Every week, Pokémon Go hosts an event,
but Go Fest is by far the biggest, essentially taking over the summer. The community believes that tying the event to a fixed timetable may limit certain aspects of what Niantic can offer, but summer is a “sacred window” for Go Fest that will not be changed.
It’s not that Niantic is unaware of the demand for larger-scale events outside of the summer season, but it fits nicely with what the company is looking for with Go Fest, according to Pokémon Go director Michael Steranka.
“It’s really important for us to host Go Fest during the summer because that’s when so many families have time off,” Steranka told Dot Esports. “Kids are on vacation this summer, and parents will take time off to spend with their children.” When you come to these events, you see a lot of families, so we want to save that sacred window of time for our flagship Pokémon Go Fest.”
With the Go Fest window determined, Niantic is more focused on improving the “flagship” event based on player feedback to guarantee it is always evolving in the greatest ways.
Part of the criticism for Go Fest 2023 was to limit the event to only the month of August, as opposed to its prior edition, which began in June. According to Steranka, this is because gamers complained that the celebration was too long, prompting Niantic to try to execute a “concise and condensed” version with four events spread across August this time.
And just because Go Fest isn’t moving doesn’t mean Niantic isn’t listening to gamers who want more huge or participatory events at other times of the year. To cover such voids, Go Tour was designed to run in February every year, and the new City Safari events were formed.
“Isn’t that why we launched Go Tour?” “We both thought the same thing: there’s a big gap over there, and it’s nice weather in some parts of the world, so let’s host another major event,” Steranka said. “We also have Safari Zones, as well as a new format called City Safari, which will debut later this year.” I’m very interested to see how that plays out, and if it’s something that people appreciate, we’d like to invest in more [City Safaris] next year.”
Niantic is also constantly focused on “bringing Go Fest to as many people as possible,” which necessitates extensive research on where people are playing and the ideal locations to host the main event centers. For example, New York and London are both significant markets with a large number of Pokémon Go players, but they are also convenient for Go Fest events, which the developers prefer because it allows more people to participate.
With Niantic aiming to invest more in City Safaris depending on player response for the initial batch later this year, new events appear to be a priority as well.
City Safaris are a new in-person event that will begin in October in Seoul, Barcelona, and Mexico City. They will function similarly to a local and smaller-scale Go Fest or Go Tour, with themed Pokémon spawns, Special Research, and other features.