Pokemon GO players caught over half a billion Magikarp during the game's Water Festival event. The Pokemon GO event increased the likelihood of Water-type Pokemon appearing, including the famous splashing character and even Lapras.
A tweet from the official Pokemon GO account confirmed that players managed to catch over 589 million Magikarp during the event which ended earlier this week. But while most of that figure was likely due to players simply just bumping into more of the creatures, the fact that the Water Festival event also introduced shiny Magikarp was probably the most significant factor. As it stands, Magikarp and Gyarados (its evolution) are the only Pokemon in the game to have 'shiny' variations, and so understandably many players have been going out of their way to find one.
Great work, Trainers! Collectively, you caught over 589 million Magikarp during the #PokemonGO Water Festival.— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) March 31, 2017
While this latest update may have broken the game, according to some standards, the fact that it renewed Pokemon fans' interest and appreciation for the character is remarkable. Not only were shiny Magikarp introduced but players also got to bag themselves a free Magikarp hat for their avatars too. Yes it's true that in the original Pokemon games, the creature is nigh on useless (unless players teach it HMs or TMs) as its Splash move doesn't do any anything, but it's still iconic and the Pokemon GO update helped to remind players of that.
Niantic, meanwhile, will be glad to see that its latest themed event and content drop was received so well. Granted, while there has been some confusion about how rare shiny Magikarp is (some say its common, others say they've yet to catch one after over a hundred Magikarp captures), clearly many people logged into the game just to join the quest for a shiny. No doubt, all of the talk about the event may have encouraged existing players to keep playing or for newcomers to join the game, something which in turn will have impacted the company's profits from the game.
Hopefully, this will also encourage the company to make similar events and even more shiny Pokemon variations in future. With Niantic said to be working on several major Pokemon GO updates for this year, it's unclear when this additional content would be added to the game, but with the success of the Water Festival, it could well be sooner rather than later.
Pokemon GO is available on Android and iOS.