News from outside the USA ... and Happy New Year

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by Michel, Dec 30, 2003.

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  1. Michel

    Michel New Member

    We’re close to the end of the year, maybe time to try to have a look again at the situation outside the USA.

    In Europe, England seem to be the leader now. Leagues starting Jan 1 2004 and tournaments already sanctioned and reported. They even talk about a qualifier for Worlds 2004.

    Germany, according to the distributor’s website, has started the league program in November. No news about tournaments.

    Italy should start POP on Jan 1 2004.

    Holland could seem to be active, but thanks to Rainbowgym’s messages, we know that we may be afraid of the quality of POP in that country.

    Belgium : nothing

    France has now a distributor, but nothing is said on their website. Hope for that country anyway after years of Pokemon desert.

    Spain, Portugal, Switzerland : nothing very clear about POP on the distributor’s websites.

    We now see that the situation is very different from country to country. The fact that UK is ahead of the other countries is probably due to the hard work of the Profs in that country, and it’s great to see that all they’ve done for years is now rewarded. :thumb:

    If we have the sets almost at the same time as in the USA, we still have no Nintendo/PUI promo, except those bought on Ebay. ;)
    Except the information about the UK qualifier, nothing has been said about other parts of the program, and in most of the countries nothing has been said about the whole POP program at all.

    I do follow the POP news on the web, but all the people who’re talking to me about TCG are absolutely sure that Pokemon is dead and will never come back. Most of these people were regular Pokemon players at leagues or tournaments, and some of them are even shop owners.

    In countries like Belgium, we may not forget that the Yu Gi Oh community, despite problems with OP that still have to be solved, is still growing.
    2004 will also see Dual Masters in the shops (the new game of Wizards), and Wizards will start the MtG Junior Super Series in Europe. Will players go back to Wizards and their games ? Personally I think so, especially if there is no really strong support to POP.

    Talking about the UK qualifier, I regret that it will be an ‘invitational only’ tournament. This means that players from other countries will not be allowed to play (side events ? no thanks !) and if all the qualifiers are run the same way, we’ll lose the most interesting and motivating part of the game.
    Thanks to main events, Wizards has given us the opportunity to meet players from other countries, to play with them, draft in the hotels until late in the night, … If we lose that, the Pokemon community in Europe will be web-based only, and a big part of the human factor in the game will be lost.
    I try to imagine the past years without Hannover, Paris, Amsterdam, Rainham, London, Antwerp, Lucca, Gilze Rijen, … all these tournaments where people from all over Europe were playing and having fun together. If it’s a future like that the distributors want for our game, they’ll maybe protect their own market, but I think they’ll kill a very important part of the spirit and fun of the game.

    I believe that we’ve never been so far behind the USA as we are now, and I really hope that PUI and the local distributors will work on the European POP like they will work on it in other parts of the World. Not only to start the program, but to make it run properly, on an European basis and not with differences from country to country.
    I also hope that we’ll not hear in 2004 what I’ve already heard in 2003 … the tennis game between PUI and the distributors when you’re talking with them. 'That’s a question for your distributor' / 'It’s not our fault it’s theirs … and please don’t talk about it to PUI'. That kind of attitude will very quickly kill POP in Europe, and put the most motivated players/TO’s off POP.

    If you have more information about the situation in your country, don’t hesitate to post in this topic. It’s always interesting to know what happens or doesn’t happen abroad.

    I’ve heard that some US people try to stop POP in Europe. They know that 15+ will be back at Worlds and they remember that the last 15+ STS winner was Jean Marc Schosse, from Belgium. Do you have info about that ? :lol:

    To you, people of the Pokegym, Compendium, MT’s, players, Gym leaders, TO’s, PUI staff, to the friends I’ve met all over the World thanks to our game, I wish you all a very

    Happy New Year 2004.
  2. Prof Donphan

    Prof Donphan Member

    Michel, Happy New Year from Italy.
    Thanks to our best professor Marcello, on 8.12.2003 we ran a "non official" tournaments modified in Milano during Mind Games Convention.
    Our distributor wants POP but there are few news from PUI........and we hope that on Jan 2004 something happen.... I remember Lucca... good times......
    I have a dream..... an European Championship 2004 ..... even in Antwerp....

