Who Owns the Pokemon Franchise


This article covers the franchise in general. For the species, see Pokémon (species).

Pokémon (Japanese. ポ ケ ッ ト モ ン ス タ ー, dt pocket monsters) are fictional beings that are mostly based on animals or objects. Invented and originally published by Satoshi Tajiri and the Japanese software company GAME FREAK inc. Pokémon is now one of the most important brands for Nintendo alongside Super Mario. The first Pokémon games were released in Japan in 1996, which included several anime series, a trading card game, 23 animated films, a real-life film, several manga series and other merchandising Products followed. To date, over 300 million Pokémon games have been sold. This makes Pokémon the most successful game series worldwide after the Mario series.[1] With over 25 million cards sold, the trading card game is the most successful trading card game worldwide, and Pokémon is also one of the best-selling toys worldwide.[2][3]


Satoshi Tajiri, the inventor of Pokémon

The basic idea of ​​Pokémon is based on collecting animals, such as various insects or tadpoles, which Satoshi Tajiri enjoyed when he was a child.[4] As he got older, he wanted children to have the same fun he had himself, so he put his idea of ​​catching creatures into practice. At the beginning of almost every game, the player slips into the role of a Pokémon trainer, who has to fulfill two important tasks in the course of the game. On the one hand, the Pokédex, which saves the data of all Pokémon seen and caught, needs to be completed. The second goal is to catch the strongest possible Pokémon and train them so that you can defeat the Pokémon League with the help of this team and thus become the new champ of the region. These goals are not only pursued in the games, but also in the anime and manga, as well as in the trading card game, the focus is on achieving them.

Catching Pokémon is made possible by using a special and highly developed device, the Poké Ball. Poké Balls come in many different designs, each with different strengths and weaknesses. If a Pokémon is to be caught, a Pokéball is thrown at the Pokémon to be caught, which is sucked into the ball in an energy field. With a little luck, the Pokémon, which is usually weakened by a fight, will remain in the Poké Ball and belong to the trainer from this point on. However, if the trainer does not have sufficient experience in dealing with Pokémon, the newly caught Pokémon may not yet obey him. Only wild Pokémon can be caught; the “clawing” of Pokémon from other trainers only works in the two games published for the Gamecube, Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: The Dark Storm.

So far there are 898 different Pokémon with 18 different types. Some of them also have type combinations consisting of two different types. Depending on the combination, Pokémon are more or less susceptible to different types. These vulnerabilities are very important in combat. The aim is to put together a team of up to six Pokémon that has as few weaknesses as possible and as many strengths as possible. These Pokémon can then be used to fight against in-game trainers or friends. Since Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green, it has been possible to conduct these battles wirelessly and not with the link cable as before. Since the fourth generation of games, it has even been possible to fight and trade over the Internet using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Swap is another important element in Pokémon, as different Pokémon appear in each game. For example, if you want to have one that cannot be caught in your own game, you have to swap and get the Pokémon from a friend or from other trainers via the Internet. You can also transfer Pokémon from one game generation to another, but this only works in the direction of the newer game generation, you cannot exchange back to an older generation.

Most of the Pokémon are capable of evolving. There are a variety of ways in which a development can come about. The most common method is level up (also called "Lv.-Up"). The Pokémon develops as soon as it has reached a certain level. Some Pokémon need a high friendship value or a high level of trust in the trainer in addition to leveling up, others need to learn a certain attack in order to be able to develop. Special items are often required for development, such as certain stones. Another possibility of development is swap. There are even Pokémon that only evolve if you swap them for a certain item or a certain Pokémon.

This process is also reversible through breeding. Almost every Pokémon, with the exception of Pokémon in the Egg group Unknown, is able to co-lay an egg with a second Pokémon, from which the Pokémon's lowest level will hatch. With a few exceptions, the Pokémon to be bred must also carry a special item. Breeding allows many Pokémon to learn attacks that they would otherwise not learn.


