2016 will be a landmark year for the Pokémon Company International. On February 27, Pokémon celebrates 20 years since the first games launched in Japan. The company is gearing up for a period of festivities centred around the best-known Pokémon experiences—video games, Trading Card Game (TCG) and animation…plus much more!
Since the video games Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green were first launched in Japan for the Nintendo Game Boy in 1996, Pokémon has delighted fans around the world.
Over the past two decades it has become a hugely successful and popular entertainment brand and continues to be held dear by fans of all ages. More than 275 million copies of Pokémon video games have been sold worldwide, 21.5 billion TCG cards have been shipped to 74 countries in 11 languages and over 450,000 players take part in Pokémon events every year. There are also more than 800 episodes spanning 18 seasons of the animated TV show.
Pokémon fans can follow all the 2016 celebrations at Pokemon.co.uk/20, where they’ll find information about events, product details, and video messages from some of Pokémon’s best-known followers. They are also encouraged to join the conversation by sharing their own memories of Pokémon using the hashtag #Pokemon20 on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
To kick off the year-long celebrations in style, a new TV commercial will air during the US Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7. From then on, a series of exciting activities are planned to mark Pokémon’s milestone year. A special app—Pokémon Photo Booth—has been designed for the occasion and will be available to download at no charge for iPhone and Android later this year. Numerous limited-edition toys, figurines and plush items from TOMY will be available to be discovered and collected at participating retail locations. The fun will continue throughout 2016 with new video game releases, TCG expansions, movies and more.
· VIDEO GAME:
Timed to coincide with the birth date of Pokémon on February 27, the games that started it all—Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Yellow—will be relaunched on Nintendo eShop for systems in the Nintendo 3DS family .
On the same day, three new Nintendo 2DS Special Edition bundles, sure to trigger warm feelings of nostalgia, will also launch. The Special Edition bundles include a Nintendo 2DS system in transparent red, blue or yellow and are pre-installed with Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue or Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, corresponding to the system’s colour. These Nintendo 2DS Special Edition bundles feature classic packaging reminiscent of the original Game Boy games, a sheet of 15 stickers that can be used to customise the system and a download code for a HOME Menu theme.
Numerous collectible Pokémon characters will be distributed to owners of the hugely successful Nintendo 3DS games Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y throughout the year . Mew, Darkrai, Arceus and other popular Pokémon will be distributed via various methods in Europe, bringing fans a number of Pokémon to collect throughout the 2016 celebrations!
· POKÉMON TRADING CARD GAME (TCG):
Pokémon TCG fans can celebrate 20 years of Pokémon with the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion. It contains more than 110 cards to collect and play with, including Pikachu, Snorlax, Ninetales-EX, Jolteon-EX, plus Mega Charizard-EX, Mega Blastoise-EX and Mega Venusaur-EX. The expansion covers every stage of a Trainer’s journey, from the choice of a first partner Pokémon to the most elite of Trainer battles.
Pokémon TCG: Generations boosters will be available within the specially labelled and designed range for this special year, starting with the first Mythical Collection released in late February in the UK and Germany and slightly later in other European countries. New Mythical Pokémon Collections will be released throughout 2016, each containing additional Pokémon TCG: Generations boosters, and four Red & Blue Collection boxes will be released containing even more boosters.
For more information, visit Pokemon.co.uk/20.
· TV ANIMATION:
Pokémon fans can look forward to a programme of promotional stunts with broadcast and video-on-demand (VOD) platform partners screening the animated series and movies to celebrate 20 years of Pokémon. Beginning early 2016 and continuing throughout the year, several Pokémon full-length feature films will be screened by key broadcasting partners across Europe. The same films will also become available for digital download from key VOD platforms such as iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.* Pokémon movies will also be featured on Pokémon TV each month.
An interactive iBook will accompany the release of Pokémon: The First Movie on iTunes and can be viewed in English on any device that supports iBooks, including Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
The year-long programme of screenings will kick off with digitally remastered versions of the first two feature-length Pokémon movies, Pokémon: The First Movie and Pokémon: The Movie 2000, with more slated to follow throughout the celebrations.†
*VOD availability may vary by territory and platform.
†Broadcasting dates and times subject to territory and broadcaster scheduling. For more information, keep checking Pokemon.co.uk/20.
· 20 YEARS OF POKÉMON: IT’S JUST THE BEGINNING!
Pokémon is respected for its quality, adaptability and attention to detail. The joy of collecting, battling and trading runs through everything the company does. Consistently innovating and moving with the times, Pokémon is a brand that combines a deep and respected heritage with a strong and exciting future. Pokémon fans are a unique band, spanning a range of ages and interests; they have been—and continue to be—a positive, committed, sociable and interactive community like no other fan base.
2016 will be a landmark year for Pokémon in many ways. Not only will the Pokémon Company International celebrate a rich 20 years of history, it will also evolve by developing plans for a bright future!
New video game titles are slated for release during early 2016—Pokkén Tournament arrives in spring 2016 for Wii U, Pokémon Rumble World releases on January 22 and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon releases on February 19 for the Nintendo 3DS family systems. 2016 will also see Pokémon fans catching ’em all in the real world with the release of Pokémon GO, a game for mobile devices which was announced in September 2015. The project is a collaboration between the Pokémon Company, Niantic, Inc., and Nintendo Co., Ltd. It is a groundbreaking mobile game designed to encourage fans to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon. Pokémon GO will be available for download at no charge on the App Store and Google Play in 2016.