SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, July 20, a massive Pokemon Go event took place in San Francisco. The new app from Niantic and The Pokemon Company has brought people together. Niantic and Nintendo in conjunction launched “Pokemon Go,” an augmented reality mobile gaming app that lets users catch Pokemon in real life.
About 10,000 Bay Area residents gathered to participate in a Pokemon Go crawl. The event had two starting points in San Francisco. Crowds were seen in a frenzy trying to hunt down various Pokemon.
According to The Guardian, the servers of “Pokemon Go” were down prior to the start of the event. The Guardian spoke to Natasha Asbury who indicated, “I was panicking.” The spokesmodel for Samsung who drove about 40 miles to San Francisco from Vallejo in order to attend the meetup. “I was like, I dressed cute for nothing.”
The servers instead were up and running for the event. According to CNBC, app intelligence firm Sensor Tower estimates there have been over 30 million downloads since launch, a number that’s surely growing as the craze picks up speed. The event was not sponsored or affiliated with Nintendo or Niantic. Some companies got involved in the event by holding giveaways and creating theme drink and food specials,
According to CNBC, attendees received $50 credits from Lyft, there was also 20 percent off discounts to Pokemon Go crawl hot spots. Other companies like Haagen Dazs, Red Bull gave away free products. The Pokemon Go crawl page began as a simple Facebook event page for friends but then went viral.
“I made this event at midnight, invited my Facebook friends, and fell asleep,” organizer Sara Witsch told Tech Crunch. “I woke up to 500 people going.” By Wednesday afternoon, more than 9,000 people had indicated they would join in the fun, and numerous local businesses had announced freebies, promotions and drink specials for participants.
The event creator Sara Witsch wrote on her Facebook page indicating: “Good Morning! I can’t thank you all enough for making yesterday a day to remember forever. It was really great to see so many people from all over the bay (I heard we even had some SoCal people join us!).”