Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

20 years of Pokémon

 


Gotta catch’ em all!

Pokémon players or “trainers” have been catching and battling Pokémon for 20 years now. Pokémon celebrated it’s 20th birthday on Feb. 27.

I heard word of it recently being Pokémon Day and of it being a big anniversary for the Pokémon franchise. So I decided to make a google search on the topic. I found out a lot about Pokémon that I didn’t know before. My search even prompted me to buy an old Pokémon game that had originally been released on the Nintendo 64, titled “Hey You, Pikachu!”

The first Pokémon game, “Pocket Monsters Red and Green” was released in Japan in 1996. The company celebrated with a TV commercial marking the occasion that aired during the Super Bowl.

Cumulative sales of the Pokémon video games over the years has reached more than 200 million copies sold. The original video games expanded into a trading-card game, a graphic novel and an animated TV series as well. Pokémon is also the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world. Pokémon is second only to Nintendo’s Mario franchise. The franchise reached gross revenues of the equivalent to 37.76 billion in U.S. dollars, in 2013. In 2014 alone, the franchise earned $2 billion.

This got me to wondering, what made and continues to make Pokémon so popular? Although children of all ages play the game now, there are many adults who play the game who still hold an affinity for the game from their childhood.

Many adults in their 20s and 30s now remember playing the original Pokémon games when they were kids, and grew up with Pokémon.

The creator of the game, Satoshi Tajiri, started the game from a hobby he enjoyed from childhood, insect collecting. The object of a Pokémon game is to collect as many Pokémon, or pocket monsters as possible. The player trains their Pokémon to battle other trainers’ Pokémon and eventually battles their Pokémon in the Pokémon League.

Friends of mine who are in their 20s now remember loving the game because the game made them feel like it was their own adventure. The feeling was that of accomplishment; it was satisfying.

Pokémon players will be able to enjoy their favorite old Pokémon games again with the company’s re-release of the three first Pokémon games. They will also be able to enjoy Pokémon in a new medium, as a phone app, on the iPhone and Android phones in a way similar to geo-cashing. The game, “Pokémon GO,” allows users to find Pokémon in the real-world, and can battle against each other.

 

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