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Trading card game market in Japan grows 59% in FY 2022 on Pokemon resurgence

Twenty-fifth anniversary collection Pokemon card packages are seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 22, 2021. (Mainichi/Yuki Takahashi)

TOKYO -- The trading card game market in Japan is projected to have grown 59.0% in fiscal 2022 from the previous year to 103.8 billion yen (about $781 million) as Pokemon cards regained popularity, according to a market research firm.

    Yano Research Institute Ltd. announced the results of a survey on the analog game market on March 30. The company concluded that the market has got a major boost from the renewed popularity of Pokemon cards, which are based on the computer game "Pokemon."

    The survey was conducted from November 2022 to February 2023 through in-person interviews, phone calls and emails to businesses and industry associations involved in analog games, or games that don't require electricity.

    Pokemon cards, which debuted in 1996, have been attracting increasing attention since around 2018. Its rise in popularity is credited to the "Starter Deck," a set of various cards for immediate play, and the hit smartphone game "Pokemon GO." They are also now more popular as collectibles as it became more difficult to play face to face during the coronavirus pandemic.

    With a slew of new trading card game titles being released, and with the entry of competitors from other industries, Yano Research Institute believes that the market will continue to expand.

    (Japanese original by Satoshi Fukutomi, Business News Department)

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