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A Weird Way 'Pokémon GO' Could Absolutely Nail The Gen 2 Announcement

Gen 2 is almost definitely coming to Pokémon GO. Nothing will be certain until Dec. 12, but Niantic and the Pokémon Company have announced that new creatures will be coming to the game, and that they'll talk more about it on December 12th. the second generation of ~100 Pokémon seems most likely, though legendaries are possible as well. It's the biggest thing to happen to the game since launch, but it could still spell trouble. I think, however, that there's one way that Niantic could handle this to handily ensure years of success for these brilliant if beleaguered title.

I wrote yesterday about how releasing Gen 2 without the proper gameplay backup could be huge trouble for the game. True, it would draw back in millions of lapsed players who want to catch a gander at the new monsters and remember the fun times they had in the summer. It would, undoubtedly, make money. But without major new gameplay additions, all of the old problems that made people drop the game in the first place would remain, and all those lapsed players would leave as quickly as they returned. Burned twice, they'd be that much less likely to return for new events or Gen 3.

So here's an odd idea for how the developers could (but probably won't) announce the second generation of monsters. They could send out the press release on the 12th, just like they said they would. But instead of releasing the monsters the next week or that day, like typically happens, say that Gen 2 is indeed on it's the spring. March 21st, say, the first day of spring. Call it a hibernation.

We're thrilled with the enthusiasm about our game, they could say, as one tends to in press releases. But we're also aware that it's been a rocky road since we launched in July, and there are still dozens of features that we're working on to improve the game. And that's what we're going to spend the winter doing: building and testing new ways of training and battling your Pokémon, expanding Pokéstops, working on ways to make the game more enjoyable for rural players and improving the combat system. We're excited to make this the best Pokémon GO we can, together with you, the player, and we can't wait for you to see what we've been working on.

It'd be worded a bit better than that, but you get the gist. It would allow excitement to build for months while Niantic actually put the game into a state where it could retain players for more than a week or two, thereby creating the same sort of hype and ceremony that drove the game to such success in the first place. Releasing piecemeal works for smaller games with less eyes on them, but a big, event-style unveiling of new Pokémon just as the weather started to thaw would be massive. And if you can bring back millions of players to try a game that actually has some gameplay in it, they might just stick around this time.

I should be clear that I don't expect this to happen, just that I think that it would be a good idea.

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