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Niantic adding new features to Pokemon GO soon, wants to hold events, tracker not returning

Posted on February 12, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in Mobile, News

At the start of July, Pokemon GO will be celebrating its first anniversary. The game has no doubt been an incredible success so far over the past several months, but players have been waiting on new features, including the ability to trade Pokemon.

Speaking with Waypoint, Niantic CEO John Hanke did say that new features are due out soon in “an abbreviated form”, with more complete versions to follow later.

Hanke told the site:

“It has far surpassed our expectations in just turning everybody onto the potential for games that break out of the screen. But the priority for Pokémon Go now is to build in those things that reward co-operative gameplay, and make experiences available that offer more depth than just the capturing mechanic.”

Hanke did specifically tell Waypoint that trading and player-versus-player battles are on the way along with a more proper gym battle system. According to Hanke, had Pokemon GO not been slammed with server issues upon release, at least one of these would already be available.

“It’s going to be done soon. It is what it is. I’ll take the massive wave of hysteria we enjoyed, and just deal with the fact that it’s caused us to take a bit longer to get the rest of the features up. We’re really happy to make our users happy.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Hanke spoke about wanting to host their own events. Players began to set up their own meetups last year, but Niantic hopes to bring something official to the table.

“I’d never seen spontaneous, user-created events on that scale before… My heart is really with events, and that’s something I really want us to try to solve in 2017. It’s complicated, though, to do them at the scale that Pokémon Go demands. But, to me, that would be the best demonstration of the vision of this company, which is all about playing games together, outside, with other people.”

Finally, Hanke confirmed that Pokemon GO’s original tracker won’t be returning. As for the reasoning behind that, he explained:

“The tracker sort of fills a certain need within the product. I think 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.”

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