When you think about it, all generations have certain Pokemon that receive a disproportionate amount of attention. These tend to be starters, legendaries, competitive, and any other Pokemon that are particularly unique. Its also pretty amazing how much influence word of mouth has, compared to the days without internet and mobile devices. The Pokemon themselves are the no. 1 thing people talk about amongst each other, therefore its the no 1. tool of marketing the franchise.
Let me give an example of how word of mouth marketing works in the context of first impressions and Pokemon design. In the gaming market especially, first impressions are a vital step in getting one hooked on a franchise. Suppose only 1% or even half a percent of "hardcore" fans felt a generation was average just because of that handful of disliked or so-called "stupid" Pokemon (as unfair as that may be). Of those, some may have friends who aren't into Pokemon, or just getting into it. If those friends don't get the impression that the newest game and the Pokemon in it are totally awesome and not just "average", they aren't likely to buy. Considering the many millions who play the game, that small percentage could be "just" a few thousand friends who would otherwise have tried the game had their friend been more excited to tell them why they should. And that's several thousands that could have been in Gamefreak's wallet. If a similar pattern continues for multiple generations, that's even more would-be fans and would-be cash lost.
Think about the gravity of that for a moment guys. Nearly every change in "standards" of a franchise as big as Pokemon leads to a chain reaction that affects long term popularity and profit. Even a minority of people spreading a bad vibe complaining about "those" Pokemon makes a difference. That's why Gamefreak most certainly pays attention to what fans like and dislike, beneficial or hindering, acceptable or not. Pokemon is huge. Their whole way of running business, down to every last detail is huge. Its quite fascinating, really.
Last edited by Bluelatios*; 13th January 2013 at 5:56 AM.
I am the current leader of Save Our Voice Actors, a Pokemon fan group supporting the voice actors in the anime dubbed by 4Kids (seasons 1-8). Our goal is to provide The Pokemon Company international with encouraging feedback in support of returning the main cast members. If you're interested, please visit us at facebook.com/saveourvoiceactors