Pokémon’s Audience Is Growing Older

By Ishaan . December 1, 2014 . 12:29pm

On November 21st, The Pokémon Company released Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in Japan. The pair of games sold 1,327,671 copies as standalone packages and another 90,497 copies in the form of a “Double Pack” containing both versions.


According to Japanese sales tracker Media Create, early purchasers of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were primarily in their 20s. This suggests that the games were bought primarily by returning fans of the original Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire, which was the plan all along. Interestingly, Media Create adds that the proportion of early purchasers under the age of 15 was significantly lower than in the case of last year’s Pokémon X and Y.


It should be interesting to see if the proportion of younger players increases towards the end of the year, when the demand for gifts increases during the holiday season. For the time being, though, what we’re seeing is more evidence of an ongoing trend that began with Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver—one that suggests Pokémon’s audience is growing older.


The increase in age from Diamond/Pearl (above) to HeartGold/SoulSilver (below).


When Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were released in 2006, the pair of games sold primarily to preschoolers, 1st – 3rd-graders, and 4th – 6th-graders. Beyond those age groups, the audience for those games was far smaller. However, when Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver launched in 2009, that pair of games saw a large increase in the number of highschoolers and those from the 19-24 age range that had returned to playing Pokémon. This makes sense, since HeartGold and SoulSilver were remakes of Pokémon Gold/Silver. Naturally, nostalgia played a factor and attracted older players that were fond of the original games back to the series.


The age groups of Pokémon Black/White’s audience.


The increase in age didn’t stop with HeartGold and SoulSilver, though. When Pokémon Black and White were released in 2010, those two games were bought mainly by users between the ages of 19 and 24. In fact, in the case of Black and White, the developers had made a conscious decision to create a pair of games targeted to appeal to older players, in order to prevent them from “graduating” from Pokémon as they grew up.


Black and White weren’t the only time that The Pokémon Company and Nintendo consciously tried to appeal to older players either. Two years later, they collaborated with Koei Tecmo to create Pokémon Conquest (titled Pokémon + Nobunaga’s Ambition in Japan), and while the evidence was entirely anecdotal, retailers in Japan suggested that that game was also selling to adults.


Finally, when Pokémon X and Y were released last year, they also sold primarily to college students at launch, although for a different reason. At the time those games launched, school kids were busy with exams, and the older Pokémon audience filled the void. Coming back to Media Create’s report, the sales tracker says that the number of adults that picked up Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire at launch is even more than in the case of X and Y.


Now, let’s look at another piece of data we have on hand—the fact that sales of Pokémon have been in a decline for the last few years. A quick look at this report will show that the more recent Pokémon games haven’t been doing as well as their predecessors. X and Y haven’t done as well as Black and White, while Black and White haven’t done as well as Diamond and Pearl. This leaves us with two observations:


1. More and more adults have been playing Pokémon for the last five years.

2. Pokémon sales have seen an overall decline in the last five years.


The fact that more and more adults are playing Pokémon with each successive game tells us that the series’ existing audience is getting older. Eventually, these fans will end up outgrowing the series. Thus, in order for Pokémon to keep growing, the only solution is to keep bringing in newer, younger fans to replace the ones that leave. However, the fact that sales are in decline suggests that this isn’t happening, and that’s a cause for concern. Pokémon—and just about any franchise that sells millions, really—has always relied on younger players to maintain growth over the years. When younger players stop coming, you’re in trouble.


So, what we’re left with is this question: What will The Pokémon Company do to try and attract children to the franchise once again? Appealing to children is incredibly important for any large multimedia franchise, and Pokémon is no different. Also, don’t forget, we live in a world where Pokémon is no longer one of a select few kid-friendly franchises of prominence—depending on which part of the world we’re talking about, games like Minecraft and Yo-kai Watch are fighting for the exact same audience as Pokémon. In light of these factors, one wonders how The Pokémon Company, Game Freak and Nintendo will keep the kids coming back and maintain growth.


Food for thought:


1. Pokkén Tournament is also being designed to appeal to older players.


2. I doubt children are the target audience for the Pikachu detective game.


Sales data courtesy Nintendo and Media Create.

  • KrazyBean

    Kids will rather play CoD nowadays. YOLO420BLAZEIT!

    • darke

      Nah. It’s mostly minecraft or other indie/f2p games at the moment. I, the 30+ person in the house, am the only one with a DS, and it’s the original/DSi series I bought 5-10 years ago. My flatmate’s kids only play F2P games (with no paying allowed) on their iPad or his iPhone, or Minecraft and the like on PC.

      Between game cost, region lock and system loss/damage, it’s just not cost effective to give handheld consoles to the younger age bracket nowadays.

      • HarakiriKami

        Buy them a 2DS? You can nab one for 79$ and get some older games for 20 quid

        • ishyg

          “Older games” and “kids” don’t mix together quite well these days, but what do I know, I don’t have my own yet.

        • darke

          Sure, but the problem is ‘why’? They got their parents old iPad mini handed down so that essentially came for free with a $100 purchase of one of those ‘built like a tank’ lifeproof cases; and they’re more then happy to play f2p or cheap games.

          A pre-owned 2DS in Australia is AUD120; and pre-owned games are around AUD30-50. A random title: New Super Mario Brothers 2, a two year old game, is AUD36, which is only about USD30; pokemon games, even old ones, are AUD40+; the only stuff that’s around $20 is crap ports of LEGO titles which run better, and you can get them significantly cheaper, on PC. Even the ‘bad’ Nintendo games like Mario Sticker Star are still AUD40+!

          And if course I can’t just buy slightly cheaper US games because of region lock (because, brand new versions not 2nd hand versions are only sold internationally as far as I can tell); it’s even more expensive to import the console because you can only get them new, even if the games were cheaper.

          Honestly, unless the network effect kicks in, like they’ve got parents or friends who have ‘pokemon’ and the want to play ‘pokemon’ with them, I can’t see there really being a reason to buy a 3DS for a kid anymore if you can toss them an old phone and they’ll play happily on it.

          • HarakiriKami

            Ah you live in Australia.

      • ishyg

        Kind of weird seeing “cost-effective” and iDevices on the same page, since most of the internet cry “OVERPRICED” when they see the iconic “i”. But yeah, I get you. Even my nephew hardly has any game on his 3DS, just Yokai Watch 2. Kids either have too much focus or no focus at all, so F2P fits the bill pretty much. On that note, my nephew plays PazuDora and Monster Strike (he didn’t catch on with Brave Frontier).

        • darke

          Well, yeah. I’ve pretty much stopped buying iPads for exactly that reason, nowadays they’re overpriced for my uses. However because they’re relatively standard you can get lots of nice accessories like very, very sturdy ‘life-proof’ cases for them. :P

          In any event, the devices are essentially free when the kid gets to them since the pattern goes:
          1) Parent buys the new shiny!
          2) Year or two later parent wants newer-shiny!
          3) Parent buys newer shiny! Gives old shiny to kids.

          Two year phone contracts and, and manufacturers not updating old hardware tend to result in still pretty good performing hardware being left sitting on the shelf; in the hands of kids it’s more useful. :)

  • Children are getting hooked on Youkai Watch now I think. Kinda inevitable… like everything in life. Everyone’s famished for the new fresh blood lurking around the corner.

    • HarakiriKami

      Bet it’ll fizzle just like Level 5s other properties did

  • xanox

    Last pokemon game i played was emerald, so yes these facts are true. I bought my 3ds for Persona Q and Pokemon. <3

  • Frankie

    1. I would love to see a Pokemon game for an older audience. Not saying a mature game with blood and violence, but one with more mature themes and more of a challenge.
    2. I have no knowledge on this, but what is the ratio of age to population in Japan? Aren’t the majority of people there almost senior citizens? Could that mean kids today are less in number than the last generation, meaning less kids to sell too? I could be completely wrong, just an idea.

