In a surprise announcement, Monday morning Niantic revealed that plans to add the Alola Forms of Kanto Region Pokemon to Pokemon GO in the coming weeks. The announcement was made via the official Pokemon GO Twitter account, along with a classic “Who’s that Pokemon?” style teaser featuring all of the Alola Forms in shadow. Niantic will provide more details in the near future.
Within the teaser image, virtually all of the known Pokemon with Alola Forms are accounted for, barring certain evolutions. It’s unclear if Niantic will be holding back some of the forms or if there just wasn’t enough room to fit all the forms in the image. The Pokemon that are missing include Sandshrew, Ninetales, Persian, Raticate, Golem, Graveller, and Dugtrio. Each of them has a pre-evolution, or in Sandshrew’s case evolution, included in the image, so there’s hopefully nothing to worry about.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) May 21, 2018
All of the Alola Form Pokemon are based on Pokemon from Generation 1 of the franchise, also known as Kanto-region Pokemon. Since Pokemon GO already features Kanto-region Pokemon, the addition of Alola Forms makes a lot of sense before jumping into an all new generation of Pokemon. Plus, it’s probably a lot easier for Niantic to add them without a major update.
Speaking of how Niantic plans to add the Alola Forms to Pokemon GO, it’s going to be interesting to see what the developer decides. It seems unlikely that Alola Forms will simply be added to the general population of Pokemon, spawning like your average Pidgey or Ratata. Niantic will assuredly figure out a way to introduce the Alola Forms through special events, perhaps like the Ho-oh distribution or Charmander-family Community Day.
Alola Forms have been hinted at in Pokemon GO for quite a while now. In November 2017, Niantic introduced a free set of male and female Alola avatar customization items, leading to plenty of community speculation. It took six months to finally come to fruition, but the community won’t mind the delay too much. At least, it’ll hold players off from asking for Generation 4 for another month or two.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.