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Pokemon GO makes top 10 consumer spend and monthly active users for mobile games in Q2 2020

Pokemon GO keeps pulling in big numbers

App Annie has put out their mobile games report for Q2 2020, and once again we see that Pokemon GO is killing it. According to the company's report, Pokemon GO made #4 overall in player spend for the quarter, and came in 8th for monthly active users. Pretty damn good for a game that's 4 years old!

Look up, Trainers—Team GO Rocket balloons have arrived in Pokémon GO

Blasting off again!

Mysterious balloons have popped up in the sky, and the culprit is Team GO Rocket! With these Team GO Rocket balloon invasions, you can now battle Team GO Rocket anywhere on the map. We ask that you keep an eye out for balloons in the sky and battle the Team GO Rocket Grunts and Leaders piloting them. Who knows—you may even find Giovanni! Reports show that they appear once every few hours, but could appear more often during takeovers.

1. Tap a balloon to battle Team GO Rocket: Be ready for a challenge! Tap a Team GO Rocket balloon, pick your battle party, and defeat Team GO Rocket to rescue their Shadow Pokémon. Team GO Rocket balloons will hover near you for a limited time, so be sure to check the map for balloons and tap them before they fly away!

2. Equip your Rocket Radar to encounter balloons with Team GO Rocket Leaders: When you have a Rocket Radar equipped, you can find Sierra, Cliff, or Arlo piloting a Team GO Rocket balloon.

3. Equip your Super Rocket Radar to encounter Giovanni: It appears that even the boss of Team GO Rocket himself can be found riding in a Team GO Rocket balloon! If you activate and equip a Super Rocket Radar, Giovanni’s balloon is certain to appear.

Turns out, Professor Willow and the team leaders were on to something when they discovered those scraps of paper! With Team GO Rocket flying across the world of Pokémon GO, we’ll need as many of you as possible to help defeat them! Keep an eye out for these Rocket balloons, and continue to train. Hopefully this will be the extent of their mischief and they’ll surrender now before we have to prepare for more fights. But just in case...we might have to revisit the original plan for the GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Battle Timed Research. Stay tuned for more updates on what that Timed Research will now entail, as well as the accompanying battle-themed event.

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidance from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change.

Pokemon GO Level 5 Raid Boss changed to Kyurem

Change is good

Pokemon GO has seen another change to Raid Bosses. For the next few weeks, Kyurem will be the Level 5 Raid Boss. When Kyurem is being swapped out for a new Raid Boss, we'll be sure to let you know.

GoNintendo Thought: Remembering the phenomenon of Pokemon GO's launch on its 4th anniversary

What a magical Summer it was

Ah, the Summer of 2016. A magical time that I don't think we'll ever be able to recapture, but we can still look back on it fondly! That's exactly what we're doing today, to celebrate Pokemon GO's 4th anniversary. As always, thanks for reading.

Believe it or not, Pokemon GO has been around for four years as of today. It's crazy to think that much time has passed since the augmented reality game hit mobile markets, but here we are. Four long years later and the game is still going ridiculously strong. It defied expectations, constantly reinvents itself, and woos trainers back every single month. To see the game continue to grow as time rolls on has been nothing short of amazing.

All that praise said, there's one piece of Pokemon GO history that will always stand out in my mind above all others. That moment comes from the game's initial launch in Summer of 2016. There was an insane amount of hype leading into the game's launch, and pretty much all parties involved knew it was going to be a hit. The thing is, I don't think anyone, be it players or developers alike, knew the game would become nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon.

I honestly can't think of anything else in pop culture during my lifetime that measures up to the launch of Pokemon GO. There have been big moments like the release of Avengers: Endgame, where millions of Marvel fans came together to enjoy the culmination of a cinematic universe. There were other crazy popular trends like Pogs and Beanie Babies, which dominated the market and moved ungodly amounts of units. All those moments in pop culture history are important, but I feel they pale in comparison to what Pokemon GO managed to do.

