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You are not this Pokémon, you can't use Future Sight. Don't add stuff about the future! This article is about a current event. The article's contents may change as the event progresses and more information becomes available. Please be cautious when adding information to this article, as rumors and speculation often get confused with fact; avoid any information on this subject which is not confirmed by reliable sources.

Pokémon posters promoting washing hands and gargling

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 that began in December 2019. Having spread worldwide, it has had a significant impact on the both the Pokémon franchise and the world as a whole.

Contents

Pokémon Center and Pokémon Stores

As of June 1, all Pokémon Center and Pokémon Store locations have been reopened, although most locations continue to have reduced business hours. The Pokémon Center Online website is also operational.[1]

Existing Pokémon retail stores in Japan began closing on April 8, with all of them being closed by April 18. They began reopening on May 14, with all stores being reopened by June 1.[2] The Pokémon Store Outlet Kisarazu Shop, which was originally scheduled to open in late April,[3] also opened on June 1.[4]

Location Date closed Date reopened
PC Sapporo April 18, 2020 May 29, 2020
PC Tohoku May 14, 2020
New Chitose Airport May 29, 2020
PC Tokyo DX April 8, 2020 June 1, 2020
PC Mega Tokyo
PC Shibuya
PC Skytree Town
PC Tokyo Bay
PC Yokohama
Tokyo Station
Outlet Kisarazu
Narita Airport April 8, 2020
PC Nagoya April 11, 2020 May 19, 2020
Gotemba April 18, 2020 May 29, 2020
Chubu International Airport April 11, 2020 May 20, 2020
PC Kyoto April 15, 2020 May 19, 2020
PC Osaka DX April 8, 2020
PC Osaka
Itami Airport May 25, 2020
Kansai Airport
PC Hiroshima April 18, 2020 May 20, 2020
Aeon Mall Okayama May 15, 2020
Emifull Masaki
PC Fukuoka April 8, 2020 May 19, 2020
Amu Plaza Oita April 18, 2020 May 18, 2020
Amu Plaza Kagoshima May 15, 2020
Department Store Ryubo
Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom May 16, 2020

On February 26, various events and in-store events were canceled or postponed and subsequently canceled as of April 15.[5] On February 27, the grand opening of Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo previously scheduled for March 6 was postponed.[6] On March 9, various health measures were put in place for employees and large events were canceled until May 6.[7] On April 8, due to the aforementioned store closures, customers with April birthdays will be able to receive Pokémon Center Birthday Pokémon, crown, card, and coupon promotion until May 31. On May 8, the promotion was extended for customers with April and May birthdays until June 30.[8]

In Singapore, several in-store events were suspended beginning on March 24.[9] On April 1, the store's anniversary celebrations scheduled for April 11 were postponed.[10] On April 4, it was announced that Pokémon Center Singapore would be closed from April 7 to May 4 under new regulations from the Singapore government.[11] On May 1, the closure was extended to June 1 to align with the extension of the circuit breaker period.[12] On May 26, the closure was extended indefinitely.[13] On June 19, Pokémon Center Singapore reopened as part of Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening.[14]

In the United States, the Pokémon Center website began offering free shipping on April 8 for a limited time.[15]

Play! Pokémon and organized play

On March 6, the 2020 Pokémon Europe International Championships were canceled, and adjustments were made to the TCG ruleset to reduce player contact.[16] On March 13, the Regional Championships in Mississauga/Toronto, Charlotte, Joinville, and Salt Lake City were cancelled.[17] On March 17, all Play! Pokémon-sanctioned events in the Americas, Oceania, South Africa, and Europe were canceled through May 14.[18] On March 31, the 2020 North America International Championships and the 2020 Pokémon World Championships were cancelled. As a result, the 2020 Play! Pokémon Championship Series was suspended, including all sanctioned Play! Pokémon events. No Championship Points would be awarded for the rest of the season. It was also announced that the 2021 World Championships would be held in London in its place.[19][20][21]

In Japan, on February 14, the Asia Top League Kyoto event scheduled for February 23 and Elementary Gym Challenge events after February 29 were canceled.[22][23] On February 21, the Champions League Kyoto event scheduled for March 21 and Pokémon Game Gym events after February 29 were canceled.[24][25] On February 26, City League Season 3, Trainers' League, Gym Battle, Pokémon Card Weekend Limited Battle, Start Battle, Pokémon Card Game Classes, and First Battle events from February 29 to March 19, Extra Battle Day, Challenge from Pokémon Card, and the Pokémon Card Game Caravan event at the Geo Naha Shintoshin store in Okinawa scheduled for March 7 were canceled.[26] On March 13, cancellations of these events was extended until April 3.[27] On March 23, the Champions League Miyagi scheduled for April 29, City League Season 4, and Trainers' League events after April 4 were canceled. Gym Battle, Pokémon Card Weekend Limited Battle, Pokémon Card Game Classes, Start Battle, and First Battle events would resume on April 4.[28] Three campaigns were launched beginning on April 3, April 17, and May 1 to support Pokémon Card Gym-authorized stores affected by the cancellation of the 10,000 TCG events scheduled during March.[29][30] On April 22, the Pokémon Japan Championships scheduled for June 27–28 were canceled.[31]

