Each summer since 2017, app developer Niantic has hosted the Pokémon GO Fest in select cities across the globe. The event incorporates Pokémon-themed installations and activities in large parks, and helps thousands of players connect in real life. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Fest obviously can’t be held outdoors. Instead, Niantic is turning it into a two-day, online event. The company says, “We’re bringing back Pokémon GO Fest on July 25th–26th as an all-new, completely reimagined global event in a virtual format.”
Pokémon GO typically requires players to wander around outside to catch creatures in augmented reality -- which may not translate to an indoor experience -- so it’s unclear what Niantic has planned in terms of activities. It sounds like the company is working on additional ways to make the game more fun during era of social distancing, though: “While we’ll miss celebrating with each other in a beautiful park, we’ve come up with new ways for the community to connect and team up together that we’ll roll out during the summer.”
While fans who were looking forward to the typical Pokémon GO Fest may be disappointed, this online version could be more inclusive. Hopefully fans can still connect and celebrate, despite the limitations.