Pokémon Go developer Niantic hasn’t exactly made it a secret that Generation 2 Pokémon are on the way, as the company added a few new baby Pokémon over the holidays as a small sampling of the lineup originally introduced in the Gold and Silver Game Boy games. However, with the developer just wrapping up its Valentine’s event this week and a vague content plan sketched out for the months ahead, most players had assumed that the rest of Generation 2 was still months away.
As it turns out, we’re only days away from a full Gen 2 roll out.
Niantic announced this morning that Gen 2 will be coming pretty much all at once, with 80 new Pokémon added to the game by the end of the week, representing Pokémon Go’s biggest content update since launch last July.
“Today is a momentous occasion for our team here at Niantic which has been hard at work to deliver these additional Pokémon and build upon the encounter and capture mechanics for our passionate global community of Trainers playing Pokémon GO,” said John Hanke, founder and Chief Executive Officer, Niantic, Inc. “Pokémon GO is a live experience which we’ll be continuing to support and evolve in new and interesting ways for years to come with new gameplay features, in-game and live events, more Pokémon to discover and much more.”
As Hanke hints in his statement, additional changes are coming to Pokémon Go with the update, such as a reworking of the encounter/capture system, new items for evolutions, new berries, and new customization items for trainers.
80 new Pokémon is a pretty big deal, but as Paul Tassi over at Forbes points out, that’s still a few short of the full Gen 2 lineup. Gold/Silver added 100 new Pokémon and even with the babies factored in, the total tally is 86, meaning that there are still 14 Pokémon unaccounted for. Considering Niantic still hasn’t found a way to release Gen 1 mythic/legendary Pokémon yet, it’s safe to assume that it will be awhile before players are catching the likes of Ho-Oh and Lugia. Tassi also pegs the release date as being this Saturday the 18th, but a firm date has yet to be revealed.
This update is sure to bring back many lapsed players, but will it be enough to make the community thrive again like last summer, especially since most of North America is still in the throes of winter? We’ll just have to wait and see, but we know that I’ll be out there trying to catch ’em all again!