As observed yesterday, the Pokémon GO Anniversary event has brought a lot of discontent to the Pokémon GO player base, resulting in a lot of players almost instantly loosing interest in the event overall.

The discontent stems mostly from two issues players have with the event:

It’s hard to argue for Niantic in this instance, as a the event rewards include yet another Pikachu with a hat and the Anniversary Box is priced at 1200 PokéCoins, making it cost almost as much as the individual items inside.

Anniversary Pichu, Pikachu and Raichu
Anniversary Pichu, Pikachu and Raichu

Players have expressed their discontent on almost every media outlet: “salty” Tweets, Youtube comments and Facebook discussions are a plenty. This tweet by Alex Illest is the top voted reply to Pokémon GO’s official tweet about the event technical difficulties:

Even the Silph Road subreddit, traditionally known as a place of good and constructive discourse, has fallen under the influence of angry masses. The escalation was so quick that Dronpes, one of the Silph Road moderators, had to intervene in order to curb the number of rage comments.

The main Pokémon GO reddit community was closed for the better portion of the last evening, as a staggering number of salty, offensive and raging commentators flocked to express their discontent.

Where do we stand on the issue?

It’s not a custom for us to comment on Niantic’s pricing and sales, but we have to agree with the common sentiment: we won’t be buying the Anniversary Box.

The Anniversary Box is simply not a good deal:

  • For 1100 Coins you can get all of the Items inside
  • You end up paying 100 Coins for some Ultra Balls / Max Revives
  • You can get Ultra Balls and Max Revives for free

It’s rather obvious that this event is not really great, but the question that we’re most interested in is this: how did we get here?

After the spectacular release of Raids and after participating in dozens of events throughout the past 12 months, it’s hard to believe that Niantic wasn’t aware of players’ expectations for the Anniversary Event.

Given the wording of the official announcement, we believe that they’re preparing something big (and worldwide) for the GO Fest on July 22. If that’s the case, it’s easy to understand why the Anniversary event feels underdeveloped and underwhelming – they are focused elsewhere.

If that’s not the case, can we have Weekend Bloom again, please?

A parting meme is in order:

  • Trumpbroni

    Least they could do is double xp/stardust

  • Luke Davies

    Fully agree with this post. Niantic have really balls’d this event up especially as it’s been one year anniversary it’s pretty lame unfortunately. Hopefully they can make up for it!

    • Marilyn Ward

      Speaking of making up..I’m just wishing on a wing and prayer…(2 Raid Passes)…WHERE ARE THE LEGENDARY RAIDS?..Trying to keep my 👀open and hopes up.

      • GonzoI

        They are expected to coincide with GO Fest.

        • Dan

          It’s also expected to be a different kind of raid.

          • GonzoI

            Yes, with a Legendary Raid Pass. I’m hoping the countdown timer will also be a lot longer so more people can plan further ahead to be there. My raid group drives from as much as an hour away, and none of us can just up and take off work for it without warning.

  • Jason

    I think double stardust with the Pikachu would’ve been decent.. maybe double candy or xp with it as well since it is supposed to be a big deal

    • Nick Wilson

      Yes double Stardust would be perfect. Especially for getting ready for legendary raids powering up beasts for them

  • Jackie Whitenack

    Let’s just say for an anniversary event it’s beyond horrible 😝

  • Jason

    I think this should’ve been a way to give back to the community and a way to
    say thank you to all the players sticking around through the good and bad not a opportunity to just make more money..

    • GonzoI

      It’s still a for-profit company. Any “giving back to the community” is going to be designed to make more money. This one just screwed that up horribly. They were set to have made a lot with even a minor discount on incubators and raid passes. Had this left out the max revives and ultra balls and cost 1000 coins, people would have at least bought it despite not being great. Were it as reasonable as 800 coins, they would have had a huge surge in sales. With what they did, though, they lost money.

      • Yeah, of course. They could have done something like double Pokemon spawn rates, with at least 1.5X the usual EXP for everything, which stacks with Lucky Eggs. The higher spawn rates means more pokeballs needed, so more likelihood of people buying them if they run out. Not to mention, buying Lure Modules, as both effects would stack as well. Plus with the extra EXP boost, more people wanting to buy incubators and lucky eggs to get all of the boosts. Would have been more chances of them making money with things like that, especially if the Anniversary Box was still there but at a discounted price, and it’d have at least been better than the lame-o version we got instead

        • GonzoI

          Even putting bundles of 6 Raid Passes for 575 coins would have sold out rapidly even though it’s not much of a discount. The problem is that they made the discount come out of something players inherently can’t value since it has to scale with gameplay rather than money for the game to function at all.

