By Anthony Scannella
Twenty years ago, Japanese video game developer Game Freak released its first pair of games in the Pokémon series, Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions. Released for Nintendo’s Game Boy portable handheld in 1996, Pokémon’s release would reinvigorate the system, which was largely considered to be at the end of its lifespan. Few anticipated the coming resurgence in popularity of the system that would soon follow.
The beginning of Pokémon was less than explosive, and not at all indicative of the international phenomenon that it would eventually become. But, through a series of creative decisions, partnerships, and iteration, a team of a few dozen managed to capture the attention and imagination of people all around the world.