The Pokemon Trading Card Game will launch in China in the coming months. Pokemon's official Chinese website first announced the news later this week, confirming that The Pokemon Company will publish Pokemon trading cards in Simplified Chinese for the first time later this year. PokeBeach, which was the first to report the news, states that cards from the Sun & Moon series will be the first to be reprinted in Simplified Chinese, with a goal of catching up to the Japanese release schedule with frequent releases. A press conference will take place on September 28th to provide more details about the rollout of Simplified Chinese Pokemon cards.
The Chinese family of languages has two sets of characters – the more complex Traditional Chinese set and the Simplified Chinese promoted by the PRC in the 1940s. While Simplified Chinese characters are primarily used in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong both use Traditional Chinese sets. The Pokemon Company currently publishes Pokemon cards in Traditional Chinese, which are sold in Hong Kong and Taiwan. By printing the cards using Simplified Chinese, The Pokemon Company can start to sell cards to a much larger demographic in China.
The Pokemon Company has made moves in recent years to expand into the Chinese market. Pokemon Sun and Moon was the first game to be translated into Simplified Chinese, which came just a year after the Chinese government lifted a 15 year ban on video games. The Pokemon Company also changed several Pokemon names to satisfy Chinese government regulations. This included changing the names of Pokemon that had English letters or Arabic numerals in them, along with changing Pokemon names that referenced "negative" words such as "death" or "thief."
Expect to hear more details about this expansion to the Pokemon Trading Card Game in the coming weeks.