Pokémon GO, the AR mobile app taking the world by storm, has only been out less than a week and developer Niantic Inc is already looking to the future, specifically in regards to updates and new content.
Speaking with Business Insider, Niantic Inc CEO John Hanke hinted at Pokémon GO receiving deeper gameplay mechanics in the foreseeable future that will encourage players to stick around longer. One of these additions will be a franchise staple: trading!
“It’s kind of a core element,” Hanke says.
While Hanke didn’t specify how trading would work, he stated that the concept ties in perfectly with Pokémon Go’s core virtue, which encourages players to interact with each other in both the virtual and real worlds. Hanke continued by saying that trading Pokémon “would foster those kinds of interactions.”
Other new features Hanke discussed included more ways to interact with Pokéstops and Gyms, the real-life landmarks players seek out to replenish items, gain experience, and battle each other for control. As of now, the landmarks only exist in their “very most basic versions,” Hanke says, but soon players will be able to “customise their functions in other ways.”
In keeping with the theme of Gyms, there will also be the addition of some kind of global leadership scoreboard for players to see who currently holds the title of ‘being the very best, like no one ever was’.
On the more tech side of the app, Hanke says that the team is currently working on improvements to the game’s augmented reality, the technology that allows players to see the Pokémon superpositioned into the real world. Hanke says the app is currently a “great first step,” but there’s still much more that can be done.
It’s from this sly remark that Hanke hinted that Pokémon Go could be coming to dedicated AR devices, such as wearables like the shelved Google Glass experiment and Microsoft’s HoloLens.
“That may be a fun thing to take advantage of,” Hanke said.
No word on if the app will see a jump to one of the plethora of VR devices currently flooding the market but from Hanke’s discussion it seems nothing is being ruled out.