      • Jason

        I agree or even made the current box half of what it is.. they would still be making money.. but again I think this should be the time of the year they celebrate the players for making them the company they are and give back to us.. not just celebrate amongst themselves for being rich now

        • GonzoI

          You need to get that phrase out of your vocabulary. Companies don’t “give back”. I’m not saying that as cynicism – by legally enforced fiduciary duty they can’t actually “give back”. When they donate to local communities, they have to justify it with a mixture of tax benefits and marketing offsets. If the cost outweighs the return on donations, they have to stop making donations.

          “Giving back” is only really done by individuals, sole-ownership businesses, and public-benefit corporations (Niantic is none of these). Any other instance of it is legally required to be a marketing ploy.

          • Jason

            Not sure why you upset with me I don’t work at Niantic haha.. but I didn’t mean financially.. there is many ways to show appreciation other than with money.. I mean they should’ve used this event as a way to show their appreciation to the players that made them into a billion dollar company.. and by having a big event for the players that would’ve helped with the bringing some old players back as the raids did which does help them as a company as well.. they still could’ve done a gift box to purchase as well for marketing but made it worth buying and give the players a little break on prices for one event.. Don’t have to make them free but if they sell only a few of these gift boxes as opposed to selling a ton of better ones if they had made one which do you think is better? I don’t care what kind of company you are.. if you don’t show your customers gratitude and treat them well you will lose them

          • GonzoI

            No one was mistaking you for working at Niantic, and my reply wasn’t “upset”. You kept using a phrase that is akin to being mad that the mall Santa failed to bring you what you asked for and I made a second attempt to explain politely that companies “giving back” isn’t real.

          • Jason

            Obviously was a joke.. but a lot of companies do provide discounts and sales and do different things to try to make their customers happy.. maybe the phrase I used made you think of just money.. but I was just saying they should’ve took this time of the year to appreciate the players and give us a big in game event to celebrate is what I meant 😀

  • Jackbot92

    I don’t know how Niantic can screw up so consistently. If they keep up with this pace, I’m going to quit the game soon.

  • Lorddacc

    As long as they’re working on legendaries to release the during or after this event, I’m not 100% mad. Hopefully that’s the main reason they didn’t focus on this particular event.
    But the pricing for that box is dumb, with the present daily pokecoin limit, you can’t get enough coins to pay for the box before the event ends. Silly move.

  • NicolasKingh

    I think the 1200 costs are stupid even from a sales perspective, because I think they would have made way more sales (and profit) if the box was cheaper.. So what a screw up!

  • RegginSpice

    Yeah, even though that pikachu is pretty cute, and lots of other surprises are coming this summer, the box just isn’t a good deal. I’m not buying it unless they add a few more raid passes and make the price 1000.

  • Jeroen

    make it half the price like usually a sale price is suppose to be…
    niantic just threw away an opportunity to make money. NOBODY will buy these boxes for 1200 yet if they were 600 many would have. BAD BAD marketing ninatic.

  • Dutch_Soldier

    What did Niantic think by making the box and prizing it like that? They thought like:
    ‘Hey workers of Niantic, lets make a anniversery box for 1200 coins, that will the people buy without calculating. And they will buy it because they can’t farm it with gyms. We are milionair but we want to be bilionair.’

    How can you obtain a Ash Hat Pichu? Its looking so cute btw 😜

    • GonzoI

      Slightly increased spawns. I saw 6 last night in 3 hours, and I almost never see Pikachu outside of events and nests.

  • JB

    As a F2P trainer, I can’t even afford the box because of the FRIGGING 50 coins daily limit. Seeing how this event runs for 18 days, that makes is 18 x 50 = 900 coins that I will have by the end of this event. Too expensive and not a good deal.

  • Peg Pegasus

    I was at least expecting something like double stardust or xp and sales on incubators/raid pass/bag uprades/storage upgrade.

    This is just painfull :/ also the pikachu with ash hat, in my toiwn not 1 pikachu has popped up around the 11 pokestops and 4 gyms or in the wild, been walking/biking/stepping the whole morning and noon, nothing :/

    No wonder people start spoofing, as other people show off 20 pikachus, or have pikachu’s pop up in every street, 15 hour in the event and nothing!, our group have been around town, to notify each other when a pikachu pop-up, so we have the whole town covered, some already gave up.

    If this is the Thank You for all loyal pokemon go fans, it’s the worsed thank you ever!!! Niantic could as well thrown there fanbase in a pit filled with s***t

    • Hopegoddess

      YES, me too! What a let down. Horrible anniversary event. Ash hat Pikachu is the only thing worth mentioning.

