When reading the heading of this blog, there is a great chance that every single one of you had no doubt about the subject of this blog. This is due to the fact that Pokémon has been a success on a wide range of platforms. At first thought you might say that the primary medium of Pokémon is the TV, like we thought. However, the first medium used for Pokémon was the Nintendo’s Game Boy. After the launch of the Nintendo’s Game Boy game, other platforms popped up. Comic books, a TV-show, movies, trading cards, toys, and a wide range of merchandise appeared (Tobin, 2004).
The original Pokémon game that was released in 1996, is a Japanese role playing video game that contained an element of strategy. These role playing games, their sequels, remakes and English translations are being seen as the “main” Pokémon games (Pokémon video games series, n.d.).
The different platforms that followed after the success of the videogames could be enjoyed individually, without the usage of other platforms being required. You are, for instance, able to enjoy the movies while never have played the videogames before. However, the platforms are linked to each other. An example of how different platforms are used to contribute to the overall narrative is the website. On the website of Pokémon you can learn the rules and tricks of the card games. Another link can be between the movies and the TV-series. In the movies they elaborate on what happened in the series more extensively. When you have seen the series, you will thus have a greater understanding of what is shown in the movies.
Talking about success, the Pokémon computer game was the most successful computer game ever made. The trading-card game was the top globally selling trading-card game of all time. The television show was the most successful children’s program ever broadcasted. The movies were the most profitable movies ever released in Japan, and is also among the five top earners in the history of films worldwide (Tobin, 2004).
We think Pokémon is a good example of an successful Trandsmedia product. Transmedia is a process where different media-platforms are combined to spread original content and to create a story. This allows the audience to experience a unified and coordinated entertainment experience, where they can really engage in the media product (Kapoor, 2012). This is the case with Pokémon, as a lot of different media platforms were used to spread this unique content that could offer you the full experience.
Something that the creators of Pokémon really did well, is that they created products at different platforms for a wide range of ages. It is known that the market for children is difficult to reach, partly due to differences in age and gender (Tobin, 2004). Creating content for children of all ages both girls and boys is therefore a challenge. Boys can be resistant towards anything that girls like, and the other way around, girls may not be as interested in the more boyish things. However, it is something that Pokémon was able to handle. By using the different platforms, they were able to approach different age categories. Stuffed animals for under-fives, TV-series for four- to nine-year- olds, trading cards for six- to ten-year-olds, computer games seven- to twelve-year-olds, and so on. This means that when a child grows out of the age category where he/she was most likely to like a certain product, the child can enjoy a different platform/product that is more suiting his/her new age category (Tobin, 2004).
Joseph Tobin. (2004). Pikachu’s global adventure: The rise and fall of Pokémon. Duke university press. Retrieved from: http://books.google.nl/books?id=U7hthImoc5AC&printsec=frontcover&hl=nl&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Kapoor, R. (2012) Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing:Seminar week 1 (PowerPoint slides).
Pokémon video games series. (n.d.) Retrieved September 18, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon_(video_game_series)
Lisanne van Beurden and Mathilde Simon