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'Pokémon Go' ad arrives from Star Wars director Rian Johnson


Agence France-Presse

 /  Wed, July 8, 2020  /  02:31 pm

Rian Johnson, he of BrickLooperStar Wars: The Last Jedi and Knives Out, has turned his directorial attention to Pokémon.

This year's iteration of Pokémon GO convention, the Go Fest, is to be held entirely online.

Johnson fessed up to his involvement in a blog post on the website of Pokémon Go developer Niantic.

"Pokémon GO has kept me engaged with my friends remotely as I've been practicing physical distancing these past few months," he said.

"As a longtime Pokémon trainer, it was a real pleasure working with Niantic on this spot. It was a new experience for me to direct a production remotely, and I enjoyed the highly collaborative process and think we put together a fun and upbeat commercial that fans will enjoy."

The ad was shot in New Zealand while Johnson was in Los Angeles, with cooperation from staff in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, London and Tokyo.

Read also: 'Pokemon GO' co targeting board game, immersive theater for AR

Previous iterations of the Go Fest took place in Chicago (2017, 2018, 2019), Dortmund (2019) and Yokohama (2019).

Though the annual festival has now moved into the digital realm, it's still a ticketed event, with a US$14.99 pass available in-game and granting access to a new storyline before the event and a new Special Research quest during it, as well as a Global Challenge Arena.

That's for July 25, with July 26's contents meant to be secret until the day itself.

Niantic has sold over 700,000 virtual tickets, the company said.

Both Niantic and The Pokémon Company have pledged a minimum of US$5 million each from Go Fest proceeds, with Niantic intending half of its fund for projects from Black gaming and AR creators on the Niantic platform and half for US nonprofits.

The Pokémon Company will be putting its money towards nonprofits around the world, focused on improving the lives of children, with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, including educational support and mentoring opportunities for Black children.

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