Pokemon is a media franchise published by the video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games, Pokemon has since become the second most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own Mario series.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game is a collectible card game with a goal similar to a Pokemon battle in the video game series. Players use Pokemon cards, with individual strengths and weaknesses, in an attempt to defeat their opponent by "knocking out" his or her Pokemon cards. In 1998, Nintendo released a Game Boy Color version of the trading card game in Japan; Pokemon Trading Card Game was subsequently released to the US and Europe in 2000. Players soon began to collect the cards as well as play with them.