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Pokémon (ポケモン, Pokemon?, English pronunciation: /ˈpoʊkeɪmɒn/) is a media franchise published by the video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996. Originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy role-playing video games, Pokémon has since become the second most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world, behind only Nintendo's own Mario series. 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 23 April 2008 (2008 -04-23)[update], cumulative sales of the video games (including home console versions, such as the "Pikachu" Nintendo 64) have reached more than 186 million copies.