Abilities were introduced in the handheld games in Generation 3 and added more depth and complexity to the game.
For some time now, it’s been uncertain how they will implement abilities within Pokémon GO or whether they will be included at all. I was recently reminded of a pair of abilities that were introduced in Generation 3 that strangely resemble the newly discovered Super Incubator.
A friend messaged me earlier today asking what Generation the ability Flame Body was introduced. Flame body, when used in battle causes the opponent to be burned upon contact. Another ability named Magma Armor prevents the Pokémon from being frozen. Both these abilities have a second effect outside of battle that proves rather useful. If a Pokémon with Flame Body or Magma Armor are in a party with an egg, the required steps to hatch the egg are halved! That is exactly what the Super Incubator is believed to do.
If this is the case, it could be a strong suggestion that they may not introduce abilities in the game at all but come up with creative ways to implement them. They’ve already shown that items within the game have only a lose resemblance to how they function in the original games. Rare candies would level up a Pokémon in the original games but only act as candy that can go towards powering up a Pokémon in Pokémon GO. TMs in the original games were used to teach a specific move to a Pokémon but only allow for a re-roll in Pokémon GO.
That being said, if abilities are introduced they may very well stack with incubator use. In the original games, another factor called O-Powers have one specific perk that reduces hatch distance which was stackable with Flame Body and Magma Armor.
If Niantic choose to continue without introducing abilities, they will have a difficult time implementing certain Pokémon into the game. For example in the upcoming Generation; we have Slacking’s ability Truant that makes it only be able to attack every second turn, Keckleon’s ability Camouflage and Castform’s ability Forecast, that change their typing and Shedinja’s ability Wonder Guard that allows it to have only 1HP but only ever able to be hit with super effective moves. However they decide to continue, I am excited to see the way the game will evolve with either the inclusion of abilities or creative ideas they may implement instead.