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On November 19, Niantic, Inc. and The Pokémon Company announced Pokémon GO Travel and The Global Catch Challenge. The latter was a challenge for Pokémon trainers around the world to capture 3 billion Pokémon collectively in just one week. Niantic announced the following reward tiers for the challenge:
- Bronze: 500 million catches would unlock double XP, increase duration of lures placed on Poké Stops to six hours (up from 30 minutes), and unlock more Pokémon globally.
- Silver: 1.5 billion catches would unlock double XP and double stardust, increase duration of lures placed on Poké Stops to six hours (up from 30 minutes), and unlock even more Pokémon globally.
- Gold: 3 billion catches would also double XP and double stardust, increase the duration of lures placed on Poké Stops to six hours (up from 30 minutes), and unlock even more Pokémon globally. Additionally, the East Asian region-exclusive Farfetch’d would be available worldwide for 48 hours and the Australian region-exclusive Pokémon Kangaskhan would be available for 48 hours in East Asia.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday trainers around the world worked together to achieve this goal. Saturday evening Pokémon GO said in a tweet: “Congratulations, Trainers! You did it! You’ve caught over 3 billion Pokémon and unlocked a new reward during the Global Catch Challenge.“ The tweet included a GIF congratulating players and announcing that Farfetch’d and Kangaskhan were now available to catch (Kangaskhan exclusive to East Asia) for 48 hours.
While still a popular game worldwide, Pokémon GO has struggled to maintain player enthusiasm due to server issues and various glitches, cold weather, and lack of enticing new updates. The Global Catch Challenge was clearly an attempt by Niantic to boost popularity.
Back in October, some Pokémon previously appearing in the third generation handheld games were introduced as part of a Halloween event with Niantic promising more to come. Many players are looking forward to the full generation three release, which will include over a hundred new pocket monsters.