we want to share our perspective on the release of Ho-Oh in Pokémon GO, as we’ve collected a number of hints on the place and time of it’s release. This article is speculative in nature, but it’s an educated guess, as the evidence is piling up.
We believe that Ho-Oh will be released at the Japanese Pokémon Stadium event (Monday, August 14, 2017 18:00 – 21:00), that takes place during the Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama (August 9 – 15). This event will tie in perfectly with the movie, as the movie retells Ash’s original journey through Kanto, including the Ho-Oh encounter.
There are several strong hints for this, we’ll list them with dates and explanation of the hint. Before reading the hints, be aware of the following: Pokémon the Movie 20: I choose you! is the driving force behind the Pokémon Company’s marketing and sale efforts this summer, extending to all properties, Pokémon GO included.
A timeline of Ho-Oh hints
June 30, 2017 — Toho Cinemas posts a Pokémon the Movie 20 video trailer for Japanese audiences. The trailer features a PokéStop dropping items, an Ash Hat Pikachu and a Ho-Oh shadow (0:02). This trailer was also the first hint of an Ash Hat Pikachu
July 12, 2017 — Niantic publishes Pokémon GO events around the world!, highlighting three major events this summer: GO Fest (now past), EU Safari Zones (Moltres and Zapdos debut expected) and the Pikachu Outbreak.
July 15, 2017 — Pokémon GO Stadium website goes live, only GO Hub and Slashgear notice and cover the news. The official How to Enter guide requires Stadium participants to have Level 5+ Pokémon GO accounts, hinting Raids will be the core feature. The official event page says the following: “The event is scheduled to run about once every 15 minutes, with tickets valid for one program only”, indicating several Raid encounters.
July 20, 2017 — Niantic publishes “A Legendary first year of Pokémon GO!” and the first Legendary Trailer, featuring Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Lugia and Ho-Oh, all of which have attached placeholder Combat Power. Mewtwo makes a guest appearance at the end, no CP.
July 22, 2017 — GO Fest happens, two Legendary Pokémon released despite all the technical difficulties: Articuno and Lugia. On the same day, Niantic publishes “Legendary Pokémon are here!” which explains that Zapdos and Moltres will also soon become available, again, no mention of Ho-Oh:
“Don’t worry, Team Instinct and Team Valor, the Legendary Pokémon Zapdos and Moltres will also make their way into the real world soon, so stay tuned for more information”
July 23, 2017 — Two new short trailers are published on the official Pokémon GO Youtube channel, both featuring the same messaging and finally featuring Ho-Oh with other legendaries: