The current version of Pokémon Go is a far cry from what developer Niantic Labs envisions for the game, according to the company’s CEO. In a pair of recent interviews, Niantic CEO John Hanke teased some of the company’s plans to build out the mobile sensation’s features, starting with one of the franchise’s core components, Pokémon trading.
In an interview with Game Informer, Hanke said the developer plans to launch regular updates that bring new features. (The team is shooting is shooting to update the game bi-weekly, but Hanke called that “a rule of thumb.”) One of the team’s short-term goals, Hanke said, will be to let players trade their pokémon.
“It’s kind of a core element,” Hanke said of trading in a similar interview with Business Insider.
In the second interview, Hanke said that trading would be a way to encourage communication and engage between Pokémon Go players. Though the game has sparked quite a bit of online discussion, the game itself is still a solitary experience, for the most part.
Hanke said other future tweaks on the docket include improving and expanding the game’s current focal points, Pokéstops and gyms, by adding new features and gameplay depth. He specifically mentioned that future updates will make Pokéstops “more customizable.” Right now players can grab items from nearby Pokéstops, and augment them with lure modules to attract more pokémon.
Meanwhile, Niantic is still scrambling to fix parts of the game and complete its global launch. Niantic announced last week it would hold off on releasing the game in Europe and Asia in the wake of the game’s widely reported stability issues. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal report Monday, Niantic plans to resume its global launch later this week. Niantic has also responded to concerns regarding the fact that the game requests full access to some players’ Google accounts, including some web-browsing data and email read/write capabilities, which makes playing the game a serious security risk.
“Pokémon Go only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your User ID and email address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected,” Niantic said in an official statement. “Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google profile information, in line with the data that we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon Go or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon Go’s permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon Go needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves.”
Niantic cannot, however, help players who let their Pokemon Go habits affect their personal or professional lives. Nobody’s perfect, right?