Pokemon GO releasing became a hallmark moment for the Pokemon franchise. The hype behind this game was absolutely humongous. Fans who had stayed with the franchise since day one were chomping at the bit to give it a go. Lapsed players couldn't resist the pull of what Pokemon GO was offering either. A chance to take Pokemon outside of the confines of traditional gaming hardware and move into the real world seemed surreal. It was something that was just too good to pass up.

Those fans, from longtime to lapsed, are what gave Pokemon GO its initial boost right out of the gate. They were the first wave of players to give the game notoriety. Millions of fans put a stranglehold on the game from day one, bringing servers to their knees, causing login issues, and making the game pretty much unplayable. You might think that would be the death knell for a game, but it was this attention that put even more eyes on the experience. When something starts off as hot as Pokemon GO did, and then others are interested in trying things out only to find they can't get in, it just makes the hype build up.

The way in which Pokemon GO is played also helped it ride to a new wave of popularity as the Summer months rolled on. Pokemon GO was a game that promoted itself. It put players out in the real world, walking the streets with their phone in hand, interacting with the environment. Anyone else around Pokemon GO players couldn't help but notice what they were doing. You saw groups of people wandering around, making lots of noise and laughing, and you were automatically intrigued. You wanted to know what those people were doing, and you wanted a piece of the action.

That early buzz just continued to grow and grow. In just a matter of weeks, it seemed impossible to avoid Pokemon GO if you went outside. Every corner you turned, every store you visited, you were going to see people playing. Everyone already had a cell phone, and now they were all using them to hunt down Pokemon for their collection. The game reached more and more people through word of mouth, and people poured in at a ridiculous rate. It was an absolute explosion in popularity unlike anything else.

I will never, ever forget that first Summer with Pokemon GO. I happened to be on vacation in North Carolina's Outer Banks at the time. I was in a house with roughly 20 family members, and almost all of them were playing Pokemon GO. We'd hit the beaches to wander around and collect Pokemon, track them down while we were shopping at the outlets, and wander the strip late at night to see if we could snag one of the more elusive catches. It was such a bonding experience, and it was truly lovely to see everyone coming together to enjoy the same thing.

That idea of a shared experience only grew when we went into more highly-populated areas. Going out to dinner would connect you with hundreds of other people playing. You'd talk with people in line who were sharing tips on where the hot areas were. You'd try your best to take over a gym, only to have your Pokemon defeated just minutes after your success. You could hear the quiet hum of the Pokemon GO theme everywhere you went. It's not an exaggeration to say that for that Summer, Pokemon GO was almost everywhere.

Seeing so many people out in the world sharing the same fun...it was honestly beautiful. Everyone was getting joy from the same thing. Everyone was coming together and connecting in a way that doesn't usually happen. People were hitting the streets and parks, neighborhoods and cities to get some exercise and go on a hunt. Pokemon GO was THE thing to do that Summer. It was almost inescapable, and became a part of daily life for many months to come.

TV news programs were sharing stories about Pokemon GO popularity. Political candidates were discussing it in their speeches. Live-streamers were taking their shows on the road to capture Pokemon. Newspapers had massive features on the game's success. Every facet of pop culture was talking about Pokemon GO, and hundreds of millions were taking part in the sensation. It will forever be a moment in not just video game history, but entertainment history.

Looking back on that Summer launch now almost brings a tear to my eyes. I have such vivid memories of walking down streets with my fiance with a gobsmacked look on my face. I couldn't get over the fact that people everywhere were playing. I can't accurately express how it made me feel, or write about it eloquently. Something about seeing everyone join together for a bit of fun, forgetting their worries for a Summer...it really was something else.

While Pokemon GO isn't going to hit that same level of phenomenon ever again, I'm so happy to see that it remains extremely popular. There are still millions of people playing, and they're helping the game reach new heights in terms of revenue and success. The way Pokemon GO has reworked itself time and time again since launch, adding new features and tweaking elements, has been extremely impressive. It's helped to not only retain original players, but foster a new group of trainers as well. Niantic in particular has done a fantastic job adjusting the game to players' needs, especially in today's unique circumstances. While there have been some bumps along the way, I think overall they've done a job well worth some praise.

