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The Debut of Pocket Monsters in Japan


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With all the news of leaks of gen 1 and gen 2 in the last few years it got me thinking about the origin of Pokemon as a series to the general public in Japan. How much did Nintendo assume it would be a hit, if at all? Were any of the multimedia ventures planned before the launch or did they scramble to create the anime/card game/etc. when it just blew up out of nowhere? I remember hearing somewhere that the reason the series became such a hit was because of Mew being advertised in a magazine, making it an unintentional viral sensation with kids obsessing over finding Mew in the game. Do we have a source for this? Did Nintendo somehow know they had gold on their hands, were they banking everything on the trade exclusivity of the two games, even though the Gameboy was such an old handheld at this point?

I just never really hear about Nintendo's perspective right around launching this thing. Did Nintendo treat Pokemon like all their other properties or did they somehow know through like market-research testing that they had a winner in their hands and went all in? How long did it take for the country to have that "Wow this is the next Hello Kitty/Beatles/etc." moment?

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