Friday is a casual day in most of Europe, including Croatia, the country where Pokémon GO Hub articles get written, usually over too much coffee and beer. It’s time for our first traditional “Friday Speculations”!

One must admit it to Niantic, they really do know how to make a comeback. After the disastrously low interest for Pokémon GO in January and first half of February, Niantic has successfully managed to revive the hype machine surrounding Pokémon GO.

If you’ve been living under a rock in the recent months, we’ve got two huge additions to the game in the past 40-ish days:

  • Generation II Pokémon (with new Berries, Pokémon and Moves)
  • Shiny Pokémon variants

And if John Hanke (Niantic CEO) is to be believed, the flow of content is not going to stop any time soon, as 3 additional updates are coming this year, including team oriented Gym revamp and, finally, an actual PvP system.

In other words, Pokémon GO went from “Lol you still play that game” to “OMG shiny Magikarp, sweet!” in less than 45 days, just in time for Spring break and warmer weather in the North hemisphere.

With that in mind, let’s speculate! Remember – these are speculations, and not confirmed info. We would also really like to hear your opinion in the comments.


More Shiny Pokémon should be released after the Water Festival ends

With the release of Shiny Magikarp and Gyarados, Niantic gave us a taste of how exciting Shiny Pokémon can be. From the anticipation of the event to the complete and utter madness on Twitter, Shiny Pokémon are engaging, fun and quite challenging to obtain.

Shiny Pokémon GO
If you are not familiar on how all Generation I and II Shiny Pokémon look, take a look here: Pokémon GO Generation 1 and 2 Shiny Pokémon.

After witnessing those events, we are quite confident to say more Shiny Pokémon should be releasing after the “Water Festival” event ends. Note that we are predicting “more”, and not “all” Shiny variants will be released.

A number of hints indicate that this will happen:

  • The technical infrastructure for Shiny Pokémon is already in place
  • The “redeemable codes” infrastructure is in the APKs, although not complete
  • Releasing Shiny variants in waves keeps the user base engaged, and there is no other content on the horizon in this quarter

Adding other Shiny variants is not only easy, it’s also a very smart business move. One may say that they’re only “adding new Pokédex placeholders”, and although that is partially true, it’s not the complete truth.

Especially if you consider the upcoming Trading system in terms of game design.


No Shiny Pokémon = no sensible Trading!

Without Shinies, a potential Trading system is rather useless, as currencies involved would be worthless. With Shiny Pokémon existing, Niantic is building a foundation for a strong localised economy, based around ultra rare collectibles and real world interaction.

We still have no confirmation on what determines if a Pokémon will be shiny, but if the original games are to be believed, the chance of a Pokémon being shiny is 1 out of 4096. In other words, it’s 4096 times more difficult to collect a full “Shiny Pokédex” than it is to finish the normal Pokédex.

And that, is in fact, where Trading will most likely shine. Not regionals, not genders, but Shiny Pokémon variants. Remember, rarity defines currencies, like gold created the monetary system in the real world.

In other words, Shiny Pokémon are the essential gears of the trading system. Especially if Trading ends up to require NFC, Bluetooth or players standing next to each other.

Without them, we are just going to trade inside these 230-ish available Pokémon, being excited only to trade region exclusives once we travel, in which case it’s easier to catch it than to find someone who wants to trade.