Pokémon GO Fest 2020 Attempts to Innovate Event, Tickets Out June 15

Dedicated fans of Pokémon GO may have participated in past GO Fests in various cities around the word. It allowed players to gather together to play and complete events with one another. This year things will be very different due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Pokémon GO Fest 2020 is completely virtual and strives to keep Niantic constantly implementing new ideas.

The cornerstones of the game are to explore, exercise and interact, but that can’t happen when everything is virtual. Niantic has come up with a virtual solution allowing players to attend from the comfort of their own homes. The event will last two days starting July 25 and ending on July 26 with tickets available starting June 15 at 10:00 AM PST. Because it’s all virtual, there are some new additions to make it feel like an authentic Pokémon GO experience. Leading up to the event will be special weekly tasks that will culminate in a mythical Pokémon becoming available. It’s a little storyline that plans to keep players invested. Plus, a timed global challenge arena for teams to accomplish lets members from around the world work towards the same goal. Rotating habitats for Fire, Water and Grass and others are being implemented during the weekend allowing over seventy unique species of Pokémon to appear. Virtual Team Lounge websites are going to be available for members to interact with other players in real time.

There are also a few things in the works but not much information is available at this time. Features such as a social function allowing players to see who is currently playing will take awhile to complete. It would benefit those trying to coordinate battles or trade and a possible chat function is one idea being considered. The team is constantly coming up with plans to make the game more accessible to those who are unable to physically play. While keeping the core experience of getting outside and exploring comes first, many features that have been added during COVID-19 that makes playing more convenient will stay for the long haul. Hopefully those have been helpful for a number of players and more assistance comes soon.

One of the biggest impacts COVID-19 has had is on small businesses. Niantic is planning to implement the Local Businesses Recovery Initiative with the help of Pokémon GO. Players in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain and Japan will get to suggest local coffee shops, grocery stores and other locations to become PokéStops or gyms. There are specific guidelines that must be met and only the top 1,000 are chosen. This mission is assist in drawing business and customers to those hit hard by the shutdown. More information will be available in the near future but an entry deadline of July 31 has been set and these additions are planned to arrive in September to hopefully help businesses bounce back. Additionally, all proceeds from Pokémon GO Fest will go towards various organizations. Half is being given to a number of black creators and developers while the rest is for non-profits to help communities rebuild.

By taking advantage of a virtual event space to enjoy Pokémon GO Fest 2020 and finding ways of giving back to the community, Niantic is taking steps for a more inclusive and beneficial experience. Pokémon GO doesn’t seem to be running out of steam. A silver lining to these quarantined times reveals how innovative the team has become in order to keep players constantly on-the-go.