    • Fronkhead

      Since Pokemon X/Y, the quality of the dialogue and script in Pokemon has dramatically improved. This review of OR/AS was pretty good in outlining that: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-11-27-pokemon-omega-ruby-and-alpha-sapphire-review

      For adults, the quality and wit of the dialogue is there for you, while children can approach it from a simpler perspective. It’s the same dichotomy you get in good Disney. It’s approachable for the youngest among us, but maintains a layer of subtext for the older crowd.

      Last year’s Pokémon X and Y absolutely floored me with how emotive and biting its characters and plot were. Corny and hackneyed for sure, but the text was punchy, clever and remarkably deep for what is ostensibly a children’s series. Of everything I read, one passage continues to stick with me:

      To the person reading this: What are you like now? Did you become who you wanted to be? For starters, what was the person you wanted to become even like? I don’t know, but it would be wonderful if you can boast that you’re living each day to the fullest. To future Sycamore. From the Sycamore dreaming of the future.

      • Shippoyasha

        I do think it’s great that a lot of the characters have more to say in the new games, to N basically challenging the morality of the players themselves. The series these days definitely has more actual antagonists than pure thieves/villains only. It would be cool if they have more subplots in future games or maybe even let you play as an antagonist styled character. Or hell, maybe even let you join a Team bad guy group. Not sure how likely that is if they want to keep it kids-friendly though. I don’t think that may fly no matter how cutesy it is done. But it’s still interesting to see the Antagonist Teams have more complex and diverging goals that forced Team Plasma to split, for example.

        • Fronkhead

          Yup, it’s certainly more thought provoking now.
          The NPC dialogue really shines now, to the extent that you’re actually likely to remember what some NPCs say.

          • HarakiriKami

            I’ve noticed quite a few sexual undertones in the dialog since gen 3 tbh lol

      • Aaron K Stone

        XY had a terrible script. Much worse than BW. OR and AS look better though, especially in the Delta Episode.

        • Fronkhead

          It depends on how you define good and “terrible”, also script extends to every word of the game, so I’d consider those bad puns part of that. They made me laugh, that’s a success in my eyes.

          • If anything I’d say gen 3 and 6 story were both average. The only thing I find better about ORAS was how characters were portrayed.

          • Fronkhead

            Yeah, the main stories aren’t up to much. Agreed about the portrayal of characters too. That Eurogamer review pretty much sums up my thoughts overall though. There’s something for everyone in the overall dialogue.

          • GF took a lot from gen 6 to implement into ORAS. Hopefully whatever they have planned for the next interaction of gen 6 it takes from ORAS and gen 5.

    • Christopher C

      birth control affects the US with declining birth rates.

      in japan it’s the work ethic though, work first, love 2nd. and dating sims and stuff.

      • HarakiriKami

        That affects all hobbies in general there.Immigration laws also keep japans birthrates down

        • ishyg

          “Immigration laws also keep japans birthrates down”

          You nailed it. No birthright citizenship, no dual citizenship. Also, less males to entice the women (not that the Japanese are that interested in other asians :| ).

          For @disqus_5ceWewSzqQ:disqus, it’s not that it’s work first, love 2nd. It’s more like, just a lost of interest in romance and sex altogether. I mean, sure work gets a lot of priorities here, but anyone seeking out romance will find it everywhere. And that’s the problem, no one wants to. For those who have families, the father usually does his best at work to provide for his family, including hobby needs, so working hard actually works for the better. But it’s confusing, are we talking about what affects hobbies, or birth rate?

          • HarakiriKami

            Higher birth rates = more children interested in different stuff so in the end that effects the business’s who rely on children. People are getting older they’re gonna have to focus on seniors more too.

          • ishyg

            Fair enough. It’s not like there’s a shortage of kids here though, more like old people…oh wait, yeah, there is.

            Honestly though, seniors love the gym. Maybe that’s the reason Konami expanded to that department, lol.

  • Shippoyasha

    I’m not sure the sales decline is solely on Pokemon as a franchise, considering the gaming variety is more transparent now thanks to digital gaming going big the past 10 years. Not to mention the sales figures are still pretty strong despite the worrying economic picture in both Japan and the western world. Not to mention it has a lot stronger competition in the handheld market than ever before.

    That being said, I think Pokemon could use a drastic reboot of the combat system and more cute aesthetics. I could also see the series someday being more action heavy with the gameplay mechanic than it is now. Though it’ll be a difficult feat to make a totally new style of game to be both accessible for new players and deep enough for older fans.

    • Slickyslacker

      I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue of the main series getting old – while it’s easy to argue that, this isn’t necessarily true. If anything, it’s the issue that Pokemon is no longer a fad – it doesn’t have nearly as much of the sensational draw created at its inception.

      The mechanism of exploitation has allowed for everything but give in the way of gameplay – you’re right about innovation; thoughts of sliding a stylus across a touchscreen to guide a Pokemon’s attack came to mind when I read this.

      Beyond the spectre of Nintendo being extremely wary of deviating from their core, I say there needs to be acceptance of challenges in both core and spinoff dimensions. 7th gen’s duo might try something risky for the sake of wider appeal, while spinoffs such as Pokken Tournament should be more visible and produced with higher values than past Pokemon spinoffs.

      • HarakiriKami

        … Why would you want to do that with a touch screen?

        Sounds obnoxious. Play pokemon ranger?

        • Aaron K Stone

          It’s not Nintendo that makes those descisions it’s that of The Pokémon Company and Gamefreak.

          • HarakiriKami

            Nintendo created The Pokemon Company so they could manage the brand.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      I think making Pokemon too much cuter will ruin the aesthetics of some Pokemon. Some Pokemon are liked for being cool-looking or giving an overall sense of “Oh! this is cool!” Pokemon like Lucario, Scizor, and Rayquaza come to mind for Pokemon whom getting hit by the cute stick wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing.

      I think making a new battle system based on voice commands would be cool were it not for the fact mic noise would kill that pretty fast. Make it a game where you try to not only outmaneuver your opponent, but outsmart them too, in addition to the traditional training and four moves limit. With a universally skilled AI that increases in difficulty as the game progresses. Not a side-scroll style game, but like a Pokemon-adapted hack and slash.

      Basically some of the stuff that happens in the anime becomes possible in the games.

      • Shippoyasha

        Yeah, I don’t think they should do away with cool types of pokemon at all. They will always have a place in Pokemon, from Gen 1 to today. Maybe they should allow more legendaries to be cute pokemon and make the cover as well. Diancie in XY is a really nice and cute design and maybe they could have made it go on the cover as well.

    • Gigaknight

      “More cute aesthetics”? I don’t think the series needs that. To illustrate my point, the face of the franchise is something cute. On top of that, the flagship games of the sixth generation revolve around “cute”; examples are the introduction of the Fairy-type (note that the vast majority of Fairy-type Pokémon can be considered able to fit the “cute” stereotype in one way or another), the centrality of the Fairy-type and related themes/elements to the story (AZ’s lost Pokémon (hint: it’s nothing like a Steelix) and Diantha’s signature, Mega-evolving Pokémon), and the push given to the type’s Pokémon (type effectiveness specifically over Pokémon of historically and typically strong/tough/menacing types).

      I’m not saying Pokémon needs to be bloody, dark, and the like, mind you. What I’m saying is that the series already has elements that are not cute (be they tough, menacing, strong, spooky, foreboding, et cetera), but they don’t get that much love (Pokkén Tournament is one way they’re fixing that, but that Pikachu DT game definitely isn’t).

    • HarakiriKami

      The combat system is fine.

      We have single player, double battles, triple battles, rotation battles and inverse battles now with weather effects, items, abilities, secondary move functions, Status affects, 18 pokemon types and mega evolutions.

      To be perfectly honest it has a ridiculous amount of depth. Probably the deepest thing gameplay wise that I’ve ever played.

      If anything it needs to be simplified to access. Gamefreaks already done that with EV’s and making breeding easier ( and IV’s more visible) But they need to do it a little more. Teach players how to play competively via the game itself.

