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Why would a card game company ban online card simulators?

  1. May 13, 2017 #1
    There is a card game called Yu-Gi-Oh. Apparently the company from what I understand is requesting all the online card game simulator programs to be removed.

    Why would they do this? Now no one can practice playing their cards for the real life tournaments. They have an official game but you have to pay money for virtual cards which not a lot of people are willing to do since they still have to buy the real cards so they can play at tournaments to begin with.

    Can someone please make sense of this to me, to me it seems the company is ruining their own game.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    I've never heard of this game, but then again, I'm not much of a card player. Perhaps the company has a copyright on the game, and the online simulators are infringing the company's copyright.

    To protect their intellectual property would be one very good reason.
  4. May 13, 2017 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Depending on the target market for the game and how people generally play (online vs in-person), free online simulators can cut pretty significantly into the bottom-line. For an extreme example, imagine someone created a popular Hearthstone simulator where nobody needed to either grind/pay for their cards. Since the game is only played online, if the popularity of the simulator got sufficiently large, without a consistent revenue stream Blizzard would no longer be able to support the game. Since Yu-Gi-Oh is played in-person as well, the impact on their business is probably less, but for most casual players (which is probably the majority of their players) having a popular and free online alternative seriously cuts your incentive to monetize.

    There could also be concerns around branding. Game designers usually want players to know who made the game, the idea being if you like one game I made, then you might like another one and be more willing to try it. Another aspect is that generally people who make games want you to have a consistent experience with their IP, both in terms of product / service quality and with how the game is marketed and presented. The problem with 3rd parties is that you have no control over either these things.
  5. May 14, 2017 #4
    It's just very confusing to me because in order for the players to play the game they need to practice online since the game is fairly complicated, and they can't always go to the card store or meet their friends.

    If you can't practice you can't play well. If you can't play well then you shouldn't play in any tournaments, meaning you shouldn't buy the cards, because they are fairly pricey.
  6. May 14, 2017 #5
    I would bet that there is really a licensing issue in play. The owners of Scrabble aggressively defended their intellectual property rights against many unlicensed web versions.

    Online versions of a game typically will need to have a licensing agreement with whoever owns the rights to the game. For example, see:
  7. May 14, 2017 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    How is this confusing? The only way the company can stay in business is for them to sell their game and its cards.

    This is not a strong argument. People who want to play poker have to put money in the pot ("ante up") before they can play.
  8. May 14, 2017 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Question has been asked and answered, so the thread is now closed.
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