There have been a lot of great moments in gaming history, but Pokemon GO's rise to success could very well be my favorite. It was a moment in time that will most likely never be repeated. I'm just happy I got to be a part of that moment, and will have the memories for the rest of my life.

Team GO Rocket teasing major activity for Pokemon GO tomorrow

Team GO Rocket is up to their old tricks

Tomorrow’s a big day, Team GO Rocket!

Team GO Rocket has some major plans for Pokemon GO tomorrow. The team sent out a special email to Pokemon GO trainers just today, detailing something big that they're looking to launch tomorrow. That email was quickly followed up by a second email telling trainers to ignore the message they received. This was all done in kayfabe, meaning the staged events were portrayed as real, in character.

What's Team GO Rocket going to do in Pokemon GO tomorrow? I guess we're all going to find out soon enough!

Thanks to AlienboyVA for the heads up!

Pokemon GO Battle League Season 2 shift, social feature now live

New content, trainers!

Two tidbits about Pokemon GO to share today, as there's some new content for players to take advantage of. Check out the details below.

Battle League Season 2

- shifted to the Master League format
- the special new format, Premier Cup, allows for you to use Pokémon of any CP, but prevents the usage of Legendary and Mythical Pokémon
- format will run two for thee weeks, ending July 20th

Social feature

- the Niantic Social feature is now live
- this feature will show if your friends are online,
- you have a toggle to allow for you to show if you're online when playing Pokémon GO or other games run by Niantic
- you can also now sort friend lists by who is online

Pokémon GO Surpasses $3.6 Billion in Lifetime Revenue

Pokemon GO still has it

Sensor Tower is back with another report on Pokemon GO, this time sharing data on the game's total revenue since launch. Believe it or not, the game has managed to surpass $3.6 billion since launching, which just goes to show how strong the title still is. Get the full breakdown on revenue and morebelow.

- 2019 was a record year for player spending in the title, with Pokémon GO generating $905 million globally
- the previous best year was 2016, when it generated an estimated $832.5 million in just six months
- the United States has generated close to $1.3 billion, or 35.4 percent of player spending
- Japan ranks No. 2 and Germany rounds out the top three
- Google Play accounts for $1.9 billion, or 53.6 percent of player spending
- the App Store has generated close to $1.7 billion, or 46.4 percent total revenue
- to date, Pokémon GO has accumulated 576.7 million unique downloads worldwide
- the U.S. accounts for 105.2 million, or 18.2 percent
- Brazil is No. 2 with close to 63 million downloads, while Mexico ranks No. 3 with more than 36 million installs, or 6.3 percent.
- Google Play represents the largest share of downloads, accounting for more than 450 million downloads, or 78.3 percent
- the App Store accounts for 125.4 million installs, or 21.7 percen
- in the first half of 2020, Pokémon GO has generated $445.3 million

Pokemon GO Fest 2020's commercial was directed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson

The force is strong in this spot

Pokemon Co. put out a special trailer for Pokemon GO Fest 2020, which also happens to mark the 4th anniversary of the game. To celebrate the special occasion, Pokemon Co. reached out to Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to create the debut promo video. That's a pretty big name to have attached to the game!

Johnson worked with Niantic and The Pokémon Company International to create this spot during the lockdown. It was Johnson who came up with the unique 'peeling back' feature you see in the spot. It also doesn't hurt that Johnson is a well-known Pokemon GO fan!

Look closer to discover what Pokémon GO Fest 2020 has in store

4 years of Pokemon GO!

Happy fourth anniversary, Pokémon GO! We’re happy to have spent four amazing years with all of you. Whoever you are and wherever you are, the world of Pokémon GO is always there for you to jump into and explore. Today, we’re excited to debut a special commercial in celebration of this year’s global Pokémon GO Fest and the joy of being alongside Pokémon in the real world.

