Detective Pikachu was on the case this week, when reports had emerged that Articuno had been sighted defending a PokéGym in Ohio.
With players becoming immediately skeptical over the Legendary Bird’s authenticity, aspiring Pokémon trainer Kaitlyn Covey soon defended herself by sharing: “Niantic gifted me with him. It is simply the truth!”
“We’re hoping Niantic will come forward at some point, and say this is all true,” her friend explains. “This is the best we can do right now, is showing you the actual Pokémon itself.”
After reporting a Pidgeot transfer error to Niantic, Covey received a reply by email that read:
We are sorry about your Pidgeot! We thought by now you might have another so we gave you an Articundo.
Go Team Mystic,
Rep the squad,
That email was sent from email@example.com, although suspicion was immediately raised by the mistyped name. Covey demonstrated Articuno’s sound and took to the Pokédex to show the Legendary Bird’s entry, but the chat channel still debated the legitimacy.
But now, Niantic has denied any involvement. Geek had a response from a PR representative about Articuno’s appearance, who shared that it “was not from Niantic” adding that “it’s either a spoof or someone hacked the game.” They added that the developer is “looking into it” but that there weren’t any “clear answers at the moment.”
While Covey’s livestream was clear proof to Articuno’s authenticity, speculation will now continue online after Niantic’s rebuttal.