So, Pokémon Go players. How often have you passed fellow commuters, seen them using the app too, and wished you could lock eyes and demand a Pokémon battle? The answer to that one is every time, always, and you know it. With that in mind, Niantic (seem to) have some good news for us. PvP battles, in some form or another, are being worked on as we speak.
As we all know dang well, we live in an age where new releases are almost expected to have little kinks, teething troubles, technical issues, strange omissions… all of these sorts of things. Thanks to the magic of the post-launch update, titles like Street Fighter V (which was incredibly barebones at launch; classic characters, a simple arcade mode, and other such necessities were missing) can be redeemed.
They shouldn’t need to be, granted, but a game that is eventually given the options it should’ve had at launch is better than one that never gets them. If, you know, you’re really looking hard for the silver lining.
On that note, Pokémon Go really has been transforming itself. Niantic may have been super, super slow on the uptake with adding crucial features, but they’re still hard at work supporting the app two years later. Back in June this year, the much-ballyhooed trading and friend list features were finally added. Next on Niantic’s agenda, it seems, is another essential part of the Pokémon experience: trainer battles. Or, in online gaming terms, PvP.
As Eurogamer reports, Anne Beuttenmüller, Niantic product marketing bigwig, has stated that the team is at work on trainer battles. It’s “the next thing that [Niantic] wants to add,” we’re told, via a translation of her interview with Polish publication Gram. As for a timescale, Beuttenmüller tentatively suggested that this feature should be added by the end of 2018.
Now, this is certainly a positive step, whichever way you slice it. If Niantic is serious about the whole being a Pokémon trainer in real life thing they’re going for, battles with other players are an obvious must. The caveat is, they’ll have to take care with how to implement that. How will the Track and Field-style mashing approach to Gym Battles convert to face-to-face PvP? What of balance?
These subtle teases are all the information Niantic are giving us so far. All we can do, then, is stay tuned and see how things shape up in the coming months.