Niantic Labs stayed true to its word and today revealed that new Pokémon would be added to Pokémon GO.
In a post on Pokémon GO’s website Niantic revealed that some Generation 2 Pokémon from Pokémon Gold & Silver would be attainable by hatching eggs. The website only makes specific mention to Pichu and Togepi, but it’s been revealed that there are at least seven new Pokémon.
The Pokédex in Pokémon GO has been updated and by going to Pikachu, Clefairy, Jigglypuff, Jynx and so on, you can see that a new evolution has been added for the baby versions.
The only way to ‘catch’ these new Pokémon is by collecting eggs from Pokéstops and walking to hatch them. None of the newly added Pokémon are available in the wild, though Niantic says that new Pokémon from Gold & Silver will be added in the coming months.
Along with the new Pokémon, Niantic has also added a special Holiday Pikachu wearing a Santa Hat. We’ve also confirmed — as you can see above — that when Holiday Pikachu is evolved, the Raichu keeps the hat. Holiday Pikachu is available from now until December 30, 2016.
The addition of new Pokémon is seen as a move to bring back players who have left in droves in recent times. In September, Slice Intelligence reported that Pokémon GO had lost 79% of its player base, but was still generation 28% of all in-game revenue across mobile games in August 2016.
The graphs above show the decline in players as well as the interest over-time of Google searches of VR as compared to Pokémon GO and Augmented Reality in general. As you can see, there was a sharp increase in interest when Pokémon GO was launched, but with the waning interest of players, the interest in AR also declined.
The addition of these few new Pokémon and only within eggs seems like a poor choice by Niantic. Only the die-hard players are likely to be interested in catching them. Without the novelty of seeing the Pokémon on-screen, there’s not much to bring back the casual player. Even worse still, the seven new Pokémon have been added to the existing 2, 5 and 10km eggs meaning the chances of hatching a new one is slim.
Pikachu has been spotted wearing a festive hat! Now until Dec. 29th at 10am PST, explore the world to discover this limited edition Pikachu. pic.twitter.com/YTuTHfEodU
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) December 12, 2016
I can attest the the difficulty in obtaining one of the new Pokémon. Today I’ve hatched 18 new eggs and have not yet hatched one of the new Pokémon. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
What do you think of the new Pokémon? Have you caught a Holiday Pikachu yet?
Pokémon GO is available now for Android and iOS.