The Pokémon Company

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The Pokémon Company
Native name
株式会社ポケモン
TypeJoint venture
Kabushiki gaisha
Founded23 April 1998; 22 years ago (1998-04-23) (as The Pokémon Center Company)
Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan
HeadquartersMinato, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Tsunekazu Ishihara
(President and CEO)
ProductsPokémon franchise
ServicesBrand management
JPY 15.37 billion (2019)[1]
OwnerNintendo
Game Freak
Creatures
SubsidiariesThe Pokémon Company International
Pokémon Korea, Inc
Pokemon Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Pokémon Shanghai
Pokémon Center Co., Ltd.
Websitewww.pokemon.co.jp
Footnotes / references
[2]
The International Branch of The Pokémon Company.

The Pokémon Company (株式会社ポケモン, Kabushiki gaisha Pokemon) is a Japanese company responsible for brand management, production, marketing and licensing of the Pokémon franchise, consisting of video game software, a trading card game, anime television series, films, manga, home entertainment products, merchandise, and other ventures. It was established through a joint investment by the three businesses holding the copyright of Pokémon: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures. It began operating in 1998 and adopted the moniker Pokémon Ltd. in October 2000. The company is headquartered in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo.[3]

The company has separate subsidiaries that handle operations in different areas of the world, with The Pokémon Company International supporting the territories outside of Asia and being responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website on the territories outside of Asia. In South Korea, the operations are handled by Pokémon Korea, Inc.[3]

The Pokémon Company also handles publishing of all Pokémon video games since 2001 with Nintendo, being mostly responsible for marketing while Nintendo handles distribution. Both companies work together in localization, production, funding, QA and other aspects. The company is solely responsible for publishing and licensing mobile Pokémon titles, unlike console titles where it divides publishing with Nintendo.[4]

History[edit]

In 1998, Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freak established The Pokemon Center Company (ポケモンセンター株式会社, Pokemon Sentā Kabushiki gaisha) in order to effectively manage the Pokémon Center stores in Japan. After the popularity of Pokémon Gold and Silver, they received many merchandising proposals from around the world. Companies were interested in working with the Pokémon brand. At that time, Tsunekazu Ishihara of Creatures was the person in charge of approving licensed products. Because of the sheer volume of products, Ishihara thought it was too much work for one person to handle. At the same time, in order for the franchise to continue, Ishihara wished to further expand the franchise with long-term goals, such as continuing the anime series and releasing a movie every year. It was then decided that a new organization was needed in order to gather together all the strands of brand management.

This led the three companies to turn The Pokémon Center Company into The Pokémon Company and further expand its responsibilities and areas of business. According to Satoru Iwata, establishing The Pokémon Company was one of his first projects at Nintendo.[5]

Managing the Pokémon Center stores is still a pillar for the company. In total, there are stores in 11 locations: Sapporo, Tohoku (Sendai), Tokyo, Skytree Town (Oshiage), Tokyo-Bay (Chiba), Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.[6]

The United States branch (Pokémon USA, Inc.) opened in 2001 to handle licensing overseas in the Americas. Nintendo Australia does some licensing and marketing of Pokémon products in Australia and New Zealand, as The Pokémon Company does not have an Australian branch.[3]

Since 2001, nearly all Pokémon products have the company represented as "©Pokémon" in the copyright acknowledgments with the usual three of "©Nintendo", "©GAME FREAK inc." and "©Creatures Inc." The three companies also have ownership of all of the Pokémon-related trademarks in Japan[7] while Nintendo is the sole owner of Pokémon-related trademarks in other countries.[8] Licensed toys are made by third- and second-party companies such as Tomy and Jazwares.

In October 2001, 4Kids Entertainment acquired a 3% stake in The Pokémon Company for an undisclosed sum.[9][10] They liquidated this stake 4 years later for US$960,000.[11]

In 2006, Pokémon Korea, Inc. was founded to manage the company's operations in South Korea. Its headquarters are located in Seoul.

In 2009, Pokémon USA and Pokémon UK merged to become The Pokémon Company International, which handles American and European Pokémon operations under the administration of Kenji Okubo.[12] The company's offices in the United States are in Bellevue, Washington[13] and its offices in the United Kingdom are in London.[3] Some Australian operations are controlled by Nintendo Australia.

