The story begins in Japan in 1996 with the release of
Pocket Monsters Green and Pocket Monsters Red
, two video games introducing the first 150 Pokémon imagined by creator Satoshi Tajiri.
These games are selling very well, almost without advertising and the "
which comes out some time later sells 10 million copies in Japan alone.
Read also: These Pokemon cards that sell for a high price
How to explain such a success from the start?
It is above all the social dimension, thought by the creators from the first games, which allows such a take-off:
“of the 150
of the red version, eleven were not accessible to the green version, and vice versa.
So you needed a friend with the opposite version to have all the different Pokémon ”
Sourya Zinnoury, former Director of the Pokémon-France site.
The Pokémon are celebrating their 25th birthday this Saturday, February 27.
Return on the franchise of the world of entertainment which no longer has its fans.
A unique universe that invades the world
From 1997, the phenomenon declined in the Land of the Rising Sun in an avalanche of derivative products with the famous playing cards first and a television series thereafter.
In 1998, the universe was exported to the United States under the diminutive “
” - the rights to the name “
” being held by Roald Dahl.
Americans also succumb to the charm of the little critters and 200,000 copies of the game are sold in a few days.
368 million video games and more than 30 billion cards have been sold worldwide
It was not until 1999 that the "
" and other creatures invest Europe then the whole world.
We find them everywhere:
"When Pokémon came out it was a hit, the playgrounds were invaded, it was impossible to go to a store without finding Pokémon products"
recalls Sourya Zinnoury.
Different generations of Pokémon follow one another, accompanied by their own universes, and are available in all media.
A rise in popularity with Pokémon GO
The franchise is particularly popular in 2016 with the July launch of the Pokémon GO application.
This augmented reality game using geolocation services, pushes the “
” to leave their homes, to go and capture the Pokémon.
The success is immediate: impossible to ignore in the street these people glued to their screens in search of imaginary bugs.
Former fans revive this occasion with their childhood passion and in just two months, Niantic's mobile game reached 500 million downloads.
A craze which Niantic has been able to take advantage of since, AFP indicates,
"the year 2020 has been the most lucrative to date for Pokémon Go
A success that is not about to end
Today, what was once called “
” is still very much present.
Some fan sites reach one million visits per month in France,
” explains Sourya Zinnoury.
“Pokémon has really become a part of manners and into pop culture,” he
The figures displayed by the Pokémon Compagny on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the franchise speak for themselves: since the beginning of the adventure, 368 million video games and more than 30 billion cards have been sold across the world.
A success that is not about to stop if we are to believe the impact of an event like the "
", a video meeting given to fans this Friday, February 26 afternoon which brought together more than 100,000 spectators worldwide.