Pokémon (ポケモン Pokémon) is an entertainment franchise owned by The Pokémon Company and created by Satoshi Tajiri. The Pokémon Company is owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures Inc.. The franchise is about an alternate world where a variety of creatures, known as Pokémon, exist alongside humans. In this other world, people catch, care for, and train Pokémon. Today the franchise has released video games, cards, films, television series, books, merchandising, and other items. The name Pokémon is an abbreviation of Poketto Monsutaa (ポケットモンスター 'Pocket Monsters').
When the first Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Blue (Blue was released as Green in Japan) were released in 1996, they became incredibly popular and led to the Pokémon franchise taking off. It led to new Pokémon games similar to the first, and a variety of spin-off games.
The main Pokémon games in the franchise involve the player starting off in a small town with one Pokémon. The player is asked by a professor to research Pokémon, and they journey through the region. Through their journey, they catch more Pokémon and train them by battling wild Pokémon and other trainers. In each game, there is a region champion and eight gym leaders known for their Pokémon battling skills. The player battles these trainers of increasing difficulty as they journey through the region. In addition, an organization of trainers that use Pokémon for evil exists in each game. The player defeats them as they progress. Most main Pokémon games corresponds to a legendary Pokémon that the player is able to catch and add to their team at the climax of the game.
Main Pokémon games
|Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Green
|Pokémon Gold and Silver
|Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen
|Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
|Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver
|Pokémon Black and White
|Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
|Pokémon X and Y
|Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
|Pokémon Sun and Moon
|Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
|Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
|Pokémon Sword and Shield
|Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
|Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
The success of the main Pokémon games has led to a variety of other games. This includes puzzle games, battle games, and spin-off Pokémon games. Several spin-off Pokémon games have multiple titles. This includes PokéPark, where the player explores a theme park run by Pokémon, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, where the player plays as a Pokémon going on adventures, Pokémon Snap, in which the player researches Pokémon by taking pictures of them, Pokémon Ranger, where players rescue Pokémon, and Pokémon Rumble, a game where battling Pokémon takes place in real time.
Some Pokémon games follow side stories in the Pokémon universe, such as Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Others are focused on emulating Pokémon battles, like Pokémon Unite, which is a cooperative, strategic battle royale, and Pokkén Tournament, which involves one-on-one Pokémon battles .
An augmented reality (AR) mobile Pokémon game titled Pokémon Go was released in 2016. It involved catching Pokémon on a mobile device that are located in the real world; players must move around to find more Pokémon. Upon its initial release, it was wildly popular, seeing 232 million players during the summer of its release . As of 2023, there are approximately five million players on Pokémon Go daily, with about 80 million active players total. Though this is a drop from the initial popularity of the game, Pokémon Go has still maintained a large player base.
Pokémon Trading Card Game
One of the most popular parts of the Pokémon franchise are Pokémon cards. These cards can be used to act out Pokémon battles between two people. They can also be collected. The cards are sold in packs, and each pack contains at least one rare card; these rare cards are highly desired amongst collectors. The highest quality, rarest cards can go for thousands of dollars. Since anyone can open a pack and find a rare card, opening Pokémon card packs has become incredibly popular to watch and try. However, the popularity and high prices fetched by rare cards has led to scalpers buying massive amounts of Pokémon cards in order to charge increased prices for packs or for rare cards. The Pokémon Company has attempted to thwart scalpers by making card packs to order and cancelling orders of suspected scalpers, but preventing all scalping is difficult for the company since their products are sold in retail stores as well. Themed card packs with new cards are released periodically.
Due to Pokémon's popularity, a Pokémon anime series was released focused on the adventures of Ash Ketchum, a young Pokémon trainer and his partner Pokémon, Pikachu. Ash and Pikachu are the protagonists of 25 seasons, in which they journey around different regions, meet a variety of Pokémon, and try to become region champions. Ash's companions and Pokémon in his roster vary season by season. In 2022, The Pokémon Company announced that the 25th season would be the final season with Ash as the protagonist. They announced new protagonists for the 26th season, Pokémon Horizons: The Series, released in 2023.
Guides to Pokémon games have been released in book form alongside many of the main Pokémon games. Books acting as Pokémon encyclopedias have also been published. There are a variety of craft and activity books, such as coloring books, sticker books, books with step-by-step instructions to draw Pokémon, cook Pokémon based meals, and fold Pokémon origami.
A series of chapter books based off of the first few seasons of the Pokémon anime were published, as well as Pokémon children's books.
- Pokémon: The First Movie
- Pokémon: The Movie 2000
- Pokémon 3: The Movie
- Pokémon: Mewtwo Returns
- Pokémon 4Ever
- Pokémon Heroes
- Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker
- Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys
- Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
- Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea
- Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai
- Who Owns The Pokémon Franchise by Scott Baird at ScreenRant, Feb. 3 2021
- All Pokemon Games In Order [Complete List] by Seb Santabarbara at Retro Dodo, Apr. 29, 2023
- Pokémon UNITE Overview on the official website
- Pokkén Tournament DX official website
- How many people play Pokemon Go? Pokemon Go player count by Filip Krawanski at Dexerto, Nov 30, 2023
- A Pokémon Base Set First Edition Holo Charizard Sets All-time Record, Fetching $420,000 USD at Auction by Joyce Li at HypeBeast, Mar. 22, 2022
- The Pokémon Company is taking a stand against scalping for the year’s biggest TCG set by Ryan Galloway at Dot Esports, June 13, 2023
- After 25 seasons, Ash Ketchum is retiring from Pokémon by Tomas Franzese at Digital Trends, Dec. 16, 2022
- Watch the New Trailer for Pokémon Concierge, Coming to Netflix on December 28, 2023 on the official Pokémon website, Nov. 16, 2023