The hype surrounding Pokémon GO has died down since it was first launched in July 2016, but the mobile game is still going strong.
According to developer Niantic Labs, Pokémon GO is still being played by a significant number of wannabe Pokémon masters, with hints and leaks revealing that there is much more to come to the mobile game.
Niantic Labs Thanks Millions Of 'Pokémon GO' Players
In a blog post made by the developer, Niantic Labs expressed its gratitude to the gamers who have continued playing Pokémon GO. The support given by these players have allowed Niantic Labs to rake in a long list of awards for Pokémon GO, with the most recent one being the Best Mobile and Handheld Game award given at the British Academy of Film, Television and Arts Game Awards.
"Each and every award Pokémon GO has won is a testament to the game's awesome and supportive community," Niantic Labs wrote, as it issued a collective thank you to gamers for awards that include Mobile Game of the Year from IGN, Best App of the Year from TechCrunch, Best Mobile/Handheld Game and Best Family Game at The Game Awards, and Best Mobile/Handheld Game at The Game Developers Choice Awards.
The developer then stated that it continues to draw inspiration from the passion of the over 65 million people who play the game monthly, who have helped Pokémon GO take in $1 billion in revenue over its first six months.
'Pokémon GO' Co-Op Mode Coming Soon?
In its thank you note to gamers, Niantic Labs hinted that there is much more to come to the mobile game, including "all new cooperative social gameplay experiences."
The hint for co-op gameplay coming soon to Pokémon GO pushed researchers at The Silph Road forum to look through the updated code of the mobile game, with the data miners finding information that may leak what Niantic Labs has in store for players.
Going through the updated code for Pokémon GO revealed phrases that are seemingly tied to gyms. These phrases include "(Pokémon name) has fought hard and returned!" and "(Pokémon name) defended the Gym!" These lines seem to hint that there will be a more detailed notification system coming to Pokémon GO for gym battles, allowing players to keep updated with the gyms that they have won, the players who try to steal the gym, and the Pokémon that they leave at a gym for defense.
There were also lines such as "(Pokémon name) is hungry!" and "(Pokémon name) wants a berry!" These phrases seem to indicate that players will soon have to feed the Pokémon that they leave at gyms, a mechanic that prevents gamers from conquering gyms and then just forgetting about them as they leave high-level Pokémon to defend them. The mechanic could also curtail spoofers, as they need to physically travel back to the gym to feed the Pokémon.
Perhaps the most interesting discovered phrases, however, are "There's a raid about to start near you!" and "A raid's going to start nearby!" It is unclear what a raid would be in Pokémon GO compared to games such as Destiny and World of Warcraft, but it could be a feature that brings together players coming from one of the game's three teams to work together to beat another team or take over a gym.
With these speculated updates, it looks like gamers will not be losing interest in Pokémon GO any time soon.