Some Pokemon GO players have reported receiving a new Special Research quest called A Challenging Development. The Pokemon GO A Challenging Development Special Research apparently has the exact same tasks and rewards as the Looming in the Shadows Special Research, but when players complete it and encounter Team Rocket Leader Giovanni, they get to catch a different Shadow Legendary.
The Looming in the Shadows Special Research in Pokemon GO culminates with players fighting Giovanni and catching a Shadow Articuno. However, A Challenging Development will let players catch a Shadow Zapdos after they've managed to defeat Giovanni. After capturing Shadow Zapdos, Pokemon GO players need to purify it using Stardust. Dataminers have found evidence that Shadow Moltres data has been added to the game as well, so it seems a third Team Rocket-themed Special Research will be on the way sooner rather than later.
It's unclear why some Pokemon GO players have already received the A Challenging Development Special Research and others have not. It's possible that Pokemon GO players first need to complete the Looming in the Shadows Special Research before they will be able to do A Challenging Development, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Since it seems as though the Special Research tasks for the A Challenging Development quest are the same as the ones for Looming in the Shadows, it would make sense for players to have to complete one before starting the other. After all, this would essentially let players complete multiple challenges at once, which wouldn't be fair to players who already completed them.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to see just how many versions of this Team Rocket Special Research Niantic adds to Pokemon GO. Maybe there will be one for every Legendary Pokemon in the game, or maybe it will just encompass the Legendary Birds for now. Hopefully more Legendaries are added to the lineup, as it gives Pokemon GO players in rural areas who can't regularly participate in Raids the chance to complete their collections.
For now, Pokemon GO players can focus on catching Shadow Articuno and Shadow Zapdos.
Pokemon GO is out now for iOS and Android mobile devices.