Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs has responded to the alleged appearance of legendary Pokemon, including most prominently Articuno, in Trainers’ accounts, revealing that the company has removed these Pokemon from players’ accounts.
In a statement provided by a Niantic representative to IGN, the company said that it has “rectified the situation” and “revoked” the legendary Pokemon. The statement reads:
“We recently noticed that a few Legendary Pokemon got into a few accounts when they shouldn’t have, To preserve the game’s integrity and as a measure of fairness, we have rectified the situation and revoked the legendary Pokemon from the Trainers’ accounts.”
A Pokemon Go player in the Ohio area claimed to have acquired the game’s first legendary Pokemon, Articuno, which has not yet officially been released in the game. The player, kaitcovey, claimed Niantic gave them the Pokemon as an apology after contacting the developer about an issue with the game. The Pokemon was shown off in a Twitch livestream to prove its authenticity.
Niantic has, as of press time, not officially released any legendary Pokemon in the mobile game. Some reports suggested players have previously manipulated the game’s code to make legendary or other unseen Pokemon appear in the game.
Niantic also recently updated the app, preventing some third party apps for the game from being used while also removing Pokemon Go’s in-app “3-step” tracking for users to find Pokemon in the game.