‘Pokémon GO’ Could Finally Be Adding One Of Its Most Demanded Features This Summer
Big changes are coming to Pokémon GO, or at least we hope. Summer and the anniversary of the massively popular mobile game are nearly upon us, meaning the prospect of some long-awaited features as the game crawls out of a relatively uneventful stretch of perfectly serviceable events. A new interview with Brazilian newspaper O Globo gives us some more specific hints about what’s coming: in it, Niantic Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Mathieu de Fayet says that we should be expecting both PvP battles and LegendaryPokémon soon. You can read the Google translation here, but somebody on reddit has also posted a somewhat cleaner version.
We’ve already talked some about legendaries, and at this point, there have been enough not-so-subtle hints that we can be relatively assured that they will be dropping sometime in the warmer months. PvP has been another one of those features that has hovered like a cloud over the game since launch: everyone agrees that it would be great and Niantic is obviously working on it, but there are obvious challenges on both the design and technical levels. It appears that the developer has made some progress on those fronts, and if this interview is anything to go by, we’ll be getting a chance to test drive the feature sometime soon enough.
This would be huge for the game, for a lot of reasons. Firstly, for a game as inherently social as this one,Pokémon GO has only one actually social feature in the form of the lure: everything else is solidly either asynchronous or totally single player, leaving the idea of interacting with other players largely up to the players themselves. PvP battles would give players an ingame activity that they can actually do with other people out in the world, breathing new life intoPokémon meetups and random street encounters. Secondly, it would go a long way to giving players something to actually do with the Pokémon we’ve all spent so much time collecting. Right now, combat is only expressed through the convoluted and largely inaccessible gym system, and I have the distinct feeling that this means huge numbers of players aren’t even touching a feature which is meant to be a pillar of the experience. Broadening out the idea of Pokémon fights with accessibility in mind would give more people more cause to go out there and catch more powerful monsters.