The Pokemon franchise recently celebrated its 27th anniversary, having managed to remain one of the most popular brands in the world despite some ups and downs.
In an interview with The Guardian, Pokemon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya said that they don’t plan to hit the brakes any time soon. According to him, they plan to keep Pokemon going for hundreds of years, surviving “well past their lifetimes”. One of the key initiatives to achieve this end is to keep engaging with their younger audience members, stating that kids are very discerning, and they would drop Pokemon immediately if it “feels old or boring”.
“My job? I spend all day every day thinking about Pokémon. Our goal is to keep Pokémon alive for hundreds of years – making sure it survives well past our lifetimes.
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.”
Utsunomiya’s words come shortly after the notoriously mixed reception of the franchise’s latest entries Pokemon Scarlet And Violet. While being a massive commercial success, they were also heavily criticized for technical and graphical issues. When asked about this, Utsunomiya stated they pay “very close attention” to feedback, and while they cannot always be “100% aligned” with what the fans want, he believes that the company and the community can agree on the desire to keep Pokemon going for “a very long time”.
“Regardless of whether we publicly respond, we’re always paying very close attention to the feedback and conversations happening in the communities. There are certain aspects where we can’t always be 100% aligned with what parts of the community are asking for and what we want to provide. But we do this with the desire to keep Pokémon going for a very long time, and I believe that the fans and players are aligned with us in that respect.”
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