Niantic can be criticized for a lot of things during Pokémon GO's first four years. However, it can be praised for a lot more, such as the longevity of the game. When the initial hype of Pokémon GO's release began to die down after the summer of 2016, never in a million years did we think it would be as popular as it is right now, almost four years later -- especially in the middle of a global pandemic that prevents most of us from leaving the house.
One of the keys to Pokémon GO's success and longevity has been the gradual addition of features, and perhaps more importantly, the addition of new Pokémon. When Pokémon GO launched, it didn't even feature all 151 of Pokémon's first generation. Niantic then waited a long time to even tease that Gen II monsters were coming. Four years later, and we are still only up to Gen V.
As is the case with any game that has more to come, but in particular for Pokémon GO, as soon as something is added, players instantly ask "well, what's next?" Niantic has been drip-feeding players Gen V Pokémon throughout 2019 and into 2020. And the whole generation still isn't available in-game. At last count, there are roughly 93 of the Unova region's Pokémon available to catch, some of which are region-locked.
In spite of that, players are clamoring for Gen VI to enter the fray. As for when that might happen, Niantic loves events that revolve around certain dates. For its next biggest event, it seems likely that it would pick a date when many of its players would be out exploring anyway, such as Halloween. If this is the case, then Honedge would be the perfect Gen VI Pokémon to debut during an event that revolves around this Halloween. The Ghost/Steel-type could kick off Pokémon GO's Gen VI rollout... but there's an elephant in the room yet to be addressed.
The COVID-19 outbreak. The way in which Pokémon GO works has changed dramatically over the past two months so that trainers can play while social distancing. Multiple events have been canceled and its possible a date planned to introduce Gen VI has been pushed back. Players may never know and might have a longer wait on their hands for new Pokémon than they are used to.
In defense of what feels like a slower than usual rollout of a generation of Pokémon, Gen V is the biggest generation in Pokémon history, as it has 156 Pokémon altogether. Gen VI, on the other hand, is the smallest. Even Sword & Shield's newest generation of Pokémon is bigger, and there are still more Pokémon to come.
Since Gen V is bigger than any other generation, it deserves to have more time spent on it than any other. Yes, that does mean that long-time trainers who were forced to wait between Gen I and Gen II will have a bit longer to wait, but they shouldn't forget to E\enjoy what Pokémon GO is offering up in the right now, especially all of the added bonuses brought about by the global pandemic. Now, players can fill their Pokédexs while the game is easier to play, and hold off on worrying about when new Pokémon will be introduced.
We're hoping we'll get more news later this year by the time Halloween rolls around, but, if not, there's always next year.
Wonder what he's cooking.