Almost 1 Billion Pokémon Caught At GO Fest 2020, Niantic Reports

Niantic has put out their post-GO Fest 2020 recap, including pictures, new information, and stunning stats from the Pokémon GO event. This past weekend saw GO Fest 2020 take over the game for both ticketed and non-ticket holders, giving both a weekend's worth of fun in the world of the mobile game. While we look ahead by speculating on GO Fest 2021 and what such an event, whether digital like this year's or at a physical location like pre-pandemic events, will entail, let's also look back at what has come from 2020 and what Niantic has to say.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.

First, the incredible numbers that Niantic reported:

Trainers caught nearly 1 billion Pokémon.

Trainers defeated over 58 million Team GO Rocket members.

Trainers sent 55 million Gifts.

Trainers on average walked nearly 15 kilometers each.

I would be even more intrigued to hear how many raids were completed, but since Niantic has monetized that portion of the game, they may be more likely to hold those stats close to the chest. Also, the kilometers walked and Gifts sent are likely far higher, as the hour-long shut down during the Friendship biome limited Friendship interactions and also shut Adventure Sync off without notification. While there were few other hiccups during the ten-hour event on either day, these stats would be significantly impacted.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.

One of the most underrated aspects of the game is GO Snapshot. With Niantic's AR+ turned on in Pokémon GO, photographs can now combine Pokémon with the real world with much greater efficiency than their standard AR. Niantic showed this off in their press release with a collection of photos featuring trainers enjoying GO Fest and, of course, flexing with some photographs of their latest Shiny Pokémon.

Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Pokémon GO Fest 2020 retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.

Niantic offered an update on their charitable donations as well. They are planning to double their initial pledge of $5 million " to fund nonprofit organizations in the U.S. that are helping local communities rebuild" and projects from Black gaming and AR content creators "with the ultimate goal of increasing content that represents a more diverse view on the world." Their pledge is now over $10 million.

Ending the update on an emotional note, Niantic Director of Marketing and Global Live Events Michael Steranka said:

"This past weekend was about coming together as part of a global community, connecting over a love for Pokémon GO, and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated or who helped make this event possible. Until we can all meet again in the same park and under the same sky—let's GO!"

Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.
Event retrospective promo image. Credit: Niantic.

Until then, at least, Niantic is doing an incredible job adjusting their game, which has become a lifestyle for many players, to the current situation.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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