Going to make a difference
The coronavirus has forced a ton of changes onto augmented reality games like Pokemon Go, which have worked to reinvent themselves in an era when people just don't go out - or if they do, do so far less. One of the biggest things for Pokemon Go though is that beyond its general play, it also has special events, and even a convention of sorts called Pokemon Go Fest each year with special things going on. Now, after saying they were monitoring the situation for a while, Niantic has announced that Pokemon Go Fest 2020 will be a virtual affair held on July 25-26.
While details are scarce at this point, Niantic says that it has completely reimagined the event for the virtual experience so that anyone can participate from home. A major focus of it will be to connect people like they never have before, and they are emphasizing the global nature of the event - instead of it being held in a few specific locations (last year was Chicago, Dortmund, and Yokohama), everyone can join Pokemon GO Fest and unlike past years, players will be able to play on both days.
The event will include bonuses, pokemon encounters, and special research along with building on top of other features coming to the game throughout the summer. Some of this would probably include the ability to invite friends on remote raids as has been seen in datamined code, but not implemented at this time. There likely will be a rollout of the new PokeCoin acquisition method, although many players are hoping that its current test version gets tweaked as user reports from Australia have not been positive.
Other new features being demoed right now were announced last night including a limited rollout of Reality Blending to select Android phones, allowing Pokemon to appear more realistically in the world around you. The other new feature involves mapping the world in Augmented Reality, which Niantic is going to recruit level 40 trainers for first, to take videos of PokeStops so that they can better understand how virtual objects persist in the real world.
As it is, we'll have to wait and see all of what Niantic has lined up for Pokemon Go this summer, but we can expect the Pokemon Go Fest 2020 to happen on July 25-26.
What do you think of the Pokemon Go Fest 2020 going digital? What does a digital event for Pokemon Go look like for you? Have you played Pokemon Go since the coronavirus situation began? Let us know in the comments below!