While Pokémon GO is still alive, it is nowhere near as hyped up as it was when it was first released in July of last year.
Pokémon GO was able to collect $1 billion in revenues just six months after it was released, making it the fastest to achieve the milestone in the industry. However, if developer Niantic Labs would like to regain momentum for the augmented reality game, it would have to add features that have long been requested by players.
Pokémon Trading, Player Battles In Pokémon GO
In July 2016, after Pokémon GO was just released, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke said that Pokémon trading, which is one of the social aspects of games in the Pokémon franchise on portable gaming consoles, will soon be coming to the mobile game.
In September 2016, Hanke hinted that player vs. player battles will also be coming to Pokémon GO, as part of the development of the multiplayer and social aspects of the game. The feature is said by Hanke to be often discussed among the development team, so it should be released soon.
However, several months after Hanke made these statements, the two much requested features of Pokémon trading and PvP battles are still nowhere to be found in Pokémon GO.
New Pokémon GO Features Coming Soon?
In a recent interview with Waypoint, Hanke now claims that Pokémon trading and PvP battles are on their way.
"It's going to be done soon," Hanke said, adding that the features were delayed from being developed and implemented in Pokémon GO due to the server issues that Niantic Labs faced upon the launch of the game, when it had to address overloaded servers due to unexpected avalanche of wannabe Pokémon masters.
Hanke said that, if not for the server issues, at least one of these two features would have already been released for Pokémon GO, in addition to a battle system between gyms that will supplement what Hanke thinks is the rudimentary version of how they envisioned Pokémon GO to turn out.
The question, however, is whether the addition of Pokémon trading and PvP battles, whenever that may be, would be enough to maintain the interest of players in Pokémon GO. Pokémon trading might still not allow players to complete their Pokédex due to certain Pokémon only appearing in certain regions. In addition, while PvP battles will allow players to engage in matches without having to visit gyms, it will likely come with the same limitations that are plaguing gym takeover battles of becoming boring too fast and only the top few kinds of Pokémon winning most matches.
Niantic Labs To Focus On Events
In conclusion of his interview with Waypoint, Hanke said that his heart is with events, and that holding real-time events wherein Pokémon GO players can participate in is something that he and Niantic Labs will try to do more often this year.
Hanke admits that it is complicated to launch events for Pokémon GO considering the scope and size of the game's player base, but such events are the best demonstration of Niantic Labs' vision of getting people to get together and play games outdoors.