New quotes from Niantic Japan suggests that Niantic could be holding back on the games biggest Pokémon GO update until later this Summer.
Previously it was revealed that Pokémon GO was working on a new feature called “raids” which may be part of the games wider Gym rework. This would likely fall into part of the recent comments from Niantic when they said there were plans for “all new cooperative social gameplay experiences” coming to the game this Spring! Now it appears as though Niantic could be planning something much bigger, possibly tied to those new gameplay mechanics and legendary Pokémon such as Mewtwo.
In a recent interview from K-Tai Watch (a Japanese news outlet) with Niantics Japanese staff it was revealed (via Translation) that the team were working on a “huge event this summer”. For the record, K-Tai Watch was talking with Yoshiji Kawashima (Asian General Manager) and Kenji Suka (Asian General Marketing Manager).
It’s possible that Niantic could be using a BIG Legendary event to promote and launch their new “cooperative social gameplay experiences”, which right now, appears to be new gym features and a raid function.
Going off information obtained from the games master code, players will finally be able to monitor where Pokémon are guarding Gyms, a feature that’s not currently available. Equally, it’s also reported that players will need to drop in on their Pokémon to feed them when they become hungry. For the time being though it’s not known exactly how this would work and whether other players would be able to feed your Pokémon or if players will need to hoard a new type of berry in their inventory.
That said, it’s also possible that players could achieve additional rewards should they have Pokémon in Gyms, with rumours of a global reward system for the most team with the most gyms held around the world.
The raids are a little more mysterious, but it’s worth noting that “raids” were first mentioned in the original Pokémon trailer with thousands of players attempting to take down MewTwo in New York, Times Square (see below).
According to the games master file, players will be greeted with a message that reads: “There’s a raid about to start near you!”, which could be a call to action for players to congregate to take on a task together, such as defeating a nearby Legendary Pokémon. In addition to the news about a huge summer event, there were plenty more interesting details revealed.
Thanks to the Pokémon GO Hub, here’s a quick summary of the main talking points from the K-Tai Watch interview:
1. A huge event is planned for summer of 2017! The in-game mechanics for this event are currently being developed. Raids are rumoured to be the mechanic in question.
2. PvP, Trading and Raids are in development, but the release dates for these features are not yet finalised. Niantic confirmed that cooperative gameplay is coming this Spring.
3. More small scale events like the Water Festival are planned throughout the year
4. Niantic is working on partnering with local governments for large-scale events and promotions, similar to how Lapras event was held in the Tohoku Region
5. A new concept of a wearable device that brings AR closer to the real world is discussed, but it’s development is held back by technology currently