In South Korea, on February 3, the 2019–20 Korean League Season 2 event scheduled for February 15–16 was postponed.[32] On February 22, operations of the Pokémon School were suspended.[33] On April 3, all 2019–20 Korean League events were suspended as a result of the cancellation of the World Championships. Mini League and Korean League competitions were also canceled in South Korea.[34]

In Taiwan, on February 13, the Taiwan Regional League in Taichung scheduled from February 29 to March 1 was canceled.[35] On March 20, the Taiwan Regional League in Taipei scheduled for April 18–19 and Taiwan Town League were postponed.[36] In Hong Kong, on March 28, Teaching Day, Card Day, and Gym Battle events scheduled from March 29 to April 11 were postponed by 14 days to comply with public health measures.[37] On March 31, the Taiwan Championships, Hong Kong Championships, Regional League, and Town League events were canceled as a result of the cancellation of the World Championships.[38][39]

On May 14, an event titled "Pokémon Players Cup" was announced,[40] featuring online-exclusive tournaments for Pokémon Sword and Shield, TCG (through Pokémon TCG Online), and Pokken Tournament DX. Aside from qualifiers, the event is set in two stages: a double-elimination bracket, broken down by rating zones, to be held during July; and the top finisher's bracket, to be held during August. This is the first time the TCG client has been involved in an official event. Its tournaments are being solely held in the Masters Division, likely due to international laws and issues regarding age verification.

Games

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 World Championships, the 2020 International Challenge April and May Online Competition will neither award Championship Points nor the ability to participate in the Pokémon Japan Championships.[31]

Due to the postponement of advance ticket sales for M23, the corresponding Okoya Forest Celebi and Zarude event were postponed until August 7, 2020.[41]

In Taiwan, the launch of the Pokémon Tretta Championship Collection scheduled for April was delayed on March 11.[42]

From April 1 to May 3, Pokémon TCG Online players received additional rewards for logging in daily and participating in online matches, although this event has not been officially linked to the pandemic.[43]

Pokémon GO

On February 28, Nidorino and Gengar Raid Day scheduled for March 1 was canceled in Japan, South Korea, and Italy.[44] It was also announced that March 15 Community Day and other limited-time events would be canceled in these countries.[45][46]

On March 12, the Abra Community Day scheduled for March 15 was postponed worldwide and various adjustments were made to the game.[47] On March 17, Raid Hour was canceled.[48] On March 18, the Safari Zone events in St. Louis, Liverpool, and Philadelphia were postponed.[49] On March 20, GO Battle League was changed to remove walking and PokéCoin requirements and to lower the Friendship level requirement for Trainer Battles with friends until May 1.[50] On March 23, Lugia Raid Week and Raid Hour were canceled.[51] On March 27, the Thundurus and Cobalion Raid Battle events were extended until March 31 and Raid Hours were canceled indefinitely until May 6, 2020.[52] On March 30, the The Shadow Threat Grows Special Research was extended through the end of April.[53] On March 31, the Gym interaction distance was doubled.[54]

On April 3, it was announced that the hatch distance for Eggs would be halved and that the Pokémon Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus Hour events would be combined for the month of April.[55][56] On April 16, it was announced that the Abra Community Day previously scheduled for March will be held on April 25.[57] On April 20, the Landorus Raid Battle event was extended until April 28.[58] On April 27, Remote Raid Passes were added, allowing players to play Raids at any Gyms visible on their screen.[59] On April 30, it was announced that no new Team GO Rocket Special Research tasks would be added from May to September.[60]

On May 12, it was announced that a Play at Home section would be made available on the Pokémon GO website and in-game in the Poké Ball menu.[61] It was made available on the website on May 15.[62]

TCG

Logo for World Down

The Rebel Clash Build & Battle Box were released early to select retailers for sale on April 18 in place of being given to Prerelease Tournament participants.[63]

Due to the cancellation of March 2020-May 2020 Pokémon Card Gym events, the S-P Promotional cards in the pack were not distributed until the resumption of events on April 4. On April 7, the name of World Down was changed to Infinity Zone, likely due to the negative connotations of the previous name.[64]

