Niantic Releases Next Gen Pokemon in Smart Marketing Move

February 16, 2017

After months of silence on the Pokémon Go front, I bet you thought the revolutionary AR game had finally bitten the dust due to dwindling user interest. Well, that’s certainly not the case, and today I’m back as the self-proclaimed Pokémon expert to share some exciting news that might even convince you to get back out there and catch‘em all.

Yesterday, Niantic announced that it has released more than 80 new next generation Pokémon in its biggest update yet. A few months back, the company announced the addition of several baby Pokémon, such as Togepi, Pichu, Magby, Cleffa, Igglybuff, Smoochum and Elekid. It appears as though this smaller update was just meant to keep players happy while the company prepared to unleash this latest update, which is sure to get people back out and playing.

Some of the new Pokémon are Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile, along with several other favorites from the Johto region in the Pokémon Gold and Silver games. Not only are there more little monsters being added, but there’s also going to be added variety thanks to the new gender-specific variations. So, just because you’ve caught a male Chikorita doesn’t necessarily mean you can completely cross him off the list—there’s always the female Chikorita to look out for. The way these Pokémon interact with the trainers they come across has also changed; the company stated that they will react in “new ways” when players encounter them.

The release of the next generation of Pokémon doesn’t mean that the first generation has been completely left in the dust, though. New evolutions will be unlocked for some of the first generation Pokémon, meaning even more opportunities to catch new Pokémon.

The new update is also bringing new power-ups. There are two new types of berries that players can collect and use—Pinap doubles your candy received and Nanab slows a Pokémon down. Thanks to some new buttons on the screen, the berries are easily accessible, making it possible to use one quickly to slow down a Pokémon before it escapes.

There’s a lot going on with this new update—new Pokémon, evolutions, interactions, berries and more. To build up user interest once again, Niantic’s marketing team knew it had to do something big. Players have been waiting for months for an update and, this time, instead of rolling out some smaller changes to appease players, Niantic went all out. This is a smart marketing move because an update this big is almost guaranteed to get people interested again. Those who were once able to say they had caught all the Pokémon in their Pokédex can no longer boast that accomplishment. If they want to keep their status, they’ll have to hit the streets in search of the more than 80 new additions. Even once all the new Pokémon are caught, the new evolutions will keep trainers occupied as they work to move their Pokémon through the stages.

Thanks to the winter months and the dwindling user base, we haven’t had to be on the lookout lately for people wandering around aimlessly searching for Pokémon. With this new update, it looks like people will be out on the roads again trying to fill their Pokédexes. The expected surge in players this update will create is exciting for Niantic, and even more exciting for non-users, who tend to get a little too much joy out of watching people do crazy things on their quest to catch’em all.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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