It’s not enough to build a community for your mobile augmented reality game these days – you need to keep your users engaged to stop them drifting off to the latest Clash of Whatevers. Having built two AR game communities, Niantic certainly knows this and is launching a new monthly event for Pokemon Go called Community Day.

The first Community Day will be January 20 – next Saturday! We’re in the Asia-Pacific region, so our Community Day runs from 2pm to 5pm Sydney time (Niantic announced the time as as 12pm – 3pm Japan time, or GMT +9).

Community Day is designed to engage the massive worldwide Pokemon Go community and keep them involved in the game by offering special Pokemon for a short period of time. There’ll also be extra long lure times, XP and Stardust increases.

The reward for your troubles (and social investment) will be a Pokemon that knows an exclusive move – this could give you the edge in a battle, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on it (and perhaps don’t turn it into candy at the drop of a hat). It feels a little like Niantic is trying to recapture the crazy initial days of Pokemon Go by encouraging the community out into public spaces to try to capture the special ‘mons on the day.

The first Pokemon to feature for Community Day will be Pikachu, and his event move will be Surf.

The company is no stranger to fostering a community around their AR games, either – their earlier creation Ingress sees regular “XM Anomaly” live competitive events which still attract a lot of interest from players and fans, and there’s a series of #NL1331 events happening in Australia and New Zealand this month (head to to find out more).

Source: Niantic Pokemon Go Live Blog.
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Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!