Niantic CEO hints at future content past Buddy Update for Pokémon GO

Niantic Inc. CEO John Hanke discusses what to expect with Pokémon GO in the weeks, months, and years to come.

To date, Niantic Inc.’s Pokémon-based game app has been a huge success, amassing over 500 million downloads quicker than any other app in the history of gaming. Furthermore, the company had successfully turned the Nintendo juggernaut into a mobile juggernaut, allowing Nintendo the confidence to venture even more with other brands such as Mario with its “Super Mario Run” releasing later this year. However, Niantic Inc. isn’t stopping any time soon, and has laid out some of it’s plans for the future with Pokémon GO.

In an interview with online newspaper TechCrunch, Niantic CEO John Hanke sat down with one of the site’s editors to discuss the future of Pokémon GO and what to expect in the weeks, months, and years to come for the app. Greg Kumparak, editor for TechCrunch, and Hanke discussed a multitude of topics, from who Hanke chose as a team (Team Instinct for anyone who is curious) to the reception around the office about the app’s success, and everything in between. Only some of the topics will be covered here, but you can read the entire transcript of the interview thanks to VentureBeat. 

One of the major topics that the two discussed was the player-versus-player Pokémon battles in Pokémon GO, which Niantic hasn’t advanced since the game’s release. The CEO responded with:

Battling is something we talk about. It’ll probably make its way onto the road map, but I don’t have a specific date.

Kumparak went on to ask how the company planned to keep the longevity of the game going by asking how they viewed the app would like a year down the road. Referencing one of the company’s prior mobile games, Ingress, Hanke states:

If you want to predict the future, look at the past. A lot of what we’re doing with Pokémon we learned through three years of work with Ingress – building up the game around the world, maturing the technology, the social aspect of it. The events for Ingress are the lifeblood of the game. I think you can expect to see things like that in Pokémon GO.

Later on, as many gamers probably have been inquiring about, the subject matter of “more Pokémon” was brought to the CEO’s attention. Thankfully, an answer was given:

We’ve launched the first generation of Pokémon, 150 or so. There are over 700 Pokémon in the Pokémon universe. It’s always been the intent to gradually introduce more Pokémon into the experience over time. It’s a natural way to keep the game fresh. Some Pokémon are highly coveted and people are going to be really excited when they show up in the game.

I mentioned events earlier, how much fun it is to have these events where people come together. It’s like Comic-Con meets a 5K. It’s an active thing. You’re not just observing. You’re playing as part of this big social get-together. Events will be part of our future. We’re waiting for the launch craziness to subside and then we’ll get to the hard work of planning. It’s hard to put on an event for 10,000-plus people. But introducing new Pokémon into the world, having events where those might be showcased, those concepts go together well. You can expect to see that happening in a synchronized way.

Again, a full transcript of the interview can be found viewing the link here. After reading the article, what are you most excited about for the future of Pokémon GO? Let us know in the comments!

Edited by bobandbill and Charlie Brown.