People had been anticipating the addition of Team Rocket to Pokémon GO for quite some time now. And almost as quickly as they were added, both they and the Shadow Pokémon they brought with them have vanished. The Pokémon GO Twitter page has confirmed that this is not just a slight bug and that the features have been taken out of the game, at least for now.
Originally, the feature — which launched barely a day ago — added the ability to fight Team GO Rocket, which is just like the normal Team Rocket except on mobile devices and therefore worse. Team GO Rocket uses Shadow Pokémon, which Pokémon fans will remember from the two GameCube titles, Pokémon Colosseum and its sequel Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. When players beat the Team GO Rocket grunt, they can capture the Shadow Pokémon. These creatures have lower stats and look evil, but you can purify them.
A whole bouquet of oopsie daisies
To fight Team GO Rocket and snag their Shadow Pokémon, players had to spin dark gray Poké Stops. Allegedly. For many players, these dark gray Poké Stops were nonexistent. For others, the Team GO Rocket battles caused their games to crash or glitch out. The game might freeze, or players could lose their chance to catch the Shadow Pokémon.
We don’t currently know whether the glitch stemmed from a Google Play update or if the feature just released prematurely. Pokémon GO has had many glitches since its launch, so it’s not too surprising that such a big feature would cause some hiccups. Niantic has not said exactly when they expect to have the glitches fixed.
Hopefully, both Team Rocket and the Shadow Pokémon can return to the game soon. Until then, we can only pray for a new Pokémon Colosseum sequel. Which admittedly would be more exciting than a Pokémon GO update, but that’s an editorial for another day.