The History of Pokémon: Everything We Know

If you’ve ever wondered where the idea behind one of the most popular games of all time came from, find out with the history of Pokémon.


pokemon has been one of the most popular cultural phenomena for decades. The incredibly vast Pokémon world includes video games, trading cards, TV shows, and movies. It’s become clear that the history of Pokémon can often cause some confusion, especially with regard to whether the video games or the card games came first.


How to trace the origin of Pokémon

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To answer the question of who invented Pokémon, the concept that would become more commonly known as Pokémon can be traced back to 1982 with inventors Satoshi Stair and Ken Sugimori. The Pocket Monsters franchise has its origins in a gaming magazine called Game Freak, which provided strategies and advice to gamers in the 1980s. In 1990, Satoshi turned his attention to the gaming industry and eventually convinced Nintendo to publish video games based on unique creatures, inspired by his childhood hobby of collecting bugs. In 1996, the first Pokemon products were released in Japan when the Game Boy titles Pocket Monsters Red and Green came on the market. These games proved extremely popular and international versions were published in subsequent years.

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How the Pokémon card game began

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Shortly after the release of the first Pocket Monsters games in Japan, a set of 102 trading cards illustrated by Ken Sugimori and Mitsuhiro Arita began circulating among the burgeoning fan base. The Pokémon trading card game arrived in North America in 1999 and was distributed by the role-playing game company Wizards of the Coast. Pokémon tournaments would quickly become popular around the world and the hunt for the rarest variants of these trading cards began. Pokémon has spawned a trading card industry where some limited edition cards can sell for thousands of dollars. More than 34 billion Pokémon trading cards have been produced in many languages ​​and sold to Pokémon fanatics around the world in more than 70 countries.

How Pokémon made it to big and small screens

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Pokémon has undoubtedly had a huge impact on the popularity of anime around the world. The first Pokémon TV series in Japan hit the screens in 1996 and followed the lead character of Satoshi, later renamed Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu companion. Since then, more than 1000 episodes in many different series have been produced. The original TV series would spawn a Pokémon movie in 1997 called Pocket Monsters the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back. 23 more films would soon follow, including the live-action feature Detective Pikachu in 2019.

What you need to know about Pokemon Go

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Released in 2016, Pokémon Go is yet another example of how the franchise has established cultural trends around the world. Pokémon Go has become one of the most successful mobile games of all time, and the clever use of augmented reality technology has convinced countless householders to go out and find rare Pokémon in the wild. While the game is free to download, there are plenty of in-app purchases that can make your Pokémon hunting experience a bit easier, but also more expensive.

Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet and beyond

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It never seems to be long before another highly anticipated Pokémon trading card set, TV show, movie or game hits the market. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet for the Nintendo Switch recently hit store shelves and are the most ambitious Pokemon console title to date. The massive open-world RPG has technically proven a bit too much for the aging Switch, but nonetheless, the appeal of Pokémon seems unstoppable, and the game sells extremely well. Pokémon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s very likely that there will be games on newer consoles in the future that can display its vibrant and detailed world without the frame rate dropping.

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