Yu-Gi-Oh! Marketing, Events Coordinator Jim McKinlay Exits Konami

July 31, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Other Stuff | Leave a comment

Yami Yugi, eyes closed and deep in thought in episode 138

Jim McKinlay announced on Friday that he has left his job as the Yu-Gi-Oh! marketing and events coordinator at Konami’s U.K. office.

“So today was my last day at Konami. Yu-Gi-Oh! has been an amazing part of my life for the last two years but it’s time to move on,” McKinlay stated on Twitter.

After a 10-year stint at British video game retailer GAME, McKinlay joined Konami in March 2019. He was responsible for managing numerous facets of the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand, including the planning and launching of new physical and digital Yu-Gi-Oh! products where he worked directly with Yu-Gi-Oh! influencers.

McKinlay said that he already has a new job lined up, which he will reveal on Monday.

Shop-YuGiOh.com Adds Fanattik’s 24-Karat Gold-Plated Cards, Wave 4

July 23, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Summoned Skull 24-karat gold-plated metal card by Fanattik in its display box

Shop-YuGiOh.com is back Fanattik’s next wave of 24-karat gold-plated metal Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that, well, they’re here! Summoned Skull, Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and Baby Dragon are up for preorder now and are expected to arrive in mid-November.

Each of Fanattik’s gold cards is individually numbered on the back and limited to 5,000 worldwide. You’ll also receive a window presentation box and a plastic display stand.

Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon 24-karat gold-plated metal card by Fanattik in its display box

And the bad news? Shop-YuGiOh.com has raised its prices of the gold cards again, now to $47.99 each.

For what it’s worth, Fanattik has kept the suggested retail price of all its gold cards constant at £24.99 (about $35 at the current exchange rate) since the first wave debuted a year ago.

Of course, everyone is welcome to buy directly from Fanattik’s own shop based in England (or from other official third-party retailers). But for fans not located in the U.K., that also means paying for overseas shipping and possibly paying a customs duty, depending on which country you reside in.

Baby Dragon 24-karat gold-plated metal card by Fanattik on a display stand

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Earns $110 Million in H1 2021, Ranks No. 1 Among Card-Battle Apps

July 22, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Bar graph showing the top 10 card-battle mobile games by worldwide player spending in H1 2021

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links raked in $110 million in gross revenue in the first half of 2021, making it the number one card-battle mobile game in the world by player spending. That’s the word from Sensor Tower, a mobile app data analytics firm, which released its “State of Card Battler Mobile Games 2021” report on Wednesday.

Duel Links is unique among the top 10 card battlers in being able to find balanced success in both the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. accounted for 27 percent of its revenue, while Japan accounted for 33 percent.

Duel Links saw approximately five million unique downloads during H1 2021, putting it in second place among card battlers in worldwide downloads.

The card battler genre as a whole saw a spike in player spending in January 2021, which Sensor Tower attributes to the strong revenue performance of Duel Links and its four-year anniversary campaign. Worldwide month-to-month gross revenue for Duel Links increased by 190 percent — from $9.6 million in December 2020 to $27.9 million in January 2021.

Since its launch, Duel Links has grossed more than $700 million.

How Did Competitors Fare?

Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone was the second-highest-grossing card-battle game in the first half of 2021, generating over $40 million in player spending. Forty percent of that spending originated from China, followed by 20 percent from the U.S. The game is close to reaching $1 billion in revenue since its launch in 2014.

Both Duel Links and Hearthstone should keep their eyes on Magic: The Gathering Arena, which launched the mobile version of its game in March 2021 and is already hot on their heels. Even though only three months have elapsed since its launch, MTGA is already ranked seventh among card battlers in player spending, with over 75 percent of revenue coming from the U.S. and Europe. It also ranked third in unique downloads by pulling in over three million downloads.

Furthermore, among card battlers MTGA ranked number one for weekly active users in the U.S. It also commanded the U.S. ad market with extensive campaigns on YouTube, Unity, AdMob, Facebook, and Instagram, making it the number one most active card battler in terms of user acquisition.

Mighty Party, which ranked third in revenue for H1 2021, is also no slouch. The game accumulated more than 14 million unique downloads during the period, making it the number one card battler worldwide by number of installs. Like MTGA, Mighty Party also heavily tapped into major U.S. ad networks to drive user growth.

* * *

Sensor Tower’s full “State of Card Battler Mobile Games 2021” report is available for download and includes more graphs and even more juicy data about the landscape of card-battle apps.

Pin Club Drops More Yu-Gi-Oh! Pins at Virtual Pin Con, July 23-25

July 21, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Logo for Pin Club's Virtual Pin Con July 23-25, 2021

Ready for more limited edition Yu-Gi-Oh! pins? Pin Club is holding its second Virtual Pin Con event of the year this weekend, from July 23 to 25, on pin-club.com. Here are the new Yu-Gi-Oh! pins that Pin Club will debut at this sales event.

