It may have only been just over a year since Pokemon GO [Free] launched with such aplomb on the App Store, but it feels like a lifetime ago. A lot has certainly changed since July 2016, not only on the App Store and in the wider world, but also within the augmented reality application itself. A whole new cast of creatures was implemented, Legendary Pokemon have finally reared their heads, and despite a few Pokemon GO Fest-sized speedbumps, Niantic have really started to hit their stride with updated to the game in recent weeks. However, one feature that has been promised from the beginning and has been sorely missed is trading, as any real Pokemon Master will tell you that swapping monsters and battling your friends is a fundamental part of the experience. Currently, gym and the occasional raid battle showdown are the only multiplayer elements of the game, but it looks like that may be changing sooner rather than later for Pokemon GO. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, The Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara outlined the developer's vision for Pokemon GO, which includes Pokemon trading and peer-to-peer battles.

Of course, what Niantic and The Pokemon Company promise for Pokemon GO doesn't always translate into reality, and considering the ability to trade has been on the cards since before the game even launched, I'll wait to see the feature as an App Store update before I believe it's actually happening. It will also be interesting how the implementation of trading changes the balance of the game - in the interview, Ishihara muses about how the developers were forced to compromise out of safety and fairness in making Pokemon locations representative of their character, and so being able to trade could open up to more true area specific Pokemon to enforce more cooperation between players. With Ishihara stating only about 10% of the developers' ultimate vision has been realised in the game thus far, it will be interesting to see what other features beyond simply more Pokemon will be added to keep players occupied in Pokemon GO in the coming months.

[via Bloomberg]

  • Daniel Schroeder

    I'm excited for this since I have little hope of catching some regional mons, but am cautiously optimistic about its implementation. I've played F2P games that make you use in-game items (maybe comparable to stardust) to initiate trades, and then you still have to wait for the transfer no matter if you're across the world or standing next to the other player. As long as the first iteration isn't horrible, I'm sure most players will be happy trading exists at all.

  • Chris Denton

    Interesting. We get info from the Pokémon company CEO but John Hanke is nowhere to be found. If Niantic is a publicly traded company, it's time for investors to put some pressure on, because niantic does not listen to customers.

    The game still doesn't even load up sometimes and when it does, don't worry there will be an error preventing you from doing one thing or another.

    Can't catch Pokémon outside of cities, can't do raids unless you live in an area where there are an abundance of players, battle mechanics are nothing more than a swipe-a-thon, no CPU trainer encounters and candy system is a joke. If this wasn't Pokémon branded it would have the same amount of users or less than ingress.

    There's plenty more wrong with this game and niantic has done nothing for 13 months to fix any of it. Over 1 billion in revenue and this is the turd we get.

    I have patience, been waiting 13 months and update after update for the top 5% of players who live in cities.

    • Eli Hodapp

      "Over 1 billion in revenue and this is the turd we get."

      I'd say investors are pretty happy and don't care about putting pressure on Niantic. 😉

      • Chris Denton

        Assuming investors only care about short term gain, yes you are right.

      • Chris Denton

        Assuming investors only care about short term gain, yes, you are right. This game will fade away in a matter of time. They can't rely on complete reworks to reinvigorate the player base every 8 months and continue growth.

        Maybe that's exactly what the Pokémon company is doing here. I don't see why they are giving details when it's developed by Niantic.