      In that sense I guess Streetfighter and Pokemon are in the same boat

      Throwing all that out for some action rpgs style pokemon game sounds stupid

      • Shippoyasha

        Well, a total overhaul is several generations (or maybe even many generations) away. I am not saying the current system is shallow. But they will likely have to mix it up if the series goes into its 30th or 40th anniversary. Of course, if they make it more action oriented, they will have to find a way to add depth in that new arena.

        • HarakiriKami

          Meh and have it be like every thing else?

          Risking alienating those who’ve played pokemon for 20-50 years by the 40th anniversary?

      • ishyg

        The competitive meta is healthy too.

        What needs to be ramped up is the single player. The 8GE4 formula is getting old now, and to be honest it’s quite easy to beat too. Of course I don’t expect them to change it, since it’s been integral to the game for a long time now.

  • DanijoEX ♬ the Cosmic Owltron

    I seemed to notice that trend has been going on for quite awhile…though at the same time, not something I kept up on.

    I’m not sure what Nintendo plans on doing or what they will do to rectify it, but i hope they will have something that give Pokemon something new and fresh.

    Because it’s does seem like a time for sort of thing. Time will tell though.

  • Stephen Mc Devitt

    Don’t worry, Ninty. The kids who played Black and White will probably buy the eventual remakes.

    People with nostalgia are just from the 80’s and 90’s.

    • ishyg

      I’m betting on Ebony Black/Ivory White.

      • Evil-Antho

        something along the themes for zekrom and reshiram could work too. (I forgot which was truth and which was ideals)

        something like ”True Black” and ”Ideal White”
        …..on second thought….ideal white doesn’t sound that great

  • This is so true, I grew up with these games and still find joy in them (I’m 24). I even have a few tattoos to show for it. The nostalgia is real.

    • Ps1 Cloud

      that’s dope

    • Christopher Nunes

      Loving the Charmander one! Awesome! ^_^

  • Anontastic

    That is… probably not a good thing, in reality.

    I mean, it’s nothing short of awesome if Pokemon becomes something older AND younger people enjoy, but if this trend continues in a way where the next generations of children are less interested in Pokemon, it could result in the decline of the brand as those generations that hold it dear get older and (on the larger scale) begin to grow out of it.

    I want Pokemon to keep being around for a long, long time, so I hope they find a way to keep the kids as interested as ever.

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, the decline isn’t to a point where the brand is actually in danger of dying. I WISH most games out there can even get half a million in sales in order for them to stay alive. The Blue and Red sales was inflated bigtime because it was such a cultural tsunami at the time.

      The series doing 13-16 million sales is not exactly worrisome to me. It could still mix things up to get more steady sales through future generations, but it’s not exactly in danger of sequels not being viable like with many games out there that struggle to even make a profit.

      • Anontastic

        Oh, the sales numbers aren’t worrisome in the least. It’s the rising trend in the series’ age demographic that’s got me worried. I just want Pokemon to keep the kids interested so the numbers STAY that high.

        • E.T.993

          GameFreak would have to get a Pokémon FPS in order to keep the kids interested.*bum bum tss*

    • ishyg

      “I hope they find a way to keep the kids as interested as ever.”

      As I see it in Japan, as long as they keep Pikachu cute, they can go on forever. Jibanyan is getting there though. Damn cats being cute and stuff.

    • darke

      Nintendo manages to keep their nostalgia characters alive and selling, despite the fact the plumber brothers aren’t exactly the most cute characters in existence. Pokemon will survive another 20 years. :P

  • Meteo

    The audience is growing older but the games are not. The gyms/E4 are still stupidly easy, haven’t encountered a challenging champion since Cynthia. The storyline could use a more mature tone as well. They made a bit of a headway with BW but XY was a huge step backwards and just repeated the same old trite formula. ORAS is probably going to be the last pokemon game I play if the next gen doesn’t really have anything to appeal to us veterans.

    • AkuLord3

      Never was for the veterans…not like they can’t be. You didn’t get into pokemon when u were 20 or older…you did when you were a kid SOOO the veterans like you shouldn’t be surprised who they’re mostly trying to target with the games :L.

      • Tre W

        He’s got a point, though. If the “problem” facing the PKMN brand is that it’s not growing the younger base, but it’s losing the older audience, as well, when they “graduate” and stop buying games? That’s a problem. It’s likely part of the reason a number of the spinoffs like the Nobunaga game and Pokkén were green-lit, as an effort to at least counter the shrink among the older base.

        I don’t think it would kill Gamefreak to at least introduce some shake-ups to the formula on the storytelling side.

        • HarakiriKami

          Doing something else besides the gyms and the elite 4 would be a good idea

    • Yvonne Tsang

      Pokemon doesn’t need a mature storyline. It can have something charming that appeals to both young and old, such as the plots of Dragon Quest games or Studio Ghibli films. When BW tried to take its plot seriously, the game became ridiculously eyeroll-worthy. Pokemon stories are at their best when they keep things lighthearted and simple, not questioning the morals of keeping living creatures in tiny portable balls and pitting them against each other. That’s the whole premise of Pokemon, and no one’s going to question it, so why should the writers? Likewise, the XY sob story about AZ and his Pokemon was delved into for way too long.

      Pokemon really doesn’t need a heavy emphasis on mature storytelling. Just keeping things light and simple can appeal to both young and old and fits well with the ridiculous premise of 10-year-olds capturing and battling with creatures.

      • Velen (Not WoW)

        Except keeping it light-hearted and simple can only keep you going for so long. Black and White and X and Y needed the maturity for a franchise that for so long kept things a simple thing of good vs evil and not much else.

        N questioning the morality of the player and people like themselves is something that was a genius way of answering age-old questions regarding Pokemon, such as further implying that a Poke Ball is not a mind-control device and doesn’t force the bidding of the trainer onto the Pokemon despite what the mechanics imply. It deepens the game world beyond what it used to be, but it’s not at all so complicated it give you a headache.

        To say that the way the game world is shouldn’t be questioned just for the sake of keeping things light-hearted and simple is foolhardy and makes the games shallower in terms of world-building.

        • HarakiriKami

          If you read any of the lore from Gen 3 and Gen 4 you would already know half this stuff

          • Velen (Not WoW)

            No, you wouldn’t. I know from having played Gen 3 and 4. Neither of the games contain lore that basically implies Poke Balls are not mind-control devices. Gen 5 with it’s story cemented it as fact.

          • HarakiriKami

            …. Except we knew they werent mind control devices from gen 1 and gen 2. Kanto is basically a post war habitation area anyway,

            Gen 4 talks about how people used to actually be pokemon and how arceus literally created the universe. You should go to the library Canalave city and read about it.

            Gen 4 and Gen 5 both go deeper into the history of pokemon going back to the warring periods. Riley and his aura powers(more evidence of humans being pokemon) and the Shaymin quest with Marley with the manaphee crap along with all that backstory

            We learn more about the hero’s from that warring period, how kyurem was apart of the dragons and all that.

            Gen 6 is also about that time period. But its basically about a nihilist channeling Cyrus intent on pushing the reset button with a mega laser that basically created Deoxys.

            Then we go back to hoenn and get new lore about how the world was created by the regi’s and the weather trio.

      • Tre W

        But some of the DQ games actually were quite “mature” in their storytelling. It’s why the likes of DQ5 (with its multi-generational storyline) are favorites among fans of that series.

        Besides, it’s not as if PKMN has been afraid to “go there”, before. The very first games in the series touched on a Yakuza/Mafia outfit engaging in illegal animal trading/exploitation, heinous genetic experiments and whatever cruel acts they did to that poor Marowak that were so heinous that her spirit couldn’t rest until you defeated it in a Pokémon Graveyard. They could just do more like that, and actually make a full story out of it instead of something that takes a backseat to the usual “8 Gyms -> Elite Four -> GG, now on to the metagame for Vs. play”.

        • HarakiriKami

          My biggest gripe with the Gym -> E4 set up is nobody ever challenges the player for their title as the E4 member.

          There should be a tournament for that.

