Niantic officials have coyly hinted that it was only a matter of time until Legendary Pokemon were added to Pokemon Go. In a new interview with the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, a Niantic official seemingly confirmed that we'd be seeing Legendary Pokemon and a lot more this summer.
Mathieu de Fayet, Niantic's Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, was asked how Pokemon Go planned to keep players interested, as only one in ten people who downloaded the game are still playing regularly. De Fayet responded that they had to postpone some of the original plans due to the game's immense popularity, but that they were working on some things for this summer. Among Niantic's plans were both Legendary Pokemon and the ability to battle other players.
Pokémon GO had 650 million downloads, but now it has 65 million active players. How to maintain people interested in the game?
He said: "Because of the great success, we had to put off some planned news. Now, we are working in announcing new updates for the next summer (North hemisphere), like giving more value to the choice of teams, the announcement of the Legendary Pokémon and the battles between the players. One thing which we learned with "Ingress" is that the game sustains itself if we are capable to create social interactions between the trainers, and we are working on that."
De Fayet also said that they wanted to give more value to the teams players choose at the beginning of the game, as well as building social interactions between players. He noted that Niantic's other game Ingress had done so well because it encouraged players to interact with each other online and in the real world.
De Fayet's comments are the strongest confirmation that Legendary Pokemon will be added to Pokemon Go in the intermediate future. While we still don't have a specific date, de Fayet's comments were a strong follow-up to Niantic employee Archit Bhargava's comments during the Webby Awards that this summer would be "Legendary" for Pokemon Go players.
Interestingly, de Fayet brought up 1v1 battling, a long awaited feature that many felt would be added after Pokemon Go's planned gym overhaul. As the interview was in Portuguese, it's possible that his comment could be related to gym battling and something was just lost in Google's translation, but it's more likely that we'll see solo battling added to the game before too long.
Stay tuned as we continue to cover Pokemon Go throughout the summer, as things could be getting pretty legendary later this year.