John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs, announced today that Pokemon GO is slated to receive three additional major updates in 2017. Those are three brand new major updates in addition to the already-launched Generation 2 update that added over 80 new Pokemon for players to catch. Speaking during the Mobile World Congress 2017 key, Hanke stopped short of addressing what those Pokemon GO updates would specifically include.
Hanke spent several minutes talking up Pokemon GO‘s success during the keynote. He pointed out that Pokemon GO stayed atop Apple’s Top Grossing for 74 straight days after its launch in July and recently returned to the position with the Generation 2 update. He noted players have logged 5.4 million miles of movement in the app, and 88 billion Pokemon have been captured, though most have been turned into candy. Mobile service providers no doubt rubbed their hands together with glee when Hanke mentioned that 44 petabytes of mobile data have been downloaded while playing.
The rest of Hanke’s keynote was largely dedicated to Niantic Labs’ other popular game, Ingress. A new version of Ingress will be relaunched later this year. Hanke hopes that Pokemon GO‘s success will help change Ingress‘ cult hit status to a wild success.
While Hanke didn’t mention what Pokemon GO‘s three upcoming major updates would include tonight, he did discuss the company’s plan in an interview done mid-February. In that interview, Hanke states that Niantic is working on the following major features like PvP, trading, reworking gyms, an eventually co-op features. Note that the interview doesn’t refer to these features or changes as planned updates; they’re just what Niantic could work on next.
Another possibility is that Niantic could launch another generation of Pokemon into Pokemon GO. The Generation 2 update has proven the most successful post-launch update yet for Pokemon GO. Considering it was launched just over 6 months after the launch of Pokemon GO, another Generation of Pokemon being launched within the next 6-12 months is extremely likely.
Pokemon GO is currently available on iOS and Android devices. Needless to say, there are plenty more surprises coming for Pokemon GO players in 2017.