Pokémon Boss Confirms Trading, Player Battling Still Coming to Pokémon Go

By Matt Wales on at

It might not be the omnipresent cultural phenomenon that it once was, but that doesn't mean that Pokémon Go isn't still ticking over nicely as far as The Pokémon Company is concerned. In fact, it's doing well enough that new features will continue to be added, says Pokémon Company head Tsunekazu Ishihara, with only 10% of the game's intended scope currently complete.

Speaking to Bloomberg recently, Ishihara explained that, "We’ve only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do". The ultimate goal is for Pokémon Go to offer what Ishihara describes as a "fundamental Pokémon experience". Which is to say, the kind of activities that players would expect to find in a core Pokémon game.

Some of Ishihara's examples for future planned features include trading and peer-to-peer battles, two activities which have long been touted but that have still yet to materialise in-game. In fact, trading first made an appearance  in the original Pokémon Go announcement trailer, all the way back in 2015.

Since then, there's been only very limited mention of trading and player vs. player battling. In February, Niantic CEO John Hanke told Waypoint that both would come to Pokémon Go “soon", as part of three major updates planned for 2017. And in March, senior product manager Tatsuo Nomura told Polygon that Niantic was being cautious with its roll-out of trading, so as to ensure the developer got it right. "If we fail this, he said, "we can easily kill the game."

There's been little official acknowledgement of the features since then, however, so Ishihara's words should provide at least some reassure that neither has been jettisoned. Exactly when trading and player vs. player battling will finally reach Pokémon Go is anyone's guess - but based on Hanke's timeline, there's hope that at least one will arrive before the end of the year.