Pokemon GO trainers are still eagerly awaiting the announcement for a big Pokemon GO Anniversary event, possibly with some sort of special Shiny Pikachu.
However, while PoGO players wait, Niantic has announced its first UK-specific event coming this month, in conjunction with Big Heritage and the ancient city of Chester.
“Niantic Labs, the developer and publisher of Pokemon GO, The Pokemon Company International and Big Heritage, the UK heritage organisation, have partnered to curate historical locations throughout the ancient city of Chester within Pokemon GO to encourage community engagement and education.” an official Pokemon GO announcement explains.
The event starts on the weekend of Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of July and includes events staged across Chester, including activities based at Chester Castle, which will be open to the public for the first time in 20 years.
“Visitors to the city will be able to take part in a number of fun trail activities, with in-game and real-world surprises for Pokémon GO players,” explain Niantic.
The weekend of special Pokemon GO events coincides with the annual Chester Heritage Festival, which celebrates the heritage of one of the world’s most historic cities.
Historical sites will be turned into PokéStops that players can interact with and Niantic say that Big Heritage will also be working with schools across the Cheshire and Merseyside regions as part of an initiative to encourage young people to explore and learn about their local area by playing Pokémon GO together.
“I am incredibly excited about this partnership linking local history and Pokémon GO. We love the idea of using mobile games as a motivation for families to play outside together and perhaps to learn something interesting while they are at it!” said Niantic CEO and founder John Hanke.
Big Heritage founder Dean Paton also added:
“We are so excited about working with Niantic Labs, who are true innovators in their field, and as passionate as we are about getting people exploring and learning about the world around them. It’s a genuine coup for Chester to be the ‘test bed’ for some amazing new ideas, and we hope we can use the game based on the iconic and beloved Pokemon brand as a tool for helping more people get excited about the past.”
Meanwhile, fans are still waiting on their Anniversary event, which many believe could be rolled out later today after Niantic commemorated the occasion with a brand new image on Twitter last night.
The Niantic Tweet which was posted read “Thanks for joining us for an amazing first year of Pokemon Go, Trainers! Tweet us your favourite Pokemon GO story”
However, Niantic hasn’t followed up with any news about an event.
While no one knows quite when the event might happen, Players do at least know that there is something planned after Pokemon GO dataminers discovered that the game’s most recent update contained code that pointed to some sort of anniversary feature.
According to the Pokemon GO Hub “a new ONE_YEAR_ANNIVERSARY flag was silently added to the APK, likely indicating that a special event will take place on the game’s anniversary.”
While no one can say for sure what the anniversary event may entail, there’s been plenty of suggestions that are worth taking into consideration.
SlashGear claims that the event could involve Niantic releasing a new Shiny Pikachu Pokemon.
Code for the Shiny Pikachu among many more Pokemon was added to the games back end some time ago, but Niantic has yet to release anymore outside of the Magikarp and Gyarados.
Should the game opt to add a Shiny Pikachu it will likely be just as difficult to obtain as the Shiny Magikarp, which for many regular players has proved incredibly elusive.
In addition, there has been more clues to suggest some new rare Pikachu could be added to the game.
“In an email sent out to certain people attending SIGGRAPH 2017 (a computer graphics convention in Los Angeles), it was mentioned that “Niantic, Inc., creator of Pokemon GO, will release a rare Pikachu.,” writes Pokemon GO Informer.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 6, 2017
“However, all this memo mentions is a rare Pikachu, not a shiny Pikachu. For all we know, it could be another hat-wearing Pikachu, or a surfing Pikachu, or a flying Pikachu, etc.
“This rare Pikachu could even be exclusive to the people who are attending SIGGRAPH 2017! We just don’t know yet.”
There’s also a suggestion that the game might release a special Pikachu wearing Ash’s famous hat.
According to the Pokemon GO Hub.
“A trailer tweeted by the official Japanese Pokémon Youtube channel features a Pikachu interacting with PokéStops. The special Pikachu wears Ash’s famous Trainer Hat.”
This is supposedly in conjunction with the Celebration of 20 Years of Pokémon which is commonly using a Pikachu wearing ash’s baseball cap.
Earlier this year, for Pokemon Sun and Moon on the 3DS, players were able to attain a special Pikachu wearing Ash’s hat.
This was to tie into the anime’s 20th anniversary and included six different variants on the Pikachu, which can be seen in the gallery above.