    Happy new year to OUR community!!!!!
  3. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    Michel, all best wishes from all the TO's in the Netherlands.

    While reading your inventory about POP in Europe, my worst nightmare became true.
    It's a fact that POP is (beside in the UK) completly down.
    I have good hope for Germany because that distributor supported the game in the past very well.

    Italy also had a strong base, but I don't know what is left from it.
    Most players and TO's don't know this MB, so it's hard to guess how many active players there are in the different countries.

    Fact is that we are indeed further away from the US players than ever.
    I read what they are posting and it feels like I'm on Mars.
    City championships, States, Nationals it seems far away from here.
    From what I heared from our distributor (months ago when we were on speaking terms) is that acces to Nationals
    only is for inhabitants (people f that country), so no way we can come to Belgium and the other way around.

    Meaby I'm just stupid, but I really don't understand why we have to operate under different rules for POP. I still have the strong feeling that distributors in Europe only want the benefits which come with the title of being head OP in a country than rather do anything to really build up a large playersfield.
    Next few months will reveal what our distributor means by : we have our own view on how to promote and increase POP.
    There are already 3 months gone by in the PUI era and nothing really happened.

    It looks like we have to be happy with the webbased community and that's it.
    For me pokemon is something we play without any help from you know who.
    I'm not willing to go to any store (what I already did in the past) to ask if they want to run MY league.
    If a store wants league, they should put in their own money and time in it to build that up and contact the distributor how to do that.

    As long as we only get the crumbs I refuse to eat.
    I'm to proud on what I have done to get so many players, that I not wish to be a puppet on a string.
    So for 2004, we are unofficial playing pokemon, meaby my players will never get a ranking.
    Meaby they will never play a worlds, but I know I have players who are enjoying what we are doing weekly and that's fine with me.
    I don't want to spend any more time on mailing with POP or the distributor, it didn't help me so far and looks like waisted time.

    Everyone have a good 2004, we will have a Fair en Fun (unofficial) Pokemon Year.
  4. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    Nice reading Michel.

    IMO what really made pokemon, forget the game, forget the 15+ forget almost everything BUT the EXCLUSIVE PREMIER POKEMON events that everyone attended.

    AND we did.
    AND we met.
    AND we went sleepless!!!
    AND the MT's were just amazing human beings.

    Sorry to say but I guess you found out, WE AMERICANS want to keep WORLDS all to ourselves =P

    Sorry to read about that Rainbowgym. Admirable work. Truly admirable. Unfortunately like much in life... SO MUCH hard work, so little recognition and reward. Goodluck. IF you see it in your heart to conitnue for your players and the community you support, keep on. IF NOT, PUI and your local distributor KNOW NOT who they are missing =(
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2003
  5. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    To be honest I don't need rewards, I only want equalty for all players (that includes mines).
    And I want the same opportunities as the US (P)TO's, is that too much to ask.

    I just read all the European (as far as I could understand/translate) distributors websites and it's even worse than I thought.

    And our distributor knows what he is missing, he called me pain in the butt. So I can't wait what a suprise it will be when they burn their buds (regarding miss using OP) and have to sit on the blatter because of that.
    That will be a real pain in the .... (LOL). That day will come, there always comes a day of making up the balance and as it looks now the scale is on the wrong side for them.
    They have a contract and if they don't meet the terms they are in problems.
    Or meaby a miracle will happen next months. You never know.

    But what will happen when no-one organizes sanctioned tournaments, almost nobody registers players or league results.
    How will they get City or whatever tournaments without having any experienced judges?

    I like to bet on the next pre-release (if that is coming).
    I bet that the total of participants all around the country is less then the total I had on our Dragon pre-release.
    And if that is not opening eyes I don't know anymore.

