Despite eventually going on to become one of the biggest talking points of 2016, it would be hard to describe Pokemon Go‘s launch as anything other than rocky. Overloaded servers and the prevalence of cheating undoubtedly caused more than just a few headaches for developer Niantic, issues which, its CEO John Hanke says, indirectly contributed to the delay of much-requested features such as trading and player-vs-player battles.
In an interview with Vice’s Waypoint (via GameSpot), Hanke reaffirms that both types of content are still on the cards, but that they were simply pushed back due to the explosion in popularity (and subsequent server outages) Pokemon Go experienced in its first few months.
“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,” reveals Hanke, who goes on to hint towards just how successful the augmented reality title has been for the company. In reference to its financial performance since release, he said: “Last year has funded us, you know, indefinitely, really.”
As is the case with a large chunk of the mobile gaming market, Pokemon Go is a free-to-play app that generates income through the sale of in-game items, including Pokeballs, Egg Incubators and Incenses, which increase encounter rates of rarer Pokemon types. Given its relative fall-off in popularity in the months since launch, the early days clearly must have been quite profitable for both Niantic and publisher The Pokemon Company, although neither has provided an official number.
In the meantime, while those of you still playing eagerly await the ability to trade and battle with friends, know that Niantic is currently holding a Valentine’s event for Pokemon Go. See the full details here.
Source: Vice (via GameSpot)