Niantic CEO John Hanke has shed some light on the direction that Niantic would like to take Pokemon GO– and it will probably include battling.
In an interview with Tech Crunch, Hanke explained why Niantic just brought Pokemon GO to the Apple Watch: “Our whole mission as a company is to evangelize this whole concept of playing games outside, real world games. Apple Watch we think is a great vehicle for that. As other devices come on the market – if those are Android Wear devices or if they are devices from other quadrants that are interesting for gameplay and mobility, and being active – we’ll look into supporting those, too.”
Pokemon GO also just released a wristband that allows you to catch Pokemon (and identify PokeStops) without pulling your phone out, as well as a Buddy System that lets you collect Pokemon-specific Candy by walking a certain distance with that Pokemon selected. Clearly, Niantic wants to pull our faces out of the screen as much as possible, while still playing the game.
Hanke also discussed the likelihood of battling coming to Pokemon GO, a feature with a touching origin: “I have 10 year old son – he’s my Pokémon expert, we play together – he wants to battle his friends in Pokémon Go. Battling is something we talk a lot about. It’s probably something that will make its way onto our roadmap.”
While battling Pokemon is not necessarily in the works, its something fans can look forward to. As Hanke says, “A lot of what we’re doing with Pokémon, we learned through three years of hard work with Ingress and building up that community around the world, maturing that technology, the social aspect of it, the group gameplay, and the events for Ingress are really the lifeblood of that game. I think you can expect to see things like that in Pokémon Go.”