Niantic Announces the Return of Real-World Events

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Article by Brian Tien

With the rise of Covid, much of the real-world interaction in Pokemon Go came to a screeching halt. We saw the cancelation of events, the outright removal of Safari Zone events, and even the introduction of Remote Raids to help alleviate the potential spread of the virus.

Well, it looks like this trend may finally be coming to an end. With the vaccine now widely available and cases of Covid on the decline, companies such as Niantic are feeling far more confident in encouraging people to come together. This has, as expected, brought about the announcement that Niantic is returning to the ways of old that were practiced all the way back in 2019 with the return of real-world events and interactions.

Real World Events

Go Fest 2021

This is a big one: "what does this mean for Go Fest 2021?"

Honestly, it looks like "not a lot" is the answer. As of right now, Niantic is holding fast to the global Go Fest model. We will still be able to enjoy Go Fest regardless of our location with the purchase of the ticket. However, this could very well change in 2022. Niantic's entire business is based on augmented reality, which is a technology that naturally encourages real-world play. As the game's premier yearly event, it's very likely that Go Fest will return to its in-person format in the future, though we may also see enhanced global play beyond what we had in the pre-covid world. This is all obviously conjecture and speculation, but it seems to be a likely outcome.

Safari Zones

These real-world events were always a bit of a mixed bag. While nowhere near the scale of Go Fest, they have traditionally offered enhanced spawns and bonuses for a select area, while the global playerbase could enjoy lessened rewards. Still, having a boosted Shiny rate for each event's focus Pokemon was nice, and having that back is always welcomed. 

Covid Bonuses

It's almost to the point where the bonuses introduced after the initial Covid spike feel like a completely natural part of the game. And while some likely are, we may see the emphasis on remote-play drop in the future. For example; we have been able to enjoy free Remote Raid Passes every week via various sources. While this bonus isn't terribly significant, we may see them dry up moving forward.

Full Announcement

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Full Text

Greetings Niantic Explorers!

As John shared last month, we’re looking forward to saying hello to our community and our world again.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re starting to bring back some of our Live Events for Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress. Bringing people together is Niantic’s mission, and our in-person and virtual events are a magical opportunity for people to play together.

Here’s our schedule for the next few months:

Pokémon GO

Community Days

Our monthly celebration of select, featured Pokémon continue this summer with all-new Community Days, including:

  • Saturday, July 3 (full details To Be Announced on June 21)

  • Sunday August 15  (full details To Be Announced in July)

Pokémon GO Fest

We’re looking forward to Pokémon GO Fest on July 17 and 18 which will once again be a global event. To celebrate Pokémon GO’s fifth anniversary this year, ticket prices are reduced from USD $14.99 to $5.00.†

We’re also excited to offer exclusive perks through our official Pokémon GO Fest 2021 event sponsor, Google Play. You can find more details about the fun-filled weekend on our Pokémon GO Fest 2021 event page.

Safari Zone

We’re excited to share that planning is underway to reschedule the Pokémon GO Safari Zones that were postponed last year.  We’ll share more details on these events as our plans are confirmed, but here are the 3 cities you can anticipate seeing the Safari Zones return:

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Community Days

Witches and Wizards around the globe will be able to join us for Community Days in the months ahead on the following dates:

  • Saturday, June 12

  • Sunday, July 11

  • Saturday, August 7

  • Saturday, September 18

Wizards Unite 2nd Year Anniversary

Celebrate Harry Potter: Wizards Unite's second anniversary with a special in-game event and take a look back at how the Calamity has unfolded thus far. We’d love to see your favorite real world and AR photos from the first two years on social!

  • Saturday, June 19 - Sunday, June 20

Dragonologist Delight Event

Look to the skies as you combat a surge of dragon Oddities and collect dragon egg Fragments from Portkey Portmanteaus.

  • Friday, July 2 - Thursday, July 8


Second Sundays Mission Days

We are looking forward to resuming Ingress Mission Days through a distributed format on the weekend of July 9, where Agents can explore Agent-created Missions in their local area.

  • Sunday, July 11

  • Sunday, August 8

  • Sunday, September 12

NL-1331 Meetups

The XM Detection Vehicle NL-1331X is hitting the road starting in Oakland, CA on the weekend of July 9. Stay tuned for more details.

Thank you for continuing this journey with us -- we’re eager to see you again in person. So over the next couple of months, some Niantics and friends will be around various Community Days in the US.

Be sure to share your adventures on social media using #MeetYouOutThere!

– Mike Quigley, Chief Marketing Officer

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.