A special Christmas event launched in Pokemon Go this week, but it’s rather insignificant compared to the game’s previous two holiday celebrations. Might Niantic have more in the works to be released soon?
On December 12th, several new Pokemon were released in the free-to-play mobile game, but in addition to that, Niantic also announced that limited edition Pikachu would begin showing up wearing a Santa hat. There’s absolutely no purpose to it other than looking cute, and this type of Pokemon will be available from now until December 29th. Pikachu spawns also seem to have been increased, although not all of the Pikachu will be wearing the hat.
This surprised a lot of fans considering that the previous holiday events put on for Halloween and Thanksgiving offered a lot more than just a festive hat. For Halloween, trainers could net double the amount of candy as usual for several days, and for Thanksgiving, they could get double XP and Stardust. Needless to say, those bonuses are a lot more valuable than being able to catch a Pikachu wearing a hat.
But there is some indication that Niantic has more on the way. In a recent post on their website, Niantic told players to stay tuned for additional updates before the end of December.
“The month isn’t even half over, and it’s been a blast so far,” they wrote. “Stay tuned for more.”
The company said something similar earlier this month, writing that there is a lot in store for the month of December.
“We’re excited for December because we have a few new experiences and in-game events planned for you before wrapping up the year,” Niantic wrote on December 7th.
So far, all that has happened this month has been the launch of the new Pokemon, the release of the holiday Pikachu, an expansion of the nearby tracker, and the announcement of partnerships with Starbucks and Sprint. Only the new Pokemon and the holiday Pikachu really qualify as new experiences or events, so depending on how you want to interpret their language there, this could suggest that there’s a more involved Christmas event coming.
Then there’s the fact that based on recent history, it’s a bit too early for Niantic to have launched their Christmas celebration. The Halloween event launched on October 26th, the Wednesday before Halloween. The Thanksgiving event launched on November 23rd, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And so if Niantic is going to follow that same pattern, the actual Christmas event would begin next week, on Wednesday, December 21st.
Also, shortly before the previous holiday events began, an update to the game was released. But the most recent Pokemon Go update came out on December 6th, and because these are released on a bi-weekly basis, we’re due for one next week, around the same time that the hypothetical Christmas event would launch.
We’ll know more in the days ahead, as Niantic has always released details about their major events a few days ahead of time. There’s no guarantee of anything else, and maybe the Santa hat legitimately is all the company has planned for the holiday season. But with two more weeks to go until Christmas, players should not get their hopes up quite yet.