New Pokémon Go features in the works: Events, trading and maybe battling


Niantic CEO John Hanke takes us behind the scenes on the latest Recode Decode.

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Coming off the launch of Pokémon Go in July — a runaway success that exceeded his most optimistic expectations — Niantic CEO John Hanke says he’s “exhausted, but elated.” He and his team also know that the work has only just begun.

“It’s been a busy two months, so we’re now happy that we’re kind of stabilized and able to start being a little more thoughtful about the next set of features that we want to build,” Hanke said on the latest episode of Recode Decode.

Now the company, formed within Google but spun off as an independent company last year, has to figure out how to keep players coming back.

As Hanke explained, the Pokémon Go team learned a lot from Niantic’s previous game Ingress, which holds regular in-person “events” for its players to meet up and play together.

“I think we probably will” hold events for Pokémon Go, Hanke said. “We want to make sure that if we do put on an event, we can adequately handle the number of people who would show up.”

When asked on the new podcast, he didn’t say either way whether those events would also see the introduction of rare Pokémon that players have not yet discovered in the wild, such as the legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres.

Also in the works is the ability to trade Pokémon you’ve caught in the game with your friends, a signature feature of the Pokémon video games dating back to the original Game Boy titles from 1996. He said player-versus-player battles, another key part of the game series, is “something that we talk a lot about internally.”

You can listen to Recode Decode in the audio player above, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. We’ve posted audio of every single interview at the 2016 Code Conference, so subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara. Tune in next Monday for another episode of Recode Decode!

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