Niantic dropped some major information regarding Exclusive Raids which have now been re-branded as EX Raid Battles.
The first EX Raid Battles will be field tested from the 6th of September at selected Gyms around the world before a global release. The initial EX Raid invites will be sent out “soon” for these field tests. See below for the information regarding they released regarding EX Raid Battles.
Official information from Niantic regarding EX Raid Battles
The wording of “select Gyms” echoes the initial release of Raids which was only taking place at Sponsored Gym locations, so it’s likely that the initial testing will not include countries or areas without Sponsored Gyms, such as Australia. Luckily, it was not long after Raid release that they expanded the feature globally so we may see it sooner than we think.
Another important note about this information is the numerous times they referenced feedback. One of the key criticisms Niantic has received since release is their lack of communication and willingness to listen to feedback. However, as of late, I’ve found myself writing about several instances that Niantic have listened to feedback from the player base. Here, they’ve demonstrated in advance how they intend to do that. They will be listening to the feedback from field testing to fine tune requirements, frequency, times, locations and duration of EX Raid Battles. The player base was initially apprehensive when initial information regarding Exclusive Raid Battles was released. They gave no indication as to how specifically the invites would be allocated, decided and how far back players had to have been active at the gym to receive it. While many things are still in the dark, we can expect there to be many changes to the system while they realize the pros and cons of each design aspect of EX Raid Battles.
Another interesting note about their communications is that they do not mention the word “Mewtwo” whatsoever. Could it be that the initial field testing for EX Raid Battles may not even be for the fabled clone? If that is the case, I’m sure initial field testers won’t be happy but it’s interesting to consider what Pokemon they would put instead. Could they perhaps throw in the Legendary Birds for another round? Perhaps some, as of yet, non-regular Raid Bosses such as Dragonite or Golem? What if they included regional Pokemon? Unown? Or could it be possible that they use the means to introduce a currently unreleased Pokemon such as Smeargle or Delibird. Some of these options are far more impressive than others but in the hope of transparency, I sure hope Niantic make clear communication regarding what players will be facing.