Search KoopaTV!


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Strange Isolationism of The Pokémon Company

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Or maybe I should call it "non-interventionism"...

It really is strange if you think about it. The Pokémon Company (International) is owned by Nintendo yet it's as if they are some very difficult third-party to Nintendo. I don't claim to know what the hell is going on over there, but many things about The Pokémon Company's relationship with the rest of the Nintendo cast is strange. Again, very difficult to work with and very independent-acting. The latest example is that every Super Smash Bros. series amiibo is compatible with Yoshi's Woolly World except the ones from the Pokémon franchise.

Yoshi's Woolly Wooly World Pokémon amiibo Pikachu Greninja Charizard Jigglypuff Mewtwo Lucario Pokemon Yoshi
Yoshi's amiibo for Pikachu, Greninja, Charizard, Jigglypuff, Mewtwo, Lucario...

Why is it so hard to get their okay? According to TPCi, they're actively trying to expand their licensing successes among their thousands of licensed things. Their whole organisation essentially serves two functions: License things, and market things. If anyone gets in the way of that message, they get sued.

Masahiro Sakurai also had a unique process for getting Greninja into Super Smash Bros. 4. Basically, Greninja landed on his lap before he even know anything besides "water ninja frog." Before he knew it'd be popular. He had to get a Gen 6 rep, The Pokémon Company let him choose from a basket of marketing material, and he picked Greninja and had it throw Water Shuriken. Well, good choice, Sakurai.

There's also the strange thing with the Super Mario Maker amiibo integration. The Pokémon there have sprites, but no sound.

Generic Super Mario Bros. sound effects. No "Pika pi" or anything that the other franchises get.

Don't forget. This makes The Pokémon Company harder to work with than Namco, SEGA, and even CAPCOM, the latter supposedly despising their franchises. Though I guess you could say they don't care about Mega Man if they'll let Nintendo do whatever they want with him, compared to The Pokémon Company's strict grip on their characters.

Of course, they allow their franchises to get in all sorts of outright terrible products, like Pokémon Dash. And they get to go in all sorts of non-Nintendo collaborations, like Pokémon Conquest. But if it's with Nintendo and it's not as big as Super Smash Bros. (and nothing is as big as Super Smash Bros.) then forget it. The Pokémon Company will isolate itself. They don't want to be in a position where they're not the centre of attention. And it's pretty clear they see themselves in a unique position with Super Smash Bros.: They've had a whole line of "Assist Trophies" dedicated to their franchise since the beginning, the Poké Ball item. And they've consistently had a lot of (more than enough) character representation compared to other Nintendo franchises.

Pokémon Pokemon Rumble U Pikachu Lucario NFC figures comparsion versus amiibo Super Smash Bros. series
Nintendo apparently makes a lot higher-quality figures than The Pokémon Company can procure, so it was a good partnership.

They're making much better deals than whoever is advocating for Donkey Kong, at least. Maybe a TPCi guy should run for president and make the best deals?

Ludwig likes Pokémon references and stuff. The next 3DS game he's looking forward to is Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, after all. He spontaneously ordered and received a Jigglypuff amiibo off Target's website a month ago, but he's saddened that apparently it will have no use outside of Super Smash Bros. He's happy to see the cute figurine on his bureau either way.

It looks like The Pokémon Company is independent enough to progress with releasing mobile games well ahead of Nintendo's mobile entry strategy. 
Meanwhile, Nintendo itself is becoming a lot more generous with licensing out its IP. 
Since Nintendo's new president comes from The Pokémon Company, will that mean anything in terms of ease of extraditing Pokémon characters?


  1. So we can pretty much rule out a Pokémon themed Splatfest. After all if The Pokémon Company is so protective of its license, they would not like to see which of their characters is less popular/which character has less skilled players supporting it.

    1. Of course, we'd never see a Pokémon-themed Splatfest.

      That said, they themselves hosted this big Pokémon Power Bracket event. You can't see it on their site anymore, but here's an announcement of it:

      Mew ended up winning.

      They also had some other brackets before for lesser stakes to coincide with TCG releases, like of Fighting Pokémon and Flying Pokémon.
      It's unclear how rigged these are.

  2. ThePokemon Company and Nintendo are separate companies despite both different companies worked closely together allowing Nintendo to publish Pokemon games. The Pokemon Company cannot allow Pokemon Ip like Pikachu and Kalos to market on video games franchises like Mario and video game marketing like Nintendo despite Nintendo owns Pokemon trademarks. The Pokemon Company can only allow Pomemon Ip on licensed marketing. You won't see Pokemon games like main series on video game marketing. Pokemon games are licensed games, not video games franchise games. Why? Because Pokemon games are Pokemon licensed products, not video game series games. Therefore, Pokemon games are for licensed products. ThePokemon Company might have to movie its Pokemon Ip to licensed market. That's why video games are more into Pokemon-less stuff like Call Of Duty because The Pokemon Comapany can only market Pokemon games in the licensed games department. Thus, Pokemon is not a video game franchise. Pokemon is a Japanese entertainment media franchise. Therefore, Pokemon is for licensed marketing and licensed products, not for video game market or video game franchise. That's why Pokemon games has turned into licensed games. Simple as that. By the way, Pokemon is awesome.

    1. Thank you for your simple, easy-to-read comment.


We embrace your comments.
Expect a reply between 1 minute to 24 hours from your comment. We advise you to receive an e-mail notification for when we do reply.
Also, see our Disclaimers.

Spamming is bad, so don't spam. Spam includes random advertisements and obviously being a robot. Our vendor may subject you to CAPTCHAs.

If you comment on an article that is older than 60 days, you will have to wait for a staffer to approve your comment. It will get approved and replied to, don't worry. Unless you're a spambot.