  • Tyler

    At the VERY least they could have given us an xp boost. that would move me from pissed off to just quietly annoyed.

  • John Jorgensen

    I think the thing that aggravates me the most is the fact that I caught a Pikachu last night at around 7pm EST with my GoPlus and it DIDN’T have the Ash hat. Not to mention the ridiculous pricing of the “Anniversary Box.”

    Edit: Yes I know the time on the screen shot says 9:38am… that’s because I didn’t take a screen shot until I was posting this comment.

    • bullet135

      I caught a Pikachu around 6 PM EDT yesterday and hatched a Pichu a few hours later. Neither had the hat.

      • Dan

        They were having known issues. They are fixed now.

    • Dan

      They were having known issues at the time, which the article mentioned. They fixed it afterwards.

      • John Jorgensen

        Problem with that theory is that I caught that after they announced that everything was fixed. It also doesn’t help that since they announced it was fixed, I haven’t seen any Pikachu’s. Not one. This has got to be the absolutely most disappointing “event” they’ve ever had.

    • Higher_Ground

      Same here. First pikachu I’ve encountered in weeks and it didn’t have a hat.

  • Andy James Howson

    They definitely weren’t ready for this anniversary event, very last minute decisions by the looks of it

  • Pokemon Trainer N

    I don’t normally like spreading any negativity regarding this game, but this whole “event” was just a serious letdown on Niantic’s part. Their overall biggest problem was always lack of community engagement and response. They just sit there and kick their feet up, expecting fans so loyal that they’ll keep pouring money into this game regardless of how much they ruin it with these unwanted updates. Coin system? Everybody hates it. What does Niantic do? Nothing. Everyone hates the new gift box? What does Niantic do? Nada. Unless they improve their relations and communication with the consumers of their product, their sales will plummet.

    • Jason

      I agree they have never been good with communication and I’m not one to constantly complain either about this game but this “event” was a big disappointment other than the special edition Pikachu.. and I have been saying since they changed the rewards system (not just coins.. stardust too which I want more than coins) that it sucks need to change that and add stardust back to defending gyms even if it is less than 500 per gym since you can feed berries now but 0 stardust sucks.. The raids are great and gyms look soo much better and no more duplicates.. just fix rewards system and give us at least double stardust for this event I will be happy

      • Mike Jensen

        They could add stardust back in the gyms, by giving us training back.. Not to up the gym, but to gain stardust and the occacional cancy for the attacking pokémon.
        Now, gyms in your own colour is boring. You can give a little motivation and spin the stop, then you are not able to do anything.
        They should consider adding in some training. Defeating the defender would earn you stardust and sometimes candy to the attacker. Losing to the defender would up the motivation of the defender.

    • Higher_Ground

      Their overall biggest problem was always lack of community engagement and response.

      That deserves repeating.

      They’re still terrible at engaging. They have players in like a hundred countries but only hired a few people to manage communications. They only doubled the size of their team in the past year – despite it being over 10x as successful as they thought it would be AND they’re still working on Ingress, effectively diluting the amount of time they put into Pokemon Go. I read in a recent interview that John Hankey was at some remote park in Japan with his son during the launch – so apparently he thinks vacationing when millions of people are having problems with the game is appropriate.

      The really didn’t deserve the fame and attention they got. They’ve done little to keep it and have squandered a lot of good will (for me at least).

  • Tom Vinci

    I think a lot of people are missing the fact that EVERYTHING happening this summer is all part of the anniversary event. Niantic has clearly stated that the new gyms and raids were the beginning if the anniversary event, and that there is even more to come. If Niantic had waited until July 6th to release the gyms and raids everyone would have been thrilled and said it was an amazing event, but they released it EARLY and are still getting flak for not putting enough effort in. I know it’s just my opinion, but how much are you expecting out of this company? They JUST released the biggest update they’ve ever had a COUPLE WEEKS ago and you guys are already expecting them to release something as big mere WEEKS later? Yeah the box is stupidly overpriced but I think everyone is missing the point that instead of ONE SPECIFIC DAY Niantic is releasing LOADS of amazing content THROUGHOUT the summer all as a part of the anniversary event. I really think everyone needs to step back and realize they’re working their butts off for us all summer, and just because they didn’t release something huge on the exact anniversary, we’re still getting HUGE things immediately before and immediately after (raids, go fest, and legendaries). As a parting note, gen 3 wasn’t in the code anywhere so frankly I don’t understand how people expected that to drop. Sorry if this comes off a bit rude but I really think everyone is being too short sighted about the whole thing and putting too much importance on a single day rather than the whole summer

    • bullet135

      I agree, I wasn’t expecting a major release this close to the Gym overhaul/Raid release. But I was expecting something that would incentivize me to play more. Some kind of bonus. Not just a hat and an overpriced package.

