Niantic announced today that Generation III will be gradually released in December, while select ghost Pokémon will be available as early as tomorrow. The player reactions, at least the ones we read, are mixed — at best.

For those who missed the announcement, the following was shared on the official Pokémon GO channels:

Sableye, Banette, and a few other Ghost-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region will be making their first-ever appearance in Pokémon GO. The rest of the Pokémon first seen in the Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire video games will gradually arrive starting as early as December!

We are not the ones to advocate for or against Niantic, but there is an argument (or two?) to be made: all of the previous Generations were released gradually, in one way or another. 

In fact, gradual rollout has been Niantic’s signature way of releasing new Generation Pokémon since day one. Long time players surely remember the hunt for Ditto, the African rumor and the overarching state of excitement the community was in once Ditto was actually released. After Ditto, we were greeted with the release of Generation II Baby Pokémon inside special winter Holiday eggs, followed by the release of the rest of Generation II in February.

To further drive the point home, this is how Niantic announced Gen II baby Pokémon last year:

Professor Willow has discovered Togepi and Pichu hatching from Eggs! Starting later today, Trainers will have the opportunity to hatch these and several other Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto Region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games. These are the first of more Pokémon coming to Pokémon GO over the next few months. 

Although Professor Willow is not mentioned in today’s announcement, we can see that the overall structure of the statement is almost identical:

  • announce a limited number of upcoming Pokémon
  • mention the core game where they were first encountered
  • announce more additions in the future

In a nutshell, this is exactly the same announcement as before, with one dubious word: gradually. We believe that this doesn’t imply nothing vastly different from previous release cycles – an almost full Gen III roster is expected to be released in December, minus the “tricky to implement” Pokemon.

Which Pokemon does that include? Probably the likes of Slakoth, Vigoroth and SlakingNincada, Ninjask and Shedinja family and probably Legendary Pokemon. So far, it’s only confirmed that Deoxys will be implemented later on with a special set of mechanics – check the DB page for Deoxys, it’s stats are 1/1/1.