Thursday, July 2, 2015

News: Bushiroad USA to Launch "Cardfight Online," Touken Ranbu to See International Release

July 2nd, 2015. Today at Anime Expo 2015 in California, CEO Kidani Takaaki announced that Bushiroad Inc. will be launching an exclusive English-language product this year, titled Cardfight!! Online. The web-based game will be exclusive to the English format, and will have no Japanese equivalent; moreover, Bushiroad will also be bringing over G-Title Booster 01: Touken Ranbu -ONLINE- to the English-language format on October 30th, in keeping with their vision of synchronizing the English and Japanese game formats. A trailer for the game was uploaded shortly after the live announcement and is provided below.

Details at this time are sparse, but the interface for the game bears a startling resemblance to that devised for the Nintendo 3DS games Cardfight!! Vanguard Ride to Victory!! and Lock on Victory!!, as well as to a Flash tutorial game created to introduce Vanguard to the west several years ago. According to Kidani, the game will be coming soon, within 2015. The interface features two players with the names Aichi Sendou and Toshiki Kai, but these may merely be usernames, as the decks used in preview screenshots are both Gear Chronicle decks.

What has been shown of Cardfight!! Online indicates a 30-minute time limit on games, as well as automated process of turn order through the different phases.

In years past the original English-language Cardfight!! Vanguard fan community developed around the BYOND client Cardfight Capital, used to play the Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game online through a manual (rather than automated) simulator. Cardfight Capital was shut down by Bushiroad in early 2013, deeply fragmenting the community and making it difficult to introduce new players to the game without having physical product on hand. While some fled to other, less successful clients to play Vanguard online with, the announcement of Cardfight!! Online points to a new officially-sponsored future for digital play of the Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game.

Bushiroad has also opened an official Twitter account for the game @CardfightOnline. The company has since clarified that the game will be free-to-play with in-game transactions upon release. Bushiroad released a statement through the account this evening stating that these transactions will not be the only way to receive cards in the web game. The open beta for Cardfight!! Online will begin in late 2015.