Pokémon GO’s new Loading screen has a special meaning

As you may have noticed, Pokémon GO now has a new loading screen – just in time to kick off 2021 in style. We don’t often write about loading screens, but this is a special occasion given how bad 2020 was. In fact, the backstory for this loading screen is quite ingenious and different from anything we had before.

Pokémon GO Loading Screen 2021
Pokémon GO Loading Screen 2021

A story of hope

Most Pokémon GO loading screens are thematic art pieces that highlight specific in-game events, periods or features that just launched. Think Halloween, or Winter Holidays, or Mega Raids.

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However, the new loading screen is all about hope. Jason Marino, the artist behind the loading screen, shared the entire backstory on Twitter:

Jason’s explanation is broken down into a series of tweets which we are sharing here below:

1) This New years @PokemonGoApp Loading screen was something I HAD to do… Let me explain. #NewYear2021 #HAPPYNEWYEAR #Hello2021 #Welcome2021 #pokemongo #art

2) Painting a loading screen isn’t about making a pretty image or an excuse to embrace my inner nerd. Instead it’s an outlet, to have one loading bar moment with you. A moment to bring something positive and hopefully memorable. For this year it was a moment to bring HOPE.

3) From the rising Phoenix to the passing storms. The light at the end of the tunnel and the start of a new journey (totally Pokemon Ep1). 2020 has been a year we’d like to forget. It has brought many “OMG!” moments and taken us to some really low places.

4) As a person who has been through a lot myself I can confidently say, with positive energy, dash of grit, and a bucket full of hope, there is no dark place/obstacle we can’t overcome!

5) So I’m hopeful, there will be light at the end of this storm and hopefully, this loading screen reminds you of that too. To everyone around the world, keep those heads up and Happy New Year!


Our take

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. It goes without saying that it will be remembered for years to come. We are happy to see Pokémon GO acknowledge that, but we are more happy about the fact that Niantic’s artists have enough creative freedom and agency to produce pieces like this.

Jason, we salute you for a wonderful wallpaper – it really does hit home. Stay strong and stay safe dear reader.

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