'Pokémon GO' Battle mode confirmed; The Pokémon Company CEO teases PVP player mode

Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters
A player captures a ponyta Pokémon in Times Square, New York City.

Several new updates have been implemented for "Pokémon GO," such as the new buddy system, and The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara has teased that a player-versus-player battle mode is possibly coming in the near future, although he did not divulge exactly when this update may be released.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Ishihara confirmed that the game's developer, Niantic Labs, is working on a means of releasing new features like the aforementioned battle mode without alienating casual players and newcomers to the franchise.

"Battling is a category that we do best at 'Pokémon,' after all," Ishihara explained. "It's important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users," the CEO went on to say.

Given that battle is done in real-time instead of the turn-based mechanics in the traditional "Pokémon" titles, the implementation of a battle mode would be different for "Pokémon GO." It is still uncertain how the developers would implement player-versus-player mechanics and if it would limit certain kinds of Pokémon or the number of battle Pokémon on a player's team.

It is important to note that the concept of battle mode was teased as far back as the original teaser trailer for "Pokémon GO" in which a player gets a notification that they are being attacked by someone else.

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A report from Gamespot points out that the developers are taking cues not only from the traditional "Pokémon" games but also from the previous augmented reality title that Niantic Labs released, "Ingress," taking what worked for that title and then altering it to better suit the "Pokémon GO" system.

During the interview, Ishihara also confirmed that the developers are trying to launch the game in China and South Korea, but they are still encountering a few difficulties because Google Maps is slightly limited in those areas.

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