If you fired up Pokémon GO over the Thanksgiving holidays, you helped contribute to the Pokémon Global Catch Challenge. According to Niantic, trainers collectively caught over three billion Pokémon around…
A cooperative Raid Battle system was added to Pokémon GO earlier this year. Raids let players join together to defeat a single powerful Pokémon at a Gym location. This week Niantic announced several big changes coming to both standard Raid Battles as well as the special invite-only EX Raids with Legendary Pokémon.
“We want Trainers to walk away from Raid Battles feeling like they’ve earned some amazing rewards, even if the Raid Boss flees,” states the update post. “To help make this more of a reality, we’ve made adjustments to the quality of items Trainers receive after defeating a Raid Boss. The addition of Stardust rewards for participating in a Raid Battle will help Trainers continue to power up the Pokémon they need to take on even more powerful Raid Bosses.”
Standard Raid Battles are getting the following changes:
- Trainers will now receive Golden Razz Berries for completing Raid Battles.
- The numbers of Potions and Revives awarded to Trainers for completing a Raid Battle will decrease slightly, but the quality of Potions will increase.
- The likelihood of receiving Fast and Charged Technical Machines for completing a Tier 3 or higher Raid Battle has increased.
- Trainers will now receive Stardust for participating in a Raid Battle, whether they win or lose.
- Magikarp will make a triumphant return to Tier 1 Raid Battles.
Additionally Niantic received a hefty amount of feedback to the oft-frustrating EX Raid Battles, which was the only way to gain super rare and powerful Legendary Pokémon.
The following changes are being added to EX Raid Battles:
- EX Raid Battles will take place most commonly at Gyms found in parks and sponsored locations.
- Trainers with a high-level Gym Badge are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at that Gym.
- Trainers who have completed a larger number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles.
- EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at that Gym.
- Trainers invited to EX Raid Battles will receive an in-game notification if the EX Raid Battle is canceled.
- Trainers will receive Stardust and Premium Raid Passes when an EX Raid Battle is canceled.
With these changes the EX Raid Battle system will officially move out of beta (or ‘field test’) and into official launch.
Also happening this week is the Pokémon GO Global Catch Challenge. Every Pokémon you catch this week will contribute toward the challenge, with overall goals in the millions and billions. The rewards are listed below:
- Bronze Tier (500 million Pokémon caught): All Trainers will earn double XP, Lure Modules will last six hours, and more Pokémon will appear all over the world.
- Silver Tier (1.5 billion Pokémon caught): In addition to the Bronze Tier rewards, all Trainers will earn double Stardust, and even more Pokémon will appear.
- Gold Tier (3 billion Pokémon caught): In addition to the Bronze and Silver Tier rewards, Farfetch’d will appear all around the world for 48 hours and Kangaskhan will appear in East Asia for 48 hours!
The Pokémon GO Global Catch Challenge will conclude on November 26.
The creators of Pokémon GO (Niantic Inc.) are joining forces with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to create an augmented reality mobile game based on J.K. Rowling’s incredibly popular Harry Potter series. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will utilize the same AR technology as Pokémon GO. No release date has yet been announced. More details will be revealed in 2018.
“At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”
Gameplay will operate much like Pokémon GO. Players will explore neighborhoods and cities, learning and casting spells, finding magical artifacts, and encounter beasts and characters from the Harry Potter universe.
“With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is co-developed by Niantic and Portkey Games. Portkey Games is a games label under WBIE that specifically creates content based on the Harry Potter license. Harry Poter: Wizards Unit will be published by Niantic, and is probably coming some time next year.
Niantic has come under frequent fire and criticism regarding server issues and instability for Pokémon GO, particularly surrounding the game’s rocky launch in Summer 2016. Despite frequent setbacks and problems Pokémon GO proved so popular it reached mainstream cultural phenomenon that most games can only dream of.
Harry Potter’s popularity easily rivals that of Pokémon. Let’s hope they have a handle on the incoming tide of wizards.
We’re finally getting some news on the Animal Crossing Mobile game in the form of a Nintendo Direct. The Animal Crossing Mobile Direct will be available worldwide at 12 pm…
Hook ’em on ‘Catch ‘Em All’ while they’re young! Today the Pokémon Company revealed a new mobile app designed specifically for preschool age children (age 3-5). The app is called Pokémon Playhouse. It’s available now on iPhone, iPad, and Android as a free download – without any in-app purchases.
“The Pokémon brand truly is a property for all ages, and the ability to complete activities with cute new expression of recognizable Pokémon in Pokémon Playhouse offers our youngest fans the opportunity to explore the world of Pokémon in an environment made just for them,” said J.C. Smith, senior director of Consumer Marketing at The Pokémon Company. “As the popularity of the Pokémon brand continues to grow, we’re thrilled to launch the first-ever Pokémon preschool expression with Pokémon Playhouse, offering parents an age-appropriate and entertaining experience for the littlest Trainers in their family.”
The game takes place in and around a playhouse for Pokémon. All activities are cute and calming, such as grooming your Pokémon and finding Pokémon constellations in the stars. There are no reading or math skills required. A human character narrates the activities, and there are some light puzzles and stories kids can engage in.
The more you play with the Pokémon the stronger a bond you create. Completing activities and befriending Pokémon work toward hatching new eggs to add new Pokémon to your collection, such as Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Snorlax. Over 50 Pokémon are available to hatch, play, and befriend.
The Pokémon Playhouse app is available now on iOS and Android. It’s free to download and play.
Pokémon GO’s one year anniversary celebration is in full swing. Niantic has finally detailed what exactly is going down at their ticketed celebratory event Pokémon GO Fest, and it is a neat way to integrate with players all over the world.
Pokémon GO Fest takes place Saturday, July 22 in Grant Park, Chicago, IL. Three Challenge Windows will task both players at the festival and Pokémon GO players everywhere. For the first challenge, festival goers need to catch different types of Pokémon in order to unlock certain rewards. Catching enough water Pokémon grants an XP bonus, while Fire gives out more Candy. These are global rewards that will benefit everyone playing Pokémon GO.
If you’re not attending the event in Chicago, you can still participate. The duration of these earned bonuses are tied to how many Pokémon everyone else catches around the world. Reaching Bronze increases the bonus by 24 hours, and Silver by 48 hours. If enough Pokémon are caught to reach Gold tier, it will unlock the second Challenge Window, which Niantic is keeping a mystery. Completing the second Challenge will reward the third, which unlocks “a major global reward.”
Niantic hasn’t release the actual numbers required to hit any of these target goals. It would be disappointing for those who paid to play at Pokémon GO Fest to not even unlock the later challenges. I’m fairly certain Niantic won’t let that happen.
The one year mark is also celebrated through new loot boxes and hat-wearing Pikachu. Special Anniversary Boxes can be purchased at a discount in the in-game shop. They include Incubators, Ultra Balls, and Raid Passes for the recently added Raid Battles. Any wild-caught Pikachu can be found wearing Ash’s iconic hat from the Pokémon animated TV show. These extra perks last until July 24.
Pokémon GO Fest takes place on July 22.