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Pokemon GO is celebrating its first anniversary of mobile AR monster collecting fun this summer. Niantic, Inc. and The Pokemon Company International have big plans to commemorate the milestone including both in-game and real world events. The Solstice Event will be available for players in the game and a Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago will bring trainers together in real life to enjoy the popular mobile game.

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, Inc.explains what’s in store for Pokemon GO players,

It’s been an incredible first year for Pokémon GO thanks to the passion and dedication from the global Trainer community. “As part of the first anniversary, we’ll be giving players around the world the chance to enjoy fun in-game events, engage with friends and other Trainers at real-world events, and much more.

Downloaded over 750 million times since its launch last summer, Pokemon GO has gotten mobile gamers of all ages outside, walking around, meeting fellow trainers and of course catching Pokemon. To kick off the summer a special Solstice Event will take place in-game from June 13th to June 20th. As with most in-game events, players will have an increased chance of finding a specific type of Pokemon; for the Solstice Event its Fire and Ice types. While you’re on the lookout for Charmander, Cyndaquil, Houndour, Swinub, Sneasel, and their evolutions you’ll also be receiving increased XP for nailing special Pokeball throws and other actions. Lucky eggs will also be 50% off during the event.

Pokemon GO

Solstice Event

After the event, there’ll be a big update focused on collaborative group gameplay. To get these interesting new features up and running the Gyms will need to be disabled for a short period of time after the Solstice event comes to a close on June 20th. Once the gyms are back up players can look forward to some exciting new Pokemon GO  gameplay over the summer months.

Pokemon GO

A New York Pokemon Go Billboard design.

Top trainer cities are also getting honored during this summer of celebration. New York, London and Tokyo have all received special billboards updated with real time stats about their Pokemon GO gameplay activity. Many of these billboards are also PokeStops where valuable items can be collected. There are plans to honor other cities as well over the summer, but in what manner has not been revealed.

Pokemon GO Fest Chicago is the first ever official real-world event for the game and it will be taking place on July 22nd at Grant Park. Tickets for the party will go on sale June 19th at 10:00 AM PDT. You can purchase them here once available. The event will not only give trainers a chance to meet each other, there will also be a variety of activities to enjoy.

Those in the U.S. that can’t attend the Chicago Fest can catch special opportunities throughout North America as part of Niantic’s partnership with the Knight Foundation’s Open Streets program. More real world Pokemon GO celebrations are planned throughout Europe as well. A partnership with Uniball-Rodamco shopping centers will bring more Pokemon fun to Europeans between June and September. The Pokemon Company is planning a unique ‘Pikachu Outbreak” experience for Japanese trainers in Yokohama sometime in August.

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Alexandria Taberski

Staff Writer

A tsundere lolita writing about games for the last three years. Somehow got involved in covering mobile games. Loves JRPG's and all genre's of gaming except for platform games. Platforming can go die in a fire.