Atsushi Nagashima is an executive director at Creatures, Inc. and the current game director of the TCG. Nagashima joined Creatures in 2001 and became game director of the TCG in 2007, succeeding Takumi Akabane in that role.
As game director, Nagashima oversees the design of the game's environment and systems. For each expansion, this process entails interpreting the systems and world of the video games, creating the theme of the set, selecting Pokémon, then designing data and illustrations for each card. Mechanics and balance are refined after extensive play-testing, with the set's premier cards and Trainer cards taking particularly long to calibrate. Work on a new expansion begins about one year before it releases. The designers typically anticipate which cards will be strong and design the metagame around them, though they are pleasantly surprised when players discover unexpected synergies.
Nagashima has claimed that, as card games age, newly introduced cards must either be more complex or more powerful than previous cards, and acknowledges that the TCG has made cards more powerful over time. This is because the TCG prioritizes simplicity and accessibility to ensure that both children and their parents can enjoy the game.
- Some of Nagashima's favorite cards as stated in interviews include Skyridge Machop,, Neo Destiny Dark Gengar, and Phantom Forces Joltik.
- Nagashima has stated that Darkrai is one of his favorite Pokémon, and believes there are a lot of strong Darkrai cards in the TCG because of his influence.
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|This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.|