Pokémon Go players, rejoice! The big changes you’ve been waiting for are beginning this week.
In a surprise announcement on Wednesday morning, game maker Niantic revealed that more than 80 Generation 2 Pokémon are being released into the wild.
“Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile, and many more Pokémon are nearly here! Starting later this week, you’ll have the opportunity to catch more than 80 Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games,” the company announced on its blog and in a video. “We’ve also implemented some new features to enhance your Pokémon GO experience.”
Those enhancements include gender-specific variations, new evolutions, new Pokémon reactions during encounters, new berries, new avatars and an expanded wardrobe.
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“There are now more opportunities to evolve your Pokémon in Pokémon GO than ever before. Some Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region will soon be able to evolve—into Pokémon that inhabit the Johto region! Be on the lookout for new Evolution items at PokéStops, which you’ll need to evolve some Pokémon.”
This update comes on the heels of the Valentine’s Day event that kicked off last week and ends Wednesday.
In addition to plentiful candy, that event made pink Pokémon such as Chansey and Clefable found more frequently in the wild. Cleffa, Igglybuff, and Smoochum were also be more likely to hatch from eggs. And lure modules lasted for six hours.
Players have been hoping legendary Pokémon such as Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres and Mewtwo are finally released into the game. We’ll see whether they are on the way.
“Today is a momentous occasion for our team here at Niantic which has been hard at work to deliver these additional Pokémon and build upon the encounter and capture mechanics for our passionate global community of Trainers playing Pokémon GO,” John Hanke, Niantic founder and CEO, said in a Forbes article. “Pokémon GO is a live experience which we’ll be continuing to support and evolve in new and interesting ways for years to come with new gameplay features, in-game and live events, more Pokémon to discover and much more.”
Overland Park-based Sprint in December announced a partnership with Niantic in a bid to pull fans of the game into more than 10,500 of its stores in the United States.
Pokémon Go players can go to Sprint, Boost, and Sprint at RadioShack locations to recharge phones, get data plans, collect in-game items, including Poké balls and eggs, and battle with their favorite characters.
Niantic also announced a partnership with Starbucks.