Who Invented Pokemon?
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The Pokemon franchise has become famous amongst children in the US and Japan. The franchise was created by Satoshi Tajiri, Founder and CEO of Game Freak, Inc. The Idea came to him from his childhood. Satoshi Tajiri grew up in Tokyo, Japan. As a child, he spent his time collecting insects. His interest in collecting insects was well known and he was eventually given the nickname “Dr. Bug” by other children. Due to modernization, many of the areas where he would find his insect specimens, such as the fields and ponds, were removed in place for buildings and infrastructure. One inspiration of his was to give other children the same experience of exploration that he had as a child.
From insects to games
While in technical school, Tajiri developed a fascination with arcade games. Of the many games he would play, his favorite was “Space Invaders”. He would spend so much of his time playing arcade games that it began to affect his grades in school. He would often cut classes in order to play at the arcade. Eventually, Tajiri graduated from the Tokyo National College of Technology. At the age of 17, Satoshi Tajiri started a magazine called Game Freak. It was through this magazine that Satoshi met Ken Sugimori, who would eventually become the main illustrator for many of the characters in Pokemon. In the late 80’s, Satoshi switched his company, Game Freak, from producing magazines to making games.
It wasn’t easy
The first game to originate from Game Freak was “Quinty”, an arcade style game. They pitched the game to Nintendo, who, in turn, published it. It wasn’t until 1990 that Tajiri was inspired to create the game “Pokemon”. The idea came to him when he saw two children playing Game Boy together through the use of a link cable. At first, Nintendo wasn’t sure about the idea, but decided to consider the idea because of his past work, including “The Legend of Zelda”. Pokemon took six years to become a reality. During this period, Game Freak nearly went bankrupt. In fact, Satoshi didn’t take any salary from the company, instead he would live with his father’s money in order to support himself. He ended up selling a third of his company to Creature’s Inc., who would eventually create the card game for Pokemon.
He then met Mr. Miyamoto
During this time, Satoshi worked on a few other games for Nintendo. He assisted in two spin off games, “Yoshi”, and “Mario and Wario.” Another project he worked on was Pulseman, which was published in 1994. He would go on to meet Shigeru Miyamoto, and eventually look up to Miyamoto as a mentor. Miyamoto assisted Tajiri in the development of Pokemon Red and Blue.
Then, it was finally released
In 1996, Pokemon was first published by Nintendo. The game was not expected to do so well on the market because of the declining use of the Game Boy. Surprisingly, sales steadily increased over time, and Pokemon then became one of the top franchises for Nintendo. Eventually, the game would go on to become a powerful franchise in the U.S. expanding from video games to movies, cards, and a television series.
More on Pokemon: Facts about Pokemon.