Pokémon was introduced to the world in 1996 and quickly captured everyone. Not long after, there were anime series and several merchandise lines. Who can forget the trading cards? Its popularity exploded, and it rarely strayed from the attention of many. Similar franchises eventually fell away from the people’s attention, but Pokémon has remained popular. How did this franchise become a mammoth?
“Catching a Pokemon!” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Bennilover
The iconic video games
The first entries into the video games series were Pokémon Red and Blue. Gamers became obsessed, and they quickly sold over ten million units in Japan. Eventually, this enormous popularity was replicated in the United States and the world-alike, perhaps showing that this wasn’t a mere fad and possibly something taking over the world. The video games didn’t start the franchise, but they certainly ignited it.
The latest games have all seen a varying degree of popularity. This fandom has meant the media coverage has remained. The latest win.gg Pokémon news explores some of the recent additions to the franchise, and the directions they might take in the future. Whether that’s the traditional games, or beyond that. A few years ago, the launch of a smartphone app had started a new era in Pokémon fandom. Its influence is felt even today, especially as more smartphone apps are released.
Pokémon GO takes the franchise in a new direction
The franchise went in a new direction in 2016 with the launch of Pokémon GO. It differed vastly from the traditional video games in the series. It allowed people to play it on their smartphones with augmented reality, allowing you to travel the land capture pokemon in the real world. The premise probably seemed complex initially, but its simplicity and the fact it was free made it perfect for many.
If you’re not aware of the game, you move around the places you visit and your phone vibrates to inform you when there’s a Pokémon to capture. It gave people the chance to replicate a certain Ash Ketchum. The game is still popular today, with various new features to bring it more in line with the traditional games.
The TV series
The original anime launched in 1997 in Japan, and again it became popular across the world. The series told the story of Ash Ketchum and his attempts at becoming a Pokémon master. Its theme tune alone is iconic in the west, with its lyrics being instantly recognizable. The series has kept a passionate base of viewers, and fans are currently enjoying the 24th season.
Trading card games are still popular
Now for a look at the humble trading card. They have been popular with people across the world since the 19th century. The premise of them is simple. Pokémon got involved in 1996, and over 34 billion trading cards have now been sold. Fans truly wanted to catch them all. Like other aspects of the franchise, it has moved with the times and again remains popular with different generations. The trading cards are especially popular as many YouTube personalities strive to collect them, or even trade them as commodities.
Will it continue to be this popular?
As we have already said, an element of the franchise’s success has been its ability to evolve and capture the attention of different people. The success of Pokémon GO was evidence of this ability to move with the times and changing behaviors of the general population.
This goes side by side with the old-school world of trading cards. Who knows what direction it will take in the future, but it will always have passionate followers.