Pokémon GO Fest 2021: 5 Years and Going Strong

Pokémon GO Fest will feature a branching Special Research mission focused on Pikachu Pop Star and Pokémon Rock Star. Hopefully, a future event will give us the best Cosplay Pikachu: Pikachu Ph. D.

The yearly celebration that Pokémon GO Fest 2021 is virtual again this year and tickets are discounted to $5 (US). I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow (July 17, 2021) and catching some rare pokémon. Since legendary raids are going to be in abundance I have an opportunity to complete my shiny Regi collection. I only need Registeel to have the whole set until Regidrago and Regieleki show up at some point in the future. It is kind of amazing that Pokémon GO has continued on strong, even stronger really, than the initial surge we saw in 2016. It will be interesting to see if it continues to be the mobile money printer that it currently is. In terms of pokémon games, it's probably the only one I can confidently say I have consistently played for 5 years. The main series games are replaced way more than that, rather than built upon. Pokémon Sword and Shield, for example, are the only main pokémon games to ever get DLC with new pokémon.

Despite the initial problems people had with Megas, I like that Pokémon GO is keeping them in the spotlight. Maybe it will even get Gamefreak to add more in the future so that "Mega Raids" continue to be relevant?

Speaking of new pokémon, it's weird to think about but Pokémon GO had almost caught up with the main series games. We are currently working through Kalos and its Gen 6 dex, however it's clear from the 5th anniversary art seen above that Gen 7 pokémon are coming. Litten, Rowlet, and Popplio are all featured. Hypothetically, this means we could start seeing some Gen 8 pokémon (not counting the Galarian forms and their evolutions that we already have) in fall/winter 2022. Likely, it would just be the starters, but still, I doubt we'd be seeing Generation 9 games until at least 2023. This means for at least for a time, Pokémon GO and the main series would be on the same page. I don't think Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be giving us any new pokémon, but it is possible. Since that game is coming out in 2022, I'd be very shocked to see a new gen start the same year. I think the only way I think we would get new pokémon is if some new evolutions or formes in the Arceus game. I'm not expecting it though. It is important to note that we are still missing a few pokémon from older generations, but I don't feel like that would slow down the pace at which Pokémon GO adds new pokémon. We're currently on Gen 6, but we're still missing Kecleon which is a Gen 3 pokémon. 

If Pokémon GO does slow down the rate that they add new regional dexes to continue to maintain a gap between the current main series generation and the pokémon available in Pokémon GO, I don't think this would cause a massive decline in popularity and GO would still continue to be a force in mobile gaming. I guess it just depends on how often the community wants to see new pokémon added. At the best of times the pokémon community, at least those loud online, can be incredibly unruly. Every game announcement, GO or otherwise, seems to attract people who feel it is important that everyone know how much they are upset about everything. Despite that, all main series pokémon games and GO continue to rake in the dough so the complaints likely fall on relatively unsympathetic ears.

The future aside, I'm still enjoying Pokémon GO and as long as it continues to be supported. At the very least, it has really helped me get shiny legendary pokémon without spending hours soft-resetting. As an adult with a kid and a career, I just can't find the sheer amount of time required to do that sort of thing anymore. Pokémon GO has provided the excellent ability for me to continue to play pokémon every day, but in small doses. I hope it continues to be the staple of my weekday lunch hour that it has become and I welcome any quality of life improvements, should Niantic adopt and actually keep them. I can easily see me playing GO for another 5 years, and beyond.


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