Among games that tend to get released in Japan are the card vending ‘kid-tainment’ games. Once in a blue moon, you might come across one in the US (not sure what kind of spread these get in Europe) like Animal Kaiser but it isn’t a very strong market here, for whatever reason. One part might be that these would be more marketable to card shops, which may not have the interest or budget for a pricey video game/vending machine. But it also might come down to the game.
For Japanese arcades, card shops and toy resellers, they are going to be graced this Summer by a new concept in the field that features the ever popular Pokémon. Called Pokémon Ga-Olé, this sports a 50″ plasma screen which is unusual for kids games which almost always use small screens (and in other news, plasma TVs still being made); and instead of vending your typical Pokémon data cards, this will vend something the translator calls “plates” – about the size of typical card but much thicker. There are two slots that you can insert cards into and then participate in one-on-one Pokémon battles. They plan on making 50 of these plate-cards, possibly more depending on the feedback they get from the location tests. The game is slated to launch in July.
As for the possibilities of this coming to the West…I would say there is a chance that we could see Round1USA, Dave & Busters or both try this out on location test like they did with that Disney Tsum Tsum game. Kid-tainment Pokémon games have been done before, and a neighboring card shop to my arcade had one of these. I’m not sure how well it did but give games like these an English translation, proper support and the right venue, then it would likely be popular.