Niantic launches a limited-time event for Pokemon Go that increases the spawn rate of starter Pokemon Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander and their evolutions.
Love it or hate it, there's no denying that Pokemon GO was one of the most talked about games of 2016, but developer Niantic has been hard at work the last few weeks making sure its mobile app stays relevant into 2017 and beyond. Recent updates have included introducing new Pokemon to the game and spawning more Pokemon for players in rural areas. Now, Niantic's latest update is focusing on the spawn frequency of some of the most popular Pokemon in the game.
Game Informer reports that Niantic just pushed out an update on Friday that makes it more likely to encounter the game's starter Pokemon in the wild. Players looking to level up their Charmander, Bulbasaur, or Squirtle now have an extra reason to hit the streets. But according to a statement from Niantic, this update is only active from now until the afternoon of January 8.
In addition, from the afternoon of December 30, 2016, through the afternoon of January 8, 2017 (PST), the first partner Pokémon and their Evolutions, originally discovered in the Kanto region, are more likely to be encountered. This means a greater chance to catch Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur, as well as Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard, plus Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise! As a way to increase your chance to encounter one of these Pokémon, Lure Modules will also last for 60 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
Pokemon Go players have long complained about the difficulty of finding additional starter Pokemon after catching their first one, so this might be just what some lapsed players have been hoping for to bring them back to the game. But it's also nice to see that the starter Evolutions are also included for those who have already put the time into progressing to that point.
One would imagine that if this event is successful, Niantic could bring it back again and again in the future as a limited-time event that will pull people back into the app. It's no secret that Pokemon Go's active player base has dropped significantly since the game's peak this past summer, but the game has continued to bring in a generous amount of revenue and this latest event should only help.
In other recent Pokemon Go news, the game is now playable on the Apple Watch and fans are eagerly anticipating the introduction of Pokemon trading sometime next year. Pokemon Go also returned to the top spot on the iOS App Store's Top Grossing list this week, so it's pretty clear that Niantic's business plan is working. Gamers who log in for the starter Pokemon event will also be able to check out the app's ongoing Holiday Event, which includes some special holiday shop bundles that can't be purchased at any other time.
Pokemon Go is out now on iOS and Android.