    For larger (out of town) tournaments I always arrange transportation for the players. Most times we are with 1 adult (me) taking care of 20 or more players (12-) when we play out.
    When we have an event overhere my husband drives several times up and down to the train station to pick up players.
    If we don't do that less players will show up, because parents overhere are not that interested and are not coming with their kids.
    So if I'm not organizing a pre-release in this town and don't arrange transportation and not go by myself to any location who is organizing a pre-release. I know how many players will show up.
    The same occurs for the other (pain in the butt)gymleader overhere, who is also offended, ignored etc.
    Both our players are a large part of the remaining playersfield, so if we both don't show up with them you can imagine what will happen.

    It's time for the truth and PUI/POP is not going to like it, but who doesn't want to hear has to feel.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2003
  6. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    *jaw drops*

    oh my, I am in awe... what a shame, BUT then again PUI and the distributor THEY are not worthy of YOU!!!
  7. ShadowCard

    ShadowCard Active Member

    Honestly, no matter how much we in the us thought it would be dead by May, it did continue to grow. I see it continuing to grow in Europe as well. It has begun to die in my region, we went from 16+ players to 6 players, at the end of October. Over in the USA, yugioh sales are not even 40% of what they were last year (and let's not forget that Pikachu and even Spongebob beat Yugioh in the 10 ten most profitable fictional characters). It will happen in Europe as well.

    I totally agree. But it's like Michel said, they have the idea that Pokémon is dead. I'm sure some could consider MtG dead as well but their player base keeps them going, and their player base is practically all they have (or so I've heard. I'm aware of a small number of books based on the cards). We need to go to them and show them. With the league supplies I have, I'd be happy to go to the store and say I'd be willing to run a league at their store (under the condition that it be officialized by signing it up for league support).

    The players I have need rewards, it is for the promos of leagues or prizes of tourneys that keep them coming. Why go to a league that offers no prizes when you could be doing other things? no prize support works for fads, but Pokémon is out if that and needs better.

    What you all have been doing in Europe, along with the world outside of the USA, is truely admirable. I wish I could do what you're doing to get leagues running around me.
  8. bulbasnore

    bulbasnore Administrator Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Well, I'm sorry to hear the situation in most of Europe is so pitiful. And this says nothing about Asia, Oceania (& Africa?). Where do they get these distributors? What can those of us in USA do to help?

    I really think PKMN benefits from the INTL following.
  9. bulbasnore

    bulbasnore Administrator Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    I can't, sorry, IP.

    The destruction from that 2 year episode continues to affect the remaining players' situation today. In my opinion, it IS a big factor in the mess in Europe, as IT contributed to the destruction of the fanbase. IT was symptomatic of miscalculations and POOR decisions -- BY WOTC -- that ruined the PKMN franchise -- to the point where WOTC was not allowed to hold onto it.

    Utmost respect to the tenacity and creativity of the MTs in fighting for the PKMN players of all ages, but they had jobs to do and part of the agenda they were given wasn't pretty.

    Yes, we don't have what we had & its time to move forward where we can. Do I miss staying up late and playing all night? Well, no, 'cause I'm a sleepy cuss. :eek: But, the decline in that sort of thing, from my limited perspective, goes back to the stadium challenges under the exclusion.

    I'm happy to see the vitality of the game coming back somewhat in some areas. It isn't 2000 again, but it's moving forward in many places.
  10. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    I would disagree. WHY? We still went to tourneys. We still supported premier WotC events. Why? Because WE went to see and battle and meet each other at these events.
    SUre kicking and screaming and flaming... but we appeared *so ironic no?*

    PUI wants 15+
    They'll be there as they have always been.

    AND MTM's wisdom to create a Prof program? Ingenious... got him places within WotC...
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2003
  11. NoPoke

    NoPoke Active Member

    Michel, things in the UK aren't as rosy as you may think...

