Can you believe that our beloved Pokémon franchise is already celebrating its 25th birthday this year? It feels like yesterday when I first had to make the biggest decision of my life when I had to choose which Pokéball to take from Professor Oak. What a journey it has been from then on, there have been so many Pokémon related products through all these years that anyone would lose count. Yet the Pokémon franchise remains incredibly popular!
So what’s the secret behind this mega brand that includes video games, cartoons, cards, toys, clothing and even music and events? And how will Nintendo celebrate the 25 year anniversary of their Pokémon universe that is known and loved all over the world? Let’s find out!
How and when was Pokémon created?
First of all, let’s go back in time and refresh our memories a bit. Pokémon started out as Pocket Monsters. It was created in Japan on the 27th of February, 1996. This franchise was managed by The Pokémon Company, which is founded by Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures. Japanese game designer Satoshi Tajiri created the first Pocket Monsters game, which combined his childhood interest in collecting insects along with his love for ‘anime’, Japanese animation.
Fun fact: the first Pokémon ever designed was Rhydon! Other early Pokémon were Lapras and Clefairy. If you pay attention to it in the earlier games, you will see that many columns and decorations in the game are of these Pokémon.
© THE POKÉMON COMPANY / NINTENDO / GAME FREAK
The release of Pocket Monsters Red and Green on Game Boy was an immense hit in Japan and the rest of the world soon followed. It didn’t take long for everyone to know what a Pikachu was. Alongside these games came Pokémon trading cards, anime and manga series, movies, toys and basically any other spin-off you can imagine.
Through the years, new generations of Pokémon kept coming, never losing popularity. Each new generation of Pokémon basically focuses on a new generation of our world population, while in the meantime not losing their current fans. No wonder this ever-growing franchise has an equally ever-growing fanbase! For the last two and a half decade, everyone has grown up with a Pokémon-fueled childhood.
Pokémon 25 year Anniversary Events
So how is Pokémon’s 25th anniversary celebrated this year? Naturally, big events are out of the question under the current global circumstances. But what does Nintendo organize to celebrate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary? On the special anniversary website you’ll find plenty of exciting announcements all surrounding the anniversary celebrations! Pokémon Day officially took place on february the 27th, but there’s so much Pokémon has in store for you, that one day just won’t cut it. To sum up some of the events taking place:
You can get a special Pikachu with the move Sing in your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield team. Note that Pikachu usually cannot learn this move! You can add this Pikachu by entering the code P25MUS1C in your Mystery Gift on the X menu of your Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield game. This offer is valid until March 25, 2021.
A celebration is not complete without a Happy Meal! That’s why participating McDonald’s locations will hand out limited edition Pokémon Trading Cards Game cards and a surprise gift with every Happy Meal! These Anniversary Cards are very wanted, as some McDonald’s employees even tried to sell them online for ridiculous prices. This only shows how popular Pokémon still is to this day, not just amongst kids. Adults were actually prepared to put down huge amounts of money for these!
Nintendo also organises many music celebrations under the name P25 Music, and they’re all dedicated to Pokémon of course! You can watch the virtual Post Malone concert already. After teaming up with Universal Music Group, Pokémon will create worldwide music celebration this year. With award-winning artists such as Katy Perry and recently revealed J Balvin. There’s already a compilation album expected this Fall. Looks like we’re in for some awesome collaborations and an epic Pokémon Playlist!
Also worth mentioning are the Pokémon 25 Featured Products. Not much is known yet about these Special Edition merchandising and products but more will be revealed throughout the year. If you’re looking for some Pokémon Style in your wardrobe, Levi’s has already launched an amazing Pokémon collection. If that’s an indication for all the other products to come, we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Pokémon game announcements and releases
Last but definitely not least, Nintendo celebrates the Pokémon franchise’s 25th anniversary with some nostalgic yet NEW games. New Pokémon Snap will soon be released on Nintendo Switch as a sequel to the 1999’s photography game that was then played on the Nintendo 64. The next announcement is Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, inspired by its 2006 predecessors. Remakes of these Nintendo DS originals will release on Nintendo Switch later this year.
Another title to mark this festive occasion is Pokémon Legends Arceus, set in the region of Sinnoh’s past. This game will resemble a blend of Pokémon Stadium and Breath of the Wild, with the release planned in 2022 also on Nintendo Switch. Pokémon Legends Arceus promises to have free movement and wild creatures, roaming in an open world. It promises to be an exciting diversion from the gameplay we’re used to when it comes to Pokémon!
With the Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda as its older siblings, we believe that the Pokémon franchise will stay equally relevant. It must run in the Nintendo family. Or maybe everything that good old Pikachu touches just instantly turns into gold. Whatever the reason, we’re glad Pokémon has been such a huge success all this time and we’re very excited about what the next 25 years will have in store for us!