Chibi Saggi the Dark Clown pin by Pin Club
Saggi the Dark Clown

Millennium Key with an antique brushed look by Pin Club
Millennium Key

Chibi Swordstalker pin by Pin Club

Expect these pins to cost $10 to $15 each.

On Instagram, Pin Club tells one Yu-Gi-Oh! fan in the comments that it will sell “three to four” new Yu-Gi-Oh! pins at this event, so there might be one more pin that’s yet to be unveiled. Keep your eyes peeled. Pin Club also says that it will bring “10+” new Yu-Gi-Oh! pins to New York Comic Con this October. Wow!

Be sure to follow Pin Club on Instagram at pinclubofficial to stay up to date about its newest Yu-Gi-Oh! pins.

Virtual Pin Con kicks off at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT on July 23 at pin-club.com. As always, quantities are limited, so be there for the drop and smash that refresh button!

(Images from video by pinclubofficial)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next Unveils Rush Duel: Saikyo Battle Royale!!, Master Duel, Cross Duel Games

July 20, 2021 at 10:00 am | Posted in ARC-V, Konami, SEVENS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Saikyo Battle Royale!! Japanese logo, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

The future is now for Yu-Gi-Oh! digital gaming. Today, Konami unveiled four big announcements for Yu-Gi-Oh! in its Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next video, which premiered simultaneously in the West and in Japan.

First, the Nintendo Switch game Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Saikyo Battle Royale!! will arrive in English this Fall. The game introduces the Rush Duel, a new way to play Yu-Gi-Oh!, and allows players to explore the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS and duel against characters from the anime and other players around the world.

Game footage from the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Saikyo Battle Royale!!, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

Akitsu Terashima, producer for the Yu-Gi-Oh! digital game development team at Konami, hopes that the game will provide a new entry point into Yu-Gi-Oh! for fans of all ages.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V logo, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

Second, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links will add ARC-V World this year. Konami did not provide a date for its arrival, but Duel Links has historically always added new worlds in September.

Across the globe, players have downloaded the smash hit mobile and Steam game over 140 million times, played over six billion duels, and acquired over 65 billion cards, says Konami.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel logo, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

Third, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel unveiled its first-ever gameplay footage. As implied by the name, Master Duel allows duelists to play Yu-Gi-Oh! using the Master Rules (a.k.a. Advanced Constructed format). The game will be available for the PlayStation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam, iOS and Android. Master Duel is the first Yu-Gi-Oh! game to officially support 4K resolution; on a big screen TV, players can even read the text of the cards on the field.

Game footage of Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

Kenichi Kataoka, senior producer for the Yu-Gi-Oh! digital game development team at Konami, says that the game tries to keep a good balance between the presentation and the tempo of the duels, making it easy to understand the complexities of the game and enjoyable for the audience to watch.

Whereas Duel Links and Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution are positioned as “character games” for fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga, Master Duel offers the full Trading Card Game experience, says Kataoka. The game plans to be included as part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship. A release date has yet to be provided.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel logo, as shown in Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital Next

And last but not least, a new four-player card-battle mobile game titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel will debut worldwide for iOS and Android. No additional information about the game or its release date was provided.

Exciting! Which of these games are you looking forward to the most?

Jun Manjome Voice Actor Taiki Matsuno Tests Positive for COVID-19

July 14, 2021 at 8:00 pm | Posted in GX, Japanese, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Jun Manjome getting hit in the neck by a tree branch in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 48

Taiki Matsuno, the voice of Jun Manjome (Chazz Princeton), has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). His agency, Aoni Production, today posted a notice on its homepage stating that Matsuno had a fever of 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) on the evening of July 12. The following day, Matsuno visited a hospital for a PCR test, which returned a positive result for the disease.

Aoni Pro stated that it will provide Matsuno with treatment and follow-up care as directed by the health care center. The agency also said that it will continue to monitor the health of its actors and staff and will do its utmost to prevent the spread of the disease.

Outside of his work in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Matsuno is probably best known for voicing Hajime Kindaichi in the anime adaptations of The File of Young Kindaichi (also known as The Kindaichi Case Files). The 53-year-old actor’s roles also include Koga in Inuyasha, Pegasus/Helios in Sailor Moon SuperS, and SpongeBob in the Japanese dub of SpongeBob SquarePants.

(News from Aoni Production, h/t ANN)

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links Yusei’s Birthday Giveaway

July 7, 2021 at 9:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Banner for the Yusei's Birthday Giveaway

Happy birthday, Yusei Fudo! Today, Konami is celebrating Yusei’s big day by giving away some Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links goodies. Nine lucky people will win a prize pack containing one Yusei Fudo KC Grand Tournament playmat, one Duel Links face mask, and one Duel Links power bank. Konami didn’t provide a photo of the items, but they are probably the same ones given away last month during the live streams hosted by ChilledChaos, Rhymestyle, SeeReax, and ZeRoyalViking.

