Nintendo of America Inc. and Pokemon USA Inc. have announced that effective January 1, 2006, Pokemon USA will assume the consumer marketing and distribution responsibilities for the Pokemon Trading Card Game in North America. Nintendo of America, which also markets and distributes Pokemon (and many other) video games, has managed the distribution and consumer marketing efforts for the Pokemon TCG for the past three years. During this time Pokemon USA has focused on establishing the highly successful Pokemon Organized Play Program (see 'From the Gnome's Perspective -- Rating CCG OP') and international distribution of the game.
The long-running Pokemon TCG, which was introduced into the U.S. in 1998, remains popular -- it was ranked at #4 in the most recent ICv2 Retailers Guide to Games. Pokemon USA is a subsidiary of The Pokemon Company in Japan and manages the property outside of Asia. In less than a decade the Pokemon franchise has generated over $25 billion in worldwide sales and resulted in the sale of over 14 billion Pokemon trading cards. Pokemon USA and Nintendo will continue to work closely to promote synergy between the Pokemon video games and the Pokemon TCG, which means the pattern of coordinated releases between the two media should continue.