Pikachu at Pritzer Park: “Dive into the world of Pokemon Go today” – Jigsaw – Society

In the summer of 2016, the developers at Niantic broke all records with a new mobile game: Pokémon Go. The big commotion only lasted for a few weeks. But the game about Pikachu, Charmander and Mewtu still has a number of fans and thousands of active players.

The alleged coaches will meet next weekend at Pritzer Park in Berlin. A three-day Pokémon Go Fest is held there. From July 1 to 3, the green areas of Neuköllner Park will be transformed into a virtual playground.

In an interview, Philip Mars, Head of Marketing for Pokémon Go EMEA, explains why the festival at the Britzer Garten is held in all places and why Pokémon Go has been so successful to this day.

Mr. Marz, how long has the Pokemon Festival been around?
The origin of Pokémon Go Fest dates back to 2017, roughly a year after the app was launched. It happened in Chicago at the time, just like in 2018. Demand has increased continuously in all regions during this time, which means we were able to bring the festival to Europe for the first time in 2019, especially in Germany at Westfalenpark in Dortmund.

Why is there?
In such events, there is a long list of requirements that must be given or fulfilled. Unfortunately, there are only a few parks in Europe where this is possible. And one of them in 2019 was Westfalenpark.

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Due to the pandemic, the live event has been canceled for two years. And now rebooting in Berlin?
We couldn’t be happier and excited now to bring this back to Europe, back to Germany and back to the real world. Of course, as the host city, Berlin also has a different external influence on a global level. Berlin as a culturally themed city speaks for itself, but also as a federal capital – expect 60 percent international participants.

Why is Britzer Park particularly suitable?
Britzer Garten’s dimensions and installation are simply perfect for what we want to do there. This always follows three principles: movement, discovery, and interaction in the real world.

Britzer Garden was established in 1985 for the Federal Horticultural Exposition.  From July 1 to July 3 2022, Pokemon fans will come here.  Photo: Jens Kalaene / dpa-Zentralbild / ZB

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Britzer Garden was established in 1985 for the Federal Horticultural Exposition. From July 1 to July 3 2022, Pokemon fans will come here.
© Jens Kalaene / dpa-Zentralbild / ZB

Will the entire park become a playground?
The park is huge in its basic design and larger than what we know since 2019 from Westfalenpark in Dortmund. That’s why we had to limit ourselves to a sub-area that occupies about half of Pritzer Park when it comes to displaying and designing our event format.

Can only Pokemon players enter the park this weekend?
A regulation was found with the operator Grün Berlin that those with an annual pass can also access the park in order to allow many people to have the very special Pokémon Go experience in Berlin. Regardless of whether you play the game or not.

What obstacles are there in the site?
There are many areas of water that we cannot use for events. What we always care about in the implementation is the network to ensure the best possible internet connection. It helps if you have a ground level. But the Pritzer Garten has some hills and is also heavily overgrown. So we had to exclude some areas.

Philip Marz has been with Niantic since 2017 and is responsible for marketing Pokemon Go products.  Photo: Niantic

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Philip Marz has been with Niantic since 2017 and is responsible for marketing Pokemon Go products.
© Niantic

It is often said that “nobody plays Pokemon Go anymore”. Is that correct?
Pokémon Go is one of the most successful mobile games of all time with more than a billion downloads in the available app stores and still accessible to everyone. The game is still very successful and is placed in the relevant target group. It’s a game for everyone, for every woman, for every individual, regardless of interests, regardless of background. We express this through these real-world experiences. It does not require any prior knowledge to participate, develop and participate in this fun for yourself. This is what makes Pokémon Go so successful, which is now in its sixth year.

Niantic has maintained to this day that any player can continue to play for free if they are unwilling to pay any money for it.
It’s also very important for us to really ensure this accessibility. It is not a paid game. Of course, you can invest a few euros to get to your destination faster. But it is not required for overall success and that is what stands at its core above all for us. The core of the community is clearly our focus.

When did you start in Niantic?
I started at Niantic in the summer of 2017. We had nearly 70 employees all over the world. Today we are over 1000. You can see how the company has grown with the product. For me personally, doing my part is still very special, because you also have a very special connection – both for the company and for the product, because you have been part of the whole development since childhood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAR1VNqKTtI

Did you watch the series when you were a kid and played Pokemon on the Game Boy?
I was born in 1987. I remember this: I came from school and of course had to watch Pokémon on RTL 2. Also play on the Game Boy – of course. So that was part of my youth. And if then you had the opportunity to revive part of the childhood memory and now transfer everything technologically to the real world, then this is also very attractive for an adult. And you don’t have to be a player to be 100% behind this product.

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So Pokemon Go is a game for young and old?
We will see people of all ages and backgrounds in Pritzer Park. It starts from the early singles all the way up… The biggest player I’ve met myself was 98. That’s amazing. This is exactly what we care about and what we always focus on.

What exactly can visitors expect at Go Fest next weekend?
Pokémon Go Fest is all about finding a game board that constantly connects the digital and the real worlds. You are immersed in the world of Pokémon Go on this day. When you enter the Britzer Garten, you are greeted by music, as if it were a visit to an amusement park. There are different worlds of experience, special decorations, and areas where you can exchange ideas with other coaches and fans. And you can take pictures with Pikachu.

Pikachu to touch, so to speak?
Pikachu is, of course, one of the most powerful and well-known items. Even if he now plays a minor role in this event, specifically within the game, Pikachu in particular has made sure that the brand, the product, gets global attention in the first place.

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