Still “Gotta Catch ’em All”: Pokemon Celebrates Seventeen Years of Success

When pinpointing pop culture of the 90’s, Pokémon are usually on the tip of everyone’s tongues. The Pokémon empire began in 1998 when Japanese gamers developed a video game that quickly escalated into an empire. The iconic brand grew so heavily within the past 17 years that it remains strong today. The children who discovered it in their youth are now adults. Whether these individuals have remained loyal gamers or passed the Pokémon empire down to their children, the trend to become a successful Pokémon master remains solid. What about this animated game prompted its long lasting success?

Originally based off its creator’s love for collecting insects, Pokémon allows players to “catch” and collect virtual creatures that have the ability to perform in battles. Players must spend time and effort collecting these creatures like pets and enhancing their set of skills. With their interactive nature, the Nintendo games were a huge smash. Games were great but players wanted more. Trading cards were created and the brand exploded. Fans of all ages bought and traded Pokémon card like they were made of pure gold. Being able to actually touch the components of your game gave players an overwhelming sense of realism and control. Other games may have compared to Pokémon however, the expansion into trading cards, toys, stuffed animals, books, movies and most importantly a television show allowed fans to completely immerse themselves in a fictional universe. It seemed that the more effort they put into their game, the stronger the Pokémon empire became. There is and was always something new to explore and a new Pokémon to catch. Due to this, fans held onto their loyal nature and grew along with the steady creation of new products through the years.

Yesterday’s young Pokémon masters have grown into Nintendo sporting adults who still feel that they’ve “gotta catch em all”. This is a seemingly impossible task while the hugely successful brand continues to manufacture new games. Recently, two new games have been released, “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y”. These games promote the old trend of “trading” as the cards did except virtual in nature. Pokémon promotes interpersonal interaction and projects that every individual should strive to be the best that they can be. Though it may seem odd when a grown man carries around a Gameboy, strong values such as these will always be appropriate for individuals in all walks of life. Although it may not be at the top of everyone’s Christmas list, loyal supporters still stand on the stable foundation that Pokémon was built on. As long as the 17 year strong cycle of innovation continues to benefit eager players, there will be Pokémon.

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