Where it all started

Sometimes we get carried away with all the fun and forget exactly where this all started.  Some of us are old enough to remember pre-internet and pre-mobile phone days (!) but progress has been so fast that we can forget to stop and marvel at how it all came about.

Thanks to our friends at Leicester Tree Surgeons, who have generously sponsored us, we are able to bring you a blog about the beginnings of Pokemon.  Enjoy.

The Pokemon Company is actually a consortium comprising Nintendo (of course), Creatures and Game Freak.  The original creation was by a Japanese man named Satoshi Tajiri way back in 1995. It’s amazing that the franchise is still so strong today and a testament to his vision well over 20 years ago. I won’t explain how the game works because if you’re reading this blog I’m sure you’re aware of that!

Originally Pokemon was developed for Game Boy and comprised 2 video games.  What lowly beginnings for a franchise that now embrases everything from video games to TV shows, films, comics, toys and trading card games. In fact it has been so successful that it’s second only to Mario in video games.  It’s now the media franchise that has earned the most money ever, with sales reaching more than 300 million worldwide.

This huge success didn’t happen because kids embraced the characters and spread the word through the playground – although no doubt that helped. The real genius has been the marketing strategy behind Pokemon and the way it keeps being reinvented.

The ubiquitousness of the mobile phone has been instrumental in spreading the games, with Nintendo and their partners taking full advantage of the phenomenon. Pokemon Go captured the imagination of the press, with stories about zombies and tales of companies increasing their business by becoming Pokemon hotspots. The ingenuity of the marketers sometimes surpassed the inventiveness of the game itself!

Humans love a treasure hunt and Pokemon tapped into that to draw in even more fans. Along the way, of course, controversy has arisen as fanatics take things too far. Including the Chinese fans who hacked into Japanese gyms and upset a nation!



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