Pokémon Go Turns One Year Old Today: Here's What Niantic Has Planned For The Next Year

Pokémon Go has turned a year old. The game may not be the powerhouse it once was, but the team has plenty of plans.

Pokémon Go is currently enjoying a bit of a resurgence thanks to the recent addition of raids and the revamped gym system. The gym system has gotten a lot of complaints with some fans criticizing them as excessively grind-oriented and weighted towards high-level players, but the raids have, by most accounts, proven to be a successful addition to the game. While not a traditional MMORPG, Pokémon Go has adopted one aspect that has made MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft a success — endgame content. High-level players are more likely to invest money in a game than someone who is just starting out, so the addition of raids will likely prove a smart one.

Of course, raids alone aren't enough, especially in a Pokémon game. During an interview with The Verge, Niantic's John Hanke gave us a look at some of the new features we could expect next year.

Direct Battles And Pokémon Trading

Trainer battles are at the heart of the Pokémon experience whether that be the TV show, video games or even the collectible card game. The ability to challenge other trainers is something that, in our opinion, should have been in the game at launch especially considering that this is an MMORPG. While the game currently does possess a limited form of player vs player combat in the form of gyms, the ability to simply challenge another player to battle is still missing and it's something that needs to be in the game.

Another stable of Pokémon franchise is trading. While not as core to the experience as battling, trading is still a great way to fill up your Pokedex with hard to find Pokémon.

Fortunately, both of these features are still in the works and we may see them this year. Hanke said that the team originally planned to have them in the game sooner, but the game's massive success forced them to focus attention on infrastructure issues.

"We lost probably six months on our schedule because of the success of the game," said Hanke. "Really all the way through November and December, from launch onward we were rebuilding and rewiring infrastructure just to keep the game running at the scale that we were running at. We were fortunate to have a massive launch, a massive success, and many, many more users than we had planned for. But we had to redirect a substantial portion of the engineering team to [work on] infrastructure versus new features."

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Eric Brackett Tech Times editor Eric Brackett is a tech junkie and a gamer, covering science and technology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates and his random thoughts on the latest trends in gaming, tech, and comic books.

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