If you were still in school in the late 90s, chances are good that you remember Pokemon, which started out as a couple of games for the Nintendo Gameboy that soon turned into a multimedia franchise that included but were not limited to books, comics, cartoons, movies, and even a trading card game. However, if that is the last thing that you remember about the franchise, you might be interested to learn that it is still going strong in the present day despite the occasional misstep in its long train of successes.
Here are the components that make up the Pokemon franchise:
At the moment, the Pokemon games are categorized into seven generations. Although these generations tend to last somewhere between 3 to 4 years, it is important to note that each generation starts with the release of main Pokemon games and ends with the release of the next. For example, the first generation of Pokemon games started with Pokemon Red and Green, but also includes Pokemon Blue and Yellow, which were derived from Red and Green rather than fully-independent games in their own. Likewise, the second generation of Pokemon games started with Pokemon Gold and Silver, but also includes their derivative, Pokemon Crystal, as well as spinoffs such as Pokemon Puzzle Challenge, which has a different premises than the main games’ combination of RPG and collection-based mechanics. The Pokemon games are divided up in this manner because the main Pokemon games introduce large batches of new Pokemon, thus resulting in significant changes to the characters that can show up in the other Pokemon games.
It is interesting to note that later generations have more games associated with them than their predecessors, which stands as silent testament to the franchise’s success. For example, Generation VI has more than 10 handheld games as well as more games on other platforms. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the games associated with each succeeding generation have become more and more diverse in nature, which in turn, broadens Pokemon’s appeal so that it can cater to more and more gamers. Once again using the example of Generation VI, its games include but are not limited to puzzles, fighting, exploration, and even mysteries.
Given these facts, it should come as no surprise to learn that Pokemon games are still being made on a regular basis. In fact, Generation VII will be starting in November of 2016 with Pokemon Sun and Moon, which will feature new Pokemon as well as a new region based on the islands of Hawaii.
There has been a bewildering number of comics released for the Pokemon franchise. Most of them are based in some manner on the Pokemon games, while others retain the basic premise but go their own way. Some of these comics have been published in English as well as other languages for interested individuals in English-speaking countries and elsewhere, but many have been limited to their original Japanese because of differences in the appetites of different countries for different mediums. As with the games, the Pokemon comics are remaining strong as well.
Cartoon and Movies
If you were ever a Pokemon fan, chances are good that you remember the Pokemon anime, which is just a convenient name for Japanese cartoons. Although the Pokemon anime started up not long after the Pokemon games, it is worth noting that the series has continued into the present, thus making it one of the longest-running animated series ever at 19 years and counting. More amusingly, both the protagonist and his Pikachu have managed to hold onto their starring roles throughout that time, though it raises countless questions in the fandom about how exactly he has managed to stay so young. Besides the anime, there have also been 19 animated movies, while there is talk that a number of Hollywood studios are also interested in doing a live-action adaptation of the franchise for the big screen.
With that said, it is interesting to note that there are also other Pokemon animations, which are not based on the main series. For example, Pokemon Origins was a TV film that took more inspiration from the first generation of games than the main animated series. As a result, while it shares a great many of its details with the main animated series, it is definitely a different story catering to a somewhat different but not entirely so audience.
Besides the games, the comics, the cartoons, and the movies, there have also been a great many other Pokemon products. For example, the most famous of these is probably the Pokemon trading card game, which came out at around the same time that trading card games had reached their height in popularity, thus putting it in an excellent position to capitalize on a receptive audience. However, other examples range from books to all sorts of licensed products, meaning that it is next to impossible to take all of it in.
How Much Is the Entire Pokemon Franchise Worth?
Evaluating a franchise’s value is never a simple and straightforward thing. In part, this is because there is not enough information to evaluate franchises in the same manner as say, stocks. However, it should also be noted that franchises can experience significant changes in their popularity from year to year, which in turn, means that their values can experience significant changes from year to year as well.
There is no good estimate for the value of the Pokemon franchise, not least because Nintendo would be foolish to release its hold on one of its most profitable franchises. However, we do know that a publication in 2014 claimed that the Pokemon franchise was making $1.5 billion on an annual basis. If we assume that is something that will hold true in perpetuity, that means the Pokemon franchise is worth $15 billion assuming an interest rate of 10 percent. Unfortunately, this figure is likely to fall short of its actual worth, both because it is an extremely simplistic calculation and because the Pokemon franchise is still growing with each passing year.