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Did you feel that Pokémon’s popularity started waning once we got to Gen 3?

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by SWMegaFan, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. SWMegaFan

    SWMegaFan Active Member

    This question pertains to those in the international community outside of Japan (though I’m focusing in the US here, since I can only talk about my experience in the US, being that I’m US-based):

    I can remember back when Pokemon was 1st introduced outside of Japan and boy did it make a splash. Pokemania was in full swing for the first couple of years; you would see Pokemon-branded stuff everywhere, from Pokemon toys in toy sections to food items like Pokemon-branded cereal, Pokemon-branded soup & even Pokemon-branded Pop Tarts. This went on for quite a few years, even as Gen 2 was in full swing.

    However, once Gen 3 hit, I started noticing a downward trend in Pokémon’s popularity. I saw less Pokemon-branded merchandise in stores and not a whole lot of people talked about Pokémon anymore (it’s as if Pokemania fizzled out). Heck, I was just one of the few from my peers who had a GBA and a copy of Pokemon Ruby, & I was hard-pressed to find anyone else with Gen 3 games whom I can trade and battle with (though I’ll admit I was getting older by this time, final years of high school, & I kinda went to a “rough” school where peers looked at Pokemon as “nerd stuff” overall; it was not seen as “cool” to talk about Pokemon). I don’t know about y’all, but to me it seemed like Pokemon was turning into a fad that was going out of style, which isn’t too surprising for many things (something new comes along the way and old stuff is no longer as relevant). Other factors that could’ve contributed to this feeling would be the fact that Gen 3 games weren’t backwards compatible with Gen 1 & Gen 2 games (couldn’t bring your old Pokemon into the new games), & that Ash, Misty & Brock weren’t together anymore in the anyme by this time (although Brock still stuck around).

    Of course, being that today Pokemon is still very much a popular franchise & still makes a lot of money (the video game portion is the 2nd all-time highest successful after all, behind the Mario franchise) , many thanks to the dedicated fanbase it has cultivated over the years, I am glad that I was wrong on my presumption on the dip of Pokémon’s popularity.

    That said, I’m curious to hear from others on their thoughts on this. What was your experience with the Pokemon franchise around this time? Did you feel this way as well once we got into Gen 3? I heard from one Poketuber that this particular era was a really tough & challenging time for the franchise. Did you feel this way as well? Curious to hear from others if they felt that Pokemon became a fad that was going out of style, at least in mainstream culture.
  2. Rational Rayquaza

    Rational Rayquaza 魔法使い

    Unfortunately, I was not old enough to remember Pokémon when it was a major fad upon release in the US or even much of early Generation III. That being said, I have always treated Pokémon's apparent dip in popularity in Generation III as a stabilization of sorts. Pokémon burst on to the scene, but after a few years, the series suffered from franchise fatigue. Pokémon was new and exciting from 1998-2001, but then Pikachu became a household name and Pokémon got boring. Generation II brought 100 new Pokémon and another pair of games followed by a third version. Upon announcement of Generation III, it was likely becoming apparent that Pokémon was becoming formulaic. Things like the fact that Misty was replaced by May and that Generation II and III games were unable to trade likely contributed little to the downward trend of the popularity of Pokémon. What most likely happened besides the franchise fatigue was that people were growing out of Pokémon. The next generation of potential Pokémon fans were watching new shows like Yu-Gi-Oh! or wanted to disassociate from that which their older siblings once enjoyed.

    Despite the apparent dip in popularity, Pokémon was still massively popular as it has enjoyed success which few other franchises can claim to have had. From my personal experience during the later Generation III and Generation IV was that Pokémon was still immensely popular. People would bring their Pokémon cards to school or talk about Pokémon Fire Red, Emerald, and Diamond/Pearl. At the time, I never doubted that Pokémon was popular and the sales of GBA Pokémon games prove it. It isn't especially fair when you consider how soon the Nintendo DS was released after GBA, meaning that the Generation III series Pokémon games would have likely have sold much better had the GBA stayed relevant for longer. I remember going into stores and still seeing, relatively speaking, a lot of Pokémon merchandise and cards. I can not imagine what it was like when Pokémon was first released in the US however.
  3. BCVM22

    BCVM22 Well-Known Member

    Of course it did. The popularity the franchise enjoyed internationally from 1998-2001(ish) was never going to endure forever, and anyone could have predicted that. That's the fate of all properties. The key is to find a way to sustain a consistent and enduring presence and profitability after that fade, and Pokémon has more than done that. Among other reasons, Pokémon has the benefit of refreshing itself every three to four years and introducing a new region with new monsters that every new group of young fans gets to claim as their first game. That goes a long way, and for as long as kids in the target demographic (ages 6-11) exist, there will be consumers buying the games. Case in point - you experienced a fade during Generation III, but there are any number of fans whose first exposure to the franchise was Hoenn.

    Don't listen to anyone who says "but I don't like it now!" or "the franchise is dying!", not for a second. Nothing but noise. The franchise remains strong, healthy, and a consistent chart-topping producer of revenue and is poised to continue doing so for years to come.
    shoz999 likes this.

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