Zorua's Release: A Timeline of Failure, Frustration and Anger |  Pokemon GO Hub

Zorua’s Release: A Timeline of Failure, Frustration and Anger | Pokemon GO Hub

Hi Coach,

The release of Zorua has been anything but smooth for Niantic and the Pokémon Go player base. I previously wrote about how disappointing this entire release has been, but that was before the more recent buggy re-release. I firmly believe that part of my role here at the Hub is to hold Niantic accountable, so let’s go through the timeline from when Zorua was first hinted at, to the release, to the re-release to now.

19/21 October – The tip

Niantic started teasing something to come with a couple of tweets, the first coming on October 19th and another on October 21st. I thought both were well done and piqued my interest for what was to come.

October 25 – Shuppet Spotlight Hour

Shuppet Community Day arrived and it was announced that for the first 5 minutes, and the last 5 minutes of the Shuppet Spotlight Hour, Zorua would play dressed as your friend. Hype or not?

Well, it was quickly discovered that there was a problem. Any Zorua captured retained the stats such as the height, CP, and attacks of the Pokémon it originally took the form of.

At 4am EST, Niantic announced that they were aware of the bug, then almost immediately responded to their own tweet that the Zorua surprise that had happened to them before GMT+13 would not happen to them after. They also announced that any Zorua caught by trainers would not be able to be traded, sent to Pokémon HOME, or allowed into the GO Battle League until this issue is resolved.

This affected almost everyone, as New Zealand standard time is GMT+12. So the vast majority of the world awoke to Zorua being released, broken, and then interrupted while they slept.

I especially feel sorry for the time zones that were just about to get their spotlight hours, that must have been a real gut punch.

You can read Twitter thread here.

October 28, 4:06 PM EST – Zorua is fixed!

Niantic Support tweets that they are happy to announce that Zorua has been fixed and is now playing in the wild globally.


Oct 28, 4:07pm EST – No, no it isn’t.

Pretty much almost immediately after Zorua’s re-release trainers started reporting that they caught Zorua at less than full health. Little did we know that this wasn’t the worst.


October 28, 7:04 PM EST – Niantic disables Bluetooth devices.

Reports are starting to surface that any Zorua captured with a Bluetooth device such as a Go Plus or Poké Ball Plus will not transform into a Zorua but instead be captured as whatever the trainer had as their buddy at the time. This leads to multiple trainers catching multiple Mythic/Legendary Pokémon.


Screenshot of an account with several newly caught Mew

(I could only find a screenshot from the 29th)


October 28 – Evening EST

People start sharing screenshots of undisguised Zorua playing on the map.

Zorua plays undisguised on the map


October 28, 10:58 PM EST – Niantic admits it is aware of the HP issue

Late at night, Niantic begins responding to tweets from trainers reporting that some Zorua are caught with less than full HP.


Today – where we are right now.

So that all brings us to where we were right now, at the time of this writing Bluetooth devices are still disabled, and Zorua is still caught at less than full health.

As of 5:25 PM EST on October 30 Niantic responded to a tweet said they had no timeline for when the functionality of the Bluetooth devices would be restored. I personally caught a Zorua when I wrote this article that was at less than full health, so that’s still an issue as well.

This whole release has been a comedy of errors, the release of a single Pokemon has led to 3 separate bugs and forced hours of work on staff because they didn’t play out the release properly.

To summarize

1. Niantic had to stop the release of Zorua almost immediately after it launched because it kept the stats of the disguised Pokemon.
2. They spent hours investigating and fixing the original problem.
3. Niantic had to disable Bluetooth devices from connecting to the game because people were getting the disguised Pokémon and not Zorua from Zorua encounters using a Poké Ball Plus or Pokémon Go Plus
4. Niantic had banned several Pokémon from the Great League of Go Battle League because people were getting hold of Great League eligible Pokémon that were previously unavailable.
5. Now they are spending even more hours investigating and fixing two separate bugs affecting Zorua with no timeline for either bug to be fixed.

Offer a compromise.

The quick fix seems simple and obvious here, make Zorua a regular non-disguised spawn and re-enable Bluetooth devices. Win win. People get their Zorua, and they also get to use their Bluetooth devices.


What is lost in this is that there are many trainers out there who use a Go Plus or a Poké Ball Plus to play the game for a significant portion of the day. There are rural players who use their devices to collect items while running errands while in areas with a denser collection of Pokéstops. It’s easy to have the game open on your phone in your pocket, a Go Plus in hand spinning stopping to refill their item bag with Pokéballs and Potions when they get home.

There is also an accessibility issue with the removal of Go Plus, for people who rely on their Go Plus-like device to play the game normally. Now they can’t play as much as they used to.

A compromise like the one above would allow trainers to go back to playing the game as they are used to, and we all get to keep catching Zorua. Seems like the best compromise, but here we are. Waiting.

Before I go, I’ll just leave this here:


Be safe out there coach.

#Zoruas #Release #Timeline #Failure #Frustration #Anger #Pokemon #Hub

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