Just over a year ago, masses of people suddenly descended on some of the most random and obscure locations, deliriously excited about something that onlookers were at a loss to understand. What they were witnessing was the release of a brand new type of video game – one that took players out from in front of their TV’s and got them interacting with the world around them. Since then, the numbers of players have declined, but millions of die hard fans still remain.
While there have been rumors of several similar games scheduled to be released in the last year, including one based on the wildly popular Harry Potter series, none has materialized or gained anywhere near the massive following of Pokémon Go. As a result, Niantic closes off it’s first year as the completely undisputed champion of interactive “real world” video games.
On July 22, they will celebrate this crowning acheivement with a massive POGO celebration to take place in Grant Park, located in Chicago, IL. During the festival, Niantic will coordinate challenges taking place in Chicago with challenges that players around the world can participate in, based on challenges chosen by the players in Chicago. A final challenge will take place in the evening on the 26th, with a special reward being offered for completing the challenge. Rumors abound that the much-awaited legendary Pokémon will finally be released to anxious players around the world.
Aside from the initial release of Pokémon Go, this may be the first time that video game players all around the globe are all participating in playing one video game at one time, making it a truly global event. Given the stunning success that Pokémon Go has experienced, it is unlike that they will maintain their stranglehold on the market for this type of video game for long, but for the moment, they are basking in their success. In August, Niantic will also be hosting special events throughout Europe, as well as being part of a week-long celebration in Japan in August.