Within a year, Pokemon became the biggest selling game series behind the Mario franchise. Nintendo then licensed a television show, which coincided with the anime boom and the Pokemon mania. The rest, well, is history.
TL;DRAmerican games fell apart in 1983, Nintendo stepped in in 1985, and Nintendo dominated the next 15 years of gaming in America.
Thanks for the MHO!!
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^ this. Agreed. :) It's the same reason that kids are often captivated by the great diversity of real-life animals in the real world: there are so many different kinds of animals out there that at least some of them are bound to fascinate a kids' imagination. It's the same thing with Pokemon and its fantasy world of many, many different kinds of fantasy creatures -- except that in Pokemon, people can catch any creature and use its superpowers for their benefit. It's a popular daydream.
@nfigure agreed :)