×

Second Annual Pokémon Go Fest Draws Over 21,000 Attendees

“Pokémon Go” developer Niantic has apparently redeemed itself after its disastrous Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago last year. An estimated 21,000 people attended the 2018 event in Lincoln Park, and 180,000 participated in the surrounding Chicago area.

Event attendees walked an average of more than six kilometers, completing an average of 36 research tasks and catching an average of 350 Pokémon on July 14 and 15, Niantic said in a thank you message to fans.

“The mood was infectious all weekend,” it said. “The feelings of courtesy, kindness, and togetherness never left Lincoln Park, even as trainers filed out at the end of Sunday’s journey.”

Last year’s Pokémon Go Fest wasn’t nearly as cheerful. The event was plagued by connectivity issues that prevented fans from logging in to the augmented reality game. At one point, attendees booed Niantic CEO John Hanke with cries of “Fix the game!” and “Fix the servers!” Some reportedly threw water bottles at hosts.

Niantic tried to make good by refunding all ticket costs and giving “Pokémon Go” players $100 worth of in-game currency. But, that still left festival attendees on the hook for hotel and transportation costs. One person later filed a class action lawsuit against the developer. It was reportedly settled for over $1.5 million in March.

Now that the fest is over, Niantic will award bonuses related to the game’s Global Challenge. Players can get double the usual candy when catching Pokémon and hatching eggs until July 23. They’re also guaranteed a rare candy during raids. Plus, Niantic said all eggs will hatch in half the distance, including 7km eggs that hatch Alolan Pokémon.

In addition, Niantic said legendary Pokémon Zapdos will be available in raid battles around the world during Zapdos Day on July 21. Here are event hours in each region:

  • The Asia-Pacific region: 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. JST
  • Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. UTC
  • The Americas and Greenland: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PDT

Pokémon Go Fest 2018 is part of what Niantic has dubbed the Pokémon Go Summer Tour. The last leg takes place Aug. 29-Sept. 2 in Yokosuka, Japan. If players complete all of their tasks by the end of the tour, they’ll get a mysterious “special ultra bonus.”

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Doug Scott - Twitch

    Twitch Recruits Zynga's Doug Scott as Chief Marketing Officer

    Doug Scott is leaving as game company Zynga’s marketing boss to become Twitch’s CMO. Scott assumes the CMO role at Twitch after previous chief marketing officer Kate Jhaveri exited this summer to become the NBA’s top marketing exec. News of Scott’s hire comes less than a month after Twitch launched a redesigned logo and site, [...]

  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare

    Call of Duty League Commissioner on Why It's Time for a Franchise Model

    “Call of Duty” esports is officially headed for a city-based model. Publisher Activision Blizzard announced over the summer that the newly coined Call of Duty League will have a franchised, home-and-away structure immediately when it launches its inaugural season in early 2020. It’s set 12 teams in 11 cities, and the roster mania has already [...]

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Switch Unit Sales Top 15 Million in North America Since Launch

    Nintendo is tooting its own horn, boasting that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems have together sold over 15 million units in North America to date. That’s according to the company’s own internal data. As of July, the Nintendo Switch had sold over 36 million consoles worldwide, the company said. Nintendo Switch carries [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': Respawn CEO on Telling the Story Behind 'Becoming a Jedi'

    When it comes to media properties, it doesn’t get much bigger than “Star Wars.” That sentiment certainly isn’t lost on Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The title, which follows Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis (voiced by Cameron Monaghan) after the events of “Episode III — Revenge of [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': What to Expect From EA and Respawn's Latest

    There’s a lot riding on “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The upcoming title from EA and Respawn is the first major single-player “Star Wars” video game since 2008’s “The Force Unleashed,” and is one of the most anticipated games of 2019. After years of multiplayer adventures, could “Fallen Order” be the title that brings the [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content