Pokémon Go is so popular that it is leading to a number of fan meetups around the world almost by accident, and that led us to wonder about the potential of an official gathering.
The Pokémon Company has considered events like a fan convention before — although it doesn’t have anything solid in the works right now. Consumer marketing boss J.C. Smith, in an interview with GamesBeat, explained that it’s something that could happen, but the organization is also aware of the limits of throwing a physical celebration for the 20-year-old brand that makes $2.1 billion every year. While brands like Star Wars, Minecraft, and Quake all have their own annual conclaves, Smith noted that The Pokémon Company is prioritizing efforts to bring everything it does to everyone around the world at the same time, and that doesn’t jive with a PokéCon.
“We’re open to all kinds of things,” Smith said. “We want to touch as many people as possible. Events are somewhat limited by geography. The number of people who can get there. We like to do a lot more online, celebrate things on the internet, so that people around the world can experience that.”
This isn’t a lame excuse. Instead, this is in line with the company’s recent efforts. The group, which oversees the entire Pokémon brand, has worked to establish a global presence that can speak to fans in dozens of territories and languages at the same time. It doesn’t want to announce something in Japanese first and make other audiences wait.
“Part of the reason for the international rollout of information is based in that desire,” said Smith. “We don’t want to have small events — small considering that the world can’t all come to it. We try to focus first on how we get our message out most broadly to our fan base.”
While a convention is probably not in the works for any time soon, The Pokémon Company does hold the annual Pokémon World Championships. This event, and the series of competitions leading up to it, pit the best video and card game players against one another. While this is something of a celebration of the pocket monsters, Smith points out that it is exclusive for the most skilled fans — but everyone else can watch them online.
For now, if you want to meetup with other fans of Pikachu and Bulbasaur, you can always try one of the numerous community-led gatherings around Pokémon Go.