          Emerald, BW/BW2 HGSS, and ORAS have the best post game because of that

      • HarakiriKami

        DP and BW werent that different.
        The lore of pokemon is awesome

  • Adrian Duran

    the benefits of a disposable income

  • dark-kyon
    • Syn

      True story

    • Anontastic

      I’d like to say this doesn’t make perfect sense, but…

    • Slickyslacker

      So true it hurts.

    • AuraGuyChris

      I wish I could de-age… Oh wait, that’s not what playing CoD does to you in this chart?

    • Love that.

    • chronocide

      I was waiting for this graphic to show up in the comments.

  • GH56734

    Youkai Watch?
    I guess Level-5’s investment with Ni no Kuni DS finally paid off :/

  • Part of the problem might be the fact that Pokemon has been an annual series for a while now. As much as I love Pokemon, even I have to admit that there’s little reason for most people to buy the next game if it’s more or less the same as the last version. Releasing a new game every year, regardless of whether it’s a remake or not, isn’t always a good thing.

    I myself am starting to feel burnt out on the formula because I’m getting tired of fighting an abundance of random trainers that don’t even make an attempt to counter me. It makes the game feel more mindless than it really is, and I personally don’t feel like investing hours upon hours of my life just to get into the more competitive aspects of the series.

  • Attribule

    Pokemon is for kids and will always and should always be for kids. I hate when “veteran” players think that Pokemon is somehow different than every other child-oriented franchise and that it should grow up with them.

    Outside of more subtle changes, what do you expect Pokemon to do that would appeal to older audiences that isn’t going to just alienate the most important demographic? They’ve already given us older characters to play as, and given us more mature plot compared to the original games. Only thing they could do is totally overhaul the entire combat system to make it more challenging, but that alone isn’t going to somehow make a difference overall and might actually alienate even more people.

    So while I’m getting older, at least I don’t expect Pokemon to cater to me till I’m an old salted pretzel at the age of 97. I’d like the games to be more challenging is all, but I don’t see how they could manage that in a meaningful way without totally redoing the way the combat in general works as well as the AI for opponents. I don’t believe Pokemon should be aimed at me even though I’m getting older. I said this the other day, and reading this article just reassures my belief that we need to be replaced. The “dedicated, older audience” isn’t going to be around forever. Those numbers will get smaller and smaller over time.

    If Pokemon were to lean more into “mature” content then the kids are even less likely to buy, and the adults still aren’t more likely to buy – funny enough. In order for Pokemon to truly attract an older audience it would need to stop being Pokemon. A lot of people really don’t understand that. They think it’s as simple as a plot change, or simple gameplay tweak. It’s not.

    • Eder García

      “If Pokemon were to lean more into “mature” content then the kids are even less likely to buy…”
      and yet the kids plays COD, GTA and the Last of Us

      • HarakiriKami

        Gratuitous blood and sex = appeals to tryhard kids who think they’re cool

        I havent seen a kid play TLOU.


    • ishyg

      “Only thing they could do is totally overhaul the entire combat system to make it more challenging”

      Single player? Because there’s a whole meta dedicated to competitive Pokemon battling, and that makes the statement “make it more challenging” a moot point.

    • I agree entirely. *u*

  • Go2hell66

    makes sense. the whole collectible monster fad was only popular a couple of years back. it was a new thing back then but not anymore. so naturally kids these days dont give a damn about it.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      You’d be ever so wrong.

      Yokai Watch’s rise in popularity by itself proves that statement incorrect. It still is and can be popular, it just needs a fresh take to revitalize it.

      • ishyg

        I’m wondering if the live action adaptation of Jigoku Sensei Nube is because of the popularity of Yokai Watch, but that’s another topic.

        I think that the collectible monster gameplay isn’t exactly a fad. I mean, gacha gameplay is all around us. It’s in Puzzle Dragon, it’s in Brave Frontier, it’s in Monster Strike. The appeal of these games are to collect the characters too, and those games are popular in Japan right now, mostly to kids too. Of course, Yokai Watch is one heck of a fast-rising franchise. So the whole idea of collecting monsters isn’t dying.

  • UltimagaWeapon

    So many games where you collect/raise monsters. Specially if you are a kid and can download those games for free from your phone.

  • AkiraScare

    Should really ask the professionals on how to attract children might even want to ask Herbert XD

  • Ps1 Cloud

    yeah I’m a gen 1 vet. and let me say playing blue on my gameboy pocket was one of these greatest gaming experiences of my life.

  • Snorlaxation

    Cue the ‘Drawn Together’ “Well Duuuuh” animation.

    But seriously, I’m glad at least this branch of Nintendo is keeping us in mind.

  • Keima88

    No worries. I dont have any kids but I am already an uncle of 2. So I wil feed them with pokemon and other awesome stuf.

    Results for now : my niece aged 4 like Hatsune Miku thanks to me and the 1 and half year old nephew like horses and certain ponies <—- his mother influence yeah my sister is crazy awesome xD.

    • ishyg

      My nephew, once a pokemon addict, disregarded it for…wait for it…YOKAI WATCH.

      At least I don’t have to get him something expensive this holiday season. But I myself can’t buy ORAS. Maybe I’ll get one before the Beldum deal disappears.

      • Uvers

        well the yokai watch games do look way more impressive and fun than the gen 6 pokemon games on 3ds, i’m really looking forward to playing them either when they get localised or whenever I manage to get a japanese 3ds

        • ishyg

          I don’t get the gameplay though. Graphics-wise, impressive. I think I’ll grab one once the localization comes out, just to know what I’ve been missing out on (since my 3DS is US, and region lock T_T). For now, I’m just doing stuff, for the greater good!

  • Been playing since I was ten, I’ll be twenty-five this Wednesday.

    • Been playing since I was 7, I am now 23.

      Marry me pls. We match made in Poke-Heaven.

      • Not one for the married life. You’ll find another.

        • But I choose you!

          K, that was pretty corny, I’m going to go to work now.

    • Chersea

      Happy b-day.

      • Thank you! Got a bit of a surprise walking to a Pokemon center today too.

  • Daniel Rossevelt

    Lets see “Main” Pokemon games I have purchased
    -Pokemon Yellow
    -Pokemon Leaf Green & Fire Red
    -Pokemon Platinum
    -Pokemon Soul Silver
    -Pokemon White
    -Pokemon Y
    And that is it, I am done with Pokemon as a series as it stands now, it is to much add one cool feature remove two. They are so same, you’ve played one you’ve played them all, they add nothing new and nothing innovative, once they start adding cool shit, not removing it I will give Pokemon a Try again Game Freak, but of course it is not like you will read this post, nor will you even care what one person has to say, you are aiming at the masses, not me, so continue on selling garbage games to garbage consumers, I can live without you.

    • HarakiriKami

      …. Errr Pokemon games have different side content in different regions. That’s how game freak’s games work. Different gens have different features.

      Personally I just want them to change the 8 gyms E4 Formula at one point or another. ( or give us more things to do with it gamewise. so you can just keep replaying the main game over and over again interacting with NPCs who challenge you and what not, defending your title ect) They should make even more spin offs and let some time between generation cool I think.

      I didnt like contests that much in the originals but they’re much more fun in ORAS. Removing that let gamefreak make other interesting things in the following games

      • Uvers

        different regions different content is just a convenient excuse game freaks uses, I feel that its masuda who fucked things up after Tajiri backed away from the series after gold/silver was released as the supposedly ‘final ultimate sequel’ to pokemon r/b/y,

        • Daniel Rossevelt

          Oh hey thanks, was gonna say that, but you got here first :)

        • HarakiriKami

          …. More like you’re a whiny person who doesnt understand why things are done they way they are. You just want what you want. Its a perfectly valid way to live life but it makes one’s world woefully small.

          And that “final ultimate sequel” would have been woefully disappointing had Iwata not exercised his beastly programming skills and made Kanto+Johto fit into the Gameboy cartridge.

          So I suggest you send that misguided aggression towards Masuda, who is the music composer nonetheless, towards somewhere else. Perhaps you lazy family members.