Anime

Artwork of Ash and Goh posted for the anime's return

On April 3, two Pokémon movies began to be added weekly to Pokémon TV as part of a Pokémon Movie Marathon.[65]

In Japan, from March 9 to April 5, Pokémon the Series: XY, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and Pokémon Journeys: The Series were made available for free on Prime Video to all customers with an Amazon account due to the closure of schools in Japan. It was subsequently extended until May 31.[66][67] From March 18 to 31, April 8 to 30, and May 1 to May 31, all episodes of Pokémon Journeys: The Series were made available for free on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.[68][69][70] From April 17 to May 6, the cable channel Kids Station was made free-to-watch each day from 6:00 AM to 12:00 noon in response to the state of emergency declared on April 7.[71]

On April 3, ticket preorders for M23 scheduled for April 17 were postponed. [72] On May 13, it was announced that its Japanese theatrical release has also been postponed.[73] On May 20, the preview screenings scheduled for June 28 were canceled.[74] In the July 2020 issue of CoroCoro released on June 15, it was announced that ticket preorders would begin on August 7 and that the movie will be released in winter 2020.[41]

On April 19, following the broadcast of JN022, it was announced that reruns would be aired in place of new episodes on TV Tokyo due to parts of production going on break, the only unplanned hiatus of the anime since the Porygon incident.[75] On May 31, it was announced that new episodes would resume on June 7 after a seven-week hiatus.[76] The following episodes were delayed as a result:

Code Japanese title Planned broadcast Actual broadcast
JN023 大パニック!サクラギパーク! April 26, 2020 June 7, 2020
JN024 休め!ロケット団! May 3, 2020 June 14, 2020
JN025 命爆発バトルフェス!VSメガルカリオ!! May 10, 2020 June 21, 2020
JN026 はねろ!コイキング
かぶれ!ヤドキング
May 17, 2020 June 28, 2020
JN027 英雄伝説!ダンデ最強バトル!! May 24, 2020 July 5, 2020
JN028 めそめそメッソン May 31, 2020 July 12, 2020
JN029 パチパチやきもち!ワンパチのきもち June 7, 2020

On May 15, the official Japanese Twitter account and the Korean official site posted an apology that Assistant, the fifth episode of Pokémon: Twilight Wings originally scheduled for release in May, had been postponed until June 5.[77][78] On May 18, the official Chinese Facebook accounts also announced it had been postponed until June 5.[79][80]

In South Korea, the theatrical release of M22 was postponed on April 9.[81]

In Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, two episodes of Pokémon: Indigo League were uploaded daily from April 17 to May 12 to the official YouTube channel for a limited time until June 22 as part of the "Home Fun for Pokémon Fans" campaign.[82][83][84] In Hong Kong, two episodes of the Cantonese dub of Pokémon: Indigo League were uploaded daily from May 12 to June 6 to the official YouTube channel for a limited time until July 13 as part of the "Home Fun for Pokémon Fans" campaign.[85]

In New Zealand, TVNZ aired repeats of Pokémon the Series: XY Kalos Quest from March 30 to April 27 in a late morning timeslot on TVNZ Duke as part of Duke Jr., a block of children's programming designed to keep children entertained during the day while they were stuck at home during the national lockdown imposed by the government in response to the pandemic.[86]

Other

In the United States, HBO made the Detective Pikachu movie available for free as part of a #StayHomeBoxOffice campaign from April 3 to the end of the month through the HBO NOW or HBO GO apps.[87]

In Japan, materials from the Pokémon Illustration Lab, which were previously only available for education, child care, public, and medical facilities, was opened to use for families with children of elementary school age and below beginning on March 6. On April 7, the Pokémon Card Game Support Desk and the Pokémon GO Special Dial were suspended beginning on April 8.[88] On April 8, it was announced that the Pokémon with You Train service would be suspended from April 10 to May 31.[89] On April 17, the hours of Pokémon Customer Support Center were reduced.[88] As of April 20, Creatures, Inc. ceased recruitment for new positions within the company, which at the time included several Pokémon game and TCG related positions.[90][91] On April 30, Pokémon Local Acts goods began being sold online due to the pandemic making it difficult to purchase the goods in-person while visiting the respective localities.[92] On May 29, a Pokémon Fun at Home page was put up on the official website.[93]

In Thailand, beginning on March 26, the official Facebook page began a #FunFromHome campaign.

In Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, printable activity coloring pages were made available on April 17 as part of the "Home Fun for Pokémon Fans" campaign.[82][83][84] They were later made available in Vietnam on April 20, Hong Kong on May 12, and Indonesia on June 10.[94][85][95]

Deaths

  • Kumiko Okae, the Japanese voice actress of Jenny in M08, died of COVID-19 on April 23, 2020, at the age of 63.[96]

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