Tracking Pokemon’s Success

By Matt

For almost sixteen years, Pokemon continues to be one of the best-selling games, popular TV shows, and have many other related products, like cards or bathroom products. It was an ingenious idea to create unique creatures called Pocket Monsters, which was shortened to Pokemon. After a few years from its release date in late 1995 (around when I was born), it gained popularity among many, including me. Soon, fan bases popped out, and people who shared a common interest in Pokemon joined together. I myself learned to respect this idea and become a part of it. After a few years, there are now five different regions, and almost 700 species of Pokemon, and there are still more waiting to be discovered. The TV shows are still continuing, regardless of some troubles in the beginning. I guess it is just an idea that kids love, and cherish.

Even in adulthood, there are children at heart playing the games and even entering the Pokemon World Championships. There are those (including me) that wish Pokemon were real, and there is even some working towards that goal virtually. One attributing reason to Pokemon’s success is the unique Pokemon that exist so far. Many are attracted by their looks, two popular examples being Eevee (and its evolutions) and Pikachu, the global icon. Another reason why it has been dominating the market in games is that their games are interactive and give you a chance to feel like an actual Pokemon Trainer, as compared to games where you play as a certain character.

Unlike many games that have endings and cheats, Pokemon has none of those (unless people intentionally hack), and there is technically no way to beat the game. You see, it gained popularity through its open-ended games. The goal in-game is to become the best Pokemon Trainer there is, but there is no one way of insuring that. A Trainer can have all the level 100 Pokemon they want, but the game has still many other ways to be played, like entering Contests or Musicals. (They added a feature in HeartGold and SoulSilver where you could have a rematch with certain Gym Leaders on certain days.)

The purpose of Pokemon is to deepen the bonds of friendship with others, and they don’t have to be human. It also teaches responsibility in-game and in real life, since Pokemon, like pets, need care, affection, and items. Also, the decision to make various versions of the series has brought success financially, as restricting the Pokemon found in each game would eventually force the consumer to buy both versions and collect all of them, if they really loved the game.

Pokemon toys, coveted by both collectors and kids, has definitely been a top-seller, reeling in Pokemon fans and those who want to find something cute for their boyfriend or girlfriend. In Japan, Pokemon-shaped food has been created, and even though that can’t be collected, it’s still worth buying and savoring once you eat it. I sure hope Pokemon will continue to grow and be successful like I knew it my entire life.

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