Pokemon Go Fest, last year’s premier real-world event for Pokemon Go, is coming back this July. Like last year, players of the hit mobile game will converge upon Chicago, but there are going to be some major changes from last year. That’s probably just as well, as last year’s event didn’t exactly go according to plan. Still, as we wrote at the time, we were ultimately very happy with how developer Niantic responded to the troubles, and it does seem like the changes will help.
For one, this year’s event will take place over two days, July 14th and July 15th. Participants were able to choose which day they wanted to attend. Instead of a single park downtown, the event will be held along a 1.8-mile stretch in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. There have also been safety measures put into place to stop resellers from scooping up all of the tickets. You now need to tie an in-game account to your ticket, and can only buy 6 tickets at a time. Even with these precautions in place, the tickets sold out in under half an hour. As it’s illegal to resell these tickets under Illinois law, it remains to be seen what will happen when second-hand purchasers try to enter the event; no doubt there will be a fair few.
So far Niantic hasn’t released too many details about the event, but we do at least have some idea of what to expect. They’ve hinted that the otherwise India-exclusive Pokemon Torkoal will be found, much like Heracross was last year, and Unown will make a return. There will be special research missions and Pokemon “habitats” which will likely help players get their hands on rare Pokemon, as well as currently undefined challenges that will no doubt be tied to a big reveal like last year. Also like last year, Niantic has announced that players worldwide will be able to participate in some way. Given how quickly tickets sold out, and how many trainers just can’t make it to Chicago for the event, I’m sure this will be welcome news.
We’ll keep sharing new information that comes up from the event as it comes. As an avid player of Pokemon Go ever since it launched, I’m as excited as anyone to see what’s in store. In the meantime, feel free to check out my and Joel’s coverage of last year’s festivities. Oh, and go Team Valor!