Pokemon GO has been an instant hit, topping the iOS store hours after release and raising Nintendo stocks by ten percent. And the free-to-play mobile app has yet to introduce major game-enhancing features, such as trading pokemon with other players, according to Niantic CEO John Hanke in an interview with TechInsider.
“It’s kind of a core element,” Hanke says. He explains that the trading feature will further encourage players to interact with each other.
The ability to trade pokemon has been a staple of the mainstream series since Pokemon Red and Blue originally released in 1996. It was required if players wanted to complete their Pokedexes, as some pokemon evolved only via trading and others simply appeared exclusively in one version or another. Similarly, some pocket-monsters in Pokemon GO are more likely to appear in specific real-life regions or environments, which makes them hard to access for certain players. That’s where trading may become useful.
In addition to trading, Hanke says that improvements to PokéStops, Gyms, and AR are on the way as well. Though he didn’t go into details, he explains PokéStops and Gyms are currently just the “very most basic versions,” and that in the future players will have the ability to “customize their functions in other ways.” Apparently, Niantic will also be introducing a worldwide leaderboard, allowing players to see how they rank against their allies and rivals.
As for AR, Hanke says there will be improvements, but did not provide any details. He reveals there may be plans for the game to come to dedicated AR devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens and the Sony SmartEyeGlass.