Is the Pokémon Go craze over? Don’t hold your breath about proclaiming the hype over just yet; Professor Willow may have something to say about that. A new and major Pokémon Go update is about to drop anytime now. For fans who are still looking for something new for the augmented reality mobile app game, this is a great news.
Niantic teased the newest Pokémon Go update in messages it sent to fans recently. It read: “Look for another update from us in a few weeks. You may even get a special message from Professor Willow.” So what could we be looking at?
Gotta Catch Em All – and a Hundred More
The updates for Pokémon Go easily refer to the release of the Gen 2 Pokémon. Longtime fans will be familiar with these Pokes as the critters that originally debuted for Pokémon Gold and Silver. That was way back in 1999, on the Nintendo GameBoy. The generation featured a hundred new Pokémon, adding them to the original 151 for a grand total of 251 Pokedex entries.
Niantic already released some of those new Pokémon: baby Pokémon, exclusively from eggs. Togepi, the colorful little egg Pokémon that became popular in the anime series, was one that players were able to hatch. Pichu, Pikachu’s cute little pre-evolution was made available as well ahead of the rest of the Gen 2 pack. Cleffa, Igglybuff, Smoochum, Elekid, and Magby are also on the list.
— Niantic (@NianticLabs) January 6, 2017
However, fans are also still waiting to get their hands on some Legendary Pokémon. Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and the infamous Mewtwo remain the Pokémon from the first Gen that fans have been unable to capture. Fan speculation suggests that Niantic will finally make them available for capturing – but this remains unconfirmed by Niantic.
Drop Off – Could a Pokémon Go Update save the game?
The bad news for Niantic is that despite the game’s massive 2016 success, a major drop off is predicted for 2017. As Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities notes, the game has dropped out of the Top 10 for countries with populations of 20 million and above. The phenomenon comes largely from game design. Since there’s not much to do but catch Pokémon- just swipe, swipe and swipe – the game got very stale, very fast for many.
The complexities of training, battling, and trading were absent. For longtime fans of the handheld console games, this may have been the biggest disappointment. The $115 million profit Nintendo made last year, as noted by Express UK, may not see a repeat too easily. The flash in the pan is gone.
The occasional Pokémon Go update, such as being able to stroll about with your buddy Pokémon, revives interest from time to time. The interaction with the leaders of Valor, Mystic, and Instinct drew attention as well.
But if Niantic really wants to clamber back for another successful year, the complete slew of Gen 2 Pokémon, and some Legendaries, would be a good start.