Pokémon Go will host real-life events to celebrate its anniversary

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It’s a little hard to believe, but Pokémon Go has been out for almost a full year. To celebrate, Niantic Labs announced that it’s planning a number of in-game and in-person events.

The first big event, called the Solstice Event, will take place in the game. This will happen on June 13th, and it’ll include Fire-type and Ice-type pokémon, XP bonuses, and discounted Lucky Eggs. The team also announced that it’ll soon release a new update that focuses on collaborative gameplay which hints at a “new way” to play the game, but will also temporarily close down in-game gyms for a short while.

Diehard players can also take part in the first in-person event in July: Pokémon Go Fest Chicago, which is scheduled for July 22nd, 2017. Tickets for the event will go on sale on June 19th. (Pricing and schedule are not currently available, so it’s unclear what will actually go down at the festival.) There are other events planned for Europe between July and September, too, while Japan will get an event called “Pikachu Outbreak” in Yokohama in August. More details on those events are forthcoming.

It’s not clear what the new collaborative gameplay update will be. It’s rumored that the company is giving the gyms a bit of an update to help combat cheating, and that it’s planning on introducing raids. Allowing players to team up or play against one another in the gyms feels like a logical step. Pokémon has always been an enormously collaborative franchise, and the emphasis for players to not only play against each other, but meet one another in the real world is something that’s been credited for making it the powerhouse that it is today.

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