To enter, simply reply to Konami’s giveaway post on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram with the hashtags #YuseiBirthday and #Sweepstakes and say which of Yusei’s cards are your favorites. Here are those posts:

Each person is allowed to enter once on each social media network. Be sure you’re following the social media account that you are replying to. Konami will randomly choose three fans from each network to win the prize pack, for a total of nine winners.

But don’t delay — this sweepstakes ends tomorrow, July 8, at 2:59 p.m. ET/11:59 a.m. PT. There are only a few hours left to enter!

Entrants must be above the age of majority and reside in the 50 United States; Washington, D.C.; or Canada (excluding Quebec). For more information, check the official rules.

Good luck! And best birthday wishes, Yusei!

Konami Axes Yu-Gi-Oh! Ambassador Antoine Griezmann

July 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Kaiba goading Yugi to attack him in episode 24

Konami announced today that it has terminated French soccer star Antoine Griezmann’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ambassadorship contract.

In a terse message, Konami stated that it has canceled the contract “in light of recent events” and that “discrimination of any kind is unacceptable.” Konami itself did not describe the events that led to the cancellation.

This past weekend, a 42-second video began circulating on social media that shows Griezmann and his FC Barcelona teammate Ousmane Dembélé insulting a group of Asian technicians fixing a television in a hotel room. Dembélé, who is recording the video, can be heard mocking their facial appearances and language and questioning their technological development. Griezmann is heard saying something inaudible at the beginning of the video and is then pictured laughing.

The incident was first covered in English by the U.K.’s MailOnline and has since garnered international attention, with the athletes being accused of racism and classism.

In a different two-second video clip, Griezmann is heard uttering pejorative terms that are often used to imitate Chinese languages. That clip is actually part of a longer video (appearing at the 4-minute, 44-second mark) posted by the official FC Barcelona YouTube channel highlighting the club’s trip to Japan in 2019.

On Monday, Griezmann and Dembélé both posted apologies on social media. Dembélé confirmed that the 42-second video was also recorded during the club’s 2019 Japan tour.

FC Barcelona has been a sponsorship partner of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer game franchise since 2016. Konami stated that it will seek details from the club about this incident and the club’s future actions.

Likewise, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which serves as FC Barcelona’s primary sponsor, called the athletes’ behavior unacceptable and demanded an explanation from the club.

French Soccer Star Antoine Griezmann Partners with Yu-Gi-Oh! to Create New Card

In-Person Yu-Gi-Oh! Events Allowed to Resume on July 15 in the U.S.

July 1, 2021 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Carly Carmine smiling impishly while attempting to cheer up Jack Atlas in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's episode 32

Slowly but surely, Yu-Gi-Oh! is coming back. After more than a year without in-person Yu-Gi-Oh! events in the Americas, Konami announced today that it is allowing Official Tournament Stores (OTS) in the United States to hold sanctioned in-person organized play and promotional events starting July 15, subject to local health authority guidelines and each OTS’s discretion.

Furthermore, the company stated that it is working with its OTS contacts and business partners in Canada and Latin America to determine how and when in-store events can resume in those territories.

Across the pond, select countries in Europe and the Middle East are allowed to resume in-person events beginning today, July 1.

For the foreseeable future, Konami will continue to run its Remote Duel initiative; the KC Grand Tournament for Duel Links is ongoing and several Remote Duel Extravaganza and Invitational events for the TCG are scheduled. Additionally, Konami will hold its first Remote Duel Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series event on July 10 and 11 throughout the Americas.

KC Grand Tournament, Remote Duel Extravaganzas Replace Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2021

Shop-YuGiOh.com Adds Fourth of July ‘Red, White, and Blue’ Apparel

June 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Navy blue short-sleeve T-shirt with the Yu-Gi-Oh! Red, White, and Blue design by Shop-YuGiOh.com

Happy Independence Day, America! Shop-YuGiOh.com is celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with limited edition “Yu-Gi-Oh! Red, White, and Blue” apparel. Slifer the Sky Dragon, Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and Obelisk the Tormentor take center stage in this exclusive design, which can be printed on short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, pullover hoodies, and ladies’ tank tops. Choose from navy blue or grey.

Poor Ra, always getting shafted. No Egyptian God Deck, and now this. Maybe Ra will get its turn in the spotlight with the other Egyptian Gods in a Colombian or Romanian national holiday celebration some day.

Close-up of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Red, White, and Blue design on a grey T-shirt by Shop-YuGiOh.com

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