Ever since the first Legendary Pokémon (read: ultra strong, ultra rare Pokémon that require groups of 10-20 players to capture) appeared in Pokémon GO shortly after the upset that was GO Fest, one thing has remained unclear: were the Legendaries here to stay?
Niantic had multiple in-game events/bonuses running in parallel with scheduled ending times, and no one seemed to know if these ending times also affected Legendaries. Everyone seemed to have heard something different, and no one really seemed to have a clear answer.
Niantic CEO John Hanke has just released the most official answer yet, releasing a proper schedule for the comings and goings of the next few Legendaries to hit the game.
Here’s what it looks like:
- Articuno (Team Mystic’s mascot) was released on July 22nd and will be available through Monday, July 31st
- Moltres (Valor’s mascot) will be released on Monday, July 31st and will be available through Monday, August 7th
- Zapdos (Instinct’s mascot) will be released on Monday, August 7th and will be available through Monday, August 14th
Curiously, no word yet on whether Lugia (the other Legendary released on July 22nd) will hang around.
It may seem weird to have something come and go like this — particularly something that most players will want and be upset to miss. But releasing them all at once would keep people interested for a day or two, max — staggering them like this keeps them popping back in for weeks at a time.
And will these birds ever make appearances down the road, after their initial in-game stints are through? No word on that yet, either — but I’d bet on yes. It would be a bit weird (and self-defeating) if newcomers were never able to get their hands on them. For many, Pokémon has always been about completing a collection; if your collection will always be missing some of the game’s most substantial ‘mon, why bother?