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Pokémon Go developer Niantic has postponed the Pokémon Air Adventures collaboration which would have introduced an adorable region-specific Pikachu costume.
In an update to the post announcing the special event, Niantic has pushed back the Pokémon Air Adventures collaboration to an unknown date “due to recent developments” which are likely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With case numbers on the rise in Japan once again, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics set to be held behind closed doors without fans in attendance, Niantic has realised that it might not be the best time to have people flock to Okinawa to get a special Pokémon.
The Pokémon Air Adventures collaboration event would have introduced a timed region-specific outfit for Pikachu, giving him an Okinawan kariyushi shirt, for trainers only in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture which naturally encourages avid Pokémon collectors to travel there.
Further regional events are planned, with Niantic writing that “we’re looking to introduce more costumed Pokémon that are available only in certain regions of the world,” however these are likely also being delayed after this delay to the initial regional event.
Niantic has recently been rolling back their pandemic based bonuses which were designed to keep people playing throughout the pandemic and saw Pokémon GO having its best first half a year to date. With the bonuses being replayed by Exploration bonuses, the player count may well be sustained, but time will tell if the pandemic bonuses have been rolled back too early.