Aloha Pokémon trainers. Today, the Pokémon GO blog announced an upcoming new update for the popular mobile game: Alolan forms of some of the Kanto region's Pokémon will be appearing. Niantic posted a picture with a bunch of silhouettes, accompanied by the formal announcement.
The Pokémon GO team: Sunny days are ahead! Whether your forecast calls for rain or shine, we’re celebrating all around the world by introducing some special Pokémon from the tropical Alola region to Pokémon GO. Get ready for some of the Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region to appear in their Alolan forms! These unique variants were first seen in the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon video games, and they will make their way to Pokémon GO in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for news related to this exciting change—and don’t forget to tell your friends! Stay safe, and happy exploring!
Those who have played Pokémon Sun and Moon will be able to identify the silhouettes. From left to right, the roster appears to be: Diglett, Meowth, Vulpix, Geodude, Marowak, Exeggutor, Sandslash, Raichu, Muk, Dugtrio, and Rattata. The Alolan forms of Pokémon are thus far unique to the 1st generation, and this will be their first game appearance outside of Sun and Moon. The below picture is a recreation using images from Sun and Moon.
Although Pokémon GO is not the pop culture phenomenon it was when it first came out, the AR title is still played by many across the globe. In fact, when taking a look at the Google Play store, it is the second in the "top grossing list," behind Candy Crush Saga. According to a report by SuperData Research, Pokémon GO made $890 million in 2017. Clearly, the game still has a massive audience. Though many in that audience have achieved the maximum level of 40, Niantic has been continually supporting the game, adding new features to keep those players clicking on the app. Pokémon from the Johto and Hoenn regions were implemented, as well as legendary Pokémon like Raikou and Kyogre. The phrase, "Gotta catch 'em all" continues to be the driving point. With regions that are not even in GO yet (sinnoh, Unova, Kalos), the game can continue to be supported for a very long time.
The Alolan forms should certainly be a fun feature. However, players are still waiting for the ability to trade with, and battle other trainers. It has been almost two years since Pokémon GO released, so it's surprising that a battle system and trading still isn't possible. If Niantic wishes to bring GO back to its initial hype, adding those two things is essential. Perhaps the company is waiting until more generations are implemented. The more Pokémon there are, the more unique the battles will be. Time will tell when/if we see these features.