Pokemon COO plans to keep franchise alive for “hundreds of years”
The Pokemon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya has said that the intention is for Pokemon to last for centuries, outlasting its creators and current fanbase.
The Pokemon franchise has become the most profitable media entity of all time, extending beyond the gaming world and into movies, TV shows, card games, and merchandise. Not even Mickey Mouse or Star Wars can overtake Pikachu and his pals in terms of revenue.
In recent years, Pokemon video games have seen an incredible level of success in terms of profits but not so much in terms of critical response. Fans have harshly criticized Pokemon Scarlet & Violet since launch, while Pokemon Go players endlessly share their dissatisfaction online.
Despite the negative fan reception for some projects, the Pokemon franchise continues to grow, which it does beneath the stewardship of COO Takato Utsunomiya, who recently discussed the extremely long-term goals for the series.
The Pokemon Company COO wants the franchise to last for centuries to come
In a recent interview with The Guardian (where he also discussed the fan response to Pokemon Scarlet & Violet), Utsunomiya was asked about his role within The Pokemon Company, which expanded into the lofty ambitions for the franchise as a whole.
“My job? I spend all day every day thinking about Pokémon,” Utsunomiya said, “Our goal is to keep Pokémon alive for hundreds of years – making sure it survives well past our lifetimes.”
The Pokemon franchise will turn 30 in 2026, which will be a huge landmark moment for the series. The fact that the series has not only survived but thrived for so long is incredible, considering how many properties fizzle out within the space of a few years.
Utsunomiya also discussed the series’ intended audience: “It’s easy to just focus on adults: they have a lot of disposable income, you can see their reactions in real time on social media … But we need to make sure that we are still keeping the younger kids interested.”
“Kids are very honest – they won’t play something they don’t like. If your brand feels old or boring, they will immediately dismiss it.”
The kids who were around during the days of Pokemon Red & Blue are now grown up. Many of them have families of their own and have passed their love of the franchise on to their kids. This means Pokemon has already lasted through one familial generation, but time will tell if it can do so for decades or even centuries to come.