Pokemon GO may be set to introduce Gen 3 Pokemon in its next, major update, but it seems that this isn't the only thing that developer Niantic is secretly working on. The company's boss has now confirmed that Pokemon GO players can expect major new gameplay features to be added in 2018, too.
Niantic CEO John Hanke recently did an interview about Pokemon GO with Taiwanese publication, Business Weekly. According to translations via Google Translate, Hanke told the outlet that "we are planning to develop a new battle mode" and that this "new battle system" will be released at some point in 2018. Hanke didn't provide a specific timeframe for this new gameplay feature (e.g whether it would arrive in the first half of the year), though the Niantic executive said that it is "very interesting for us".
Fans of the hit mobile game are already speculating that this new battle mode is the much-rumored Pokemon GO PvP feature. Players have been asking for the feature ever since the game launched in summer 2016 and Niantic has offered plenty of hints about it since.
Around eight months ago, Hanke told fans that PvP would be available 'soon' but that clearly hasn't happened yet. If this new battle mode is indeed the long-awaited PvP mode, then fans will be disappointed that they have to wait even longer to test it out. But hopefully, it will be worth it.
During the Business Weekly interview, Hanke also teased the arrival of new Pokemon GO social features. Although Hanke declined to go into much detail, the CEO did say that they are designed to enhance communities and encourage greater interaction with players. The Pokemon GO Raid update has already encouraged players to interact and work together somewhat and so it will be interesting to see what else the developer can do to get everyone talking to each other.
Although the exact timeframe for these new features is not totally clear, many Pokemon GO players will be glad to see that Niantic is thinking ahead. It should also mean that they have plenty of new content to entertain them in the coming months. Niantic is already preparing to roll out the EX Raid feature to all players (it is currently in testing) and so these other, in-development features just give them yet another excuse to keep on playing and having fun with the game.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.