For those still playing Pokemon GO, and statistics suggest that it’s a lot of you, there may be some good news around the corner. According to a post on the game’s official Facebook page, players might see an increase in Pokemon spawns.
“With Halloween around the corner, we anticipate Trainers may encounter more Pokémon in the real world. The AR camera is a great way to capture and share these encounters with your friends!”
And while that’s not a lot to go on, it’s led to a lot of speculation. Some think that the number of ghost-type Pokemon wandering around will increase exponentially, and others are suggesting that there might be an increase in rare Pokemon spawns on the day itself. And many are suggesting that the world’s first Pokemon GO event will be held on Halloween. Gamenguide, meanwhile, has suggested that Niantic Labs, the developer of Pokemon GO, might significantly increase the amount of candy available on Halloween.
Halloween. Candy. Get it?
Of course, this is all speculation at this point. It’s unlikely, whatever people are saying, that Niantic will actually hold an official event with Halloween only one week away. Niantic’s first game was Ingress, another AR game on which Pokemon GO‘s maps are based. Niantic regularly holds Ingress events – they’re one of the game’s biggest draws – complete with a story that is driven by the results of the events, narrated by actors in the roles of the game story’s characters. And as Today Online reports, Ingress events can be a pretty big deal.
Of course, with that comes a lot of effort. Niantic was announcing and planning the next Ingress event, called Via Noir, the moment the last event ended. And so, while Niantic has expressed interest in also holding Pokemon GO events, it’s fairly unlikely that we’ll see an announcement for one for a much larger game on such short notice. According to Tech Times, CEO John Hanke has hinted that he wants to hold similar events for Pokemon GO, and they would be part social and part competitive.
Hanke also added that he wants to see full-on PVP added to the game, along with Pokemon Centers, trading, and genuinely rare Pokemon, such as the legendary birds, which are apparently already in the game’s code. He said that the current version of Pokemon GO was simply a “minimum viable product” and that there is still a lot to come. This is something we’ve always suspected, given that the game has never gone above version zero-point-something.
In any case, it does seem as if an official announcement that players “may encounter” more Pokemon is as good as saying it’s going to happen, and the question now becomes whether that will only apply to Halloween, or if there will be a larger number of spawns throughout the next week. Or maybe on the last three days. Or on the night itself.
We don’t know. What we do know, however, is that Pokemon GO players will be saddling up and out walking to find out. According to Recode, a month-long study by Microsoft Research and Stanford University suggests that players of the game walked 25 percent more after downloading Pokemon GO than they did before the game was released. Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research said that the results were emphatic.
“In the short time span of the study, we estimate that Pokemon Go has added a total of 144 billion steps to U.S. physical activity.”
That’s a lot of steps. And that’s a lot of Pokemon.
Hopefully, we’ll all be seeing some increased returns in the days to come.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]