Pokemon Go has always been a game meant to be played outside. Developer Niantic is eager to remind players of this and even more eager to remind everyone that outdoor Go Fests are happening in Seattle, Berlin, and Sapporo in the coming months. We spoke with Pokemon Go’s director of global live events Humberto Kam recently about why now is the time to take Pokemon Go outside again, even with lingering COVID concerns, and Niantic shared a presentation doubling down on why now is the time to go back outside to catch Pokemon.
Niantic founder John Hanke and Pokemon Go’s director of live product, Michael Steranka, were on hand to talk about returning to live events, share optimism that this year will mark a return to the excitement the game appreciated when it launched in 2016, and remind that playing social games outside has always been a core Niantic value.
Hanke also reminisced and commiserated about the past. The 2017 Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago was the first the company ever held on that kind of scale and there is no sugar-coating what happened–it did not go well.