Trading And Player Vs. Player Battles Are Still In The Pipeline For Pokemon GO

Despite repeated assurances from Niantic that both trading and PvP features will eventually make their way to Pokemon GO, the continued absence of any firm release date has only served to fuel doubt in the minds of players. Indeed, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke has explicitly stated that both gameplay elements have always been planned for the augmented reality title, but not until now do we really understand why they’re still missing.

As per a recent interview with The Verge, Hanke reveals how Pokemon GO‘s unforeseen success ultimately ended up becoming the biggest roadblock in preventing Niantic from delivering sizeable content updates; the sheer number of players logging in on launch day having put an incredible amount of stress on the game’s servers.

We lost probably six months on our schedule because of the success of the game. 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. That switched off things like extending gyms, it pushed out things we still want to have, like player-versus-player and trading.

Despite the setback, however, Hanke remains confident that Niantic can meet the demands of its players, even if it takes an additional six months to get there. When asked if the studio had perhaps jumped the gun on offering content that it wouldn’t be able to deliver on a timely basis, Hanke responded by admitting that, had resources not been diverted to infrastructure, some of those proposed updates would have been out earlier.

Well, had we not had to divert resources to infrastructure versus features, I think we would’ve had some of those things out earlier. I don’t know. If we had of known we were going to have those delays, maybe we wouldn’t have talked so much about them. Although, it’s important to let people know that you’re thinking about certain things, and that you are building toward them, even if they’re not immediately available.

It’s refreshing to see Hanke speak so candidly about Pokemon GO‘s launch woes, especially considering the relative lack of communication players were left to endure following its initial launch, and while Niantic’s initial predicament meant delaying content fans have been hungering for over the last year, Hanke’s comments go a long way in securing a bright outlook for Pokemon GO‘s future.

There may still be a sizeable wait until you’re able to trade unwanted ‘Mons with other people, but you at least won’t be left wanting for new things to do. Just today, Niantic confirmed that a special Anniversary Event is due to kick off in just a few hours, bringing with it a host of goodies. Head over here for all the details.