Pokémon GO Event Review: Ultra Beasts Arrival: Global

The Ultra Beasts that have been released thus far returned to Pokémon GO at the climax of the Season of Light for what can only be described as an invasion. Niantic hyped this event up quite bit, but did the actual gameplay live up to the marketing?

Pokémon GO Ultra Beasts Arrival graphic. Credit: Niantic
Pokémon GO Ultra Beasts Arrival graphic. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Niantic's marketing: During the weekend of Ultra Beast: Arrival, Niantic's social media feed treated the event like a worldwide invasion. Using found footage and stellar graphics, we were treated to videos of the Ultra Beasts arriving amongst humanity. We even got visual teases of future, unreleased Ultra Beasts including Poipole, Naganadel, Stakataka, and Blacephalon. This was one of the coolest things that Niantic did all year, managing to engage players with footage featuring the mysterious arrival of Pokémon that… well, let's be real, that had already arrived in the game months ago. Which leads us to…

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • Nothing new in the game?!: Maaaaan, the marketing was good! It was fun to watch unfold but, when it comes down to it, the event itself was not fun. There was virtually nothing new added to the game. I love me some raids, yes, but all of the Ultra Beasts featured had already had their global arrival in raid rotations and previous events. We didn't even get a single Shiny release or a new Ultra Beast drop. You could have totally skipped the event and not missed out on any special features. The marketing sold the event so well that many Trainers assumed there had to be something secret being dropped during the event to make sense of the social media push for the event, but nope. Just a complete miss.

Overall

Ultra Beasts Arrival: Global is exactly how Niantic should market major Pokémon GO events and exactly the opposite of how they should structure them.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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