When the Pokémon franchise first burst onto the scene in 1996, it was a much bigger hit than anyone anticipated. The brand quickly started to make its way around the world, and it seemed like kids everywhere simply couldn’t get enough of Pokémon.

As often happens, there were some voices out there that claimed Pokémon was nothing but a flash in the pan. These pocket monsters would be a passing fad that would fade away in just a handful of years…but that never happened. If anything, the Pokémon franchise has only grown in popularity, and it continues to do so with each passing year.

Where does that franchise longevity come from? It certainly has something to do with fans that have grown up with the series, but according to Pokémon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya, the true lifeblood of Pokémon is found in the next generation of youngsters.

“…our goal is to keep passing on Pokémon to the next generation, over the span of hundreds of hundreds of years, for example. And in order to do that, to do that, of course, we need to make sure that we are still keeping the younger generations, the kids interested. One thing I can say, kids are very, very honest, they, they don’t play things that they’re not interested in. So if you, if your brand feels like it’s something that’s old or boring, they will immediately dismiss it. So that’s a big challenge. Making Pokémon continue to feel like something new and exciting for the younger audience, the kids, it’s very important for us. It’s easy to focus on adults, they have a lot of disposable income, you can see their reactions in real time on social media, for example, but on the other hand, kids, they have, maybe just a little bit of money they can spend so they really focus on the things that they are only interested in and they’re very honest in that regard. So a big challenge is to just make sure that we aren’t losing track of keeping them interested.”

[Pokémon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya]

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