Pokemon Go, Pokemon Sleep

Pokemon GO and Pokemon Sleep Weren’t Intended To Be “Wellness Items”

There’s little doubt that one of the reasons the Pokemon franchise has endured for over 25 years is that it knows how to take its brand to different places that people wouldn’t expect. Yes, it started out as a “traditional turned-based RPG,” but it eventually got entries with photography as a focus, multiple puzzle-themed titles, dungeon crawlers, a game about Magikarp, and so much more. Fast forward to now, and the two biggest entries are arguably Pokemon GO and Pokemon Sleep. But while both are Pokemon-themed, they also have been dubbed “wellness category” items by some.

In an interview with The Pokemon Company COO Takato Utsunomiya, ComicBook.com found out that this wasn’t an intentional thing on their part:

“Just to clarify a little bit on the positioning of the products, we didn’t really begin Pokemon Go or Pokemon Sleep with the idea that we wanted to get into the wellness or healthcare category,” Utsunomiya revealed. “It was really more of a focus…an interesting idea where people maybe walk with their Pokemon a lot. Or for example, having this game where through your sleep you’re able to interact with Pokemon. That’s another way that maybe they sleep more. But the main idea there is that it’s more integrating Pokemon into people’s daily lives. And by doing that we’re able to increase their love for Pokemon, or also get more people interested in Pokemon and increase the fan base in general.”

The COO also noted that for the company, they’re not just thinking about what games to make but thinking about the ages of their consumers. The same consumer base that has been around since Gen 1 in many cases, including myself. So they decided to make properties that would appeal to them as well as everyone else. Given the success of GO, and how Sleep has been taking over certain people’s lives at night, it’s clear their choices were well-founded.