    The fact that the rest of Europe is worse off than the UK has nothing to do with the situation in the UK improving as a result of the efforts from PUI. No :(, any improvement in the UK is down to the same individuals who have kept it going for so long and with so little recognition, often condemnation, from the rest of the world. So sadly its not that the UK has improved more that much of Europe is now suffering the same patchy support that we in the UK have adapted to.

    We do have sanctioned play at Rainham, and at our own South East Challenge series events. But no sign of league play other than with the support of a couple of generous souls in the USA.

    Don't read this as yet another negative post from NoPoke. Ther is no magic wand that can be waved to make the old glory days return. Effort, delivery, and comitment are what is required. Make up your own minds about how much of that you are seeing.

    High Points of the year.

    1) SE Challenge series continues to grow.
    2) our very first pre-release (many thanks to Hobby Games who flew an employee over to the USA to obtain the product!)
    3) support from a couple of guys in the USA.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2003
  12. Glumanda

    Glumanda Rulings Compendium Translator

    For the situation in Germany:
    *New League started in December.
    *Sanctioning tournaments will start in January, as my TO told me (before Christmas he said he would get paperwork on that).
    *We have two big communities with regular tournaments: in Stuttgart (weekly tournament) and in Dortmund (monthly torunament). Maybe there are others, which are not known from the internet. As I´m head judge of the Dortmund community, I can say, that attendance numbers are increasing: from 8 at the beginning of the year to 19 in December, and we have a preregistration from over 20 people for the sealed deck in January. This seems to be very low, but if I would add all different players who showed up in the last year, this would be a number of 35 to 40.
    *As I confronted the German distributor with the worlds qualifier in UK, they told me, they are planning on qualifications in Germany, but the plans are not in a stadium in which they have a date to tell.
    *I will try to get prereleases in March (our TO has marked March 13th in his calendar), but this will be done, when the German distributor ends his christmas break.

    But whatever: I think, 2004 will be a good year for Pokemon.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2004
  13. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    Really? Darn, been in Stuttgart quite a few times and never searched for a league. =(
  14. RainbowRichards

    RainbowRichards Active Member

    **RR strolls in to the topic**
    Hmmm, do I know any of those guys??...
    **walks away again**
  15. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    RR strolls through looking for well deserved praise ;)

    ukpokemonpro is happy to cough some up :)
  16. RainbowRichards

    RainbowRichards Active Member

    Sorry, didn't mean to come off sounding that way :( - I just want to help the Pokemaniacs everywhere have fun :)

    BTW, RainbowGym, I'll be sending what I said I had for your League right after the New Year! Should help you get started :D.

    Happy New Year, Alles Gute im Neuen Jahr, um, I guess that's all the versions I know...

  17. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    just yanking ya chain a little Brian ;)

    You have helped us out a lot here in the UK and it does not go unappreciated honest :)

    And a happy New Year to all and everyone in 31 minutes :)
  18. Marcello-Milord

    Marcello-Milord New Member

    So minna-san, Happy 2004!!!

    Italy is always in its mystery cloud... it seems from our distributors that PUI is releasing informations very slowly... and they even don't know if the League materials will be localised (as promos and papers) or willl still be in english...
    Thy don't even know which programs they will be able to run, what support PUI will giving, through which way (website or their own email) stores will be able to apply to run Leagues and tournaments.
    They only know that League and OP will be starting from January.
    How? Unown. :)P)
    I'll contact the OP manager next week, hoping on a good answer about all these points.
    I sent to him a list of questions that needs an answer (from Nexus and/or from PUI) and he will publish this FAQ on the company website... but surely he doesn't have the answers from PUI... Hoping that the new Year will give to POP in Europe something new and good...
  19. Pokidad

    Pokidad New Member

    Pokemon Veterans - Happy New Year

    Hi Michele and other European players:

    Nice to hear from you. Wishing all TCG players a wonderful New Year.

