Pokémon GO has finally done away with several sprites that make Pokémon look glassy-eyed or dead.
Yesterday afternoon, the game developers switched out 3D image assets for several Pokémon, including Bulbasaur and Dragonite. While the new Pokémon sprites don’t look that different, they did fix a weird glassy-eyed effect that made many Pokémon look like they were either blind or lifeless.
The full list of Pokemon changed in the recent server-side update includes:
Almost all of these Pokémon have some sort of oval-like eye with a flat bottom, which seems to have triggered the weird effect in the old models. The glass-eyed effect first appeared in July after an update.
Interestingly, a placeholder image that looks like a Substitute Doll was also tweaked. This image occasionally popped up on top of gyms by accident, but players haven’t seen it in months since Pokémon GO updated its gym mechanic. It could mean that the game is preparing to add “Substitute” as a usable move (which would be interesting and very different from Pokémon GO‘s other attacks) or a developer was simply doing some cleaning on the backend.
In the past, Pokémon GO has modified image assets right before releasing a batch of new Shiny Pokémon. However, none of the Pokémon listed above currently have shiny alternates found in the game. It could be a sign that Pokémon GO is preparing for something, although it’s just as possible that a game developer finally had a chance to fix this harmless visual glitch.