While previously released Legendary Pokemon have been available to all worldwide players simultaneously, this set of Pokemon will move around the world over the next three months, with only one of the three Pokemon being available in each in-game region at a time. Players will be able to encounter these Pokemon at Raid Battles taking place at in-game Gyms.
From Aug. 31 through Sept. 30, the Legendary Pokemon will be available in these regions:
- Raikou, in the Americas
- Entei, in Europe and Africa
- Suicune, in the Asia-Pacific region
On Sept. 30, the three Pokemon will move to different regions, where they will stay until Oct. 31. The Pokemon will change regions again Oct. 31 and remain in those region for another month.
In addition to launching these Legendary Pokemon, Niantic announced that the game’s EX Raid Battle (previously called Exclusive Raid Battle) “field-test” will soon begin in “select regions around the world.”
These EX Raid Battles will be similar to regular Raid Battles in that they will take place at in-game Gyms and challenge players to defeat powerful Pokemon. However, unlike regular Raid Battles, players will need to be invited to participate in EX Raid Battles, and they’ll only be eligible for invitations if they’ve successfully completed a Raid Battle at the Gym where an EX Raid Battle will take place.
In a blog post, Niantic commented on the field test:
We have collected some valuable early feedback on the new EX Raid Battle feature and will look to further test and hone the experience through the feedback of the dedicated global Trainer community. During the field test, we’ll be making periodic adjustments to EX Raid eligibility requirements, frequency, times, locations and durations with the goal of making the EX Raid Battle feature engaging, rewarding and, most important, fun for Trainers who regularly participate in Raid Battles.
The first EX Raid Passes will be sent out soon, and those invited will have an opportunity to try out the new system as early as Sept. 6.
Pokemon Go is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The game has driven more than 500 million visits to sponsored locations, such as Starbucks, since its launch in July 2016.
Earlier this year, Niantic partnered with Wieden + Kennedy London to launch an advertising campaign for the game, which saw billboards containing gameplay stats appear in London, Tokyo and New York. Some of these billboards were activated as in-game PokeStops.