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Pokémon Go ‘community days’ try to recapture the magic of the game’s launch

Pokémon Go ‘community days’ try to recapture the magic of the game’s launch

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Pokemon Go
James Bareham / The Verge

In the spirit of Pokémon Go’s early days, Niantic is encouraging players to come together with official monthly meetups in a new initiative it’s calling Pokémon Go Community Day. The first Community Day kicks off on January 20th, and will feature double XP for trainers and unique items as well as special pokémon with unique abilities for trainers to hunt down.

The event will last for three hours across the world at local parks; players in the US should expect the event to last from 11AM to 2PM PT. “We’re constantly blown away by the passion of Pokémon Go players around the world, and we hope that each Pokémon Go Community Day will help add to the excitement of local events and meetups,” Niantic said. “Remember always to be alert and stay safe while playing and to be respectful of public spaces when exploring your community.” Additional info for each new event will be available on the Pokémon Go website.

Niantic pushed community events last summer, which it referred to then as “very much an experiment” for future events. The developer’s efforts to revitalize group meetups are a clear callback to the initial frenzy of Pokémon Go, when players would flock to local parks or attend player-initiated bar crawls. When Niantic tried to hold its own official event last summer, the day quickly soured as server and internet issues made the game unplayable and the crowds rowdy.

Monthly meetups may not come with all the bells and whistles promised by one giant gathering, but smaller crowds and no admission price make these events far more likely to succeed. Whether or not they can recapture the spirit of the original Pokémon Go launch roughly two years ago remains to be seen.