Pokémon is a series of video games developed by Game Freak and Creatures Inc. and published by Nintendo as part of thePokémon media franchise. First released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy, the main series of role-playing video games (RPGs) has continued on each generation of Nintendo’s handhelds. Games are commonly released in pairs—each with slight variations—and then an enhanced remake of the games is released a few years after the original releases. While the main series consists of role-playing games, spinoffs encompass other genres, such as action role-playing, puzzle, and digital pet games. As of February 2016, more than 279 million units have been sold worldwide, more than 200 million of which from the main series, making it the second best-selling video game franchise, behind only Nintendo’s own Mario franchise. The franchise’s mascot is Pikachu.