Pokemon GO Dev Talks Pokemon Battles Between Players


Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke talks about the future of Pokemon GO, and discusses the interest in trainers battling each other and whether it will come to the game.

Pokemon GO's initial debut trailer gave gamers a hint of what the game would ultimately offer, but much of what was shown in the video hasn't been implemented in the game yet. Niantic CEO John Hanke is addressing one of those possible features, discussing the potential for Pokemon battles in a future update.

In a recent interview at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, John Hanke got down to business talking about Pokemon GO's future. In addition to the news that Pokemon GO will come to Android smartwatch devices eventually, Hanke also discussed Pokemon battling. According to the CEO, his own son loves the Pokemon series, and wants to be able to battle with his friends in the Pokemon GO game. Regarding whether or not this could happen, Hanke had this to say:

"Battling is something we talk a lot about. It’s probably something that will make its way onto our roadmap.”

Unfortunately, this isn't the most solid answer most Pokemon fans were probably hoping for. It sounds as though the Niantic team is only considering the possibility of allowing players to battle each other directly at this time, rather than saying with a certainty that it will be a future feature, or that the team is currently working on it. Many players probably thought trainer battles would undoubtedly be included in Pokemon GO, considering that the main goal of catching and raising Pokemon in the original series was always to battle against other trainers, including NPCs and other players.


Admittedly, Pokemon GO has taken a bit of a creative twist on the classic Pokemon formula, allowing individual trainers to become gym leaders, and turning the gym system into more of a team-based turf battle rather than acting as the stepping stones towards taking on the Elite Four in the classic Pokemon games. However, one could arguably make the case that Pokemon isn't Pokemon without trainers being able to battle one another, and even the original Game Boy classics allowed for 1v1 player fights via a game link cable.

Although Pokemon GO exploded onto the mobile gaming scene, it's since seen a tremendous drop-off in players and paying users. The game took the world by storm, but without deeper game mechanics and new features, many gamers quickly lost interest in the title. The promise of trading in Pokemon GO may help to reignite the spark of excitement for Pokemon GO, but if Niantic waits too long to add Pokemon battles or doesn't include them at all, the game may continue to lose its popularity.

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