          • Uvers

            He’s been the main guy since the time of ruby/sapphire and the series started iniating the add 1 remove 2 features policy, and that’s more to the point space isn’t a limitation no more so why remove stuff, its more like your just an ass-kisser of iwata and game freak

          • HarakiriKami

            Lol. Bellyache much?

          • HarakiriKami

            Lol. Bellyache much?

          • HarakiriKami

            Lol. Bellyache much?

      • Daniel Rossevelt

        Well I wanted to add something to what @disqus_w3m8FCIPVb:disqus said, but he pretty much said it as straight forward as possible, it is just a lazy excuse to defend Game-Freak. I mean there is no good reason not to keep the old side content and add more.

        • darke

          As a non-pokemon player, there is generally a good reason to trim ‘side content’ if you add new mechanics in a game though. It’s quite easy to completely overwhelm the player with tons of different intersecting mechanics, which if you’re targeting young kids is a good way to cause problems for new players to the series.

          No idea if the ‘side content’ in this instance would cause that though.

          • Daniel Rossevelt

            No the content we are talking about is optional end game content there just to add length and doesn’t change any gameplay, I would nearly compare them to the mini games in final fantasy like in one they have I think tarot cards, in 7 there is a snowboarding one I think, anyways it is silly to remove them though.

        • HarakiriKami

          Its the same reason we have two version of pokemon.

          For people to socialize and experience different things.

          Its also gives them time to make other things, new things..

  • AndyMAX

    I´m from the 1992 and i have been playing Pokemon since Red&Blue back in 1998, and to tell the truth (at least here in Uruguay) i have NEVER saw a kid with a DS or a 3DS playing Pokemon, all my friends who play Pokemon are all in they twenty. Even the Japanese kids are least interested on Pokemon due to Yokai Watch, if i recall correctly a couple of months ago they asked a bunch of kids why they prefer YW over Pokemon and the majority of the kids say that it was because YW did not have annoying grow ups in the fandom. LOL

    • HarakiriKami


    • darke

      It’s the standard problem with any long-running fandom-based franchise, especially since adults are the ones with the disposable income.

      Transformers, Nintendo-series games (Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, etc), Hello Kitty, they will all have significantly larger adult fan-base then their child fan-base, and the child fan-base will usually get into it because their parents or other adults are playing them.

      Basically, after a certain point they either need to increase their “parent” fan-base to bring in more child fans, because children will usually dislike stuff that has a large adult fan-base.

      • Morningstar

        Now it has me wondering how what the size of the adult fanbase of Call of Duty is?

        • darke

          I can’t actually recall any particular stats for that; but the average ‘gamer’ is a little over 30 last time a major census was taken so even if you could say there’s a fair number of ‘causals’, it wouldn’t surprise me if the ‘child’ CoD contingent is pretty small in relation to the adult.

          The main reason they would seem to be more present though is that they have a heck of a lot more time free then a working adult. So that’s why people talk about every other CoD/dudebro shooter match having a 10 year old kid yelling racist/sexist/whateverist comments. :P

    • Don’t need youngsters cramping up the joint anyway.

  • ワン スャレ

    You know what will be mature?
    Let your character actually join a team and lead to world conquest.
    Of course there would still be gym leaders and elite four, but how cool it is if you hurt them before battle and battle quotes be like:
    >You destroyed my town!
    >That was my first pokemon given by dad, and now both are dead!
    or something.

    ORAS has been pretty good, but I’m still pretty ticked about the costume removal.

    • Or start your own gym, maybe become an elite four member or champion. Future titles can learn a lot from ORAS and gen 5.

    • Warboss Aohd

      as messed up as that is, i completely agree. World Domination would be fun.

    • Azul

      The killing part I doubt they ever do but world domination would be quite interesting and something I thought they should do since I was a kid. Either joining a team or starting/reviving one would be awesome.

  • DurrD

    The majority of pokemon fans are DIE HARDS. They know the ins and outs of pokemon.

    Nintendo refuse to have hard modes for us.

    Majority have been playing for 8/9/10/15+ years now.

    Nintendo refuse to let us choose to make the game harder.

    We play pokemon at the same difficulty an 8 year old does.

    I will buy Pokemon again when they change this shit.

    • Kaihedgie


    • Mnstrzero00

      So you a play with a tram of magikarp if its too hard. Or you don’t grind. There are countless different ways to naturally add challenge to the games. And bw2 did have a hard mode.

      • DurrD

        You shouldnt have to do that.

        You dont do that in any other game. The fact you have to do that shows how easy the game is.

        • Actually you do it in plenty of games. Pokemon shouldn’t be hard to anyone main game wise because everyone knows the ends and outs of the series. Water beats fire, grass beats water, fire beats grass etc.

        • Mnstrzero00

          I don’t think its something you “have” to do. If you like Magikarp then that could be your team. I make a team of Pokemon that I think look cool. There are challenges that come from the alone and its a totally legitimate way to play. Its no nuzleaf challenge to just play with poke.on you like and not grind for hours and hours to where they are overpowered. The game is built so that it can be as challenging as you want. And don’t tell me that you are making it to the end of battle subway like its nothing. The post game challenges are decent challlenges.

      • Hunts Rattata

        B2W2 had the worst implemented difficulty modes I’ve ever seen. Easy/Hard were each version exclusive, you couldn’t unlock either of them until you already beat the game, and you needed to transfer the difficulty unlock to another cart if you wanted to play on Hard (or Easy, but who cares about that) from the start of the game. They were functionally useless unless you knew someone who already beat the game before you started.

    • Uvers

      They will never change it Japanese companies hate to change especially Nintendo, the main problem I think is that pokemon as a larger franchise beyond the games is only prominent in japan else where its seen as a fade, so they are gonna have a hard time attracting kids to the series post the pokemon boom of the 90s/00s, also there are fewer kids in japan now with the whole decline in birth rate and stuff, but congrats to you for graduating from Pokemon, I thought I’d graduated from pokemon but got back into it after X & Y but I agree games are stupidly easy and short now

    • The new EXP Share really has made things easy in addition to toning down the NPCs.
      And even at eight years old, I was fully capable of beating gen one and two games…

    • Spirit Macardi

      But you guys have EVs, IVs, and all that other meta crap to fuss over. So if you hardcores want to make the game less fun, you have every means to do so and make it nothing but min-maxing boredom :B

      • Asura

        You comprehend that people who are competitive don’t like IVs, right?

        That’s why they quit and just play Pokemon Showdown, or hack or RNG the game. IVs are a boring bland thing to deal with – that’s the consensus.

        EVs are simple enough to be understood by an 8 year old on the other hand, so I guess you’re younger than that.

      • DurrD

        All that crap is for PvP which im not interested in.
        I want the solo game to be harder. What does it matter to you anyway? If theres a Hard mode YOU don’t have to choose it. At least give us that DO want it the option.

  • Bakuryukun

    Nintendo should really learn to acknowledge it’s older fans…like at all. Have harder difficulty modes, have better narratives, explain more throughly the mechanics.

  • Daniel Gulyas

    I get that growth is big, but if I’m seeing these numbers, I try to appeal to the market that exists to prevent them from leaving. Aging with your audience is part of the reason things like Harry Potter did so well; find the balance that allows younger newcomers while appealing to your new demographic.

    • That might be why we’re seeing them appeal to older fans for the time being. Maybe they haven’t figured out what the next big attraction for kids is going to be, so they’re biding their time and keeping the existing fanbase happy while they get all their ducks in a row.

  • Mnstrzero00

    Pikachu detective seems distincky cute and silly. I wouldn’t say that’s for older audiences like the other games at all

  • Uvers

    You know what would be great as a main stay feature in pokemon games to allow people to change the race of their character so as to prove that pokemon is a game played by people all over the world of different races, ethnicties and cultures BUT NO racially diverse trainers with a second set of clothes only exist in Karlos

    • I agree–Pokemon is such a large thing now that it needs to have more inclusive options.
      Also, trainer customization with clothes/hair/eye color, too.
      Character customization shouldn’t be Kalos exclusive when so many other RPGs offer it.

