A bunch of new Pokémon are coming to Pokèmon Go this week – but thats not the only big change on the way. Pokémon Go will soon be aware of the real world weather around you, with a number of things in the game adapting accordingly. I spoke to Niantics Archit Bhargava and Matt Slemon about the new system, which they refer to as dynamic weather. Heres some of what they shared: As far as I can tell, there are at least five different types of weather in the mix: The timing of the new weather system isnt random: the incoming Gen III Pokémon first showed up in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire… which, as it just so happens, were also the first games in the series to feature changing weather in the in-game overworld. And for all of us in the Bay Area finding themselves thinking about the closest snow being a few hundred miles away: it shouldnt be an issue. Slemon tells me that Pokémon will spawn outside of their preferred weather, theyll just be much less common. As a funny side note: when Pokémon Go first launched, there was all sorts of folklore about what caused certain things to spawn. Driven by anecdotal evidence, folks were convinced that more ghost Pokémon spawned near graveyards (nope), or that Snorlax liked being around sweet shops (nope). There were all sorts of theories around weather – some players swore that more Dratini spawned when it was raining. Now that might actually hold true. Beyond being a neat mechanic for an AR game, its a clever way for Niantic to chip away at a problem: the colder it gets, generally, the fewer people go outside and play. Now that PoGo is weather-aware, theyre able to flip the problem on its head and incentivize playing when the weather looks bleak.
Good news, Pokèmon Go fans: Gen III Pokemon are landing this weekOr, I should say, more Gen III Pokémon are landing this week. Niantic tells me that at least 50 new Pokèmon will be added to the game before the week is over, adding to the handful of Gen III monsters that showed up just before Halloween. But wait, Greg ! you might say, shaking your Pokédex at the sky. Gen III is supposed to add something like 130 new Pokèmon! Where are the rest?!Niantic isnt dropping everything at once this time around – theyll be rolling them out over time, instead. Im told theyre currently planning on having future Gen III Pokèmon released in themed groups – more Gen III Fire Pokèmon one week, Gen III grass Pokèmon another, etc. The choice to stagger the release schedule within a generation like this will probably bum out anyone itching to catchem all ASAP – but it makes some sense. Niantic only has so many generations to work with within the existing Pokèmon universe – and once players catch most of what a generation has to offer, they start clamoring for more. By splitting things up, theyre able to keep interest levels a bit more consistent over time. Gen III is otherwise known as the Hoenn generation, and is comprised of Pokèmon that first appeared in Pokèmon Ruby and Sapphire back in 2002. Niantics Archit Bhargava also confirmed to me that theyll be hosting an in-game holiday event this month. He didnt say much about what to expect, but did note that theyre aiming to start it up sometime around December 21st. Meanwhile, the company also announced that weather – as in the real world weather outside – will impact the game. More details on that here.