      Maybe Niantic shouldn’t have released the Raids early. With all the errors/glitches/server crashes, maybe they should have taken a few more weeks to get it right.

      Perhaps that’s the reason for the half-baked anniversary. All their resources are focused on fixing the last release.

    • GonzoI

      There was disappointment at the announcement, but the rage began with the dishonest box “discount”. You can sell it as part of the larger celebration with Pikachu, but the dishonest box rightfully upsets people and casts a shadow of negativity over the Pikachu.

      • Dan

        6 Incubators = 900
        2 Raid Passes = 200
        6 Max Revives = 180
        Total = 1280
        Anniversary Box = 1200

        All they said was there was a discount. They didn’t say how steep it would be. 80 coins off is still a discount, regardless if it’s 6.25% (like this one) or 50%. They weren’t dishonest. Most people just perceive it that way because it wasn’t a similar discount as others.

        Note: I’m not buying the box because I don’t need the Max Revives or Ultra Balls.

        • GonzoI

          People “don’t see it that way” because they aren’t buying Max Revives, nor should they have to. Revives and pokeballs are a base level consumable in the game. You cannot feasibly play the game on purchased pokeballs and revives, nor do the shop options constitute a meaningful supplement in such small quantities.

    • Jason

      I will say that this is by far the most criticized game I’ve ever played.. no matter what they do they always get at least some negative feedback.. can’t make everyone happy I guess.. and sometimes it goes beyond that to just pure hate and nasty comments.. so in that regard I feel bad for them.. I’ve only ever had an issue with one update in November that I thought was ridiculous but won’t get into that.. the current rewards system (which I think almost everyone doesn’t like.. and I mean stardust too not just coins) and now this “event”.. I understand what you are saying.. but shouldn’t they at least do a big in game event for players worldwide to celebrate.. I mean most people would’ve been happy with at least double stardust and the Pikachu.. throw in double xp or candy too and most people are really happy.. Pokemon GO Fest I understand is part of the one year celebration and I think that is really cool.. but only a small percentage of the players will be going to that let alone Japan or other places around the world.. but double stardust everyone could enjoy.. and it is hard to think of raids and new gyms being part of the one year because that was something that needed done.. improve overall game experience they shouldn’t need a special time of the year to improve the game itself they should strive for that everyday.. I do really like the raids and gyms look soo much better and no more duplicates I think almost everyone likes that change

      • Higher_Ground

        It’s because they are indeed terrible at communicating, terrible at scaling up, and put little emphasis on staying true to the source material.

        They’re arrogant. Remember last year when it launched with pretty much no instructions on how to play it outside of a short half-baked tutorial? Their response as something like “players will enjoy figuring it out on their own.”

        • Jason

          Yea I mean I try to be understanding with the bugs and give them time to work out and tweak things.. you have that in just about any multi player game.. but their communication has always sucked.. never understood why they never announced events at least a few days ahead of time to let people know what is going on and even promote hype for events.. instead updates and events are always a guessing game and sometimes false information leads to a lot of players being let down.. this is the biggest case of that though.. And you would think with the money and success they have now they would be able to use these resources to become a better company.. sounds like bad upper management to me..Also did want to say I know me and you don’t see eye to eye on everything but you are at least always respectful debating so just wanted to say thanks for that.. I think there is way too much negativity and hate in the world today especially online.. it is to ok to not agree on things but we at least stay to debating about the topic as opposed to just taking shots at each other personally

      • Donna Manning

        Play World of Warcraft sometime (or read their forums). People love to whine and complain, it’s what they do. lol It is annoying! They cannot see what they do have for what they think they should have.

        • Jason

          I do play Warcraft really the only 2 games I play much is Warcraft and this.. I never hear much negativity about Warcraft though I guess you always have a little but this much.. but yea it is annoying I think this game has had its issues for sure I have not been happy a couple times myself but wish people would at least stick to just stating what they want changed and not happy about instead of the disrespectful comments and hate

    • Higher_Ground

      meh, I think the gen 2 update was a lot bigger. Or the tracking, or the buddy system. The gym update was just a rework. Raids maybe.

    • Donna Manning

      Tom, I agree. Plus, we just came off of an amazing event that lasted quite some time. In addition to that, we got the raids (yay!). They have a lot going on. One thing I do agree with- the boxes should have been lower than they are. It is awesome to be able to buy Ultra Balls, but the cost isn’t that much of a discount.

      That said, I am not complaining. As you have said, they have a lot going on and we have much more to look forward to.

