The Pokémon Company (株式会社ポケモン, Kabushiki Gaisha Pokemon, TPC) is a Japanese company responsible for brand management, production, publishing, marketing, and licensing of the Pokémon franchise, which consists of video games, 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 companies holding the copyright and trademark of PokémonNintendo, Game Freak, and Creatures—to focus in the multimedia franchise which became too big to be managed only by them. It was founded in April 1998 originally to operate the Pokémon Center stores in Japan before expanding to the entire franchise in October 2000 as it rebranded to its current name. The company is headquartered in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo.[3]

The Pokémon Company
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Pokémon
FormerlyThe Pokémon Center Company (1998–2000)
Company typeJoint venture
Founded23 April 1998; 26 years ago (1998-04-23)
Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan
HeadquartersMinato, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
Tsunekazu Ishihara (President and CEO)
Takato Utsunomiya (COO)
Junichi Masuda (Chief Creative Fellow)
ProductsPokémon franchise
ServicesBrand management
RevenueJPY 204.29 billion (2021)[1]
Increase JPY 41.39 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
448 (2022)
  • The Pokémon Company International, Inc.
  • Pokémon Korea, Inc.
  • Pokémon Center Co., Ltd.
  • Pokémon Singapore Pte. Ltd.
  • Pokémon Shanghai
  • The Pokémon Company International Ireland Limited
  • Millennium Print Group
  • Mouthaan Boekdruk en Offset B.V.
  • The Pokémon Company International Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V.
  • Pokemon Taiwan Co., Ltd.
WebsiteJapanese Website
English Website
Footnotes / references

The company has separate subsidiaries that handle operations in different parts of the world, with the Pokémon Company International supporting the territories outside Asia and being responsible for brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and the official Pokémon website on the territories outside Asia, including America and Europe.[3]

Since 2001, The Pokémon Company has handled publication of all Pokémon video games in Japan, while Nintendo handles distribution and worldwide co-publication with The Pokémon Company International. Both companies work together in localization, production, QA, and other aspects, while development is handled by different companies contracted in spin-offs and by Game Freak in mainline titles. The company is solely responsible for publishing and licensing mobile Pokémon titles, unlike console titles where it has help from Nintendo.[4][5][6][7][8]

History edit

The International Branch of The Pokémon Company

In 1998, Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freak established The Pokémon 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 in order to further expand its scope, responsibilities, and areas of business. According to Satoru Iwata, establishing The Pokémon Company was one of his first projects at Nintendo.[9]

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.[10]

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

Since 2001, nearly all Pokémon products are represented as "©Pokémon" in the copyright acknowledgments with the original three owners of "©Nintendo", "©GAME FREAK inc." and "©Creatures Inc." The three companies also have ownership of all of the Pokémon-related trademarks in Japan[11] while Nintendo is the sole owner of Pokémon-related trademarks in other countries.[12] 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.[13][14] They liquidated this stake 4 years later for US$960,000.[15]

In 2006, Pokémon Korea, Inc. was founded to manage the company's operations in South Korea. Its headquarters is 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.[16] The company's office in the United States is located in Bellevue, Washington, at the Lincoln Square complex; the headquarters is planned to move in January 2025 to another high-rise building in Bellevue where it will occupy sixteen stories.[17] The Pokémon Company International's office in the United Kingdom is located 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 operating the Pokémon Store and Pokémon Center stores, maintaining the Pokémon Stand vending machines and operating the Pokémon Center Online, as well as overseeing the design and manufacture of Japanese Pokémon Center brand merchandise. Yomiomi Uego is currently the president and CEO.[18][19]

In April 2022, The Pokémon Company International announced the acquisition of Millennium Print Group for an undisclosed sum. The printing company has already been producing and packing cards for the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2015 after partnering up with The Pokémon Company. The move will not have a major effect on Millennium's day-to-day productions, with the company still operating as a separate entity; The Pokémon Company will instead be providing "investment and industry expertise" while assisting Millennium in expanding its capabilities and infrastructure.[20]

On June 1, 2022, it was announced that Pokémon creator and Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda left the company and would be part of The Pokémon Company at a position called Chief Creative Fellow, being more involved with the franchise as a whole instead of just the video games.[21]

List of works edit

Games & TCG edit

Anime edit

Books edit

Live-action film edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "ポケモン、22年2月期の売上高2042億円、営業利益598億、経常利益622億、最終利益413億円と驚異的な好決算". (in Japanese). 30 May 2022. Archived from the original on 26 December 2022. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Pokemon Go Nintendo shares Tokyo Stock Exchange Niantic". 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 26 July 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "会社概要" [Company Profile] (in Japanese). The Pokémon Company. Archived from the original on 25 May 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  4. ^ "ゲームを探す". ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイffgaghdbddnja. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Pokémon Companies -". Archived from the original on 25 December 2022. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  6. ^ Baird, Scott (3 February 2021). "Who Owns The Pokémon Franchise". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on 23 January 2022. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Who Actually Owns Pokemon?". GamerBraves. 9 June 2022. Archived from the original on 25 December 2022. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Who Owns That Pokemon? - Feature". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Iwata Asks". Archived from the original on 27 August 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  10. ^ "ポケモンセンター English". ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 22 June 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  11. ^ "会社情報". The Pokémon Company. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2020. ポケットモンスター・ポケモン・Pokémonは任天堂・クリーチャーズ・ゲームフリークの登録商標です
  12. ^ "4Kids Entertainment Signs New Five-Year Agreement With Pokemon USA/Leading Children's Entertainment Company Acquires 3% Interest In The Pokemon Company". 10 October 2001. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  13. ^ "4Kids Entertainment Signs New Five-Year Agreement With Pokémon USA" (PDF). 10 October 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2005. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Form 10K". 16 March 2006. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  15. ^ Daswani, Mansha (9 April 2009). "Pokémon Merges North American, European Operations". Archived from the original on 13 April 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ Halverson, Alex (27 February 2024). "Pokemon's new Bellevue office lease is unusually long, records show". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  17. ^ "株式会社ポケモンセンター | 採用サイト". Archived from the original on 17 November 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  18. ^ "【株式会社ポケモンセンター】 会社概要". Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  19. ^ Murray, Sean (18 April 2022). "Pokemon Buying The Company That Makes Its Collectible Cards". Archived from the original on 3 July 2022. Retrieved 4 July 2022.
  20. ^ Walker, John (1 June 2022). "Pokémon Pioneer, Game Freak Co-Founder Junichi Masuda Leaves Studio For Bigger Role". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 4 June 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2022.

External links edit