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Team Rocket’s Jessie and James invade Pokémon Go

Surrender now, or prepare to fight

Jessie and James from Team Rocket in Pokemon Go Image: Niantic
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Classic Pokémon bad guys, Team Rocket’s Jessie and James, have been added to Pokémon Go. As with the hot air balloons in Pokémon Go’s Tuesday update, which added a Team Go Rocket invasion, Jessie and James will occasionally drift past on the game’s map.

Players that want to take the duo on can tap the Meowth balloon to battle Jessie and James, according to a news release.

“As Team GO Rocket’s balloons prowl the skies, we’ve been investigating them further,” Niantic said. “The Grunts piloting the balloons are just as perplexed as we are as to where these characters came from. From what we understand, Team GO Rocket has assigned Shadow Pokémon to protect Jessie and James as they seek to create more Shadow Pokémon.”

Players probably saw this coming — data miners found dialogue for Jessie and James in one of the game’s recent updates. Avatar items based on Jessie and James are also available in the Pokémon Go shop.

Niantic said the Team Rocket leaders won’t stick around in Pokémon Go “for long,” but did not give an end date.

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