Pokémon ( ポ ケ モ ンPokemon ? ) is a media franchise owned by The Pokémon Company, having been created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995. It focuses on fictional creatures called “Pokémon”, that humans capture and train them to fight each other like a sport.
The franchise started with a couple of games released for the original Game Boy, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. Today, the franchise extends to games, collectibles, television series, as well as movies, manga, and toys. Pokémon is the world’s second most successful and lucrative gaming media franchise, behind the Mario franchise that also belongs to Nintendo.
In 2006, the franchise celebrated its 10th anniversary. Sales of games (including home console games such as Hey You, Pikachu! For Nintendo 64 ) have amassed over 200 million copies sold. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had obtained licensing for the animated series, announced that it had agreed not to renew the franchise representation agreement. Pokémon USA Inc. (now The Pokémon Company International ), a subsidiary of the Japanese Pokémon Co., now oversees all Pokémon licenses outside Asia. As of 2013, the Pokémon franchise has amassed ¥ 4 trillion worldwide (equivalent to $ 40.98 billion).