There’s a price to pay for success, especially when said success is the worldwide phenomenon known as Pokemon GO. Although expected to be popular, the “semi” augmented reality game took the world by storm, despite its already staggered release, that developers Niantic Labs was caught unprepared. Add to that the dozens of hacks that tried to game the system and Niantic ended up spending most of its time putting out fires rather than working on some of the most requested game features. The good news is that two or three of those are confirmed to be coming really soon, including trading monsters, battling other players, and doing gym battles.
Some have chided Niantic Labs for its rather slow rollout of substantial new features. While it does have regular updates to the game, most of the new features it introduces are relatively minor. Most updates, however, revolve around fixing long-time issues that players feel should have been addressed on day one.
Niantic, however, might not have been prepared for the sheer number of players that would hammer its servers. The developers also put the blame on third-party apps and attempted hacks to the not so ideal pace of development. Pokemon GO’s developers were too busy patching the servers and the game that it detracted time that should have been spent actually adding new features.
If not for that, Pokemon GO would have already had one of two of the most desired features, says Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke. He was referring specifically to monster trading and player versus player battles, two of the things that have defined the original, non-AR versions of the game. Without those, Pokemon GO remains mostly a monster collecting game.
Hanke does say that those are on the way, though he doesn’t exactly say when. A third highly requested feature is also coming, he says: gym battles. Without these, Hanke himself admits that the current Pokemon GO remains a “rudimentary” version of their vision. Pokemon fans probably feel similarly, considering how player numbers have declined because of the lack of new features.