It’s been almost two months since Mewtwo showed up for a select group of Japanese players at one of Pokémon GO’s live stadium events. The lucky crowd captured him there, and then shortly afterwards, a beta was started to test “exclusive raids.”
Everyone else would not be gifted a Mewtwo like those in the stadium. Rather, the most frequent raiders would be granted an exclusive pass where they had to be somewhere at a specific time for an uber-raid, and hopefully they could catch Mewtwo there.
This has been going on for months now, with the beta slowly expanding and shrinking, popping up in totally random places all over the world without any sort of real consistency and no indication when Mewtwo is just. Going. To. Live. Already.
All of this leads me to believe that this entire concept was botched from the start. Mewtwo was the Legendary Pokémon everyone was looking forward to. The godly beast from Red and Blue, the raid boss in the first GO trailer.
But instead of a grand release, he was given away to a fraction of the fanbase in Japan, and then has been slowly trickled out in random places during this beta test.
It’s like if Star Wars: The Last Jedi was finally released, but it only showed up in certain cities at times you couldn’t predict, and you had to see five other movies at that same theater before you were invited to buy a ticket.
All of this was easy to avoid. I simply do not understand why Niantic has bent themselves over backward to try and make this exclusive raid system work when it literally adds nothing to the game, and has served only to make the Mewtwo rollout fall flat and frustrate the majority of the left-out playerbase.
This was easy. Use the existing raid system where anyone can join. Make Mewtwo raids occur infrequently, no more than one per week in a given area (even once a month, potentially), but give a 2-3 day countdown timer so everyone knows exactly when and where it’s happening and there’s time to plan for it.
Make the spawn time 6-8 hours so people have some flexibility to attend once it’s live. The long countdown paired with the infrequent spawn should hopefully make it possibly to complete the raid, even if Mewtwo is tougher than everything else that came before it.
And that’s it. No exclusive raid passes. Nobody being left out. No need for a goofy two month beta test of a concept that didn’t even need to exist in the first place.
The only reasons I can imagine that Niantic did this to begin with was:
- To try and “reward” top tier players in some way, but failing to realize that high-end players already have 3K CP Pokémon and stacks of Legendaries to call their own, so they really don’t need exclusive access to Mewtwo.
- But also this may have been some sort of ham-fisted attempt at getting people to buy more raid passes for a better shot of getting an invite, but in practice, that does not seem to actually have helped that many people, and raiding with the free pass daily should be enough to at least keep you in the running. It’s a bad, unrealiable way to try and make money, and I hope it wasn’t the crux of why this system was invented.
The release of the other Legendaries has been fine. The post-Chicago GO Fest launch of the initial birds was great because everyone could go out and immediately capture them.
The Legendary beasts roaming around the world is kind of a neat idea. But this Mewtwo exclusive beta test has neutered all hype about the most-hyped Pokémon in the game, and could have easily been avoided if anyone stopped and thought about what a bad idea this was in the first place.
Mewtwo will probably go live soon enough, possibly now bleeding into the imminent launch of Gen 3, but when he does, I hope he leaves his exclusive raid passes behind.