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Pokemon Go Battle Mode Teased

"Battling is a category that we do best at Pokemon, after all."


Pokemon Go recently added a buddy system, but that may not be the only new feature coming to the wildly popular mobile game. The Pokemon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara told The Wall Street Journal that Niantic Labs is taking its time releasing new features for the game so as not to overwhelm newcomers.

A player-versus-player battle system is on the company's radar. "Battling is a category that we do best at Pokemon, after all," Ishihara said. "It's important to really carefully consider any feature that may increase the difficulty and raise the barrier to entry for more casual users."

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A trading system was also mentioned in the report, but Ishihara did not comment on this specifically. In July, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke confirmed that a trading system was on the way, but he did not share any information as to when it might be released or how it would work. Similarly, we don't know much about how a battle system for Pokemon Go might play out or when it would arrive.

Pokemon Go multiplayer has been in the works for a long time, Niantic's Archit Bhargava told GameSpot in July. Early tests are promising, but there is still much work to be done.

"The multiplayer aspect is still something we're exploring, we're still trying to figure out what's the best way to do that," Bhargava said. "So far we've learned that multiplayer battles are a lot of fun. When two people from different teams show up at a rival gym, if they collaborate and both have their Pokemon deployed to battle at the same time, they can take down a stronger gym faster."

"But we're trying our best to rethink what the experience should be; what that real-world Pokemon experience should be like. Obviously we're learning from Ingress, but it's going to be a pretty different game. We have a vision for Pokemon, we're gonna execute on it, but we're gonna learn based on what the community reaction is."

Also in the WSJ interview, Ishihara said he hopes to launch Pokemon Go in China and South Korea, but that could be a problem since those countries limit Google Maps.

Pokemon Go launched in July and took the world by storm--it's reached a staggering 500 million downloads. Even The Pokemon Company was not expecting it to be such a hit, as Ishihara said the reaction was "10 times or even 100 times bigger than we expected." The game has also led to significant increases in Pokemon game and trading card sales.

Read the full WSJ interview here.

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