Pokémon GO, the immensely popular free-to-play, location-based augmented reality mobile game by Niantic Inc., released worldwide on both iOS and Android devices last year on July 14th. Players explore the world around them in order to find and capture the Pokémon which come up on their screens, battling gyms, hatching eggs and collecting items from PokéStops along the way.

It is a game which encourages teamwork, dedication, and a sense of adventure – and Niantic has just announced its plans to celebrate both the iconic game’s one-year anniversary, and its accumulation of over 750 million downloads worldwide.

Pokémon GO’s anniversary celebrations are to kick off with the Solstice Event, due to start on June 13th, 2017 and end exactly one week later on June 20th at 9pm BST. This in-game event will feature Fire-type and Ice-type Pokémon, huge XP bonuses for throwing Poké Balls accurately, and discounted Lucky Eggs in the in-game shop – making finding rare Pokémon and gaining XP a whole lot easier, and a whole lot more fun.

Like in the previous type-specific events, this event will mean that Pokémon of the specified types – in this case, Fire and Ice – will be found much more commonly, and in places you wouldn’t normally expect. Fire Pokémon such as Charmander, Vulpix, Houndour and Cyndaquil are confirmed to be included, as are the Ice Pokémon Lapras, Sneasel, Piloswine and Seel – so make sure to open the game up and get hunting.

Soon after the Solstice Event update, Niantic has promised players that they can look forward to another new update, this time focused on the implementation of more ‘collaborative group gameplay features that will get you playing Pokémon GO in fun new ways’. In order to prepare for the integration of these features, Niantic have said that they will be disabling gyms for a short period of time – implying that major changes are coming, including, perhaps, the implementation of player vs. player elements (finally!).

Pokémon GO’s first real-life events have also been announced by Niantic. The first is ‘Pokémon GO Fest Chicago’, to be held in Grant Park, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA on July 22nd, 2017, where players are welcomed to ‘join us as we celebrate the Pokémon GO community with a ton of exciting festivities’. Tickets and more information about the event are going to be made available here on Monday, June 19th at 6pm BST, though if you visit the link now you can enter your email address to be notified of the latest developments as they’re posted online.

Niantic have also promised similar, if smaller, celebratory events across Europe and Japan. In their latest blog post, they provided the following statement:

European Trainers can look forward to Pokémon GO celebrations hosted across the continent from June through September in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers. We’ll be posting a complete schedule for these events very soon. Also, The Pokémon Company is organizing “Pikachu Outbreak”, a Pokémon event in Yokohama, Japan, in August where they’re exploring a unique Pokémon GO experience. Stay tuned for even more details surrounding each of these events in the coming weeks.

It is therefore advised that players keen on engaging with Pokémon GO’s first anniversary celebrations keep an eye on the official Pokémon GO website and blog site, Twitter feed and Facebook page as not to miss any updates. As always, we at Quillstreak will also be posting any news, so don’t forget to check back here for the latest developments in Pokémon GO. Good luck catching ’em all out there, and enjoy these events!

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Georgina Howlett
20-year-old aspiring author and journalist, regularly found fleeing into the night in search of Pokémon. Soon starting my third year of an English Literature degree at Newcastle University. If I'm not writing I'm yelling at useless people on Overwatch and Splatoon 2. Nintendo Switch ID: 0203-3480-8054
http://www.twitter.com/howlettwrites

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