      • chronocide

        I think we’ll probably see a return of trainer customization in Gen 7. My guess is that Brendan and May were already established as the protags of R/S/E that there may have been some flack if you could completely customize them like the protags of XY.

    • I know. That should be a given now more than ever. it was wonderful and refreshing that it finally made it in at Kalos, but it should have been in Unova/BW too. technically, it should have had it for some time to be more inclusive to other audiences in Japan too (before people think Japanese people can only be lily pale).

      Children are more aware of these things than people realize or like to give credit for though, and it makes a huge difference for a lot of children.

      It’s upsetting that skin tone (and clothing and other customization) options are likely going to stay in Kalos too. That’s just silly. :/

  • I don’t have my nostalgia glasses on. I’ve been “catchin’ ’em all” since Pokemon Blue. I didn’t really like Gen 3 and Gen 4 (still played them to death) but I kept coming back because Pokemon is just a legitimately addictive and fun game. Don’t care how old I get, don’t care how much of a “loser” it makes me for being grown and liking/playing Pokemon, but whatever. I hope Nintendo keeps evolving (no pun intended) the franchise because I will continue to buy. AND I really like that they are FINALLY getting serious with the storyline as well, in addition to adding some endgame stuffs, too.

  • I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was five, and now I’m twenty one and I seriously doubt I’ll ever “outgrow” it.

    It could also be that kids these days are already playing M rated games at age seven or so now and Pokemon needs to grow up some itself.
    I know. That’ll never happen. I know.

  • PowerSerg

    Maybe if Pokemon didn’t take a step back when ever they made a new game they could really continue to grip more fans of JRPGs in general. Also I think kids find the Pokemon TV show about as bad as I find it. Kids have proven time and time again they are able to watch shows with actual long term character progression but Pokemon is so instant on using Ash forever. Retire ash and bring in new people every two seasons or something.

    • Herok♞

      What kids shows are you referring to that have long term character progression, because I can’t think of any. The only thing I remember being both big and long from when I was young is DBZ and even then characters don’t really develop, most kids shows tend to be both simplistic and episodic, which is what pokemon does. Like even with Digimon which always was the better anime, I just got done rewatching adventure 02 and the characters didn’t really change except for Ken turning from evil to good.

      • Rayhan PromisedGallery

        02 is the worst Digimon season anyway

        • Hunts Rattata

          Dude, I dunno, Frontier was pretty bad.

        • Herok♞

          Show quality is another discussion entirely

      • PowerSerg

        Adventure time has character progression over time. A lot of anime is seen as “kids” entertainment in japan and shows like one piece, naruto, and the like all have character progression. A lot of shows have subtle character progression unless they last long enough to where characters become “characters” of themselves. The first season of Digimon actually had pretty decent character progression. Series 3 of Digimon if I remember correctly also had a nice bit of progression.

        • Herok♞

          I would argue long running shonens aren’t the best example of children’s shows since they have plenty of barriers to entry as well as plenty of more adult themes, for example Brook in One Piece always would take about wanting to see panties and slavery has been addressed multiple times. Same with Naruto, while slightly more child friendly to start has progressed with its audience. Shippuden is a lot less light hearted and is more targeted to teens and young adults.

          In the case of Adventure Time I have only seen it periodically and it is pretty episodic in nature even if the characters grow its not really an overall story of growth for Finn and Jake like Naruto or One Piece.

          Digimon Adventure 01 had Subtle development and things like that but the characters weren’t all that different from who they started as in the very beginning, if anything all they really did was hone in on some of there qualities and make them more enhanced. Like if you described Tai at the beginning of 1 and at the end of 1 he would have become a better leader but thats pretty much it. Tamers does have progression but the audience was no longer young kids like in Adventure but the kids who were slightly older and had grew up watching digimon. in comparison I would say pokemon always goes for the Adventure audience and not the tamers audience and does a good job of that in my opinion

        • Honestly, I side-eye Adventure Time as an example of a *childrens’ show*. I say that because I think CN keeps it because it brings in tons of money, and they realize aside from children, it has a huge adult following that I feel it has catered to for a long time and will continue to. Then again, CN has proven they often don’t know how to appeal to audiences correctly and don’t care to try too hard; whatever brings in ratings and money~.

          MLP might be a better example, especially FiM. The thing with childrens’ shows here (and even in Japan) is that the creators realize their previous audience is aging/growing and are trying to grow with them (applies for One Piece, AtLA/Korra, etc). I think Pokemon is one of those few examples where it is still trying to appeal to children specifically (not that I feel it’s doing a magnificent job in some ways, even though I still enjoy it).

          • PowerSerg

            The thing is I have a little sister, she is like 6 years old going on 7 so I have a pretty good idea even as a more jaded 20 something year old of what kids like. She enjoys adventure time on a separate level then I do. Then I got a little like 11 year old cousin who loves the yugioh animes and stuff. Something that Yugioh does wisely is it changes a cast every couple of seasons. That way they can negate development without being dumb. It grabs a new audience and some of the old while keeping the stories good stories. (I don’t like zexal but I can’t deny it’s still making money). I think that’s the model Pokemon needs. Rotating casts with a throw back every now and again to Ash, or to X region.

          • I don’t doubt, I have a pretty fair understanding of what children, teens and adults enjoy as well (we got a big family going all ways). I just mean that as far as Adventure Time goes, it’s definitely a show that’s still for children and I like how important it can be (little girls get to see a princess be a scientist! That’s huge~!), but I wouldn’t pretend that it’s exclusively aimed at children; it’s not MLP or certain TF shows airing now.

            I don’t disagree either. I would love a fresh face, and I think what they should do is focus on three mains still with one primary and give them rotating goals (for a few seasons, one primary wants to be champion, and then the next a master coordinator, etc). It would help diversify all that’s really there and how fleshed out the world is in Pokemon, and would also translate to the games better when they finally and hopefully expand on them. (Why can’t I have a game where I’m a Pokemon breeder yet? I’d love to have a fully-fleshed and advanced Pokemon Amie.)

          • PowerSerg

            I’d love to see Pokemon explore more of the Pokemon universe. I think they could still run this Pokemon anime and just run something like the Pokemon special manga at the same time. If one isn’t popular after the other then they can drop the other series.

          • Isn’t the manga still going? Or at least, we have Kalos at the library and I see fanart of the manga characters.

          • PowerSerg

            Yes the manga is still going but it’s so far ahead of a starting point that people totally could start at a revamped version of red and blue (add fairy/megas) and keep going up. Kalos is going on and I think they might be bringing heart gold soul silver still to america (I’m not to sure I’ve only read r/b/y to g/s/c)

  • I started back with Blue, and I’ve been a fan of the series ever since. Granted, I wasn’t old enough to really enjoy the series until I could actually read, which was during Gen 2, hahah. Something I’ve noticed, is that Pokemon does get more popular through high school and into college. In highschool, a lot of people didn’t jump to buy the new games, but they did bring their old gameboys sometimes to play between classes and such.

  • I have no clue who keeps writing such opinionated articles lately but honestly, children have never stopped supporting Pokemon. Kids get into Pokemon all the time. Game sales are different situation because many parents think buying a “new” Pokemon game is pointless. On top of that, video games are expensive for kids these days and parents just can’t shell out that kind of cash in this economy. Kids are more invested in watching the TV Show and collecting cards or toys based on the Pokemon franchise. To top it off, with some kids it all depends what kind of games they fancy. Pokemon games may not appeal to them as much as other games nowadays but that doesn’t mean kids don’t like the TV show. X/Y sparked a lot of sales with the adult crowd because it had so many throwbacks to Red/Blue that it attracted the Gen 1 crowd like a giant magnet. It’s as if they’ve started fresh, keeping fans both old and new in mind. It is also worth mentioning that nowadays kids get shamed by their friends for playing E Rated games.

  • Spirit Macardi

    … Minecraft is fighting for the same audience as Pokemon?

    Umm… No. Just no. Author, go to your room and think about what you just said.

