The Pokémon Company

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The Pokémon Company
Native name
株式会社ポケモン
Joint venture, Kabushiki gaisha
Founded 23 April 1998; 20 years ago (1998-04-23) (as The Pokémon Center Company)
Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan
Headquarters Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Bellevue, Washington, U.S.
London, England, U.K.
Seoul, South Korea
Key people
Tsunekazu Ishihara
(President)
Products Pokémon franchise
Services Brand management
Parent [1][2]
Website pokemon.co.jp
Entrance of The Pokémon Company in Tokyo
The International Branch of The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company (株式会社ポケモン, Kabushiki gaisha Pokémon) is a Japanese company that is responsible for brand management, marketing and licensing of the Pokémon franchise, consisting of video game software, trading card game, anime television series, films, home entertainment products, and other ventures. It was established through a joint investment by the three businesses holding the copyright on Pokémon: Nintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures.[1] It began operating in 1998 and adopted the moniker Pokémon Ltd. in October 2000.[3] The company is headquartered in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo.[4]

The company has separate divisions that handle operations in different areas of the world, with The Pokémon Company International supporting the territories outside Asia. In South Korea, the operations are handled by Pokémon Korea, Inc.[4] In other Asian territories such as Thailand and Vietnam, the operations are handled by Pokémon Asia.

History[edit]

In 1998, Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freak established The Pokémon Center Company 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.[7] Nintendo Australia does all licensing and marketing of Pokémon products in Australia and New Zealand, as The Pokémon Company does not have an Australian branch.[4]

Since 2001, nearly all licensed Pokémon products have "©Pokémon" in the copyright acknowledgments with the usual three of "©Nintendo", "©GAME FREAK inc." and "©Creatures Inc." Despite this, Nintendo is the sole owner of the Pokémon trademark.[8] The video games, Pokémon Trading Card Game and licensed toys are still being made by third- and second-party companies such as Tomy.

In October 2001, 4Kids Entertainment (now known as 4Licensing Corporation) 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.[7] Its headquarters are located in Seoul.[12]

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.[13] The company's offices in the United States are in Bellevue, Washington[14] and its offices in the United Kingdom are in London.[4] Australian operations are controlled by Nintendo Australia.

Retail sales[edit]

The Pokémon Company retail sales of licensed Pokémon merchandise
Year(s) Region(s) Sales (billion USD) Sales (inflation) (billion USD) Notes
2001[15] Outside Asia 2 2.8
2002[16] Americas 1.1 1.5
2003[17] Americas 1.3 1.7
2004[18] Americas 1.3 1.7
2005[19] Americas 1.3 2
1996–2005 (worldwide)[20] Worldwide 25 33
2006[21] Americas 1.3 1.6
2007[22] Americas 1.4 1.7
2008[23] Americas 1.4 1.6
2009[24] Outside Asia 1.4 1.6
2010[25] Outside Asia 2.5 2.8
2011[26] Outside Asia 1.5 1.6
2012[27] Outside Asia 1.6 1.7
2013[28] Outside Asia 1.5 1.6
2014[29] Outside Asia 2 2.1 Increase in sales over 2013 is primarily related to the increase in Pokémon TCG Sales in the UK Market by 51%, as well as the resurgence of the Pokémon brand in India.[30][31]
2015[32] Outside Asia 2.1 2.2 Increase in sales over 2014 is related to the continued success of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, which saw an increase by 56%, as well as the continued resurgence of the Pokémon brand in India.[33][31]
2016[34] Outside Asia 3.3 3.4 Increase in sales related to the brand's 20th anniversary, Super Bowl 50 commercial, launch of Pokémon Go and Sun & Moon games and Sun & Moon anime series, and Pokémon Trading Card Game becoming the top-selling collectible card game.[34]
2017[35] Outside Asia 3.5 3.5 Increase in sales related to Pokémon remaining the top-selling toy brand, Sun & Moon expansion of Trading Card Game, 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.[35]
2006–2017 Outside Asia 23.5 25.4
2006–2017 Asia 10.6
2006–2017 Worldwide 34.1
Total Known Sales [36] Worldwide 59.1

List of works[edit]

Games[edit]

Anime[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Company History". The Pokemon Company. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/25/pokemon-go-nintendo-shares-tokyo-stock-exchange-niantic
  3. ^ "Company History - The Pokémon Company". Pokemon.com. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d "会社概要". The Pokémon Company. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Iwata Asks". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ "ポケモンセター English". ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-11-13. 
  7. ^ a b "沿革". The Pokémon Company. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ "4Kids Entertainment Signs New Five-Year Agreement With Pokemon USA/Leading Children's Entertainment Company Acquires 3% Interest In The Pokemon Company". TheFreeDictionary.com. October 10, 2001. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ "4Kids Entertainment Signs New Five-Year Agreement With Pokémon USA" (PDF). 4kidsentertainment.com. October 10, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 24, 2005. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Form 10K". EdgarOnline.com. March 16, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Jones, Adams (11 August 2016). "Pokethrift Pokemon Go: Accounts and technical issues". pokethrift.com. Pokethrift. Retrieved 19 September 2016. organization to provide a LIFETIME WARRANTY on all of accounts. 
  12. ^ Daswani, Mansha (April 9, 2009). "Pokémon Merges North American, European Operations". WorldScreen.com.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Contact Us". The Pokémon Company International. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ "100 Leading Licensors". licensemag.com. April 1, 2002. Retrieved December 2, 2017. 
  15. ^ License! Editorial Staff (April 1, 2003). "Leading Licensors" (PDF). licensemag.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 12, 2003. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  16. ^ Wilensky, Dawn (April 1, 2004). "Leading 101 Licensors" (PDF). licensemag.com (archived). Archived from the original on February 28, 2005. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  17. ^ Wilensky, Dawn (April 1, 2005). "Are You on the List? Most leading licensors remained flat 2004 over 2003" (PDF). licensemag.com (archived). Archived from the original on February 17, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  18. ^ Wilensky, Dawn (April 1, 2006). "101 Leading Licensors" (PDF). licensemag.com (archived). Archived from the original on May 17, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  19. ^ Grala, Alyson (February 1, 2006). "Pocketing Profits". licensemag.com. Retrieved March 15, 2017. 
  20. ^ Wilensky, Dawn (April 1, 2007). "103 Leading Licensing Companies" (PDF). licensemag.com (archived). Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  21. ^ "TOP 100 Licensors". licensemag.com. April 1, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Top 100 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. April 1, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  23. ^ "TOP 125 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. March 1, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  24. ^ "TOP 125". licensemag.com. May 1, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  25. ^ Lisanti, Tony (May 10, 2012). "Top 125 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Top 150 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. May 1, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  27. ^ "The Top 150 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. May 1, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ "The Top 150 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. May 1, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ Loveday, Samantha (December 19, 2014). "Pokémon ends 2014 on a high". Licensing.biz. NewBay Media. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Venkatesh, Shruti (December 29, 2015). "Pokemon's second coming". Forbes India. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  31. ^ "The Top 150 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. May 1, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  32. ^ Langsworthy, Billy (January 21, 2016). "Esdevium Games enjoys "record sales year" for Pokémon Trading Card Game". toynews-online.biz. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "The Top 150 Global Licensors". licensemag.com. April 1, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017. 
  34. ^ a b "Licence Global - April 2018". dc.cn.ubm-us.com. April 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  35. ^ Burwick, Kevin (June 24, 2018). "Pokemon Rules Them All as Highest-Grossing Franchise Ever". licensemag.com. Retrieved June 30, 2018. 

External links[edit]