Pokémon GO’s dev team Niantic is already discussing future updates, and one of their main priorities right now is adding a Pokémon trading feature.
“In the near term, trading is something that’s not in the game right now that we’re committed to adding to the game,” John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, told Game Informer. Adding trading would bring Pokémon GO closer to the mainline Pokémon games and give us something to do with all our unwanted Rattatas and Zubats.
Niantic is also looking at adding more features to PokéStops and Gyms. Hanke said:
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. The sort of overall structure of the game is the early stages and the initial experience is about discovering and capturing…then you interact with PokéStops and then as you gain more experience, you reach level five, you can engage in gym battles. It’s evolving that competitive, cooperative team-play that there’s a lot more that we want to do with that.
Niantic plans to release bi-weekly updates, a pace which sounds almost unbelievable. Some updates will obviously be smaller, minor bug fixes and server iterations, hopefully making it easier to keep playing and not get disconnected from servers. However, it seems updates such as trading and new features for PokéStops will come after the game’s international release. “Short term plan is to keep the servers up and to launch in the rest of the countries that we ‘re not in yet,” Hanke said.
Hanke also discussed how PokéStops and Gyms were selected. “PokéStops and gyms are the results of three years worth of work at Ingress,” he said. Ingress was Niantic’s previous AR game, also built around exploring the real world while playing the game. In Ingress players could submit suggestions for places that should be turned into in-game locations, but developers received so many suggestions that the feature had to be turned off for them to sort through them all. When asked if that feature would come to Pokémon GO, Hanke said “I don’t know at this point.”
Being able to suggest new PokéStops and Gyms would be a helpful feature for people who live in areas where there just aren’t many. However, if Niantic were overloaded with suggestions from Ingress then it’s hard to imagine how they would handle suggestions in Pokémon GO, considering the runaway freight train that is the game’s massive popularity.