Pokemon Go (opens in new tab) will definitely get player battles and trading… sometime in the future. The Pokemon Company president and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara told The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) (pay wall) that both of these features are planned for the popular mobile game, but he understands that developer Niantic will need to take its time implementing them.
“Battling is a category that we do best at Pokemon, after all,” Ishihara said. “[But] it’s important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users.”
Let me pause for a bit to enjoy how delightfully absurd corporate talk sounds when it's about being the best at battling. Mmm. Niantic boss John Hanke has confirmed that the studio talks about battling "a lot" (opens in new tab) but it hasn't yet made it onto the road map for future Pokemon Go developments. It's been working on the Pokemon tracking feature (opens in new tab) ever since the game started rolling out over the summer, so adding more stuff on top of that still sounds pretty far off at the moment. But Niantic will have the President of Pokemon to answer to if battling and trading never make it in.
On the left is what Ishihara actually looks like, and on the right is what I picture every time I write "the President of Pokemon", by the way. For its part, The Pokemon Company is still reeling from the international success of Pokemon Go:
“I feel like the reaction we saw was 10 times or even 100 times bigger than we expected,” Ishihara admitted. The phenomenon has even translated over to increased sales of Pokemon games and related products like Nintendo 3DS. Hopefully the gravy train keeps rolling right onto Nintendo NX (opens in new tab), which Ishihara confirmed will be a handheld/home console hybrid complete with Pokemon games (opens in new tab).
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