Pokémon GO is already taking the world by storm, but creators Niantic Labs are promising more functionality, including trading, in the near future.
Last week company CEO, John Hanke spoke with Business Insider about the runaway success of location-based, augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon GO and the new functionality soon to be added to the experience.
At its core the game has players walking around real locations to find Pokémon using their smartphones, so that they can then capture, train and battle them (check out our ‘What is Pokémon GO?’ feature for more detail) with the combined goals of building the strongest assortment of creatures and conquering and controlling as many gyms as possible for their team (early on in the game you select from one of three teams to be a part of.
Whilst being able to see Pokémon overlaid into the real world through your smartphone’s camera is already an impressive feat, Hanke says that the team at Niantic Labs aren’t finished with the experience just yet, calling it “a great first step,” also hinting at the potential of bringing the game to dedicated augment reality hardware within the same vein as Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens.
Other key aspects of GO that players can expect to see Niantic Labs expand upon include a global leaderboard to find out who really is the best, like no one ever was, and greater customisation on the experience for each trainer, which could perhaps include elements like more character appearance options or richer controls for battling.
Of course, one major component of Pokémon that GO doesn’t yet include is the ability to trade captured Pokémon from one player to another. Right now the closest you can get to such an experience is transferring one of your party to Professor Willow, the game’s primary NPC, which removes it from your collection and rewards you with candy which you can use to help strengthen other Pokémon of the same species.
“It’s kind of a core element,” Hanke explained when asked about the feature, which is expected to arrive in a future update, once the team are happy that it follows the rest of GO’s core mechanics, pushing players to collaborate and interact in the real world as well as through their smartphones.
Pokémon GO has already launched in the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, but is expected to formally arrive in Europe in the coming weeks. If you can’t wait that long, here’s how download Pokémon GO right now.