On July 6th, 2016, Pokemon GO launched and started what can only be described as a worldwide phenomenon. Appealing to hardcore fans and casual gamers alike, Pokemon GO quickly became one of the most popular mobile games in history, and put Niantic on the map as a developer to watch. Considering this, fans are expecting the company to celebrate Pokemon GO‘s anniversary in a big way, and while nothing official has been announced, evidence of an anniversary event has been discovered in the game’s latest update.
Reddit users have datamined Pokemon GO‘s latest update, which mainly makes some minor bug fixes, and have found a line of code that says ONE_YEAR_ANNIVERSARY. The running theory is that the bug fix update for Pokemon GO is also meant to pave the way for Niantic to implement something special for the game’s anniversary on Thursday, July 6th.
Right now, the most likely scenario is that Niantic will add a Pikachu variant to Pokemon GO on the game’s anniversary. Based on a recent video released in Japan to celebrate the launch of the latest Pokemon film, it appears as though that Pikachu variant will be Ash’s Pikachu from the anime.
It wouldn’t be the first time Niantic has added a Pikachu variant to Pokemon GO to celebrate a special event. In the past, a festive hat Pikachu was added to celebrate the holidays, and a party hat Pikachu was added in recognition of international Pokemon Day. Since Pikachu is without a doubt the most recognizable Pokemon in existence, one has to imagine that Niantic will continue to release limited time Pikachu variants as a way to celebrate significant events.
Beyond adding a Pikachu variant, it’s possible Pokemon GO‘s one year anniversary will be celebrated in other ways as well. Perhaps Niantic will gift players with special items, especially those that have been with the game since the beginning. Alternatively, Niantic could use the game’s one year anniversary to add some long-requested features to the mix, like Pokemon trading or legendary Pokemon.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.