Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. has announced that it is taking control of “all operational and business aspects” of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, effective immediately.   This includes distribution and customer support, which were previously handled by Upper Deck, which was Konami’s exclusive distributor for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG here.  Yu Gi Oh! is the #2 CCG in the U.S. (see “Top Fall 2008 CCGs”). 


Konami began operating in the tabletop game space directly in the U.S. earlier this year by releasing the Blue Dragon Roleplaying TCG (see “Konami Gets Blue Dragon TCG Rights”). 


We’ve also received word that Upper Deck has filed suit for $75 million against Konami in Nevada District Court.


Konami is in a similar position to Nintendo and Pokemon USA, which took control of the Pokemon TCG from Wizards of the Coast back in 2003.  That separation also led to litigation (see “Wizards of the Coast Sues Nintendo”), which was eventually settled (see “WotC, Nintendo Settle Pokemon Dispute“).