The biggest game franchise in the world: Pokémon. Now Pokémon, like a select few other games we’ve discussed in this series has ingrained itself into our pop culture, but the way Pokémon has done this, and the extent of its reach into almost every genre of gaming is what makes it such a phenomenon. But interestingly, Pokémon’s success wasn’t only by chance.
“Pokemon is a media franchise managed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures.The franchise copyright is shared by all three companies, but Nintendo is the sole owner of the trademark. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995 and is centered on fictional creatures called “Pokémon”, which humans, known as Pokémon Trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport.
The franchise began as a pair of video games for the original Game Boy that was developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. It now spans video games, trading card games, animated television shows and movies, comic books, and toys. Pokémon is the second best-selling video game franchise, behind only Nintendo’s Mario franchise and the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. The franchise is also represented in other Nintendo media, such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
Cumulative sales of the video games (including home console games, such as Hey You, Pikachu! for the Nintendo 64) have reached more than 290 million copies. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement. The Pokémon Company International (formerly Pokémon USA Inc.), a subsidiary of Japan’s Pokémon Co., oversees all Pokémon licensing outside of Asia. As of March 2017, the Pokémon franchise has grossed revenues of ¥6.0 trillion worldwide (equivalent to US$55.15 billion).
The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006. 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the original games, with the company celebrating by airing an ad during Super Bowl 50, issuing re-releases of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and completely redesigning the way the newest games are played. The mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go was released in July 2016.The first seventh-generation games Pokémon Sun and Moon were released worldwide on November 18, 2016. A live-action film adaptation based on Great Detective Pikachu began production in 2017. The English slogan for the franchise is “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon