Pokemon GO will introduce a ‘rare’ Pikachu to the game soon, if a recent newsletter is to be believed. The news provides players with something to look forward to now that the Pokemon GO Gym update has gone live.
Computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH 2017 takes place from July 30 – Aug. 3 and an email has been sent out detailing what attendees can expect. Along with the usual talks, panels and tours, SIGGRAPH 2017 Conference Chair Jerome Solomon says that people can also expect Pokemon GO developer Niantic to “release a rare Pikachu.”
No other details about the rare character are offered in the email but Pokemon GO fans have already begun to speculate. Niantic has previously released limited edition Pikachus with different hats, including Santa Pikachu and Festive Hat Pikachu, so perhaps the character will be getting some more fancy headgear.
Some fans have also suggested that a shiny Pikachu could be on the way, making it the third shiny Pokemon variation after shiny Magikarp and its evolution, shiny Gyarados. Pokemon GO fans have recently noticed ‘changes’ to Pikachu’s character model, which could also suggest a rare shiny variation is on the way.
If shiny Pikachu is about to be added to the game, it’s unclear exactly how it would be available. There are no details about whether Niantic plans to release this rare Pikachu to SIGGRAPH 2017 attendees only or whether it is just using the event to announce the character before a worldwide launch. SIGGRAPH is a fairly closed off event, and only those in the computer graphics industry and similar lines of work will be in attendance, so many fans will be disappointed if it is an exclusive.
But making the character available for all wouldn’t just make fans happy. Niantic would also be better off in making the Pikachu globally available because of the interest surrounding shinies and Pokemon variations. When the company hosted a Water-type Pokemon event, over 500 million Magikarp were caught as players were so desperate to catch a shiny of their own.
Niantic didn’t disclose exactly how much money it has made (and continues to make) from players on the hunt for the differently colored Pokemon but the figure could be quite high. Introducing a shiny version of Pikachu, one of the most famous Pokemon, would also be a very smart business decision for the developer.
Pokemon GO is available on iOS and Android.