    On another site, the issue of "veterans" leaving the game was driven home to me. Several competitive STSs, World 2002, TMB, and even SBZ players have moved onto other TSG games. I'm sure there are many reasons for seeing this change but I beleive it is mostly resulted from the shift in promoting OP and the time it took to make the change (i.e., WotC to Nintendo). For 2003 season, most competitive players saw no National or International events, only some local tournaments (e.g., SBZ and Pre-releases). Although these are great tournaments, most competitive players really look forward to a major annual event like the STSs and even Regional Challenge Events. These competitive players would continue to play the game knowing there was something to look forward to next season such as a major event. Not having one since August 2002, almost a year and half, I feel drove the "veterans" to other TCGs that were being supported locally.

    It is not a matter of holding local tournaments or prizes for these competitive players but a chance to compete against their piers in a major event, re-building friendships, and sharing a great time together. Depending on what comes this 2004 season, time will only tell if these "veteran" players will return to Pokemon community.

    Now, this is not bad that the veteran competitive players do not return. New players will become just as competitive, just like we were (wow, did I just say we were veterans?). I just see a re-building without the high demand or hype (fad portion) to bring back the local tournaments to levels where they were when we left. There will always be new TCG competing for players of the game (which I will point out is a very same percentage of total sales, about 3% I have been told). Our Pokemon OP market is small and I beleive we base our commitment to most games by the number of tournaments available in our local market for all TCGs. Unfortunate, public demands quicker turnaround and support. It is truly time to let others carry the burden, new players, to re-build the local demand. Local store owners know which products sell in their local environment and which TCG gaming environament they can continue to support.

    We will continue to watch Pokemon OP development from the side line. Pokemon is a great TCG, just like some other TCGs.
  20. Michel

    Michel New Member

    We're now in 2004 ... and I've been happy to see that we've been ahead of the US for that ;)

    Actually, when I read your posts, it seems that individual work from Professors is the key in European POP today.
    Marcello in Italy, Rainbowgym in Holland, NoPoke and friends in the UK, Glumanda in Germany, ...

    If individuals were not there to make things move, I think that European POP would be nothing but a dream. Quite funny to see that people who're making money with the game have to be pushed in the back (please note that I'm polite !) by fans who are giving time, energy and money for it. Funny ? Actually not really.

    Pokidad, I do agree with you. 'Veterans' have moved to other games for the most of them. And the reasons you mention are certainly true. That's the feeling people like Jean Marc and myself have too.
    But you see, my reaction about World qualifiers 2004 is exactly what you could call a 'veteran's opinion'. ;)

    I'm not sure that new players will make Pokemon as attractive as it was in the past. Not because they're not able to do it, but because they don't have the experience older players have and they don't have the support we had before. You say that local store owners know which products sell in their local environment, and it's exactly the same for distributors in Europe.
    Unfortunately, I'm sure that other games are now best sellers than Pokemon, and it is understandable that efforts and money are put in other games and other OP's.

    In some European countries, YuGiOh is still growing and if Shadowcard is certainly right by saying that YGO sales will drop one day in Europe, I see many Pokemon players who are now playing YGO.
    Like I said earlier, Wizards will have a new game in 2004. They will also start a Magic Junior Series Program in Europe.
    Playing Magic with other kids instead of adults will certalinly be more attractive for kids and if Wizards Europe want to make the 'Magic machine' run for Juniors like it runs for adults, there is no doubt that Pokemon or YuGiOh players will come back to a Wizards game. We may not forget the experience of Wizards and the continuing success of Magic, even after 10 years.

    Of course there are other games, but because of all the souvenirs we have, Pokemon has still a special place in our hearts. Some see it as a money maker, others see it as a passion.
    People like the MT's were Pokemon players, people involved in Magic at Wizards are Magic players and they all love their game. We are, or were, talking the same language with them.
    I have the feeling it's very different now, at least at a distributor's level, and that's maybe one of the reasons of the situation of POP in Europe.
    It's a good thing to know that there is a contract between PUI and distributors about POP. Do Profs, TO's, Gym leaders, ... need a contract to do their best for our game, and did they ever need one ? :cool:

    And like nobody said it in French en in Dutch ... Bonne année à tous ! - Gelukkig Nieuwjaar allemaal !
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