Pokémon (ポケモン Pokemon , // POH-kay-mon) is a media franchise published and owned by Japanese video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games developed by Game Freak, Pokémon has since become the second-most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own franchiseMario. Pokémon properties have since been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and other media. The franchise celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2006, and as of 28 May 2010 [update], cumulative sales of the video games (including home console versions, such as the "Pikachu" Nintendo 64) have reached more than 200 million copies. In November 2005, 4Kids Entertainment, which had managed the non-game related licensing of Pokémon, announced that it had agreed not to renew the Pokémon representation agreement. Pokémon USA Inc. (now The Pokémon Company International), a subsidiary of Japan's Pokémon Co., now oversees all Pokémon licensing outside of Asia.
The name Pokémon is the romanized contraction of the Japanese brand Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター Poketto Monsutā ). The term Pokémon, in addition to referring to the Pokémon franchise itself, also collectively refers to the 718 known fictional species that have made appearances in Pokémon media as of the release of the sixth generation titles Y and Pokémon X. "Pokémon" is identical in both the singular and plural, as is each individual species name; it is grammatically correct to say "one Pokémon" and "many Pokémon", as well as "one Pikachu" and "many Pikachu".
Espeon and Umbreon, known in Japan as Eifie (エーフィ Ēfi ) and Blacky (ブラッキー Burakkī ), are two Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. Created by Ken Sugimori, they first appeared in the video games Silver and Pokémon Gold and subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise, spinoff titles and animated and printed adaptations of the franchise.
The Pearl Brewing Company (also known as the Pearl Brewery or just Pearl) was an American brewery, established in 1883 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. In 1985, Pearl's parent company purchased the Pabst Brewing Company and assumed the Pabst name. In 1999, the Pabst Brewing Company began transferring its production to Miller Brewing, on a contract basis, and closing all of its breweries. Pearl beer is still in production at Miller's Ft. Worth, Texas facility, but the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio was closed in 2001. Since then, the former brewery was purchased by Silver Ventures, Inc., which has made the property the crown jewel in revitalization efforts of southern Midtown and northern Downtown San Antonio.
SpongeBob SquarePants (often referred to simply as SpongeBob) is an American animated television series, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, contributing to its position as Nickelodeon's highest rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons' most watched shows. The media franchise generated an $8 billion merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.
Hillenburg initially conceived the show in 1984 and began to work on it shortly after the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life in 1996. To voice the character of SpongeBob, Hillenburg approached Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on Rocko's Modern Life. SpongeBob was originally to be named SpongeBoy, but the name was already in use for a mop product. Upon finding it out, Hillenburg decided to use the name "SpongeBob". He chose "SquarePants" as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and it had a "nice ring to it".