Pokémon Center Co., Ltd. was established in August 2011 to manage the Pokémon Center brand and stores in Japan. Its operations include running Pokémon Store and Pokémon Center stores, maintaining the Pokémon Stand vending machines and operating Pokémon Center Online, as well as overseeing the design and manufacture of Japanese Pokémon Center brand merchandise. Yomiomi Uego is President and CEO.[14][15]

List of works[edit]

Games[edit]

Anime[edit]

Books[edit]

Films[edit]

Licensed merchandise[edit]

Retail sales of Pokémon licensed merchandise (licensed by The Pokémon Company)
(excluding sales of products from Nintendo or The Pokémon Company, such as Pokémon video games or trading cards)
Year(s) Region(s) Sales (million US$) Notes
1999 Worldwide[16] 7,000 ¥350.28 billion ($3.075 billion) in Japan.[17][18]
2001 Outside Asia[19] 2,000
2002 Americas[20] 1,100
2003 Americas[21] 1,300
1996–2003 Worldwide[22] 30,000
2004 Americas[23] 1,300
2005 Japan + Americas 1,892 ¥65.21 billion ($592 million) in Japan.[24][25] $1.3 billion in the Americas.[26]
2006 Americas[27] 1,300
2007 Japan + Americas 2,543 ¥134.56 billion ($1.143 billion) in Japan.[28][29] $1.4 billion in the Americas.[30]
2008 Japan + Americas 2,512 ¥114.929 billion ($1,112 million) in Japan.[31] $1.4 billion in the Americas.[32]
2009 Japan + Outside Asia 2,595 ¥111.809 billion ($1,195 million) in Japan.[33] $1.4 billion outside of Asia.[34]
2010 Japan + Outside Asia 3,804 ¥114.484 billion ($1.304 billion) in Japan.[35][36] $2.5 billion outside of Asia.[37]
2011 Japan + Outside Asia 2,848 ¥107.602 billion ($1,348 million) in Japan.[38] $1.5 billion outside of Asia.[39]
2012 Japan + Outside Asia 2,754 ¥92.04 billion ($1,154 million) in Japan.[40] $1.6 billion outside of Asia.[41]
2013 Japan + Outside Asia 2,393 ¥86.978 billion ($891 million) in Japan.[42] $1.5 billion outside of Asia.[43]
2014 Japan + Outside Asia 2,678 ¥71.825 billion ($678 million) in Japan.[44] $2 billion outside of Asia.[45] Pokémon TCG sales increased by 51% in the UK market,[46] and by 34% in North America.[47]
2014–2015 India There was a resurgence of the Pokémon brand in India.[48]
2015 Japan + Outside Asia 2,608 ¥55.257 billion ($457 million) in Japan.[49] $2.1 billion outside of Asia.[50] Pokémon TCG sales increased by 56%.[47]
2016 Japan + Outside Asia 3,884 ¥63.52 billion ($584 million) in Japan.[51] $3.3 billion outside of Asia.[52] The brand's 20th anniversary coincided with a Super Bowl 50 commercial, launch of Pokémon Go and Sun & Moon video games and Sun & Moon anime series, and Pokémon TCG becoming the top-selling collectible card game.[52]
2017 Japan + Outside Asia 4,081 ¥64.584 billion ($576 million) in Japan.[53] $3.5 billion outside of Asia.[54][55] Pokémon toys increased in sales,[56] and is the top-selling toy brand.[54] Sun & Moon expansion of Pokémon TCG released, continued success of Pokémon Go, and global launch of Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon and Pokkén Tournament DX games, I Choose You film and Sun & Moon anime series.[54]
2018 Japan + Outside Asia 3,681 ¥77.417 billion ($701 million) in Japan.[57][58] $2.98 billion outside of Asia.[59]
2019 Japan + Outside Asia 5,127 ¥101.06 billion ($927 million) in Japan.[60][58] $4.2 billion outside of Asia.[61] Significant growth driven by global launch of live-action film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, video game Pokémon Sword & Shield, and anime season Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends, while Pokémon Go crossed 1 billion downloads.[61]
Total known sales Worldwide 76,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]