Pokemon Go may be testing exclusive raids, which could mean an end to this week's madness of mass hunts for Legendary Pokemon. Several players have reported seeing an "Exclusive Raid" message pop up when they try to enter a gym. "This gym is closed for an exclusive raid," the message reads. "It will reopen at [time Raid ends.]"
One of these raids allegedly occurred Tuesday in Roseville, Michigan. Someone posted a screenshot to Facebook, and it now sits as the top post on Reddit's /r/SilphRoad. Several people in that Reddit thread made similar claims, although no one else could provide a screenshot.
Niantic originally said that Legendary Pokemon Raids would be at least initially limited to certain players, via exclusive raid passes given out 48 hours before a Legendary Raid. The commercial (seen above) hints at that process, with players automatically receiving the raid pass to a raid with a 48 hour timer. Dataminers even found evidence of these exclusive raids in the most recent update, complete with an "exclusive raid" error message and evidence that the Raid Pass would link to a map showing the exact location of the raid.
However, when it came time to add Legendary Raids into the game this weekend, Niantic instead opted to open them to all players.
The Legendary Raids are currently a boon for Pokemon Go. Players are spending money on raid passes for more attempts to catch Lugia and Articuno, which helped return Pokemon Go to the top spot in the Apple App Store's "top grossing" chart over the weekend. More importantly, the Legendary Raids are getting people to play Pokemon Go again. Anecdotally, we've talked to dozens of players who dusted off their Pokemon Go app and started playing again for the first time in months.
We don't have a timeframe for when Pokemon Go will add Exclusive Raids, or if they'll do it at all. Perhaps they'll open up a two tier system where certain Pokemon can only be accessed via Exclusive Raids while others are open to everyone. Looks like we'll have to wait and see what Pokemon Go does next.
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