Niantic seemingly has big plans in store for Pokemon Go over the course of 2017. As per a recent interview with Wired (via Siliconera), the studio’s CEO, John Hanke, discussed future updates coming to the mobile title, including improvements to the current Gym Battles system and the first official introduction of Legendary Pokemon.
In reference to the former feature, Hanke admits that Gym Battles were released in an “incomplete state,” and plans to overhaul the system to promote “more teamwork” and give players more incentive to engage with them.
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.
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at Pokemon Go since its launch last year has been its general lack of meaningful content, with the only permanent additions coming in the form of more creatures to chuck Poke Balls at. Given that collecting is a fundamental principle of the series as a whole, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but as of now, there’s largely no reason to keep plugging away at filling each entry unless you count yourself a completionist. Expanding Gym Battles should – hopefully – help to alleviate that issue somewhat.
As for the arrival of Legendary Pokemon, Hanke doesn’t go into a great deal of detail, but confirms that players will “see more of that this year,” so expect the likes of Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno to finally be catchable in-game before the year is out. We’ll have to see how those intentions play out over the coming months, but as for more current events, today sees Niantic’s ‘Party Hat Pikachu‘ event come to a close. Let us know if you managed to snag one in the comments below.