The mannequin challenge, jokes about Harambe, Pokémon GO... These are all things that seemed destined to be left behind forever in 2016. But could the fading app be set for a revival? According to game bosses, a new Pokémon GO update will finally answer users' long-held wishes of being able to battle and trade with each other.
Such features have been mooted as far back as November, but in a new interview with Waypoint, Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke, whose company developed Pokemon GO, confirmed that "abbreviated" battle and trade modes were close to completion. "It's going to be done soon," said Hanke, adding that the game's global popularity had decelerated the design process. "It is what it is. I'll take the massive wave of hysteria we enjoyed, and just deal with the fact that it's caused us to take a bit longer to get the rest of the features up."
One thing that won't be returning to Pokémon GO is the original tracking system. "The tracker sort of fills a certain need within the product. I think the more interesting thing for me is not extending the tracker." Instead, the designer hopes to build on the social aspects of the game, namely the event modes: "My heart is really with events, and that's something I really want us to try to solve in 2017."
Head on over to Vice's gaming vertical Waypoint to read the piece in full.
One phone not capable of hosting Pokémon GO is the Nokia 3310, which is a shame as it's set to relaunch soon.