Last year’s mobile app sensation, Pokemon GO, has hit the heights of legendary status in the mobile gaming world. Grossing over $1 billion worldwide since launch, the game has waned slightly in popularity in recent months. That isn’t deterring developer Niantic and their boss John Hanke however. There are still big plans for the AR smash hit this year, namely trading and PvP battles.
In a wide ranging interview with Waypoint, the Niantic chief describes how the overwhelming success of the game has funded their company almost indefinitely. He admits to there being shortcomings around launch, particularly server issues. And had the release of Pokemon GO gone more smoothly, then perhaps we would already have seen some of the new features that he hints at.
Hanke states, “The priority for Pokemon Go now is to build in those things that reward co-operative gameplay.” He plans to hold global scale events for the game, and a current feature that may fall by the wayside is the tracker system. “The more interesting thing for me is not extending the tracker, but basically making the world richer and adding more ways to interact with new kinds of things in the world.” This would suggest that the original system of being able to hunt down those elusive rare Pokemon may be replaced by new methods of detection.
Most interestingly though, the Niantic boss hints at what his company still sees as vital inclusions for Pokemon GO. Monster trading and PvP battles, alongside a better gym battle feature, are all things that Niantic are working towards. The huge reaction to the app did slow things down for these features, as the company suddenly found themselves with a whole lot more work to do, just to keep the game running. Hanke explains, “[Launch problems] caused us to take a bit longer to get the rest of the features up.” He does say however, “It’s going to be done soon.”
If you are one of the many players who dived head-first into Pokemon GO, to then quickly lose interest in catching yet another Pidgey, then take note. It may be worth getting back into the Pokemon hunting world soon, as you should be able to enjoy a much fuller and competitive experience than what was initially offered.