    • Actually, that’s not far off. Look at the ads in Toys-R-Us or walk down the boys department and then look at the teens stuff in Kohls’ and such stores. Sure, the PC game isn’t as geared toward children, but I bet they’re trying to grab children for the MS and Sony versions. Between the shirts, toys, etc, they are definitely making a mad grab for the same audience as Pokemon.

    • darke

      Would you prefer Angry Birds?

      But yeah, the two 5/6 year old kids I have regular contact with are Angry Birds/minecraft fanatics. I would be surprised if they knew who pikachu is honestly. :?

    • MrSirFeatherFang

      Personal experience, most of my younger relatives (10 and under) play Minecraft, probably because easy access due to owning an iPad or any other iOS device. Most were girls though

  • spyro20

    they make it seem like the older fans of pokemon should not enjoy buying or purchasing any new games in that franchise, might as well make the employees be on the look out for older people who wanna play pokemon. everyone has a right to do what they want to do, besides most of us when we were in our teens would wonder when they would stop making pokemon anyway, like when will pokemon end? and most kids are into various things like texting, playing games on a “smartphone”, or play console games that consist of mature violence. besides pokemon is completely overrated like DBZ where they are now making a pointless movie with the same protagonists and antagonist we all know such as frezia, and yet still to this day there has never been a more creative DBZ idea or project introducing new protagonists and antagonists making a sequel of a new series or movie yet. the pokemon company should be thankful that older fans appreciate their work all these years and purchasing their products.

    • They are thankful. They’ve said it numerous times and are supportive of their older fanbase. Without the older fanbase they know Pokemon would have fallen apart. Who keeps events active? The older fanbase. That’s who. Who keeps leagues a safe and enjoyable place for kids? The professors. Who are also Pokemon fans. The only thing that ever steers kids away from events or getting more into Pokemon are players who act aggressively towards children who attend Pokemon leagues and act spiteful to them. Those are the kind of people who should not be playing Pokemon if they can’t acknowledge that it’s for kids too. The Pokemon Company loves it’s older fans and does a lot for them, while still taking kids into consideration. The only reason it’s become “easier” for people is because they took competitive players into consideration. Personally I would like to see the Hard Mode return from BW2. So yeah, if anything the only thing they’re ignoring is the aspects that made BW 2 such a great game for fans both old and new. I hope we get another game that can meet that quality.


    I’ve been playing Pokemon for 15 years, and have all the games from Red, Blue, Green, Yellow to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. I know that kids now a days still want to play Pokemon, I’m getting my nieces into it and they love it. I think kids just need someone who would introduce Pokemon to them, especially the older audience that stuck to the game for this long. Because I’m sure they remember the first time they played Pokemon and w/ that nostalgia I’m sure they can bring in future Pokemon trainers. C:

  • I feel like it’s most likely a decline in younger players than the series as a whole (but that’s probably part of it). Even in the merch and lottery stuff they have lately, it doesn’t feel as targeted toward younger audiences.

    Then again, this also goes back to what I felt was going on with this Smash entry; it felt very strongly skewed to the older and nostalgic crowds. That’s not an inherently bad thing, but if you go toward mostly targeting one audience, expect to draw them in for the most part. ^u^;

    I think they can easily pull in younger audiences, between anime, merch and the games but they should try harder. Right now, it feels like they expect Pokemon to sell to children on the concept of brand name and cute monsters alone (well, and good entry level gameplay with fair challenge).

  • Areuto

    No shit..

  • i thought it is the way around, if nintendo keep treating their older fans as insignificant pebbles by making half baked pokemon games which keep using monotonous formula this series is doomed eventually

  • Asura

    “The fact that more and more adults are playing Pokémon with each successive game tells us that the series’ existing audience is getting older. Eventually, these fans will end up outgrowing the series. Thus, in order for Pokémon to keep growing, the only solution is to keep bringing in newer, younger fans to replace the ones that leave.”

    This line of thought needs to die.

    • Warboss Aohd


      “Our fans are getting too old, let’s try and bring in new fans, this line of thinking has NEVER backfired before.”

      • Mr_SP

        More accurately, “older fans don’t like like our premise”. Making a more mature pokemon doesn’t seem like the best idea, as it’s a bit contradictory – it’s difficult to make more “mature” without changing the premise so much as to be unrecognizable.

  • 3PointDecoupage

    And yet the difficulty decreases.

    • Herok♞

      It might not be the games so much as the experience you have, since even going through with the exp all on, there were still a few parts I would have had trouble with had I not known the mechanics of the game in and out.

      • chronocide

        This is what I’m saying. The exp share removed the need to grind between gyms in my case. But on the upside, that left me to do all the post-game stuff much quicker.

  • ThatGuy3190_7

    I’m sure we in our 20s will still play Pokemon even in our 40s and 50s.

    • Vallen

      Im 20 years old and I still buy every new pokemon game on day 1. It’s kinda scary to think about it, but I might keep playing the games until the series ends or ruins itself

      • ThatGuy3190_7

        I’m 24 and have been buying the new Pokemon games on day 1 since Gold/Silver for GBC (Red version was my first Pokemon game but I didn’t get it day 1). I’ve skipped the remakes because I didn’t see any point in buying/playing them again for a few extra stuff, but I’ve been hearing very positive things about Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, and that is my least favorite generation.

  • Metalsnakezero

    Me and older brother and sister had been playing Pokemon since it first came out. While my sister is busy adjusting to her life, my brother is sharing his love with people with his kids. I’ll probably do the same.

    I believe if we can teach kids about the series it’ll keep going.

  • Now that they know that a big chunk of Pokemon players are adults, they might as well make a Pokemon show with actual character development and trainers that grow older…just an idea that’ll never come into fruition tho.

    • 3PointDecoupage

      Ehh, just cuz we buy the games doesn’t mean we’d watch the show.

      • I think a lot of adults would watch the show. A lot of ’em loved the anime trailer for Black and White 2, they even made a petition to make a more serious Pokemon anime, and it had a good amount of signers.

    • Herok♞

      That’s a stupid idea, the anime is and always will be for children. Why would they try going for an older demographic, anime wise when adults are already buying the games when its marketing tool especially when there are plenty of other anime that appeal more to adults in general than pokemon

    • Herok♞

      That’s a stupid idea, the anime is and always will be for children. Why would they try going for an older demographic, anime wise when adults are already buying the games when its marketing tool especially when there are plenty of other anime that appeal more to adults in general than pokemon

    • Daniel Gulyas

      If Team Rocket weren’t in every episode, it’d be watchable, but villain fatigue is so strong in the show at this point, it’s irredeemable.

    • Pinkemon

      Maybe they feel like the pokemon special manga already filled that niche. I heard it is more serious, though I got turned off by certain parts that sounded too grimdark to me.

      • DeadLineDance

        It really isn’t that grimdark. The thing you’re probably thinking of with the Arbok was the worst thing to ever happen. Pretty much after the Yellow Arc (“Season 2”), nothing like that ever happens again.

  • BlightBoy

    For me pokemon omega ruby is the last pokemon i buy unless they increase the difficulty , the game is so easy reducing the fun of playing it.

  • Pinkemon

    I’m 21 years old and will keep playing this series until they stop making them, to be honest. I’ve just grown really attached to it since I first played it as a kid. I know the main story isn’t really all that impressive in the grand scheme of things but I still enjoy teambuilding for the battle facilities and battle spot.

    • Reza Reita

      Same here
      i don’t seek challenge on pokemon games. I just love teambuilding too and the games are simply enjoyable regardless of the weak storyline.
      It’s just like Disgaea, that i’ve really attached to the gameplay.

  • Musashi234

    Sometimes I wish that they made Pokemon Games with the adults in mind. For example making the trainers older, Or making it where you’re a Grunt in the game and you rise to the ranks! Or maybe even changing up the damn Starter choices. Like to keep the same 3 Fire-Water-Grass all the time is super redundant!

