Plenty of franchises in the gaming world today have had long “tenures” regarding their existence. Some have that tenure because they only make one or two games every generation, while others are more impressive because they seem to always have a game coming out each year or so. For The Pokemon Company, their prized RPG franchise has existed for over 25 years, and they don’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Despite some quality issues, Gen 9 alone set records for how quickly things sold. And now, the COO of the company has admitted that their goal is to keep the franchise going for a MUCH longer time than you would expect.
This came from COO Takato Utsunomiya, who chatted with The Guardian about his role within The Pokemon Company. He specifically said that his goal was to keep Pokemon alive not just for the current or next generation of gaming systems but for the ones to come down the line:
“I spend all day every day thinking about Pokémon,” he revealed. “Our goal is to keep Pokémon alive for hundreds of years, making sure it survives well past our lifetimes.”
An exaggeration of things to show their intent and loyalty to the franchise? Perhaps. But what gaming franchise wouldn’t want to live forever and keep gamers entertained long after the original creators are gone? Plus, the franchise isn’t the longest-running franchise out there right now. Some have gone over a decade beyond what it has. Anything is possible if the games are good enough.
To that end, the COO also stated that a key focus of the company is to ensure the games appeal to kids as much as adults.
“It’s easy to just focus on adults,” he said. “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.”
That’s a good insight because while many gamers have literally grown up with the series, not all of them will stick with it forever. They need to get new generations invested in the pocket monsters so that they’ll get their sales for years down the line.
The real question is, how long can the company keep making Pokemon that aren’t “reaches” and don’t anger the fanbase with a lack of creativity? We’ll have to wait and see!