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Pokémon Go event gave more than half a billion Magikarp a home

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It’s all thanks to that shiny new coat of paint

The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Go really has transformed one of the least desirable Pokémon into the most popular one around. During the game’s most recent special event, which wrapped last week, players willingly sought out and captured more than 500 million Magikarp, proving that maybe it’s not so worthless after all.

The “Water Festival” event gave players more access to Magikarp as well as a very good reason to collect them en masse. A shiny version of the Pokémon debuted during that campaign, and Magikarp — and its evolution, Gyarados — are Pokémon Go’s sole specially colored monsters available thus far.

Combined with the increased frequency of water-type Pokémon on land during the Water Festival, it makes perfect sense that so many Magikarp made it into players’ parties. The shiny Magikarp is here to stay, though, so we’d expect its popularity to keep on surging.

We knew that the Pokémon had its fanatics before, as there was a strong contingent of Pokémon Go players trying to wrangle as many Magikarp as possible. Evolving the weak fish into its powerful, dragon-like evolution requires having a ton of Magikarp candy on hand, after all. But it wasn’t really until Pokémon Go made Magikarp the highlight of a unique event that we took the time to reconsider the little guy’s value.