→ Main article: List of Pokémon games
German packaging of Pokémon Red

The games are the main product in the Pokémon series. It all started on February 27, 1996 with the release of the Pokémon Red and Green games in Japan. The basic principles, including barter and competition, already existed in these games and have remained almost unchanged to this day. With the appearance of these two editions, the first 151 Pokémon appeared. The games, which were only released in Japan, did not sell very well, which is why the special edition Pokémon Blue came on the market soon after, with which there was a breakthrough. The graphics were improved in blue and new sprites for the Pokémon were drawn. Like the original games, it was playable on the Game Boy. Outside of Japan, the first Pokémon games, Pokémon Red and Blue, which were graphically on the same level as the Japanese Blue Edition, appeared.

After a long break, the next two editions, which were planned under the name Pokémon 2, Pokémon Gold and Silver came. With them another 100 Pokémon appeared, the world was expanded to two regions and the graphics were also improved with the Game Boy Color. About two years later, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire appeared and with them 135 new Pokémon, as well as a few other features and, thanks to the Game Boy Advance, further improved graphics. In 2006, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released for the Nintendo DS. The two screens and the new system made it possible to further improve the graphics and the game itself. In addition, 107 new Pokémon were added. On April 9, 2010, the next generation of Pokémon was announced for the first time with Pokémon Black and White. The games were released in Europe in spring 2011 and included another 156 Pokémon. A year and a half later, their successors came out, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. They introduced a new aspect of the development, the merger or union of two Pokémon, which took place between Kyurem and Zekrom or Reshiram.

Exactly one year later, on October 12, 2013, the next major editions appeared, for the first time for the Nintendo 3DS: Pokémon X and Y. With them came a major graphic change; the whole game was now animated in 3D. In certain scenes and individual fights, the game could even be viewed in autostereoscopic 3D, which made the game much more realistic. With this edition, too, 72 new Pokémon came into the game. In addition, there was the so-called mega development, which makes it possible to develop a Pokémon in the middle of a battle with the help of a mega stone. In addition, a year and a month later, the remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released, which also added a new type of development, protomorphosis.

About two years later, the seventh generation was ushered in with Pokémon Sun and Moon. These brought 81 new Pokémon as well as new forms of well-known Pokémon and some other innovations, including the Z-attacks. Another year later, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon appeared. These differ from Pokémon Sun and Moon through an alternative story and additional innovations, such as the Rotom powers, they also introduced five new Pokémon, which is also the first addition of new Pokémon within a game generation. The following year, the games Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and let's go, Eevee! published, which enable a new trip to a pimped up Kanto region. With them, two new Pokémon were introduced, bringing the total number of Pokémon added in the seventh generation to 88. Some mechanics of the games have been heavily adapted to Pokémon GO, including the system for catching wild Pokémon. A transfer of Pokémon between the two main games and the spin-off is also possible.

The eighth generation of Pokémon began in the fall of 2019 with the Pokémon Sword and Shield. These are the first major games where not all of the old Pokémon are available. In addition, these are the first titles whose game scope has been supplemented by a chargeable expansion pass.

In addition to the main series of games, GAME FREAK developed some spin-offs, including for other Nintendo consoles. For example the Pokémon Stadium series for the Nintendo 64, Pokémon Colosseum or Pokémon XD for the Nintendo GameCube, and Pokémon Battle Revolution for the Nintendo Wii. The biggest spin-offs for the Game Boy and the Nintendo DS are the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series and the Pokémon Ranger games.

In other media


→ Main article: Anime
Ash with his new Pokémon

The Pokémon anime is a stand-alone television series based largely on the events and characters of the main games. The only exception is the game Pokémon Yellow, which is partly based on the previous games and partly on the anime. The plot of the anime follows the main character Ash Ketchum, who travels with a few friends through the different regions and challenges the arena leaders there. The first episode, Pika - Pikachu, starts with Ash receiving a Pikachu as a starter Pokémon, which differs from the usual starters of Kanto. Since Pokémon Advance? the series is even more oriented towards the games. So z. B. also mentions the special abilities of the Pokémon.

