University of Oulu

Popularity of Pokémon video games

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Author: Nättinen, Arttu1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 28
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Nättinen, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-14
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
Tutor: Arhippainen, Leena


Pokémon is one of the most successful media franchises ever and is known all over the world. The idea of Pokémon was created by Satoshi Tajiri in the 1990s. Pokémon started its worldwide journey from Japan in 1996 as two video games on Nintendo’s Game Boy gaming system.

Pokémon and its popularity has been researched a lot over the last 27 years as have been video games. More recently multiple researchers have focused on the more recent video game trend, Pokémon GO. However, research focusing on Pokémon video games instead of Pokémon as a whole or just Pokémon GO are scarcer. This research tries to answer what makes Pokémon video games so popular and how the video games have stayed relevant for so long. The research was conducted as a literacy review over existing literacy and research.

To work towards understanding the Pokémon games better, this research first takes a look at Pokémon games overall. The concept of Japanese definition of cuteness ‘kawaii’ and its relation to Pokémon is also discussed. The second chapter focuses on Pokémon GO: its rise to popularity and the problems it faced. The third chapter discusses the psychology of video games and how they affect the human brain.

A conclusion was drawn from the literacy found and used in this research. A clear reason for the popularity of the Pokémon video games could not be defined, but instead it is a result of multiple factors. Pokémon’s number one selling point are the Pokémon characters themselves. Pokémon not having similar competing products at the time of release and Pokémon video games being solid video games were other notable factors that helped Pokémon video games to gain the popularity they have.

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Copyright information: © Arttu Nättinen, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.