Since it’s launch last year, Pokémon Go has been something of a phenomenon. Part of the popularity comes from the sense of community the game has created. As a reward for players catching 3 billion Pokémon during a recent event, the legendary Ho-Oh will be available to catch for a short amount of time.
Last week, Pokémon Go developer Niantic challenged players to take part in the Global Catch Challenge. The company challenged trainers around the world to collectively catch billions of Pokémon. Reaching certain milestones unlocked different tiers of prizes, which included more Pokémon springing up around the globe, rare Pokémon, and more.
In response to trainers collecting 3 billion Pokémon, the highest prize tier, Niantic has brought Ho-Oh to Pokémon Go. For the next two weeks, until December 12, this Johto region legendary is appearing in raid battles at various gyms around the world. “We issued a challenge — and you answered the call,” said Niantic on the official Pokémon Go website.
Previous legendary Pokémon, including Lugia, Entei, and Mewtwo, were first released on a much more limited basis. This past summer, Niantic first released legendary Pokémon during a Pokémon Go festival in Chicago. The event went so poorly that some players proposed a lawsuit. Things have since improved, and Ho-Oh’s worldwide release should make it much easier to find by comparison.
Before going out to catch Ho-Oh, remember to pay attention to the surroundings. A new study, titled Death by Pokémon Go, has shown that the game is partially responsible for an increase in traffic accidents and traffic-related deaths. It’s important to look up from the phone and to put the game down while driving to local gyms and Pokéstops.
For those losing interest in Pokémon Go, Niantic has also announced that it has acquired the rights to produce a game set in the Harry Potter universe. Wizards Unite will follow the same basic structure as Pokémon Go, in that players will need to explore real-world neighborhoods and cities in order to learn and cast spells. discover mysterious artifacts, and encounter legendary beasts and characters. Further gameplay specifics have yet to be revealed.