25 years of Pokémon: the millennial’s favorite video game

If you do not know by heart the 151 creatures of the first installment, possibly you were born too early or too late to be of the ‘Pokémon generation’

In 1996 few houses had a computer, mobile phones were only used to call and almost no one used the Internet, but a video game saga brought technology into homes, with the launch of the first Pokémon title in Japan: Pokémon Green and Red. for the Nintendo GameBoy handheld console.

This Saturday, February 27, Pokémon Day was celebrated, which this year commemorated the quarter of a century since the birth of the saga of pocket monsters created by the Japanese Game Freak for Nintendo consoles.

The idea of ​​the franchise was born as a role-playing video game (RPG), in which the player puts himself in the shoes of a young coach whose objective was to catch the 151 pokémon of the initial Pokédex, make his team stronger, defeat the eight gym leaders and beat the best trainers in the Pokémon League.

Part of the game also consisted of catching legendary pokémon, hidden in the great open world, facing and defeating the antagonists of Team Rocket and exchanging pokémon with other players through the Game Link cable, from the Nintendo Game Boy, launched in 1989 and already he has turned 30 years old.

The first titles in the series, released in 1996 in Japan, were Pokémon Green and Red, which on their cover had the third form of the initial Pokémon Venusaur (plant type) and Charizard (fire).

Later the special edition Pokémon Blue arrived, with Blastoise (water) on the cover, and it was this, along with Pokémon Red, which ended up reaching the West, first to North America (September 1998) and then to Europe, including Spain ( November 1999).

The franchise was originally called Pocket Monsters in Japan, ‘pocket monsters’ in English, but was released in the West with the final shortened name, Pokémon, to avoid matching the name with Mattel’s Monster in my pocket toys.


In 25 years, Pokémon has sold more than 368 million video game units in the world and the saga has transcended this sector and has starred in television series, comics and movies, among other media, until it was largely integrated into popular culture of the planet and beat more than one record.

Pokémon was the largest media franchise in the world in 2018, when it was worth 48,321 million euros (in 2019 it stopped giving this data), ahead of Hello Kitty, Star Wars, Disney’s Mickey Mouse saga and Nintendo’s Mario .

In total, the saga is made up of 802 different species of creatures, divided into eight generations of Pokémon, the last of them released in 2019 and each from a different region: Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, Alola and Galar.


In this quarter of a century, Pokémon has been a more than prolific video game saga, and its main installments alone accumulate 33 different video games released on the market.

The main Pokémon games have been released for five different consoles, although all of them from Nintendo: GameBoy and its variant GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and the hybrid Nintendo Switch.

To the main games we must add at least 28 additional games, which have been seen by many of the most important consoles in recent years: Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii and, finally, iOS and Android mobiles.


In 2016, the series underwent an important renaissance with the launch of its first mobile video game: Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic and based on GPS and augmented reality.

The video game quickly became a public success and, by September 2016, it had already exceeded 500 million downloads, in just over two months since its launch. In 2019, the number of downloads exceeded 1 billion.

According to Sensor Tower data, Pokémon GO, with its income system with free accounts and micropayments, exceeded 1 billion dollars annually in October 2020, reaching a total of 4.2 billion dollars since its launch.

In terms of the number of players, Apptopia placed it at 60 million active people per month in June 2017, 12 million of them active every day. For its part, an Axiom study estimated the number of users of the game, at its peak in July 2016, at 45 million people a day.

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