The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, known as the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game (????????????????? Yu-Gi-O Ofisharu Kado Gemu?) in Japan, is a Japanese collectible card game developed and published by Konami. It is based on the fictional game of Duel Monsters created by manga artist Kazuki Takahashi, which is the main plot device during the majority of his popular manga franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and its various anime adaptations and spinoff series.
The game was first launched by Konami in 1999. It was named the top selling trading card game in the world by Guinness World Records on July 7, 2009, having sold over 22 billion cards worldwide. As of March 31, 2011, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. Japan has sold over 25 billion cards globally since 1999. The game continues to gain popularity as it is played around the world, mostly in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia, and has been expanded with new rules and additions as the franchise grows.
From March 2002 to December 2008, Konami's trading cards were distributed in territories outside of Asia by The Upper Deck Company. In December 2008, Konami filed a lawsuit against Upper Deck alleging that it had distributed unauthentic Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards made without Konami's authorization. Upper Deck also sued Konami alleging breach of contract and slander. A few months later, a federal court in Los Angeles issued an injunction preventing Upper Deck from acting as the authorized distributor and requiring it to remove the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG from Upper Deck's website. In December 2009, the court decided that Upper Deck was liable for counterfeiting Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards, and it dismissed Upper Deck's countersuit against Konami. Konami currently serves as the manufacturer and distributor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG; it runs Regional and National tournaments and continues to release new Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card products.