Satoshi Tajiri is the founder and president of Game Freak, mostly known as the creator of the Pokémon franchise.


Tajiri initially established Game Freak as an independent video game magazine in 1981. Out of his knowledge of arcade games, he wrote the magazine by himself, which contained reviews and secrets on various games. Ken Sugimori was hired to provide illustrations.

At 1989, Game Freak was reworked into a video game developer, with Mendel Palace being the debut work of the company. From that point on, Tajiri would direct many games, with Sugimori working on the art and Junichi Masuda on the music, among many other staff that eventually joined.

Around 1990, Tajiri pitched the original concept of Pokémon to Nintendo; based on his own memories of collecting bugs in his childhood, he intented to make the games as a communication tool in which players would trade and battle with fictional creatures. Even though Nintendo didn't initially understand the concept, Shigeru Miyamoto took an interest in the project and assisted with the development, as well as Tsunekazu Ishihara. Pokémon Red and Green took nearly six years to develop; in that period, Game Freak developed other titles such as Yoshi and Mario & Wario.

After the release, Pokémon gradually became an international phenomenon, turning Game Freak from a small company into a prominent video game developer. After Pokémon Gold and Silver, Tajiri stepped down from game development and focused on managing Game Freak; Junichi Masuda replaced him as the main director of the Pokémon series.

Ash Ketchum, the main protagonist of the Pokemon TV show, is named "Satoshi" in Japan after him.

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