In an effort to reinvigorate the app, Pokemon Go developer Niantic wants to add a player vs. player feature to the app by the end of the year. It might seem strange to some Pokemon die-hards for the app to not include a feature that was such a staple to the show.
The ability to trade, another integral part of the original Pokemon, was only added two months ago.
Pokemon Go was all the rage after it's launch in 2016. You couldn't go anywhere without seeing people trying to "catch" creatures on their smartphones. The augmented reality app was a trip down memory lane for some and an introduction to a 20 year-old franchise for others.
The app even sparked a type of kindness movement. People set up makeshift rest stations with snacks and water near Pokestops. Stories began to circulate about making new friends, getting out of comfort zones and off the couch. Pokestops also began cropping up near animal shelters and children's hospitals too, encouraging users to interact and help out.
The app, though it had been in a slump, has seen a resurgence as of late. The "Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!" game will be released this November for Nintendo Switch. The anticipation of a new game might be refueling the app's popularity.
TechCruch speculates the player vs. player mode might operate similarly to the trading feature. Users need to be close together and there might be a reward involved. Some worry the dueling Pokemon won't be interesting, like the gym battles which users wanted to be more dynamic.
Niantic, the company that developed Pokemon Go, has a lot scheduled for the rest of the year to keep users interested.
On most people's radars is the release of the AR mobile app Harry Potter: Wizards Unite was rumored to be released over the summer, but Niantic's head of European marketing, Anne Beuttenmuller, told the Polish site Gram.pl this week, "We plan to release the game at the end of this year."
Niantic's first AR mobile app, Ingress--though overshadowed by Pokemon Go--is scheduled for a makeover. Niantic's decision to update Ingress might ease the fears of Pokemon Go fans that any future updates might flop.
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- After two years, Pokemon Go users should have access to player vs. player in the mobile app in the second half of 2018.
- Pokemon Go creator Niantic also said that it's next AR game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is coming at the end of the year.
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