Pokemon GO developer Niantic finally introduced “spot panda” Pokemon Spinda to the game this week, leaving players delighted at the prospect of more Pokemon to catch. Players weren’t just excited to add the Normal-type Pokemon to their collections, however, as some are speculating that Spinda’s release hints at something more substantial.

A popular theory currently doing the rounds in the Pokemon GO community is that Spinda’s release hints at the Gen 4 release date. While there are billions of possible spot variations of the Pokemon, Pokemon GO will likely feature just eight, according to datamined assets from the game’s latest update. Of these eight Spinda forms, just one of them has been made available in the game so far.

Many Pokemon GO players have come up with the theory that Niantic will release each Spinda form slowly in the run-up to the Gen 4 release date. It’s possible that Niantic could release a new Spinda every few days – or even one a week – as a sort of secret countdown to Gen 4. This means that Gen 4 Pokemon could possibly be made available within the next two months.

Pokemon GO all Spinda forms

Whether fans believe that Spinda is connected to the Gen 4 release date or not, there is a general feeling that Gen 4 Pokemon will be released soon. This is based on recent hints issued by Niantic. To celebrate the second anniversary of Pokemon GO‘s release, Niantic released a new piece of art that featured Gen 4 Pokemon, including Sinnoh starter Pokemon, Chimchar (Fire-type), Piplup (Water-type), and Turtwig (Grass-type). Given that no Gen 4 Pokemon are in the game yet, it was unusual for them to be featured here and many took it as the biggest hint yet that Gen 4 Pokemon will be on the way soon.

That’s not all, though, as a leak from a notorious Pokemon GO event leaker suggested that the first Gen 4 Pokemon will arrive during a major Evolution Event. That leak┬ámay have been a little off as the game is currently hosting a special trading event, rather than an event focused on evolution, but many fans are still putting stock in the info.

Incorrect date aside, Niantic could just as well use the trading event to unveil the first wave of Gen 4 Pokemon, opting to release more of the characters with an evolution-focused event later down the line. This would be in line with how Niantic has released other hotly anticipated Pokemon waves, so while it’s based on speculation rather than fact, it does sound relatively plausible.

Pokemon GO is available on Android and iOS devices.

Source: Reddit (1), (2)