This Day in Entertainment History: Pokemon Red and Blue Debut in North America (September 30th, 1998)

By: Sean Sporman Email
By: Sean Sporman Email

They were games that would help to launch a phenomenon in the United States and surrounding countries and they came in two colors, Red and Blue, on this day in 1998.

Pokemon began in Japan as Pocket Monsters in 1996. In the Game Boy games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, players controlled a character from a top-down perspective in his quest to become a Pokemon master. Pokemon were small monsters of various kinds with various abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The player would collect and train a team of various creatures, battling enemies and challenging other trainers and gym leaders on his or her way to glory.

Although there were three versions in Japan (Red, Blue, and Green), Red and Blue were released to North American players of the Game Boy handheld on September 30th, 1998.

Despite fears that American audiences might not take to game, it became a huge success, not only garnering critical acclaim with mostly positive reviews, but winning success on the retail front as well. Millions of copies were sold, and the series success also led to the animated series based on the game coming stateside as well.

To this day, Pokemon endures with new games coming out in October, the anime about to enter its sixteenth season and merchandise still found in toy stores across the world.

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