The Diffusion of Pokémon Created by Laura Nazzario

Origin of the Franchise

The concept of Pokémon was thought up by Satoshi Tajiri, who enjoyed catching bugs as a child. With help from his friends, he was able to transform this pastime into a set of video games. On February 27, 1996, Pokémon Red and Green released in Japan, with Pokèmon Blue releasing shortly after on October 10th the same year.

The first 3 Pokémon games released - Pocket Monsters Red, Green, and Blue versions (from left to right).

Of course, the games aren't the only part of this franchise. There are servers other elements, including:

  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game - Released in Japan on October 20, 1996.
  • The Pokémon Manga - The first one, "Pokémon Pocket Monsters", was released in Japan in November 1996.
  • The Pokémon Anime - First aired in Japan starting on April 1st, 1997.

Diffusion of Pokémon

The anime first aired in North America on September 7th, 1998, with the games Pokémon Red and Blue (which were actually Japan's blue version) releasing on September 30th the same year. The anime aired in Australia about a month after the North American airing (October 5th), with the games also releasing about a month after North America (October 23rd). Europe wouldn't get the anime until March 29th, 1999, with the games first releasing in Europe on June 10th the same year.

South Korea first got the anime on July 14th, 1999, but didn't have the games until the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver, which, in South Korea, was on April 24th, 2002. Taiwan started airing the anime on November 28, 1998, with Hong Kong airing it 12 days earlier (November 16). However, due to a 14-year video game ban in mainland China, Taiwan wouldn't see the video games until Pokémon Diamond and Pearl released there on September 28, 2006. Hong Kong wouldn't see the games until Pokémon Black and White released there on September 18th, 2010 (the same day Taiwan got Black and White).

The type of diffusion for this franchise appears to be mainly Hierarchical diffusion.

A map of Pokémon's diffusion, based on the first games released in that area. For reference: 1st Gen - Red and Blue 2nd Gen - Gold and Silver 4th Gen - Diamond and Pearl 5th Gen - Black and White

Distribution of Pokémon

Typically, anything Pokémon related (and I mean anything) first releases in Japan. Some of the time, smaller things (like events and various merchandise) remain in Japan. However, larger releases (like new games or new anime episodes) will eventually get released overseas, starting in North America, followed by Australia, then Europe, and lastly South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. There are some exceptions:

  • Starting with Pokémon X and Y, games are released in all areas of distribution at the same time (except for Europe with Pokémon Sun and Moon, who got the game 5 days later).
  • Prior to Pokémon Black and White, games were not consistently released in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Taiwan wasn't introduced to the games until Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Hong Kong didn't have the games until Black and White, and while South Korea did get Pokémon Gold and Silver, they skipped Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire.
  • Some episodes of the Pokémon Anime were never released overseas, such as the 38th episode of the original series Electric Warrior Porygon (due to a lighting effect causing several hundred people to have severely negative health effects).
I didn't know how to end this, so have a jolteon.

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