BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Pokémon Company International officially launches celebrations today for Pokémon’s landmark 25th anniversary. As an iconic video game and entertainment franchise beloved by millions of fans of all ages around the world, Pokémon has been bringing people together since its launch in 1996. In 2021, Pokémon will continue that tradition by aligning with another universal unifying force — music. Headlined by pop icon Katy Perry, the star-studded program created in partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, accompanies fan-focused activations celebrating 25 years of Pokémon across the franchise’s portfolio of video games, mobile apps, animation, merchandise and more. To help fans kick off this celebration, a live-action video, uniquely highlighting moments in the brand’s 25-year history and a journey through the Pokémon world’s many regions, can be viewed beginning today on the official Pokémon YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/l_ZHajviuAY/
Global Music Celebration: P25 Music
Every party needs a great playlist. To celebrate 25 years, The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with UMG through their brands strategies division, Universal Music Group for Brands, to make 2021 the biggest Pokémon party in history — and everyone is invited. Pokémon is working with some of the biggest names in music, from rising artists to award-winning global superstars, for the program, titled P25 Music. Pop icon Katy Perry was revealed today as a premier collaborator in the massive, yearlong music campaign.
“Pokémon has been a constant in my life from playing the original video games on my Game Boy, to trading Pokémon TCG cards at lunch, to the adventures of catching Pokémon on the street with Pokémon GO. I’ve even visited the Pokémon Café in Japan while on tour! It is an honor to be chosen to help celebrate a franchise that has given me so much joy in the last 25 years, and to be able to watch it evolve in the ways it’s provided that kind of electric joy for the kids in my life and around the world,” said Katy Perry.
“In Katy Perry, we see a kindred spirit to Pokémon, whose world is bright, fun and uplifting,” said Colin Palmer, vice president of marketing at The Pokémon Company International. “Katy is a wonderful ambassador to help us celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, and we can’t wait for music fans everywhere to experience the exciting collaborations we have planned.”
“We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon and the significant cultural impact this beloved franchise continues to have around the world. Working together, we have developed dynamic year-round programming involving artists from across UMG’s labels — because what better way to create a global celebration than through the power of music,” said LJ Gutierrez, General Manager, UMGB.
Details about Katy Perry’s participation, additional artist surprises and more about the P25 Music program will be announced throughout the year.
25 Years of Adventures: A Journey Through the Pokémon World
Since the first video games launched in 1996, the franchise has explored a new region in the Pokémon world with the introduction of each core series game. In 2021, The Pokémon Company International will invite fans to relive their journeys through each of these regions in a yearlong program, beginning with the most recently discovered Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and ending with the classic Kanto region from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games. Beginning today, fans can visit a new website that will serve as the hub for this and all fan celebration activities as they are announced throughout the year, located here: https://pokemon.com/25
Anniversary Partners: Celebratory Programs and Merchandise
Pokémon adventures are always better with friends, so The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with other iconic brands to help fans celebrate the journey throughout the year with unique promotions and merchandise. Collaborations in the brand’s 25th anniversary year include programs from Build-A-Bear Workshop®, General Mills, Levi’s, McDonald’s and more. Fans can also look forward to even more special merchandise tied to the anniversary celebrations from licensees including Jazwares, Scholastic, Mattel, Funko, PowerA, and The Wand Company. Additional partners and the ways they will celebrate the anniversary will be announced throughout the year.
Special Collections: The Pokémon Trading Card Game & Pokémon Center
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a cornerstone of the brand, and fans can look forward to special 25th anniversary-themed collections of the Pokémon TCG later in 2021. In the meantime, fans will soon be able to collect oversize cards featuring Pikachu and beloved first partner Pokémon from the various regions featured in the franchise-spanning retrospective. Fans can also expect 25th anniversary-themed products from Pokémon Center, the premier destination for official, high-quality Pokémon merchandise in the U.S. and Canada. To kick off the celebrations on Pokémon Center, fans will be able to preorder the limited-edition 25th anniversary-themed skateboard by industry craftsman Bear Walker starting Jan. 19.
More Celebrations Across the World of Pokémon
The details revealed today are a glimpse into what the world can expect from Pokémon in 2021. With 25th anniversary-related activations planned for Pokémon animation, Pokémon video games, mobile games including Pokémon GO and Pokémon Masters EX, and more big announcements from the franchise, fans have a year full of new journeys ahead.
The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and is responsible for brand management, licensing and marketing, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the animated TV series, home entertainment, and the official Pokémon website. Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 and today is one of the most popular children’s entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.
About Katy Perry
Since Katy Perry’s Capitol Records debut in 2008 with One of the Boys, she has racked up a cumulative 50 billion streams alongside worldwide sales of over 48 million adjusted albums and 135 million tracks with her albums One of the Boys, Teenage Dream, PRISM and Witness. Her summer 2019 single, “Never Really Over,” off her latest album SMILE, is certified GOLD and was the biggest streaming launch of Katy’s musical career. 2020’s SMILE release has sold over 1.25 million adjusted albums, with nearly 2 billion combined streams to date. Views of her 2013 video “Roar” recently surpassed three billion views – making Katy the first female artist to reach this milestone, while “Dark Horse” is close behind with over 2.9 billion views. Katy was also the first female artist to have four videos surpass a billion views each. Her videos for “Firework” and “Last Friday Night” have over one billion views. Katy’s 2015 Super Bowl performance is the highest-rated in the event’s history. She is one of only five artists in history to have topped 100 million certified units with their digital singles – and the first-ever Capitol Records recording artist to join the elite RIAA 100 Million Certified Songs club.
Aside from being one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, Katy is an active advocate of many philanthropic causes. In 2013, Katy was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador as a result of her commitment to improving the lives of children worldwide. Katy has used her powerful voice to advocate for children and support UNICEF’s mission to ensure every child’s right to health, education, equality, and protection. She was awarded with the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award in 2016.
Katy has also been a champion for LGBTQ+ equality. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Trevor Project's Hero Award in 2012, the Human Rights Campaign's National Equality Award in 2017, and amfAR’s Award of Courage in 2018. She has also performed at various events to raise funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS, including 2009's Life Ball and 2016's amfAR Cannes Gala.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company.