The Pokemon Company announced that he is developing an unscripted television series focusing on the Pokémon trading card game. It is also disclosed an open casting for fans “of all ages and interests” based in the Los Angeles, CA area.
No TV production company is listed in the press release sent out by The Pokémon Company. Legal documents affiliated with the open casting call list “Buckingham Television Inc.” as the production company behind the effort, with Los Angeles-area production company Front Foot First listed as the casting company.
A cross search of California company records shows that Buckingham Television shares an address and CEO with The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). IPC is the production company behind documentary series like Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on the A&E Network, and the drag queen road trip series We’re Here on HBO.
It doesn’t appear that the unscripted series of the Pokémon Trading Card Game is a competition show. Pokémon Trading Card Game Vice President Barry Sams said the company is looking to highlight “dedicated competitors in the Play! Pokémon program and casual players who battle after school with their friends and their family”.
Pokémon Trading Card Game collectors are also in the spotlight
The show will apparently also be interested in “collectors or amateurs in general”. Collecting the Pokémon Trading Card Game has become headlines on the COVID-19 pandemicas soaring card prices have sparked increased interest in collecting and flipping Pokemon cards.
It has also led companies like Target to stop selling said cards after dealing with too many aggressive customers. In 2022, The Pokémon Company decided to mitigate card rarity by print over 9 billion new cards.
No more IP exploitation of video game properties
We noted that over the past couple of years, traditional entertainment companies have shown renewed interest in producing shows and movies based on video game intellectual property. An unscripted series of Pokémon trading card games would be a new direction for the Pokémon brand, which has previously dominated the realms of animation and found success with the live-action adaptation of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.
The world of unscripted television is fairly uncharted territory for video game brands, with the exception of documentaries following the world of esports.
The Pokémon Company is in a rather unique position compared to other brands in the games industry, since the success of the trading card game has been its own titanic phenomenon independent of the success of video games. But that doesn’t mean other studios and publishers wouldn’t want a slice of the unscripted TV market.
A competing director would be Konami and the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, but one wonders if EA would want to find something similar out of the world of EA Sports FC (formerly known as Fifa series of games).