a great source of joy for myself and the rest of the team. Thousands of players from around the world participated in the testing periods that occurred in April, accounting for over 1,500 tournaments! These tests have provided the team with valuable insights into areas which need improvement, from simple cosmetic changes to more significant infrastructure improvements. We’ve addressed many of these issues already, and plan to resume testing after next week’s game update. Though we would love nothing more than to turn this functionality on full-time, we feel that it is critical that Tournaments are well tested before we officially roll them out.
The core of next week’s game update will be the addition of the Pokémon TCG: XY—Flashfire expansion to the game. As mentioned above, we’re also including some cosmetic improvements in this update, such as a new coin flip presentation and additional end of match graphics. Several tweaks have been made to the game log to help improve the level of detail available to players during and after a match. Finally, we’ve made some revisions to the matchmaking system used in Versus Mode to help players find a competitive match more often.
In addition to these content and features improvements going in to the game next week, we have a really full plate for the rest of the spring and summer, with some really big surprises in store for our little game that I cannot wait to share with you.
Until then enjoy the game, and enjoy the new set of cards for our favorite trading card game!
Sr. Director, Online Product Development