Jun 21st, 2017
Breaking News! Were you at YetiCon? If so, you may have been a part of our live podcast: A Fanthropological View of Pokemon!
What is it that keeps a franchise going for over twenty years? Why do fans continue to flock to it? Who are the fans of Pokemon anyway?
Stay tuned, and find out!
Pokemon is a video game and media franchise that was started in 1995 by Game Freak / Nintendo video game designer Satoshi Tajiri. The franchise centers on fictional creatures called Pokemon (Pocket Monsters) which humans, known as Pokemon trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The is the third best-selling video game franchise (behind Mario, and Tetris) and spans 18 mainline games, over 60 different spin-off games, an anime series that has been running for 20 years and 11 seasons, 20 different movies… there is a lot of Pokemon!
Obviously, the main game series has broad appeal, so it is hard to pin down.
Using data from Club Nintendo and Media Create, it looks like the average Pokemon player is male, between the ages of 19-24.
However, there are lots of other data sources. Data from Infoscout on Pokemon licensed merchandise is slightly different: the largest group being white females between the ages of 35 to 44. Also interesting is that this data shows that Pokemon purchasers are more likely to have kids, to have a college education, and to make over $80k USD.
Some data on Forbes about Pokemon GO suggests that the majority of players are age 18-29, and female by a large margin (63% vs 37%). That’s 2-to-1!
Pokemon Fans, Pokémaniacs, Pokétubers (Youtube)
I would argue that Pokemon is more popular now than ever but perhaps it is oversaturated as there are so many different Pokemon properties.
As for trends (based on Google Trends), Pokemon popularity has been relatively flat, but is likely going up slightly since 2016 with a huge spike in interest towards the end of July 2016 (the most popular period for Pokemon searches), which happened to be the time of the release of Pokemon Go
Changes in Fandom:
The largest change in the fandom, from demographics, is that it has been skewing older as time goes on. From the Club Nintendo and Media Create data, the age group has gone from primarily pre-school to 6th grade when Diamond and Pearl were released, to 19-24 when Black and White were released.
Archive of our own has approximately 9000 fanfics across all media types, with almost 5000 of those being for the main video game series.
Fanfiction.net has almost 27 000 fanfics, which I think is a general indication of the relative popularity of Pokemon and the state of the fandom in the past vs now.
Where can you find us online?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
- If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
- For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
- To see the latest hijinx from our conventions or even our daily lives and adventures, check us out on Instagram
- For our latest convention updates, Let’s Plays, and other in-real-life video, check out our YouTube channel
- We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
- if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
- Everything is
thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
- … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag
What is “Fanthropological”?
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
Who is “The Nickscast”?
We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.
Special thanks this week to YetiCon for having us as a featured panelist! We had a lot of fun, and hope to come back next year!
- Fanlore - Pokemon
- Wikipedia - Pokemon
- Wikipedia - Pokemon (video game series)
- Wikipedia - Satoshi Tajiri
- Nintendo Wikia - List of Pokemon Games
- Bulbapedia - List of Anime episodes
- Quora - How was Pokémon able to achieve such broad demographic appeal?
- Kotaku - The World of Pokemon Fan Games Has Become a Minefield
- Vice - Why I’m a Full-Grown Adult Who Still Loves ‘Pokemon’
- Reddit - ELI5: How and why did Pokemon win the popularity contest against Digimon?
- Siliconera - Pokémon’s Audience Is Growing Older
- Forbes - More Women Than Men Are Playing ‘Pokémon GO’–By A Lot
- Infoscout - Pokemon (Licensed) Consumer Insights
- Google Trends - Pokemon vs Digimon
Music / Sound
- All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!