Courtesy of Bleeding Cool's Will Romine:
In the months leading up to San Diego Comic-Con, I thought for sure that Niantic Labs would have a huge presence at SDCC. With the release of gym raid battles in June, my certainty topped 100%. In 2016, the demand for the Pokemon Go panel was so high that SDCC officials moved it to Hall H in response to an unprecedented fervor.
However, with Pokemon Go Fest taking place in Chicago this weekend, Niantic has no official presence at SDCC. But that doesn't mean that the PoGo players aren't out in full force. As I was walking to the convention center, I saw a heard of con attendees, walking lockstep and staring intently at their phones. Trailing from their phones were charging cables, which disappeared into the recesses of their backpacks. I can smell my own kind and booted up the PoGo app. Lo and behold, a legendary, at the San Diego Convention Center Gym, nonetheless! We joined the mass of other players seeking a Lugia of their own. There must have been at least 50 Pokemon trainers, and I do believe that every inch of the gym's GPS radius was filled to the brim. Though we defeated the Lugia, my skills as a trainer were not enough to capture it. I guess it just wasn't my day.
My curiosity turned to the gym itself. Surely, the convention center gym during SDCC must be one of the most contested gym in the country. I took a half an hour of my con day to observe this gym. In the span of 30 minutes, the gym turned over 17 times. As soon as 'mons were placed in the gym, their health bars started dropping immediately, only to be replaced by a rival team. I tried feeding them berries, but to no avail.
Niantic might want to take notice of this and plan a presence for 2018. A big showing has the potential to bring lapsed players back into the game and recruit new ones. Now if you'll excuse me, there's an Articuno that needs to be captured.