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An Open Letter Concerning the Elimination of the 15+ Age G

To Whom it May Concern:

 As an avid long-time player of the Pokémon TCG who happens to be a sophomore in college, I must say I am hurt and displeased with the recent decision to remove the 15+ Age Group from the only National Level competition available to players of Pokémon.  While I was not able to attend last year’s STS, I saw what it did for the game.  The STS is one of the best venues for Pokémon to reach people, and it provides an environment in which to evaluate the game that can’t be found elsewhere.  Magic has its Pro Tour, its Grand Prix, its Masters Series, but what do older players of Pokémon get?  Nothing.  We had the STS to look forward to as somewhere we could go to be competative.  It was a goal to strive for, and now that goal has been taken from us.

While I understand that “15+” is not your “target market,” you must realize that the 15+ Age Group provides much of the revenue that comes from the Pokémon franchise.  Most, if not all, of the Pokémon players I am in contact with are over the age of 15.  I myself am 20.  Most of the players who would do well at an event like the STS are over 15.  Yet in the quest to cater to the “target audience,” an audience that will only grow smaller as the children move on to other “hot items,” Wizards and Hasbro risk the total alienation of the core group of dedicated and devoted gamers.

People like myself, who started playing before Pokémon was marketed for the 12-and-under crowd only, have remained devoted because we enjoy the game and we feel that it is a worthwhile investment.  If there is no longer a serious competative environment for us to play in, perhaps it is time to end this investment.

Please, reconsider this decision.  If your goal is to continue and even to increase sales of your product, eliminating over half of your target market is not the most sucessful way of going about this.

Thank you for your time,

Eric Williamson