For anyone who read my first article about the initial teaser for this crime against humanity, you’ll already know full well the true extent of my disdain for what was only a mere hint at what could have hypothetically been coming our way. With only a slither of information to go on, I experienced complete contempt for even the prospect of a collaboration between Pokemon and the noise technician that is Ed Sheeran.
Why, do you ask? To be honest I don’t really know myself. Perhaps it’s due to the endless parade of pop-culture clowns cashing in on gaming’s good name? Perhaps Chris Pratt being the voice of Mario was already far too much Nintendo x Celebrity news to process for one year? Or perhaps I’ve simply just lost a lot of self-respect in my pursuit for validation by spewing unjustified anger towards things that are ultimately inconsequential…and sometimes I just like to wallow in that…
But no matter, here we are once again. Last time we had nothing but a teaser hinting at some form of collaboration between singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, and the massively popular mobile game Pokemon Go. With music and gaming fans alike speculating whether Ed would actually become a pokemon or just have his songs play in the game, at last, Niantic has decided to put us all out of our misery, and not a moment too soon.
It turns out that there is to be a special Ed Sheeran Performance (or hostage situation depending on who you ask) which players can watch within the Pokemon Go app. Not only that, but there will also be a Sheeran song playing in-game in the evenings, and in celebration of Ed’s favourite starter pokemon, increased spawns of each generation’s water type will be appearing throughout the week.
One thing I neglected to mention in my previous piece was that Ed Sheeran has demonstrably been a Pokemon fan for many years. Another thing I neglected to mention was that I do not give two flying Fennekins as to what Ed Sheeran thinks.
While this collaboration is purely nothing but a marketing stunt for Ed Sheeran to unwarrantedly parp sounds at unsuspecting players for a few hours, there is one genuine benefit to this event occurring; we get sunglasses Squirtle back (not seen since July 2018).
Niantic has said you can watch the torture session in the in-game News area of the app. Or if you wish to avoid it, you can instead be subjected to the game’s pop-up news items that shove the concert in your face anyway.
What’s both simultaneously disappointing and gratifying about this is that the performance isn’t technically ‘in’ the game at all, as instead everything in-game is just a link to a webpage with a YouTube embed of the performance. So essentially all Ed Sheeran has done is pay an absurd amount of money to Niantic in order to become an easily ignorable pop-up ad on a game that doesn’t have any.
The Ed Sheeran performance lasts for just under 23 minutes, which is just under 23 minutes longer than it had any right to be. The performance features the songs ‘Perfect’ (it’s anything but), ‘Bad Habits’ (like marketing yourself in videogames), ‘Overpass Graffiti’ (Banksy doesn’t like him either), ‘Thinking Out Loud’ (like i’m doing now about how I hate all of this), ‘First Times’ (bet he uses that excuse a lot), and ‘Shivers’ (describes my feelings exactly).
The ‘Overpass Graffiti’ track is the song that’s played in-game in the evenings, and no, you can’t turn it off, or at the very least, I was too paralysed with rage to try. Assuming that everyone will want to constantly hear your song in their game is a move so pompously bold that it makes U2 blush after they forced an album into everyone’s iTunes account without consent.
Beyond violating your eardrums, and the admittedly welcome return of Sunglasses Squirtle, the Ed Sheeran event will also have the following bonuses:
- Daily Snapshot “surprise” by Sunglasses Squirtle
- Event-exclusive field research (see later in the page)
- Free event box (1x Lure Module, 20x Pokéballs, 10x Razz Berries, and 10x Pinap Berries)
- Water-type themed stickers from spinning Stops, opening Gifts and the in-game shop
- Ed Sheeran avatar items by redeeming code VVM87WGMMUZHTB8X during the event hours
And now we come to the final and only piece of information about this event that brings me genuine pleasure to discuss: its end. Fear not friends, for this torment is only temporary, and we shall once again regale in the splendour of a Sheeran-less Pokemon Go, once more!
The event will be ending on Tuesday, November 30th 2021 at 9pm GMT / 4pm EST / 1pm PST / 10pm CEST, a date which can’t come soon enough.
That’s right, in less than a week we can go back to pretending that this perversion of Pokemon never happened and continue to instead focus on other forms of existential dread.
Will you be partaking in the Ed Sheeran event? Do you still play Pokemon Go? Do you too lay in bed at 3am writing angry things about Ed Sheeran for a small news website wondering where did it all go wrong? Let us know in the comments below!