  • Guest

    Meanwhile, the Pokken Tournament…

  • I think it would be cool to be able to choose a character that was older. Like a choice between kid boy/girl or adult boy/girl. Could even have a different opening. Something like…
    “Finally! You’re moving out!”
    *sobs* “You’ve decided to become a trainer? What about college?”
    “Ma I can’t deny it anymore! I gotta catch em all!”
    Or something of the sorts. Maybe even the customization options so that I could look 20+. I’m still a huge fan of the series but it would be a nice change.

  • KaiYamato

    Needs better anime to advertise it. :P What? I can’t be the only one here. I mean just imagine a kid watching Black and White… then discover that Ash had a Charizard he never bothered using in the region and it turns out the anime had a LONG history. Heck, Japan only have reruns of old episodes for devoted fans in some timeslots which most kids aren’t quite aware of.

    With that said, the writers need to break the formula they kept the series ingrained into for years. But they care too much about the status quo and the former director even outright state that Ash will never ever win a League as long as the show is running.

    • MLSabre

      “Ash will never ever win a League as long as the show is running.”

      Hey, looks like Gary was right after all! :D

    • Tincho Kudos

      “Ash will never ever win a League as long as the show is running.”

      What a loser.

    • Sentinel

      They actually said that? Wow, the anime really is run by morons.

  • Nagi

    time to make that super long term dream of ash come true make him age and get a new protagonist >.>

  • Yan Zhao

    Game companies needs to realize their audience is aging too and keep that fact in mind when developing new games.

  • Tincho Kudos

    They should made an easy mode to breeze the story, and a hard or normal mode for more challenging battles. I mean, I’m sick of battling grunts with only one or two pokemon. Seriously, there’s like a battle every few seconds, can’t you catch at least six?!
    The same goes for gym leaders

  • Dylan Anantha

    Well, Youkai Watch is pathetically simple and it’s selling by the truckload, maybe kids want games where you just tap the screen and stuff happens like Youkai Watch.

    I hope to god Nintendo pretends it doesn’t exist and doesn’t try emulating that terrible game in any way.

    • Yo-kai Watch does as well as it does because kids like the youkai, not because of the battle system.

  • Vallen

    I’d say this report is accurate. I played Ruby in elementary school, I got Diamond in gr. 7 and then I got SoulSilver in early high school. I picked up White version near the end of gr. 11 and now that I’m in third year university I got Omega Ruby last week.

    Besides, you got it all wrong, CoD is fighting for the same audience as Pokemon

  • CozyAndWarm

    It’s a little frustrating that Nintendo recognizes this, yet does nothing to make Pokemon more appealing towards that older age group. Everything about the Pokemon series, especially the pathetically low difficulty level, seems to try to appeal only to children. But that whole market of young children (at least in the west) only plays cinematic shooters and mobile/iPad games now. Even the Wii U e-shop demographics show this.

  • Sentinel

    That’s kind of surprising, especially since things like the anime are still the same juvenile trash it was when it started. I would have loved for that show to grow up, but it never did.

    Perhaps they will finally shake up the usual formula or something. As much as it tries to bring some new things, X and Y are still just the same old pokemon journey it has been since the start. Perhaps people are slowly getting tired of it.

  • DeadLineDance

    The pathetically low difficulty of Gen 6 has made me upset as well, but I hold the theory that it’s response to backlash from Gen 5. I mean, was I the only one who thought that B/W were the hardest in the main series? The Gym Battles were actually challenging (1st Gym uses your starter’s weakness, the Electric Leader uses Elec/Flying types, Clay has a friggin’ Excadrill, the 8th Gym is Dragons with Haxorus and his base 147 Attack), and Ghetsis’s Hydreigon is one of the single hardest Pokemon to take down in the entire series, IMHO.

    • Sentinel

      Maybe it was just me, but I pretty much found all the generations to be really easy.

      • DeadLineDance

        How ducky for you. Please, go back in time and tell my junior high self how to beat Whitney’s Miltank on the first try, since you clearly figured it out at such a young age.
        …….if it really was that easy for all of you, I’ll have you know that I NEVER had trouble with OoT’s Water Temple. Not even on my first playthrough.

        • Sentinel

          Oh, even I never beat every single gym leader on the first try. It’s just that it was a simple case of just leveling up a little more when it happened.

          • DeadLineDance

            Well, it IS a JRPG. There is some element of finding the right Pokemon for the job, but grinding is still king. B/W’s weighted exp system made it so that it was harder to get over-leveled, though.

        • chronocide

          The only time I managed to beat that bloody Miltank was when I read about the person willing to trade a Machop in Goldenrod and soft resetting to get the same gender so Attract wouldn’t work.

    • chronocide

      I dunno about you but I think the main reason why I found XY easier than the previous gens was because of the Exp Share. Made it really easy to get my pokemon to a much higher level in a shorter period of time so I was mostly overlevelled for gyms and the Elite 4.

      • DeadLineDance

        Exp Share certainly didn’t help things. However, on my second run-through of X/Y I turned it off, and the game was still very easy. The only fight that gave me any trouble was Lysandre, I think?

    • Dylan Anantha

      BW wasn’t hard at all, all they did was put a ridiculous EXP system in that punished you for keeping your Pokemon at a decent level. The low EXP made the game unnecessarily tedious, I’d play an MMO if I felt like powergrinding.

      And ORAS is harder than RS.

      • DeadLineDance

        Um… the EXP wasn’t low, it was appropriate. You were never way above your opponent’s levels that way, making it more of a fair fight.

        And how are you finding ORAS to be harder than RS? Exp Share, phys/special split, tons of new attacks in the learnsets, they nerfed like all the Gym Leaders’ levels… this all makes it so much easier.

        • Dylan Anantha

          Probably because I never pay attention to the metagame, I avoid Pokemon competitive play and use what I like.

          And I found my Pokemon constantly underleveled in BW, it because an incredibly boring chore to keep them properly leveled.

          I normally leave grinding to postgame, BW is the only game where I had to make stops to gain levels in the entire series.

    • DurrD

      They put that dumbass pokemon that you can kill and gain redonkulous amounts of EXP from. It was easy.
      And while one of those B/W games had a hard mode, you had to beat the game first to unlock it. So it was basically pointless to me.

      • DeadLineDance

        But the weighted system meant that Audino stopped being useful once you got so far above his level. And Audino’s STAB Normal attacks can easily KO those underleveled Pokemon you’re trying to bring up to speed. That was my experience, anyway.

        But yeah, Hard Mode should’ve been selectable from the start.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    X and Y was too easy even for a kid, My underlings beat the game with 4 pokemon. The starter, the one Pro sexy pants gives you, the mega lucario, the Lapres and the Torchic they gave you. The game held your hand way to much and the story was a downgrade.

    I kinda want a game aimed at the older fans for once. It doesn’t have to be a main series it could be a spin-off like persona is to SMT.

    Something challenging, deeper plot, more RPG elements like plot changing choices.

  • KyoryuOrange

    Kind of obvious, really. If you want new fans, you do new things. Pokemon doesn’t even have to change up the gameplay drastically for that, but everything about X and Y was the exact opposite of that.

    All the flashy, new things that were the draw of previous generations have been replaced by various “fan favorites” for some inexplicable reason. You had a copy of Viridian Forest, almost all the handout Pokemon were old ones rather than new ones, none of the new Pokemon got Megas (in fact, the entire concept of Mega Evolution, considering the ridiculously low number of post-Gen III ones, seems to be entirely to entice fans of those specific generations – aka the older fans).

    The amount of new Pokemon is low (meaning for children, and Japanese children in particular, the Pokemon are things they’ve probably seen around them all their life to some extent), the games were painfully easy in a climate where games are already getting easier, and the region was just boring. Hoenn is at least great to look at in 3D, but Kalos’ one notable feature after it is just “it was in 3D first.”

    They need to do another Black and White and go all out with it. 200 new Pokemon, 80 Megas of only those new Pokemon, and just go all out for the new generation. The old fans that matter will like it – the ones who need to be pandered to by being forcefed their childhood favorites over and over rather than wanting and appreciating new Pokemon aren’t worth keeping anyway.

  • WhyWai

    Kids nowadays would prefer to play mindless mobile game instead.

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