San Francisco: Pikachu, Squirtle, Charizard, and all their friends have turned 20 with the iconic Pokemon, one of the most successful video games of all time, completing two decades of entertainment.
On February 27 in 1996, Pokemon Red and Green came out in Japan for the Game Boy. It spawned a series that has sold over 200 million copies.
But Pokemon's reach goes far beyond video games, as it has also inspired a cartoon that has run for more than 900 episodes, 19 movies, and a popular card game that still receives updates.
Fans even play the game competitively, and Nintendo has earned plenty of cash thanks to sales of merchandise like T-shirts and plush with the brand earning $1.5 billion annually, the Venture Beat reported.
The only thing more shocking than a bolt from Pikachu is how relevant Pokemon still is today.
Few people had high expectations for Pokemon when it launched. It came out for the ageing Game Boy, which released back in 1996 and had seen a decline in popularity. However, Pokemon itself soon revived interest in the platform.
In honour of the anniversary, Pokemon released a new video celebrating two decades of "Pocket Monsters", the series' original name.
Video credit: The Official Pokémon Channel/YouTube
"Happy Pokemon Day! Tell us how you're celebrating 20 years of Pokemon adventures with #Pokemon20!" the Pokemon twitter handle said.
New video games "Pokemon Sun" and "Pokemon Moon" were also announced, and will be released soon. An app for cell phones, "Pokemon Go" is also expected later this year.