Niantic Confirms Legendary Pokémon to Debut at Pokémon GO Fest

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Players at Chicago event to unlock new Pokémon on Saturday

Game developer Niantic announced on Thursday that the first Legendary Pokémon will appear in the Pokémon GO smartphone game at Pokémon GO Fest Chicago on Saturday. Niantic's global marketing product lead Archit Bhargava had said in May that "this summer will be legendary." The game's official website began streaming a promotional video for the announcement.

The Legendary Pokémon that appear in the video include Zapdos, Moltres, Ho-Oh, Articuno, Lugia, and Mewtwo. Players who attend Pokémon GO Fest Chicago at Grant Park on Saturday will participate in challenges to unlock rewards for players around the world. If players at the event succeed in defeating the Legendary Pokémon in the final challenge, that Pokémon will begin appearing in Raid Battles around the world after the event. Players will be able to use Legendary Pokémon in Raid and Gym Battles, but they will not be able to use them to defend Gyms.

The event will hold an official live streaming program on Twitch and YouTube on Saturday. Rachel Quirico, Britanni Johnson, Kelly Link, and Brandon "Mystic7" Martyn will appear in the program.

Players at Pokémon GO Fest Chicago as well as players around the world will cooperate during during three Challenge Windows on Saturday to unlock rewards based on the type of Pokémon they catch. For example, if players at the event catch the most Electric-type Pokémon, the distance required to hatch Eggs will be reduced. Depending on how many Pokémon players at the event catch, the duration of the unlocked bonuses will increase.

In addition, players who attend the event will be able to encounter Pokémon that normally do not appear in Grant Park, receive an exclusive in-game medal, and obtain exclusive two-kilometer Eggs at the park's PokéStops.

Pokémon GO Safari Zone events that will be held in Europe this summer in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco shopping centers. The events will be held at shopping centers in Copenhagen, Denmark and Prague, Czech Republic on August 5 and in Stockholm, Sweden and Amstelveen, The Netherlands on August 12. Events will be held in Oberhausen, Germany; Paris, France; and Barcelona, Spain on September 16.

The Pokemon Company is organizing the "Pikachu Outbreak" event for the Pokémon franchise in Yokohama on August 9-15. Similar events were held in Yokohama in 2015 and 2016. The upcoming event will feature "a special Pokémon GO experience."

The Pokémon GO at Big Heritage Festival event will be held in Chester, England on July 22-23. The United Kingdom heritage organization Big Heritage is partnering with Niantic "to curate historical locations throughout the ancient city of Chester within Pokémon GO to encourage community engagement and education."

The events are part of the smartphone game's one-year anniversary celebration. The game is also currently holding an in-game anniversary event that is offering a special version of Pikachu wearing Ash's hat and an Anniversary Box in the in-game shop. The event began on July 6, and it will end on July 24. The game launched an updated Gym battle system and Raid Battles in June. Niantic's global marketing product lead Archit Bhargava said in May that "this summer will be legendary."

The Pokémon GO app launched in select countries including the United States on July 6, and has since launched in more than 50 countries.

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