Pokemon Go Delays Articuno Day in Japan Due to Extreme Weather

Pokemon Go has delayed a one day mini-event in Japan due to heavy rainfall - the first time a Pokemon Go event has been postponed due to weather.

Tomorrow is "Articuno Day," a special one-day Pokemon Go event in which the Legendary Bird will appear as a Raid Boss during a three hour window. Players will get five free raid passes to battle Articuno, and players could also have a chance to catch a Shiny Articuno (a usually unavailable version of Articuno with an alternate color scheme) if they successfully complete a raid.

Due to the influx of new/returning Pokemon Go players and the prospect of a Shiny Articuno, the mini-event was anticipated to be a big one around the world. However, Niantic has decided to delay the event in Japan due to heavy rainfall that has forced evacuations and caused landslides and flooding.

"In response to a special warning of heavy rains in some areas, we will postpone the "Articuno Day Day" in the Japan that we planned to implement tomorrow in consideration of your safety," tweeted Pokemon Go's Japanese account. "We will announce the date of the event. We apologize that we are sorry to bother you about the cancellation just before the start of the event."

It's unprecedented for Pokemon Go to delay an event due to weather, but Japan is facing some severe storms at the moment. Over 20 inches of rainfall has fallen on some parts of the country, schools have been shut down for days, and some neighborhoods have been evacuated due to the threat of flooding or landslides.

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While this is definitely the right move on Pokemon Go's part, it does call into question why Niantic hasn't issued other delays before. Some Community Day events have gone on undeterred despite severe weather in parts of the world, seemingly without concern on Niantic's part.

Does this mark the beginning of a new trend where Niantic is more responsive to weather concerns, or is Japan's special relationship with the Pokemon franchise the reason for the delay? We'll have more Pokemon Go coverage later today, so follow us at @WWG on Twitter or follow me at @CHofferCbus!