Niantic confirmed that Ho-Oh will be available to catch from Raid Battles for an additional 48 hours after its initial end date of December 12. The Legendary Pokemon will disappear on December 14 at 1 p.m. PST / 4 p.m. EST.
In addition, deals on discounted boxes with Lucky Eggs, Lure Modules, Ultra Balls, and Great Balls have been extended an extra week until December 11 according to the developer.
According to comicbook.com, the extension seems to be in response to a bug that prevented players from catching a Raid Boss if a member of the Raid Team dropped out mid-raid. The bug was fixed on December 3.
Many players started posting screenshots of them allegedly receiving emails from Niantic’s support group on Reddit. The emails were reportedly written as responses to complaints about the bug. In addition to telling the player that the deadline for catching Ho-Oh would be extended, they also said they would give two Premium Raid Passes to the player for complaining about the bug.
Ho-Oh was added to the game on November 27 after players worldwide caught over three billion Pokemon during the Global Catch Challenge. In fact, Niantic said that exactly 3,364,580,633 Pokemon were caught during the seven day event.
The challenge ended on November 26 but the rewards for double Stardust, double XP, and time extensions for Lure Module activation lasted until December 1. Players were also treated to a 48 hour worldwide appearance of Farfetch’d, usually an East Asia exclusive Pokemon, after the three billion threshold was hit while East Asia got an appearance by Australia exclusive Kangaskhan.
The Global Catch Challenge was meant to coincide with the launch of a new video series known as Pokemon Go Travel where trailers travel the world to catch Pokemon. The series starts with a group of trainers including IHasCupquake, Coisa de Nerd, and Rachel Quirico traveling to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, Kyoto, and Tottori in Japan. The Global Catch Challenge concluded with a celebration at the Pokemon Go Safari Zone event in Tottori on November 26.
Niantic updated their Raid Battle feature as their field-testing came to a close at the end of November. EX Raid Battles will take place mostly at Gyms at parks and sponsored locations, players with high-level Gym Badges are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at the corresponding Gym, players who have completed a larger number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles in general, EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular Raid Battle times at Gyms, and if the Raid is cancelled then players will get an in-game notification as well as Stardust and Premium Raid Passes. For regular Raid Battles, trainers will now receive Golden Razz Berries for completing them, the number of Potions and Revives will decrease slightly but their quality will increase, the chance of receiving TMs for finishing Tier 3 Raids will increase, Magikarp will return to Tier 1 Raid Battles, and players will receive Stardust for participating in Raids whether they win or lose.
Ho-Oh was the main Legendary Pokemon of Pokemon Gold while its counterpart, Lugia, was the main Legendary Pokemon of Pokemon Silver. However Ho-Oh’s first appearance was during the end of the very first episode of the Pokemon anime in Japan on April 1, 1997 and the United States on September 8, 1998. That’s roughly two years before its official debut in Pokemon Gold on November 21, 1999 in Japan and October 15, 2000 in the US.