Pokémon has become one of the most famous names in Japanese entertainment following its 1996 release, spanning across nearly all pop culture forms. While Pokémon didn't debut in the United States until 1998, its omnipotence over card gaming, video gaming, anime, and more had taken the entertainment world by storm. Since, Pokémon and its endless stream of media have retained its prominence across most reaches of fan communities, continuing to leave an impact on those who have created a bond with the franchise.
Pokémon GO elevated how The Pokémon Company could continue to bring fans together through real-world experiences while forging face-to-face connections. On July 6, 2016, the interactive smartphone app drove Pokémon enthusiasts from their homes and encouraged them to explore their hometowns while collecting pocket monsters along the way. The release of the application proved to be an international hit, sending users on their own quests to catch 'em all. Now, Anime Central is planning on teaming up with Pokémon GO during their 2023 event.
If you open the Pokémon GO app at ACen during the convention, you'll be able to earn convention-exclusive bonuses for a limited time. You can use Extended Lure Durations that last up to three hours at the convention location, and lures have a chance of attracting Unknown. New PokéStops featuring special Photodisc artwork will be accessible to players when playing on the app when near the convention, and PokéStops will drop unique Field Research that guarantees Pokémon encounters from the Monthly Research Breakthrough Pool. In addition, Pokémon GO players who plan on opening the app at ACen 2023 are given Timed Research that appears once they enter the event space. This includes a Red Party Hat. ACen attendees who plan on playing Pokémon GO at the event may receive Pikachu as a Reward Encounter while earning one Incense and one Lure as gifts that come with them. Other gameplay incentives include 2x Buddy Assist chance, half-priced Stardust Cost for Trades, and confetti displayed on-screen when at Anime Central.
ACen returns on May 19th to May 21, 2023 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Attendee Registration for Anime Central can be found here. Any attendee who identifies as a convention runner, industry professional, anime organization runner, et cetera are encouraged to fill out the Professional Registration Form to receive a discount on their convention admission. School Groups and Service Members qualify for discounted rates on their attendance at Anime Central 2023. Those registering for a designated table in the Artist Alley or Exhibitor Hall are directed to register through the Registration Service Center after submitting applications for either region of the convention floor. Approved parties for Artist Alley and the Exhibitor Hall will receive emails detailing how to claim their badges in the Service Center. Artists, exhibitors, and panelists should not register on the Attendee Registration page.