    • Charl Filipe Henning

      In this world of short attention spans, every opportunity missed will lose them fans. No matter how much improvements there are, a bad move like the Anniversary Box set will demotivate players or lose them. It’s like some decisions are good and other’s just plain suck. Inconsistency is Niantic’s worst enemy.

  • GonzoI

    I was actually ok with a new Pikachu hat and a shop discount that included incubators and raid passes. It’s just a symbolic bone being thrown for the calendar date itself and increasing the availability of raid passes is a major need right now.

    Then we got the price for the “discount”. That pricing isn’t underwhelming, it’s dishonest. I am forced to agree, there is no defending that move.

  • Júlio César Stoppa Angelini

    Top1 worst event ever! Call this a “event” is a joke.

    • Tim

      The bloom event that virtually spawned no grass type mons might have been worse, but then again that had a sale on lures that lasted 6 hours so your probably right this is the worst “event”

  • Joni Anderson

    Definitely dissatisfied took the day from work had my Grandsons come stay for a pokemon anniversary party a very big let down, but honestly had a feeling when there seemed to be no prior information about it something was wrong.

    • Jason

      that sucks sorry to hear that

  • Mayk D DoUrden

    About box, gift you give for free, not selling it. Hi this is prize for you, now you pay for it.. They give us crap, because will be later Go Fest? Bad move. I’m interesting how many casual players will drop the game before Fest..

  • An-D T

    I’ve really only seen a Pikachu come out at night or near sunset, and not very often. I saw a few last night, only one was actualy good, not great maybe just descent. The anniversary box is kind of a joke, it’s not really a discount. They should have made it the 6 incubators and raid passes for 600 coins, that would have got people wanting to buy it. They should add the ultra balls to the store, because why not right? If they fix their algorithm nobody would even need to buy max revives or ultra balls. From pokestops I get far too many potions and revives that I’m trashing almost all that I get, but it rarely gives me any balls. My gf has hundreds of balls but rarely gets any revives or potions. Their algorithm has been giving out the opposite of what either us really need. Let’s hope they have something better planned for the second week of this “event”. Double stardust and XP would be nice!

  • Hopegoddess

    No double XP, no sale on anything we really want. The sale is honestly CRAP! Total Fail event. A Pikachu in a new hat is honestly all we got. Many of us have put $$$$ into this game and this is the thanks we get? Seriously fail.

  • Dan

    Part of the issue is all of the internet trolls that were “leaking” false information got the hopes of the masses up.

  • Nick Wilson

    They still have time to fix this. Just release gen one legendary s . we expected bigger. 1 anniversary come on niantic

  • Nick Wilson

    For a 1st year wedding anniversary you don’t just stay at home and do nothing. Niantic shame on u . we love this game its fun .gyms great raids great.anniversary bombed badly.

  • Antonio Mercurio

    So people want more from niantic right after they release the New Gym Rework, yes a pikachu hat is not the best reward for 1 year, but when legendaries come out on the 22nd of july u will all be screaming and running around like a chicken with no head

    • Zapmeister

      Not me.

  • Bellal Amerkhail

    game is dying

  • Ethan K. Nix
  • Robert Byrne

    Glad I didn’t buy that anniversary box. Was going to but checked first. Should have something like 10000 star dust 10 rare candies a fast tm a charge tm and and unlimited day raid pass plus a rare 20 km egg special colour as an incentive as a surprise for a special anniversary.
    Stuff you can’t actually buy in the shop. And probably a rare incubator for the egg. That would get people out to hatch one of their eggs so they can fit in and buy the new special one.
    That anniversary box is a joke

  • Jiara Anatalis

    This is such a non-event that I actually did not realize it WAS an event. The hat-achu is fun, sure, but it isn’t even spawning at increased rates to make it stand out.

  • Pokey19428762

    are gyms still paying Pokecoins!??!?!

  • ダーク マウジー

    the box is just there to help us buy in bundles much more easier, with a little extra charge within limited time. that’s what I think of it…and no, it`s not a compliment. and event pikachus are just there to max out your pokemon storage. i`m sure most of them will be return to professor lefting 1 just for the evidence that we got it.

  • Biga173rd

    If I requested Niantic to have a Holloween type event to spawn Lapras,Chansey,Porygon,Kangaskhan,Aerodactyl,Tyranitar,Mr Mime I would also get dropped kicked out the window by them too.

  • NicolasKingh

    So there are new gift boxes. Guess the negative response from the players has reached Niantic, because these actually are some decent discounts. Still, not really great – in my opinion – because there are no incubators. Tho, if you are in to buying raid passes and lures, then this is the box for you.