Legendary Pokemon may finally be coming to Pokemon Go this summer, according to some new comments from Niantic.
This hint came as part of the 21st Annual Webby Awards, at which Niantic Labs won an award for Best Mobile Game for Pokemon Go. At the Webby Awards, acceptance speeches are limited to five words, and the words that Niantic used immediately drew the attention of Pokemon Go fans.
Archit Bhargava, Niantic’s global product marketing lead, said, “This summer will be legendary.”
Of course, he could just be referring to the fact that the summer will be an exciting time to play Pokemon Go and that players will have a lot of fun with the game, but it’s hard to imagine that Niantic would purposefully drop a word like “legendary” when discussing Pokemon without it being a reference to the legendary creatures.
After all, the release date of the legendary birds is something Niantic has been asked about just about every day for the past 10 months, and Niantic has confirmed that these Pokemon are coming. In an interview with Wired back in March, when asked about the legendary Pokemon possibly making an appearance soon, Hanke said, “I can safely say we’ll see more of it this year.” And if the plan was to release the legendary Pokemon in 2017, it’s safe to assume that the company would unveil them during the summer, when more players will be outside playing Pokemon Go.
John Hanke had previously suggested that the legendary Pokemon will probably be introduced as part of some sort of cooperative event, perhaps where players have to team up in order to catch the legendary creatures. It would not be surprising if this becomes a team-based activity, as the three legendary birds, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, are associated with the game’s three factions.
There are plenty of other legendary Pokemon outside of the legendary birds, though, including Mew, Mewtwo, Entei, Suicune, Raikou. It remains to be seen whether these creatures are on their way as well, but Niantic would likely start small with an event just involving a few of the legendaries.
Some other major Pokemon Go updates are expected this summer as well, with Niantic having previously stated that they hope to rework the gym system so it is more cooperative.
“There is very limited gameplay in the arenas,” Hanke said in March. “They simply do not work as well as we would wish. We will rework this aspect of the game so that there will be more teamwork and people will get more incentive and reward for participating.”