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Is Pokémon sustainable for hundreds of years? Pokémon chief Utsunomiya thinks so!

“Pokémon, forever and forever, a hundred years, Morty” - Someone at The Pokémon Company, probably.

Image: The Pokemon Company International
Image: The Teal Mask / The Pokemon Company International

It’s always nice to see some positivity in the games industry, especially with a long-running franchise. Earlier this week, The Guardian sat down with Takato Utsunomiya, COO of The Pokémon Company International and he has high hopes for the company’s future.

With last year’s release of Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet and this year’s DLC schedule, The Pokémon Company has kept the train going. For those that have lost count, we’re well above 1,000 creatures to catch at this point in the newest games, and they have no intention of stopping.

Utsunomiya went into detail about their plans. “My job? I spend all day every day thinking about Pokémon,” he explained. “Our goal is to keep Pokémon alive for hundreds of years – making sure it survives well past our lifetimes.”

That’s a lot to take in, considering they’re sitting at just under 28 years, currently, as it stands. The Pokémon franchise has celebrated its birthday every year on February 27th, since 1996.

He continued by explaining that original fans have grown up, but they’re still remaining entrenched as they have kids. For instance, this year’s Pokémon World Championships in Yokohama allowed them to see just how true that sentiment is.

“I think in the past,” he explained, “we had two separate audiences – younger kids and adults – but now we’re starting to see a family audience where they’re enjoying the experiences together.”

The idea is that Pokémon may have a real-world, generational progress where kids grow up to still be fans, tell their kids, who grow up to still be fans, and so on. Pokémon, with this logic, is the Star Wars and Marvel of video games. This is why we see so many experimental and varied apps and games, such as Pokémon Sleep.

The second part of the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet DLC expansion, The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, will be released on December 14th, 2023. This part is titled The Indigo Disk and focuses on a school built in the middle of the sea.

If you’re interested in reading all about the interview with Takato Utsunomiya, it’s found in its entirety on The Guardian.

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