In the first season, Ash travels through the Kanto region with Brock, the arena manager of Marmoria City, and Misty, the young arena manager of Azuria City. In the second season, Ash visits the Orange Archipelago, which does not appear in the games. He is accompanied by Tracey, a Pokémon observer from the region, instead of Brock. In the following seasons 3 - 5, Ash, Brock and Misty roam the entire Johto region.

In seasons 6-8 of the anime, Ash heads to Hoenn, where he follows the plot of the third generation games. This time, Maike, a Pokémon trainer and coordinator, and Max, her little, inexperienced brother, are part of the party. A little later, Brock joins the group again.

Seasons 8 and 9 focus on the battle zone introduced in Pokémon Emerald and show Ash trying to collect all battle zone symbols. He travels to the Kanto and Hoenn regions.

In seasons 10 to 13, Ash and Brock travel to Sinnoh to explore the new region. He is joined by a young girl, Lucia, who wants to be the best coordinator and therefore repeatedly takes part in competitions.

In seasons 14, 15 and 16, Ash travels to the Einall region and the Decolor archipelago. Here he meets the energetic Lilia right from the start and after Ash's victory in the Orion City Arena, Benny joins them.

From the 17th season, Ash's journey begins in Kalos. He is accompanied by the newly qualified trainer Serena, arena manager Citro and his sister Heureka, the latter he meets immediately after arriving in Illumina City.

In season 20, Ash's journey begins in Alola.


→ Main article: Pokémon movies

20 Pokémon films have been released since 1998. On July 18, 1998, the first Pokémon movie was shown in Japan. From the fourth to the seventh films, the films appeared in Europe only on DVD and from the eighth to the twelfth only on television. Above all, the first film was also a great success in Germany and grossed $ 163.64 million worldwide. The films were all produced in Japan and can also be seen there in the cinema, where mostly special and rare Pokémon are distributed. The twelfth film was released in Japanese cinemas on July 18, 2009 and the 13th film will be shown in Japan on July 10, 2010. The other films 14-16 belong to Best Wishes! and each deal with Legendary Pokémon. The 17th, 18th and 19th films are part of XY, with Magearna, a Mysterious Pokémon of the seventh generation, playing an important role in the latter. Unlike its predecessors, the 20th film shows an alternate version of Ash's early adventures.

In May 2019, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, a real-life film adaptation of Pokémon, hit international cinemas for the first time. This is based in part on the video game of the same name.

Trading card game

→ Main article: Trading card game
The official logo of the trading card game

Another offshoot of Pokémon is the trading card game. It is a card game for two players based on the usual trading card game principle. The players can put their game decks together individually, which opens up the possibilities of countless strategies. The Pokémon TCG is based on the games. Trading card game tournaments are held all over the world.

There is also a game of the same name for the Game Boy, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which works just like the actual card game.

Collectible figure game

→ Main article: Collectible figure game
The official logo of the collectible figure game

The Pokémon Collectible Figure Game (SFS) has also existed since mid-2006, in which the aim is to reach the opponent's target field with modeled 3D models of Pokémon on a pedestal. The figures are available in both starter packs and booster packs. Numerous strategies are also possible in this 2-player game, there are also different variants and coach cards can also be used. Although three series plus a special series were planned, only one of them was released, called Next Quest. The remaining series called Groundbreakers, Black Star Promo, and the Untitled Third Series were not released. This may be a sign that the game was completely discontinued in 2009.


→ Main article: Music

There are some CDs with music, mostly from the Pokémon anime. Most of the CDs were only released in Japan. Title songs and film music make up a large percentage of the soundtracks. The German CDs are almost only translations of the American versions.


→ Main article: Manga

There are several manga, the most famous of which is Pocket Monsters Special. Pokémon Adventures, or Pocket Monsters SPECIAL, is a manga series on the subject of Pokémon. Again, the plot is based, if only loosely, on the main games in the Pokémon series. Satoshi Tajiri said of the manga that it was the medium that best reflected his idea about Pokémon.

See also

Individual evidence