Sorry guys, the Legendary Pokemon giveaway at today’s San Diego Comic-Con Pokemon GO (Free) panel ended up being nothing but a rumor, to the disappointment of thousands of attendees (yours truly included). Everyone knows by now that the game is a worldwide phenomenon that’s been dominating popular culture. It should come as no surprise, then, that a panel focusing on the game took place today at the famous, and huge, Hall H at pop culture central, San Diego Comic-Con. Everyone attending (including me) expected (hoped?) that the developers would give out something special during the panel, and there were rumors definitely swirling about a massive giveaway.
For instance, I had Staff members tell me that they knew for sure some kind of Legendary Pokemon giveaway was going to happen, and the only thing left to find out was how it was going to be done. Most of the over 6000 people in attendance seemed to be ready to grab that new Legendary, and there was a pretty crackling atmosphere as we were waiting for Niantic’s president, John Hanke, to talk for a bit before pulling an Oprah on us and giving all of us a Legendary Pokemon. Alas, it was not to be as the panel came and went with no giveaway and not even a hint, despite a member of the audience asking Hanke directly whether we were getting one.
Most of the information we got about the game was topics we’ve already talked about— like future plans for trading and improvements to Pokestops and Gyms— but what was new was the reveal of the three Team Leaders, Candela for Team Valor, Blanche for Team Mystic, and Spark for Team Instinct. According to Hanke, the three leaders were just outlines at launch because the team didn’t manage to finish them on time. As you can see from the image posted above, Candela and Blanche look pretty cool while Spark, well, not so much. A number of people on Twitter are already making fun of poor little Spark. So, no Legendary, but at least we got to see something new.
Overall, Comic Con was filled with people playing Pokemon GO. Everywhere I looked, people young and old were holding their phones in hand and looking for Pokemon and Pokestops. People would even decide where to sit in a room depending on what Pokestop they could reach from their seat, and I even saw people walking up and down aisles while panels were in session hunting for Pokemon. I’ve heard people claim the game is already in decline, but what I can tell you from what I experienced these last five days is that I’ve never seen a game be so popular with so many different kinds of people. I hope Pokemon GO continues to be as big as it is because it’s really a breath of fresh air in social gaming and has the potential to get even better.