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‘Pokémon Go’ Safari Zone events have been planned to take place across Europe. — Handout via AFP‘Pokémon Go’ Safari Zone events have been planned to take place across Europe. — Handout via AFPTOKYO, Sept 8 — The first wave of European Pokémon Go Safari Zone events has settled on three dates in September and October 2017 in seven shopping malls around the continent.

Wildly successful Android and iOS mobile game Pokémon Go made a big splash in 2016, and as part of its one-year anniversary celebrations, developer Niantic has been organizing a slew of related events.

The first Pokémon Go Fest took place in Chicago’s Grant Park on July 22, with attendees participating in digital games of hide and seek, searching for fictional creatures from the Pokémon franchise using their mobile phones.

Players from around the world could also join in, but the hugely popular event was hamstrung by online connection issues afflicting the Pokémon Go servers.

Niantic ended up refunding attendees the US$10 (RM42) cost of tickets, promised US$100 of in-game currency to all participants regardless of location, and delayed the first four similar European events initially scheduled for August.

Those events have now been dated for two Saturdays in October, making a mid-September triple-header the Pokémon Go Fest’s debut European weekend.

After registering through each shopping mall’s Facebook page, participants will receive special in-game items, including a medal, Trainer kits, and specific eggs, plus the opportunity to catch particular Pokémon together when they turn up on the day.

Some of those Safari Zone creatures will also spill over into each mall’s surrounding city for players that are in the area but not at the event itself.

Les Quatre Temps in Paris, France, the CentrO in Oberhausen, near the western border of Germany, and La Maquinista in Barcelona, Spain are the three shopping malls to roll out a Pokémon Go Safari Zone on September 16.

The Fisketorvet in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Centrum Cerny Most in Prague, Czech Republic, are now preparing to host their own editions of the Pokémon Go Fest on October 7.

One week later, on October 14, and the Mall of Scandinavia in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Stadshart Amstelveen in the Netherlands accommodate the final pair of rescheduled dates.

Free to play and supported by optional micro-transactions that confer various advantages on the paying player population, Pokémon Go maintained 65 million monthly active users by July 2017, Niantic said at the time, with around five million daily players, and an estimated revenue of over US$1 billion. — AFP-Relaxnews

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