P25 Music program announced by The Pokémon Company International.

The Pokémon franchise is celebrating its 25th anniversary by partnering with Universal Music Group to bring fans a year of music events and musician collaborations.

The P25 Music program will be headlined by award-winning singer-songwriter Katy Perry, a major collaborator in the year-long campaign; other collaborators range from rising artists to established stars in the music industry.

Pokémon Red and Blue, the first release in the long-running Pokémon role-playing game series by Game Freak, launched back in 1996 for Nintendo’s 8-bit handheld console GameBoy and it’s an entry in the series that’s close to Perry’s heart.

Pokémon has been a constant in my life from playing the original video games on my Game Boy, to trading Pokémon TCG cards at lunch, to the adventures of catching Pokémon on the street with Pokémon GO,” she said.

25th anniversary artwork. Image credit: The Pokémon Company.

“I’ve even visited the Pokémon Café in Japan while on tour,” Perry added. “It is an honor to be chosen to help celebrate a franchise that has given me so much joy in the last 25 years, and to be able to watch it evolve in the ways it’s provided that kind of electric joy for the kids in my life and around the world.”

Further details about the extent of Perry’s participation in the P25 Music program as well as additional artist announcements will be revealed throughout the year.

“In Katy Perry, we see a kindred spirit to Pokémon, whose world is bright, fun and uplifting,” said The Pokémon Company International vice president of marketing Colin Palmer. “Katy is a wonderful ambassador to help us celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, and we can’t wait for music fans everywhere to experience the exciting collaborations we have planned.”

To help kick off the anniversary celebrations, a live-action feature titled 25 Years of Memories (embedded below) has been uploaded to the official Pokémon YouTube channel.

“We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon and the significant cultural impact this beloved franchise continues to have around the world,” said Universal Music Group and Brands general manager LJ Gutierrez.

“Working together, we have developed dynamic year-round programming involving artists from across UMG’s labels – because what better way to create a global celebration than through the power of music,” Gutierrez added.

The Pokémon Company International has teamed up with brands including Build-A-Bear Workshop, General Mills, Levi’s, and McDonald’s to roll out programs throughout 2021. Anniversary-related merchandise from licensees including Jazwares, Scholastic, Mattel, Funko, PowerA, and The Wand Company are also in the works. Additional partners and their respective anniversary plans will be announced at a later date.

Various activations for Pokémon animation, video games, and mobile games including Pokémon GO and Pokémon Masters EX will be released throughout 2021.

Additional information can be found on the official anniversary celebration website.