Pokémon GO Event Review: Ed Sheeran Event 2021

The Season of Mischief in Pokémon GO ended with two simultaneous events. One of those events was expected: the Mischief Unbound Event which saw the release of Hoopa Unbound through the Form Changing mechanic. Then, we got something no one would've seen coming with the Squirtle-themed Ed Sheeran event. Was this collaboration between Pokémon GO and Sheeran all just hype or was something of value offered to players? Let's take a look.

Ed Sheeran in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Ed Sheeran in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Another chance at Sunglasses Squirtle: Niantic, hear me now! This was a good move. We used to get more second chances at previously-released costumed Pokémon, but now, instead, we're just getting a ton of new costumed species. This type of Pokémon is considered highly desired in its Shiny form, but their availability exclusively during events makes them difficult to obtain. Offering redemption chances at catching previous released Costumes for those who missed them or weren't playing at the time is great for the long-term health of the game.
  • Unique idea: This was indeed an event like no other. Sheeran fans likely enjoyed the fact that you could see the pop star's concert through the app. While other aspects of the event left a lot to be desired, this was a strong idea in that it offered something of actual content value rather than just a flimsy tie to Squirtle being Sheeran's favorite Pokémon.

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • Weak spawns: Outside of Squirtle, wow. The overwhelming focus on Water-type spawns made this an event that was largely worth skipping. There simply wasn't much to do as far as hunting Pokémon in the wild.
  • Length: Why this event was a week-long and both parts of the Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Celebration Event were just a couple of days, I'll never understand. This was way too long.

Overall

Overall, this was an interesting idea that could've been a fine two- or three-day event. Stretching this one out while undercutting more interesting events shows a continuing lack of awareness regarding player desires in Pokémon GO on Niantic's part.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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