From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
The Pokémon Company International logo
The Pokémon Company International (abbreviated to TPCi) is a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, responsible for managing the Pokémon franchise outside of Asia and Australia. This includes licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, the official Pokémon website and former store in New York City (Pokémon Center New York, now known as Nintendo World). The company was formed in 2009, with the merger of Pokémon USA and Pokémon UK.
As Pokémon USA
Pokémon USA, Inc. (or PUSA) was founded in February 2001 to handle the licensing and marketing of Pokémon in all territories outside of Asia. The first President of PUSA was Tatsumi Kimishima. In 2002 he was replaced by Akira Chiba, when Kimishima was promoted to President of Nintendo of America following Minoru Arakawa's retirement.
In 2003, the distribution agreement with Wizards of the Coast for the Pokémon trading cards ended. After this, Pokémon USA took over as the manufacturer and distributor of the Pokémon TCG.
In January 2005, an issue of the science magazine Nature featured an article in which a group of researchers named a newly discovered cancer-causing gene "Pokémon". By September, Pokémon USA had promised to take legal action, causing the gene to be renamed.
In January 2006, the licensing and merchandising agreement between 4Kids Entertainment and Pokémon USA expired. This agreement included production of the anime so Pokémon USA switched to producing the English dub in association with TAJ Productions which had worked with 4Kids on seasons one through five. The recasting of the main characters created a large controversy. Later that year, in May, Kids' WB announced that it would be dropping all anime from its fall lineup in its move to The CW, which included the Pokémon anime. Pokémon USA went into negotiations with Cartoon Network US to air past and future episodes of Pokémon, which turned out successful. In June, a Master Toy licensing agreement was signed with Jakks Pacific, Inc.
In 2007, Kenji Okubo became the President when Akira Chiba stepped down. In 2008, the production of the dub moved to DuArt Film & Video.
In February 2009, PUSA announced a deal with Toys R Us in which stores would have a dedicated Pokémon Boutique. A deal was also announced Universal Studios Home Entertainment in which Universal will be distributing the Pokémon movies on DVD.
As Pokémon UK
Pokémon UK was established in March 2003, to handle the licensing and marketing of Pokémon throughout the UK, Europe and Africa.
In 2007, Red Central was commissioned by Pokémon UK to create a marketing style guide for Europe.
In 2008, a partnership with Network was announced. Network will distribute the Pokémon movies and anime episodes on DVD. It was also announced Jetix Europe (now Disney XD) would air the next season of the Pokémon anime.
Pokémon USA, Inc., merged with Pokémon UK in April 2009. The two companies now work under the name The Pokémon Company International, which is responsible for the Pokémon franchise in all non-Asian countries. The company's president is Kenji Okubo, the former head of Pokémon USA. Okubo said the two companies had worked closely together on a day-to-day basis, and the change in name was done to reflect the connection between the two offices and ensure their worldwide reach.
Pokémon USA received some complaints after the initial airing of The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon. They were accused of lying about not being able to use the 4Kids voice actors due to contract issues. This claim was denied by the voice actors (with the exception of Stuart Zagnit), but never by 4Kids Entertainment.
They also faced criticism in regards to Kayzie Rogers (credited as "Jamie Peacock") voicing Ash. Many fans complained about her portrayal of the character. In response, Pokémon USA announced that they would redub the Mirage Special with improved voices. The redub became available on the eighth movie DVD, and was aired on October 28, 2006 on Cartoon Network.
Voice Actor Controversy
At Comic Con 2006, it was revealed that Ash's voice actor would change, and his new voice actress would be the then nineteen-year-old Sarah Natochenny. Although generally accepted as a talented actress with many non-animation credits to her name, some fans criticized the company and TAJ Productions for their decision to hire Sarah, as she had no experience with anime voice overs. They claimed that Sarah was too inexperienced. However, Veronica Taylor, the first actress to voice Ash, was only twenty and fresh out of acting school when she landed the role, although she had previously voiced anime roles prior to being cast as Ash.
Removal of Game Corner slot machines
In Pokémon Platinum, due to the strict anti-gambling laws in place in Europe, the Veilstone Game Corner's slot machines were all replaced in European games (including the PAL English release) with game machines which would randomly give out some coins if checked, but could not be played on.
This extended into Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which removed the slot machines in all non-Japanese releases, replacing them with Voltorb Flip, and disallowing the player from buying game coins. Criticism was focused more on the latter.
On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, the user "PokemonCompany" tweeted vulgar comments, calling those users who had followed him in hopes that they would get exclusive Pokémon information "idiots", and then urged them to subscribe to his YouTube channel. Though the tweets linking the Twitter account to a YouTube user have since been deleted, several more vulgar tweets directed at those who remained following the account were made in the past hour.
This came after a large amount of tweets which were made for the user's "Trainer Tuesday", in which he claimed questions would be answered in a manner similar to Pokémon.com's mailbag. Nintendo has been contacted about this user, but they have not yet responded.
- The Pokémon Company International frequently checks out various Pokémon fansites and forums to get a general idea of what the fans feel.
- Many senior employees are required to play the game and complete their Pokédex as a part of their job.
- The rooms and offices in the building are filled with Pokémon posters, plush toys, figures, all of the rooms are even named after Pokémon (e.g., the Zapdos room).
- ↑ Company Profile