The Pokémon Company banned a strange Pokémon card from the World Championship because of translation issues it causes in international play.
The new card, called Blaine’s Quiz Show, will not make an appearance at the Pokémon Card Game World Championship later this month. The card features the character Blaine who appeared in the most recent Pokémon game Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee.
As reported by IGN, the supporter card earned the ban because it causes translation issues. Competitors who speak different languages are common at the Word Championship.
The card plays out like a miniature quiz show. If a player plays it, they then pick a Pokémon from their hand and read one of the creature’s attacks. If the opponent guesses the correct Pokémon, they get to draw four cards. However, if they guess wrong, the person who played the card gets to draw four. It creates a weird and fun moment that sets it apart from other supporter cards, which usually feature much simpler turns. Most view the card as silly and frivolous, and it will almost certainly never sell for $60,000.
The card, however, creates trouble when the two opponents speak different languages, even with a translator present, because of nuances in translation. For example, some Pokémon have different versions of similar attacks. In some languages, those attacks might feature slightly different names depending on things like verb structure or vocabulary size. This means an attack that might only feature on one card in one language might feature on multiple cards in another language. Translators won’t be able to to consistently communicate these nuances, and therefore, the card becomes unfair.
Competitive players would be unlikely to use the card in the competition, anyway. The strange and complicated nature of the card makes it too unpredictable to use in highly competitive situations. The designers of the card game most likely just had a bit of fun creating it.
But just because a player is not likely to play the card, it doesn’t mean the card cannot be played, and it seems The Pokémon Company wanted to get out ahead of the scenario, just in case.
These kinds of translation issues bring the complications of World Championships of this kind into perspective. This doesn’t happen often, which means that for the most part, players can understand the Pokémon card game’s systems without language barriers getting in the way. It speaks to the way in which Pokémon brings people together, something Pokémon Go illustrates often.
Fans of Blaine’s Quiz Show need not despair completely. While The Pokémon Company has banned the card from the World Championship, players can still use it legally in regular play.