Submit a news tip

John Hanke

At Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago, The Guardian was able to speak with Niantic CEO John Hanke. Hanke discussed the current status of the game, among other topics.

Reflecting on how far Pokemon GO has come since its launch two years ago, Hanke said that the mobile title has a “thriving, strong user base of people that are not here for the fad, but because they love the core values of the game.” He said:

Pokemon GO Fest did not go well for Niantic last year. Due to technical issues, many of the events that had been planned couldn’t take place or were severely impacted. Many players who stopped by couldn’t even log in due to an abundance of traffic and other problems.

Despite Pokemon GO Fest not going over well in 2017, Niantic is trying things again this year. The company announced earlier today that the big event is returning to Chicago in July. Following the news, IGN caught up with Niantic CEO John Hanke, who reflected on all of the problems that occurred last year and how the company has learned from its mistakes.

It’s unclear how it happened (other than what was probably just a happy circumstance), but Niantic CEO John Hanke ended up on a flight with Pokemon GO player Doctor PoGo. The two ended up sitting next to each other and Hanke dished on the mobile game’s future.

Here’s a roundup of information shared about what’s planned for Pokemon GO:

The inaugural Pokemon GO Fest did not go well. Among the various issues were technical problems, which made it impossible for many attendees to play the game and participate in events for most of the day.

Over on the Niantic blog, CEO John Hanke commented on the situation in detail. Hanke ultimately said that technical issues “caused client crashes and interfered with gameplay for some users.” Hanke also pointed to an “oversaturation of the mobile data networks of some network providers” as well as network congestion, making it so some players couldn’t connect to the internet.

Pokemon GO Fest wasn’t a complete wash. Hanke did note how many people played together once issues were finally ironed out, and fans continued well into the night and throughout Sunday. Players in downtown Chicago participated in more than 69,000 Raid Battles and captured more than 7.7 million Pokemon, including more than 440,000 Legendary Pokemon. Trainers worldwide also participated in 4.6 million Raid Battles and caught more than 500 million Pokemon, including more than 1.9 million Legendary Pokemon.

Finally, Hanke confirmed distributions for the next Legendary Pokemon, Moltres and Zapdos. The former will be available between July 31 and August 7, while the latter is planned between August 8 and August 14. Also keep in mind that Articuno will only be offered through July 31.

Read Hanke’s full message below.

With Pokemon GO celebrating its first anniversary, The Verge spoke with Niantic CEO John Hanke. Hanke weighed in on the state of the game, how the initial success meant the team had to focus on making the game stable instead of working on features, and much more.

Read some comments from Hanke below. The full interview is located here.

This week, Wired’s German division conducted an interview with Niantic CEO John Hanke. Hanke was able to answer some important questions about plans for Pokemon GO in 2017 and more.

First, Hanke was asked about what fans can expect from Pokemon GO’s second big update this year. He confirms that “playing together and gym battles” will be primarily addressed.

“There are a couple of areas that need to be improved – one of them being playing together and gym battles. We released those in an incomplete state. We knew from Ingress that cooperation and planning can be a lot of fun. When people have a common goal, then that’s a strong incentive to meet up with friends or even with people you don’t know.”

“The gameplay in gym battles is very limited. They just don’t work as well as we wish they would. We will overhaul this aspect of the game to ensure more teamwork and to give people a bigger incentive to receive the rewards from gym battles.”

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.”

At the GamesBeat 2016 conference, Niantic CEO John Hanke stopped by for a thirty minute chat. Hanke talked about Pokemon GO and more during the event. Here’s the full recording:

Niantic CEO John Hanke has penned a new message about Pokemon GO on the company’s official website.

The main point of the letter was to highlight the importance of maintaining service. Niantic said it was delayed in bringing out the game across Latin America “due to aggressive efforts by third parties to access our servers outside of the Pokemon GO game client and our terms of service”. Third-parties were blocked to free up resources, transition to new features, and avoid cheating.

Hanke also said that Niantic has “heard feedback about the Nearby feature in the game and are actively working on it.”

The full message reads:

Things have been pretty crazy here at Niantic over the last few weeks but despite all of the ups and downs we get up every day inspired by the original goals of Niantic – to create an experience that encourages healthy outdoor exploration and social gameplay. Every positive story we hear (like this one from the UK) motivates us to keep working to support the game and continue the roll-out. Running a product like Pokémon GO at scale is challenging. Those challenges have been amplified by third parties attempting to access our servers in various ways outside of the game itself.

When Pokemon GO launched in Japan, it did so by partnering with McDonald’s restaurants across the country. Close to 3,000 locations became either PokeStops or Gyms. Developer Niantic is now looking into additional sponsorships, CEO John Hanke has stated.

Fortune reports that Niantic is in talks “with several companies”. New relationships could be formed similar to the deal with McDonald’s.

During the GamesBeat 2016 conference, Niantic mentioned that paid sponsorships can reduce Niantic’s reliance on in-app purchases by players to generate revenue. “It’s tough to understand where you want to draw the line,” he said. With sponsorships, Niantic felt “we wouldn’t have to cave to that pressure to just dial it up a little more.”

Source