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Here’s why everyone was playing Pokemon Go over the weekend

Millions of Pokemon trainers from around the world took part during this year’s online-only Pokémon Go Fest and caught nearly 1 billion Pokemon according to the game’s developer Niantic. 

The online festival was held over two days from 25 to 26 July and was opened for the first time to players regardless of their physical location, making it their biggest festival to date. To participate in the festival, players had to buy a two-day pass via the game’s in-app store for USD 14.99 (about RM64).

Throughout the festival, players sent 55 million gifts to one another and even though the event was designed to play from home, players on average walked nearly 15km each. Last year’s festival was held in Chicago, Dortmund and Yokohama.

The event involved giving players new quests each day that culminated with a battle against the devious Team Rocket on the last day of the festival. Participating players were also rewarded with the opportunity to encounter and potentially catch mythical Pokémon such as Victini that was made available in the game for the first time.

The festival also provided players with the chance to catch new shiny Pokemon and regional Pokémon that appear outside their typical habitats. There were still, however, not as many to be found as compared to an in-person event.

Pokemon Go players were able to connect with other players around the world via the Global Challenge Arena where they were united around a common goal to complete a challenge and unlock a bonus.

Niantic previously announced that it pledged a minimum of USD5 million (about RM21 million) from the ticket sales to help fund nonprofit organisations in the US as well as funding new projects from Black gaming and AR creators in an effort to increase diversity in content that is created.

The company also announced that based on the number of tickets sold, it increased its pledge to more than USD10 million (about RM42 million).

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