The Pokemon Company has apologized to fans following the chaotic release of Pokemon Trading Card Game expansions Chilling Reign and Eevee Heroes. The Nintendo company has vowed to counter scalpers with a new system for future products.
No one could have guessed 25 years ago that Pokemon TCG items would one day sell for as much as a house. Its explosion in value in 2020 has thrust the hobby into a dire situation where fans can no longer buy products due to scalpers flooding the market.
The situation has become so bad that The Pokemon Company apologized to fans on May 11. In their letter to the community, TPC outlined their strategy moving forward to combat greedy resellers scooping everything up.
The Pokemon Company apologizes for Pokemon card shortages
In May 2021, pre-orders for upcoming expansions Chilling Reign and Eevee Heroes sold out within seconds. Sellers using bots have made it nearly impossible for TCG fans to order online. Brick and mortars have not fared any better, with retail shelves across North America being emptied.
On May 11, The Pokemon Company finally broke their silence and addressed the issue in a letter to fans. “The overall product of “Pokemon Card Game” has been well received beyond expectations and is currently out of stock. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to customers who were not able to purchase items,” a rough translation of the post read.
The Japanese creators explained that they have become overwhelmed by the demand for Pokemon cards, and promised to increase production: “We will give top priority to delivering the desired products to our customers, continue to strengthen our production system, and promote the reproduction and shipment of missing products.”
Interestingly, TPC issued a second statement following their apology and revealed they would also be implementing a lottery system moving forward for Pokemon cards being sold online.
“In response to this situation, we will carefully consider the sales method again so that customers can purchase safely, and we will not sell the following target products at Pokemon Center / Pokemon Store, but will sell them by lottery at Pokemon Center Online,” a translation of the announcement read.
Creature Inc. aren’t the only ones having to change policy to combat the scalping problem. In May, popular retailer Target had to start selling cards on one day a week. The store is now even willing to call the police on scalpers camping out at locations.
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What was initially a fun hobby for Pokemon fans for decades has now turned into a serious market. With cards selling for an absurd amount of money, it only further encouraged sellers to push players out. Only time will tell if the new policies will help to fix the situation.