The weather is starting to warm up, school will be letting out soon, and both of those factors will combine to present a unique opportunity for Pokemon GO to regain relevance and see dramatically increased play (and revenue) during this “peak” time of year.
But that’s only going to work if players actually have something to do that’s interesting in the game, and that’s going to need to be more than just finishing up Gen 1 and Gen 2’s limited Pokedexes. Gen 3 is clearly too far off to launch this summer, so that leaves essentially one major event that should arrive with the game this summer: Legendary Pokemon.
I’m not going to spend today rehashing how Legendaries should or shouldn’t be introduced into the game, whether that’s through personalized “quests” or global spawns/raids. Nor am I going to talk about how the game might have to change dramatically to balance these hugely powerful Pokemon with the current roster. I’ve covered both of those angles before, and there will be plenty of time to debate them more once Niantic’s plans are clear.
But rather, I’ve come up with what I think is a pretty solid timeline for how Legendary Pokemon should be introduce into the game. My idea? One a week, all summer.
That may sound crazy, as how could the release of Legendaries possibly last an entire summer, but when you stop and realize just how many Legendaries we need to “catch up on” before Gen 3, it makes a lot of sense. In all, there are eleven Legendary Pokémon that need to make their way into the game, and as such, that’s enough to fill up a huge chunk of the summer with their staggered release.
My idea is that rather than release these in big batches, or only get through one or two releases before summer ends, is simply to do all of them, back-to-back. Whatever form their release takes, an available quest or a targeted spawn, introduce a new Legendary/Mythic each week until all of them are permanent fixtures in the game.
These would stack on top of each other, they would not be a limited time offering. By the end all 11 would be available in the game, and it seems pretty obvious to me that players should only be able to get one copy of each, and if they want to train them, they better get to buddy walking. During their “featured” week, perhaps they would be more readily available to find.
Here’s what I would imagine as a tentative schedule, stretched between early June and mid-August, when most people will be out of school and everyone will be more eager to be walking outside in nice weather.
- Articuno – June 5th – June 11th
- Zapdos – June 12th – June 18th
- Moltres – June 19th – June 25th
- Enkei – June 26th – July 2st
- Raikou – July 3nd – July 9th
- Suicune – July 10th – July 16th
- Lugia – July 17th – July 23rd
- Ho-oh – July 24th – July 30th
- Mew – July 31st – August 6th
- Celebi – August 7th – August 13th
- Mewtwo – August 14th – August 20th
So yeah, essentially all summer long. This would be an ongoing event (interspersed with more targeted events, 1 year anniversary, and so on) that would give players a reason to show up and play every single week for the duration of summer. Again, the specifics of how Legendaries should arrive can be debated, but I would rather see this than say “This is Legendary Bird week” and then “This is Mew/Mewtwo week” then we head into fall skipping Gen 2 Legendaries and marching towards Gen 3 without them.
I would say this is…probably not likely to happen. Niantic seems to like more specific events than what I’m proposing as a full-summer gauntlet, but I would really like to see them somehow get through all the current Legendaries this summer, and then unlock region exclusives as well so a year after launch, people can start truly completing their Pokedex without booking flights around the world.
Hopefully we’ll get some more activities on Pokemon GO’s summer plans (and Legendary plans) soon, but until then, this is what I think would be the best, most engaging course forward.