It’s hard to believe it’s been three whole years since the launch of Pokémon Go. It was an instant hit back in 2016, with news sources reporting on huge groups of people congregating in an effort to catch a rare creature, or occasionally players ending up somewhere they shouldn’t be. Since then the craze has died down a bit, but the game remains incredibly popular and is still raking in money. A mobile title continuing to engage folks so long after launch is no mean feat, so full praise to Niantic for staying the course.
Now, to mark the fact that it’s turning three years old and to reward fans, they’ve announced a series of in-game events in which rare Pokémon will be available to catch and avatar items will be available to customize your look. The festivities began on June 28th, where from 4pm ET players were able to encounter Shiny Alolan Pokémon like Sandshrew, Vulpix, Meowth, Geodude. This date also saw the arrival of a new bundle of cosmetic items to buy in the shop.
From now until 4pm ET on July 6th, any Go Snapshot pictures you take will be photobombed by Pikachu in party hats (in a similar fashion to the last April Fools event), and any Pichu hatched from 7km eggs will also pop out sporting a party hat.
Furthermore, until 4pm ET on September 2nd, the rate of Premier Balls dropped in raids will increase in order to give players a better chance of adding the raid Pokémon to their collection. Stardust trades will also be discounted by 25% and any players returning to the game will be eased into it through new Special Research tasks (though these will only be available to those over level 10).
Judging by the official art associated with the event (above), we should see the arrival of various new Pokémon as well, including some from Gen 5. There’s no official word on when these are coming, but you might get a nice surprise if you’re hunting over the next few months.
It’s a pretty comprehensive and fun-sounding summer for Pokémon Go fans. But, with Niantic having launched Harry Potter Wizards Unite, there’s a chance that players eager for the latest in AR games will drift away to that title. Fortunately then, if this event is anything to go by, it sounds like Pokémon Go will continue to be updated and fully supported for some time yet. I’ll see you out there, trainers.