Niantic says, “This summer will be legendary.”
Pokémon GO’s one year anniversary is approaching this summer, and developers at Niantic are gearing up to celebrate with some legendary additions. 😉
It’s a bit of an open secret that some of those sought-after Legendary Pokémon will make official appearances in the monster-hunting app game phenomenon soon. Data miners found Legendaries in Pokémon GO’s code ages ago, but they still remain uncatchable. That should change soon.
The 21st Annual Webby Awards awarded Pokémon GO with Best Mobile Game of 2017, and Niantic’s global product marketing lead Archit Bhargava gave a short and sweet acceptance speech:
“This summer will be legendary.”
Coming from the developer’s marketing lead, I’d say that’s a pretty credible confirmation of Legendary Pokémon making their way to smartphones everywhere sometime this summer.
The rare creatures in question should be the gen 1 bird trio Moltres, Articuno, and Zapdos, as well as the the psychic science experiment Mewtwo.
But how will these additions work? Will Legendary Pokémon spawn like other creatures? Data miners think not.
The Silph Road recently found “raids” in the Pokémon GO code with phrases like, “There’s a raid about to start near you!” and “A raid’s going to start nearby!”
While there is nothing in the code to indicate these raids are tied to Legendaries, these phrases bring to mind one of the first Pokémon GO trailers where players gather in Times Square to defeat Mewtwo. The trailer shows a countdown to the start of the battle, a prompt to “Defeat Mewtwo,” and a 10 minute time limit with dozens of players’ Pokémon swarming Mewtwo. When the Legendary Pokémon’s HP depletes, players see the message, “Gotcha! Mewtwo was caught!”
If that doesn’t sound like raid, I don’t know what does.
Other features shown in that trailer, like player-to-player trading, haven’t made their way to Pokémon GO yet, leading to player complaints of the game being over-hyped with false promises. Niantic has shown its dedication to improving the gameplay with new features and activities, but they still have a ways to go to get to the game they initially advertised.
Here’s what we think these Legendary raids would look like:
When Legendaries roll out, they’ll likely appear in social events–possibly called raids–instead of random encounters. Populated areas like downtowns and sporting events would be hot spots for these raids, and players in the area would get notifications when one of these events is about to start.
When the raid begins, players can join and attack the Legendary with their top Pokémon, possibly taking turns or maybe attacking all at once. If the Legendary Pokémon is defeated within the time limit, raid participants will all have a chance to throw their most powerful Pokéballs at the creature to catch it. Or maybe all participants will “catch” the Legendary automatically, although that seems unlikely.
Of course, these raids wouldn’t happen nearly as often as an encounter with a regular Pokémon. Niantic’s going to make us work hard for those elusive, powerful Legendaries.
Do Pokémon GO Legendary raids sound promising to you? Let us know in the comments.