Niantic is adding 50 new creatures to Pokémon Go as well as dynamic weather in a major update for the mobile game. The dozens of new Pokémon come from the Hoenn region, and they will start rolling out this week for players to catch and collect in Pokémon Go, which has been enormously popular since its release in June 2016. The mobile game with augmented reality features has now earned a total of $1.2 billion in revenues and 752 million downloads, according to Apptopia, an app intelligence startup based in Boston. That success has enabled Niantic to continue investing in expansions to keep the game fresh, and now todays update will bring Pokémon Sapphire and Ruby creatures (which debuted in 2002) such as Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip into the action. More will arrive in batches the coming weeks, said Niantic global product marketing lead Archit Bhargava in an interview with GamesBeat . They will appear in a staged rollout over time, Bhargava said. This is good because so many players are close to completing their Pokedexes. As players explore for Pokémon, the current weather in their vicinity will be visible on the in-game map. This weather in the real world will impact the gameplay in a variety of ways that include changing Pokémon habitats and where you can find them, increasing combat power and earning more Stardust after catching a Pokémon. Players might find Mudkip splashing when it rains, Cacnea basking in the sun, and Snorunt huddling together in the snow. Certain Pokémon will be more likely to appear in the weather that suits them the most, so Pokémon Go Trainers can learn more about their local weather patterns and ecology to find these rare Pokémon and make progress on their Pokédexes. As the seasons change, theyll encounter different Pokémon. Once all of the creatures from Hoenn are released, Go will have nearly 300 Pokémon. Earlier this year, Niantic released the generation 2 Pokémon, expanded to more regions around the world, and it released the social collaboration feature Raid Battles. It also added more Legendary creatures in the summer. The company tried an event in the real world in Chicago, but it encountered a lot of problems. We continue to work on real-world events, Bhargava said. Things in Chicago didnt go well, but that did not deter us. We continue to work on it. Niantic still has a lot of room for expansion, as there are more than 800 Pokémon in the lore. Matt Slemon, product manager at Niantic, said in an interview that the Ruby and Sapphire games featured local ecology and weather. As the new Generation 3 creatures start appearing, so will real world weather effects. When its sunny out, youll see sun in the app screen. When its snowy, youll see ground texture reflecting that, and youll notice similar effects for rain and fog. If it is wet out, youre more likely to encounter water Pokémon. And youll see animations that reflect the weather. Gyms and raid battles are affected by the weather. Pokémon that are caught in their natural environments will be stronger. Encountering a War Turtle raid in the rain is much harder to fight, but it will yield more Stardust rewards. Niantic has been busy. Yesterday, it announced that it will reboot its first augmented reality game as Ingress Prime in 2018. Niantic also recently announced it has raised a $200 million venture capital funding round as it prepares a new Harry Potter AR game for 2018. Were all hands on deck now, and we want to end the year strong, Bhargava said.
Weather will bring out different Pokémon and make them stronger. Pokémon Go is getting a slew of new Pokémon this week as well as a dynamic weather system later this month. The game will soon reflect the real weather around you and that will affect which Pokémon you see and how strong they are. If it's raining, for example, you'll see more water-type Pokémon than usual and they'll start out with a higher CP than they typically would. The new weather feature and the added Pokémon -- at least 50 new Gen III Pokémon -- are timed together on purpose. The new additions are all from the Hoenn region and first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, which were also the first games where weather had an impact on the gameplay. " Fans of Ruby and Sapphire will know that Hoenn brought more than just new Pokémon," Niantic Project Manager Matt Slemon told Polygon. " It was the first Pokémon game that introduced weather affecting the world itself. Hoenn was heavily influenced by the world around it, [and] we took all of that as pretty hefty inspiration." This summer, Pokémon Go got its first Legendary monsters and Niantic announced some major changes to raids last month. And soon we'll be getting a revamped version of Niantic's original AR game Ingress as well as a new Harry Potter augmented reality game. Archit Bhargava, Niantic's head of global product marketing, also told TechCrunch that an in-game holiday event is in the works.