The Pokémon Company International

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The Pokémon Company International (often abbreviated to TPCi) is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Pokémon Company that was first established in February 2001, as Pokémon USA, Inc.[1] In 2009, it merged with the Pokémon UK office[2] to create a company that is responsible for "brand management, licensing, marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website" in markets outside of Asia,[3] as well as managing PokemonCenter.com in the United States. Kenji Okubo is the current President and CEO.

History

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The logo of the former Pokémon USA, Inc.

The Pokémon Company International was founded in February 2001 as Pokémon USA, Inc.[1] in New York City. It was created to manage the Pokémon franchise outside of Asia, with responsibility for "licensing, merchandising, TV animation, trading card games, theatrical releases, home video entertainment, the official Pokémon website" and other areas[4].

The company's first president was Tatsumi Kimishima (who would later go on to become president of Nintendo)[5], and on November 16, 2001, it oversaw the opening of Pokémon Center NY at the Rockefeller Center in New York[6].

In 2002 Tatsumi Kimishima was succeeded by Akira Chiba as president. Following threatened litigation, the licencing agreement with Wizards of the Coast for the Pokémon Trading Card Game ended in 2003[4], and Pokémon USA, Inc. brought the production and distribution of the game in-house.

In March 2003, the Pokémon UK office opened in London, United Kingdom[1].

On January 20, 2005, the journal Nature published an article in which a group of researchers named a newly discovered cancer-causing gene "Pokemon"[7]. Pokémon USA, Inc. responded by threatening legal action, as they said that the image of Pokémon could be undermined by associating it with cancer. As a result, the gene was renamed[8].

Up until 2006, the licensing and merchandising for Pokémon outside of Asia was outsourced to 4Kids Entertainment. On December 23, 2005 Pokémon USA, Inc. and 4Kids Entertainment announced that they had agreed not to renew the representation agreement set to expire on December 31 that year, and licencing was brought fully in-house by Pokémon USA, Inc.[9]. Part of this agreement involved the dub of the anime, and from season nine onwards Pokémon USA, Inc. changed to using TAJ Productions for this process. This also involved the recasting of many main characters, a move that proved to be controversial.

In 2007, Akira Chiba stepped down as president and he was replaced by Kenji Okubo, previously executive vice president and head of Pokémon USA’s Seattle office. In his new role, he was leader of Pokémon’s operations in New York, Seattle and London[10].

In 2008, Pokémon USA, Inc. moved production of the anime dub from TAJ Productions[11] to DuArt Film & Video. That year, Pokémon UK worked with design agency Red Central to create a marketing style guide for Europe[12], announced a partnership with Network Distributing to distribute the Pokémon movies and anime on DVD in the UK[13], and announced Jetix Europe (now Disney XD Europe) would air the anime from season 11[14].

In February 2009, Pokémon USA, Inc. struck a deal with Toys "R" Us in which their stores would have a dedicated Pokémon Boutique until the end of the year[15], and in the same month announced a DVD distribution deal with Universal Studios Home Entertainment for Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior[16].

On April 9, 2009 it was announced that Pokémon USA, Inc. and Pokémon UK would be unifying their operations under the name The Pokémon Company International. Kenji Okubo said that the rationale behind the move was that the two companies had worked closely together on a day-to-day basis, and that the change in name was done to reflect the connection between the two offices and ensure their worldwide reach[2].

Offices

The Pokémon Company International has its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington and London, United Kingdom.

  • 10400 NE 4th Street, Suite 2800, Bellevue, WA 98004, United States
  • 3rd Floor Building 10, Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5XS, United Kingdom

External links

Official websites

Social media

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Company History - The Pokémon Company (retrieved April 21, 2020)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pokémon Merges North American, European Operations - World Screen (archived from the original April 13, 2009; retrieved April 21, 2020)
  3. About the Pokémon Company International - The Pokémon Company International (retrieved April 21, 2020)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Pokémon USA, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast, Inc. Resolve Dispute - Business Wire (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  5. 5 Reasons Why Tatsumi Kimishima is Good for Nintendo - USgamer (retrieved April 21, 2020)
  6. Pokémon says “I Choose You!” To Rockefeller Center for First U.S. Store Dedicated To the Growing Worldwide Phenomenon - Pokémon USA, Inc. (archived from the original November 19, 2001; retrieved April 22, 2020)
  7. Role of the proto-oncogene Pokemon in cellular transformation and ARF repression - Nature (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  8. Pokémon blocks gene name - Nature (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  9. Pokémon USA Moves Licensing In-House in 2006; 4Kids Entertainment to Transition Its Representation of Pokémon - Business Wire (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  10. President of Pokémon USA, Inc. to Step Down - Business Wire (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  11. TAJ Productions No Longer Dubbing Pokemon - PokéBeach (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  12. Pokémon launches European branding guide for a new era - creativematch (archived from the original September 11, 2018; retrieved April 22, 2020)
  13. UK to get all Pokémon seasons on DVD? - PKMN.NET (retrieved April 22, 2020)
  14. Jetix becomes new home of Pokémon in Europe - Jetix Europe Ltd. (archived from the original November 7, 2012; retrieved April 22, 2020)
  15. Pokémon Boutique Invades Toys R Us - Kotaku (accessed April 22, 2020)
  16. Pokémon Comes to DVD in an all-new Feature-Length Movie - PR Newswire (archived from the original February 26, 2009; retrieved April 22, 2020)