Are you ready to look closer? You might be surprised what you find! Don’t forget, the Pokémon GO Fest Weekly Challenges have already kicked off! Take part in these challenges to unlock Pokémon for GO Fest and make your team leaders proud.

Be sure to check the Niantic blog and the Pokémon GO Fest website for more updates in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to share them all with you. If you haven’t bought your Pokémon GO Fest tickets yet, be sure to make your purchase in the in-app shop! Until we can all meet again in the same park and under the same sky...let’s GO!

Please be aware of your surroundings and follow guidelines from local health authorities when playing Pokémon GO. Upcoming events are subject to change.

Complete Timed Research and Encounter Ducklett and Flying Pikachu in Pokémon GO

GO have some fun, trainers!

Pokémon GO is celebrating its fourth anniversary this summer! To mark the occasion (and in anticipation of Pokémon GO Fest 2020), there are three weeks of challenges in the form of Timed Research lines. By completing these Timed Research lines, Trainers can unlock additional Pokémon that will appear during Pokémon GO Fest 2020 on July 25 and July 26. There are other cool bonuses as well, including encounters with special Pokémon. Even if you don't have a Pokémon GO Fest 2020 ticket, you can still participate in these three weeks of challenges.

The first weekly challenge takes place from Friday, July 3, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 10:00 p.m., local time, and it coincides with Pokémon GO's fourth anniversary.

Catch Special Pokémon

During this fourth anniversary event, special Pokémon will be appearing in the wild, hatching from Eggs, and appearing in raids. Look for plenty of Flying-type Pokémon and Pokémon wearing party hats—and if you're lucky, you might find a Shiny Pidove. Ducklett will be making its Pokémon GO debut in the wild and hatching from 5 km Eggs. You'll also be able to encounter Flying Pikachu in the wild and in raids. And yes, there's a chance you might even find a Shiny Flying Pikachu!

GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Skill Timed Research

The first week's challenge is designed to test your Pokémon catching skills, including your throwing technique. If you can complete all three sets of tasks in the GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Skill Timed Research, you will earn an encounter with Ducklett, an encounter with Flying Pikachu, a Star Piece, and more.

Furthermore, if the following numbers of Trainers from the same team complete this Timed Research, the corresponding Pokémon will appear during Pokémon GO Fest 2020:

One million Team Instinct Trainers: Alolan Exeggutor

One million Team Mystic Trainers: Snorlax

One million Team Valor Trainers: Chansey

Plus, if you complete the GO Fest Weekly Challenge: Skill Timed Research, you'll earn access to the GO Fest Elite Skill Challenge. This is a set of difficult tasks that you can complete to earn personal bragging rights. Be aware that you don't need to complete these tasks for your Timed Research to count toward the Pokémon GO Fest 2020 unlock goals.

Challenge Ho-Oh

The Legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh is flying in to heat up the festivities. From Friday, July 3, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to Monday, July 6, 2020, at 10:00 p.m., local time, this Fire- and Flying-type Pokémon will appear in five-star raids. Be sure you have your Remote Raid Passes ready to go! If you need some tips to defeat the Rainbow Pokémon, be sure to check out our strategy article.

More Fourth Anniversary Event Features

The Jump-Start Special Research will also be available this week for any Trainers who missed it during last year's anniversary celebration. To claim this Special Research, be sure to open the game between July 3, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. and July 8, 2020, at 10:00 p.m., local time. This Special Research will net you plenty of Stardust and XP along with some cool Pokémon encounters. It's a great way to catch up with other Trainers who might be at a higher level than you. Don't forget to take advantage of this great bonus.

Also, if you take a snapshot during this event, you might just discover a fun surprise!

As you can see, there's quite a bit of fun packed into this first week of challenges. Be sure to check back later to see what's in store for the remaining two weeks leading up to Pokémon GO Fest 2020!

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