Niantic Labs isn’t letting something like a little old day-long public relations disaster get in the way of more public Pokémon Go events.
After a struggling through Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago — where long lines and network issues turned what was meant to be a mass gathering of happy fans into an angry mob, resulting in the CEO of Niantic Labs being booed on stage — Niantic effectively hit pause on future Pokémon Go events until it could sort out just what went wrong. But now the studio is ready to talk about what’s next: A series of Pokémon Go Safari Zone gatherings in Europe.
The first gatherings are set for Sept. 16 in three different countries. All of the events will be located at Unibail-Rodamco Shopping Centres at CentrO in Oberhausen, Germany; Les Quatre Temps in Paris, France; and La Maquinista in Barcelona, Spain.
One month later, Niantic will host four additional Safari Zone events. Fans in Copenhagen, Denmark and Prague, The Czech Republic can participate on Oct. 7 at Fisketorvet and Centrum Černý Most, respectively. Then, on Oct. 14, two more events are scheduled at the Mall of Scandinavia, in Stockholm, Sweden; and at Stadshart Amstelveen, in Amstelveen, The Netherlands.
A ticket is required to attend any of these events. The tickets themselves are free, but to get one for the Sept. 16 events you’ll need to check out each shopping center host’s Facebook page. Ticket information for the October events will be released at a later date.
The Europe events have a different name, but it sounds like they’ll work just like Pokémon Go Fest did in Chicago. In addition to having a chance to socialize, attending fans can look forward to a full day’s worth of Pokémon-catching activities.
For starters, all PokéStops connected to the events will hand out an in-game medal and special “2 km” Eggs (which hatch after you record 2 kilometers worth of steps). Lures will be active all day at each PokéStop as well, though — in a nod to the cooperative spirit of the day — Gym and Raid Battles won’t be available in event locations.
After July’s public stumble — which, it’s worth noting, Niantic handled right away with class and transparency — it’s good to see Pokémon Go getting back to these public gatherings. They seem like a great idea for a game that’s built to get people out of the house and socializing with like-minded strangers.