The full-scale service will be launched simultaneously in Japan, the US and Europe in Spring 2005. Konami Group's leading companies will collaborate on network infrastructure, services and operations as well as content development to further enhance the internationally popular Yu-Gi-Oh!.
In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game, two players face off in an all-out battle, armed with a deck of cards consisting of Monster Cards, Spell Cards and Effect Cards. A player wins when they reduce their opponent's Life Points to zero. Yu-Gi-Oh! ONLINE will authentically recreate the Yu-Gi-Oh! battle field on the Internet. It will offer not only single play beyond international borders, but online chatting and trading.
In Japan, Konami will distribute the Yu-Gi-Oh! ONLINE CD-ROM bundled with the December 18th issue of the Shueisha magazine, "V Jump". The CD-ROM lets users install the Yu-Gi-Oh! ONLINE application to their PCs and access the official site to register a player ID and password. The service will be provided free of charge during the test period through Spring 2005. The CD-ROM will be distributed similarly in the U.S. through "SHONEN JUMP", German magazine, "BANZAI" (both to be released in January 2005), and Swedish "Shonen Jump" (to be released in February 2005) for simultaneous development in the Japan, US and Europe markets.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is based on the comic series by Kazuki Takahashi, which was first published in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1996. The series quickly achieved sales of 23 million copies and over 33 million copies including related books. Konami has sold games and trading cards based on the comic series Yu-Gi-Oh! – also by author: Kazuki Takahashi – since 1998. It made its way into the US and European markets in 2002. The deep strategy along with the game's content which overcomes languages barriers has gained the support of children worldwide. Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the strongest brands in children's entertainment.