It has been a big week for Pokemon GO, with the game introducing legendary Pokemon and the chance to take part in legendary Raids. While most players will be occupied with this new content for quite a while, it seems that developer Niantic is already preparing to release the next big update.
That information comes from one Pokemon GO player who posted a screenshot of a Gym in Roseville, Michigan that had been closed. According to a screenshot posted by the affected user it was closed due to an “Exclusive Raid.”
Pokemon GO players in other regions have yet to report seeing similar messages and it should be noted that the screenshot was not taken by the player, but by a local group. However, Niantic CEO John Hanke visited the state of Michigan just yesterday, as noted by some players looking at the Ingress map.
Whether the feature is being rolled out or whether it’s just in testing, it does seem that Exclusive Raids are likely on the way to the game. The 0.69.0 APK version of the game also alluded to the feature, mentioning ‘Exclusive Raid Tickets,’ push notifications for the tickets, and something about fake Exclusive Tickets as well. This is the same 0.69.0 APK that included evidence of shiny legendary Pokemon.
Moreover, players recently complained about broken Pokemon GO Raids. There were big questions about whether it was some kind of bug or whether Niantic was just tweaking the gameplay feature. It may well have been the latter, allowing the developer to make key changes before Exclusive Raids are released.
New Pokemon GO content is exciting, but fans will have big questions about how the exclusivity works. Will Exclusive Raids be held by companies or organizations that control Gym locations? Or are they Exclusive in terms of required player level or Gym affiliation? If Niantic is too harsh in its restrictions, it could see a huge wave of backlash even worse than what it faced during the Pokemon GO Fest disaster.
Players will also want to know what the developer will be doing to ensure that Exclusive Raid tickets don’t face the same problems that normal Raid tickets did when they were first introduced. Fans complained about glitches as well as features that led to wasted tickets too. If Exclusive Raid tickets are even harder to acquire, then the ticket system could be even more frustrating.
The other big question is whether Niantic can introduce this feature without disrupting the game too much. The game has faced more than its fair share of technical difficulties over the past week or so, and fans will want confirmation that Exclusive Raids will work as intended, bug-free.
Pokemon GO is available on iOS and Android.