In their August 31, 2020 update post, Niantic announced that they had a month of Mega Evolution events planned. The first of these events took place from September 1st to the 7th, and featured a heavy emphasis on raiding. In particular, the main focus of this entire raid event was centered around the newly released Mega Raid tier, to the point where the main prize would be unlocked if we could complete a total of 2 million Mega Raids during this window, and that prize would be the grand debut of Mega Pidgeot.
As of writing this article, it's now September 11, 2020. The event was 4 days ago, and we currently do not have Mega Pidgeot available in Mega Raids or unlocked in-game. So what's going on here? Is Niantic slacking in the announcement? ...or is this evidence of something far greater going on with the Pokemon Community?
The Lost Mega, The Lost System
Traditionally, Niantic has always been very quick to let us know when we reach a milestone during an event. They tend to let us know in-app, via their announcements page, and/or via Twitter within hours of our reaching our collective goal. And in this regard, we have never failed to reach a goal that Niantic set before us. Be it due to our own intrepid and goal-oriented gameplay, Niantic setting goals that are generally realistic given their own numbers, or possibly even fudging the numbers a bit in order to save face, hypothetically speaking. That's why this silence is very out of character for them. So what's going on here?
Potential Answer 1: They're Waiting
In another news post, Niantic announced that they're giving Pidgeot a new special move during an upcoming PvP event: Gust. This ties directly into Mega Pidgeot's potential performance, and could very well be waiting to release Mega Pidgeot until this is released in order to keep people from potentially evolving before the move is released.
Potential Answer 2: We Failed!
This is what seems to be the more likely reason: we didn't reach 2 million mega raids completed during our first week-long event of this Mega September. Terrible news, right? How could we possibly not make it?
...no, it's not terrible news at all. In fact, this is potentially the best possible outcome of this event!
Mega Evolution is nearly universally reviled in its current form. Players have gone en masse to social media and Pokemon Go resources to vent their validated frustrations with what could and should be an amazing new system. In fact, you can review the two links posted at the top of this article to see a bit of what the Gamepress team has said about Mega Evolution. If we actually failed this event, then we have shed light on two very real factors in regards to this broken system:
Factor 1: Mega Evolution is a Failure; Both Critically and Financially
If we didn't complete 2 million mega raids despite the current Tier 5 raid boss during this event, Heatran, being a less than exciting raid choice, then it means two things: first is that there just isn't enough interest in this broken system to drive sales, and the second is that we, as a community, actually said "No" to Niantic with our wallets. Do you know how huge this is? In the scope of a gargantuan game like Pokemon Go, having players get together to not go for something that they want is absolutely titanic! We really should be absolutely proud of ourselves for this monumental statement!!!
Factor 2: Niantic is Showing a Little Honesty and Humility
We had no public counter, and we had no way of keeping track of this metric ourselves. Niantic could just as easily say "A winner is you!", drop a truckload of confetti from the sky, and drop Mega Pidgeot into Mega Raids. However, they haven't done that (yet). The ability to simply let a potential marketing point pass because we didn't find it worth investing in is huge on Niantic's part, and honestly it is worth giving them some credit. As of right now, it seems that they're not trying to throw out excuses, and are simply accepting their own failures while eating a bit of humble pie along the way. If this evaluation is correct, then this could be a sobering wake up call for them that may lead to a better game for us.
What About Mega Pidgeot?
I for one love Mega Pidgeot. It's got a great design, and it gives a bit of homage to the humble bird of Generation 1. However, I am also more than willing to sacrifice its presence for the sake of making a statement to Niantic. It will come back to us eventually (hopefully....), but when it does it can represent our stand against Niantic's business practices; Mega Pidgeot can become a symbol of our ability to stand together when it really counts!
The near future will tell us just which way the coin will land on this matter. If Niantic's silence a confirmation of what we all suspect? Or is the announcement just late? Either way, I doubt that any of us, when catching our first Pidgey, would have guessed that its species could have been such a strong and loud statement to Niantic, and our first time of outright saying "No more". Great job, Pokemon Go Community! It looks like we're actually starting to force a change! Now let's keep it up and let Niantic know what we want our game to become!