What’s Next for Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go has taken over the world, but what’s next?

If you’re a human being with the ability of sight, it would’ve been impossible not to notice the influx of news and buzz around Pokémon Go this week, but what is it? How does it work? And does it hurt?

Simulating the gameplay of old Pokémon titles using new technology, Pokémon Go utilises smartphones in an AR (augmented reality) game which sees users hunting down Pokemon thanks to a real-world layout ala Google Maps.

The game has picked up some serious momentum since launch, but what’s the next step for developers Niantic? Founder John Hanke sat down with Game Informer to lay out the foreseeable road map for Pokémon Go.

“I can say a few things about [our plans]. In terms of there being a silver or a ruby red, or whatever, our current focus is just on enhancing and improving Pokémon Go. It is an MMO, so it is something we’re committed to regular updates and that. There will be new clients and server iterations pushed bi-weekly.”

Hanke also elaborated on the bi-weekly updates, saying that while the team is going to constantly try and evolve Pokemon Go, they don’t want it to become too fatiguing.

“Sometimes they’re small features, sometimes they’re big features that get rolled out. But we treat it as an ever-evolving game. It’s not something that just sort of minted and then issued on launch day and not changed. But in the near term, trading is something that’s not in the game right now that we’re committed to adding to the game. So that will be I think fairly soon in the future”.

“We’re also looking at PokéStops and gyms and we have a set of ideas around how to add depth to that gameplay in terms of, you can add things like a lure to a PokéStop today that sort of modifies the PokéStop and causes it to attract more Pokémon it.”

Hanke also highlighted the social element of the game, and said that it will be a big part of the long-term plans going forward.

“There is some thinking about how to further modify and evolve PokéStops and gyms. Players will be able to shape them and add functionality to them by working collaboratively together, so that’s an area that we’ll be spending quite a bit of effort over the coming weeks and months on.”

Pokémon Go is available on iOS and Android devices.

What do you think of Pokemon Go? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.

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