Pokemon GO: 2017 To Bring Three More Huge Updates, But What Are They?

The recently-released generation two update for Pokemon GO was, without a doubt, the biggest facelift the game has gotten since its release. Not only did it add over 80 new wild Pokemon to the app, but it cleaned up countless game or design mechanics that were flawed.

Well, Pokemon GO fans, Christmas just came very early (or maybe it’s a bit late), as the president of Niantic announced yesterday that the gen two additions were just the first of several huge and game-changing updates to be released for Pokemon Go in 2017.

BGR reports that John Hanke, Pokemon GO‘s creator, announced yesterday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that three more big updates would be coming to the popular geolocation app this year. And we’re not talking about the barely noticeable maintenance updates that Pokemon GO has made a habit of implementing every few weeks, either. Hanke actually said that the gen two update is the first “major” Pokemon GO update since release, and he said the three updates in question would also be of the “major” variety.

Go-to Pokemon GO news source The Silph Road points out that there are about 43 weeks left in the year, which means that, assuming the three big updates for 2017 are spaced evenly, one would be rolled out every 3-4 months. The first one would probably be landing sometime in May.

The next big question is, what will these game-changing Pokemon GO updates bring with them? Unfortunately, Hanke did not go into it too much in his presentation, preferring to let the app’s avid fan base, which has proven very good at predicting what’s next for Pokemon GO by examining the game’s code, figure it out. Luckily, some of the things Niantic has said in the past, combined with some evidence found by data miners, allows us to make some very educated guesses.

Niantic CEO and Pokemon Go mastermind John Hanke speaking onstage
Niantic CEO John Hanke speaks during a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. [Image by Manu Fernandez/AP Images]

At first, it might seem like player vs player battling and trading might be two of the three big updates. After all, Hanke told Waypoint just a few weeks back that those two features, both of which have proven to be central to the Pokemon main series game franchise, were going to be added “soon.”

Unfortunately, the Silph Road piece says, the implementation of trading capabilities in Pokemon GO has been put on Niantic’s back burner. It is possible Niantic is holding off on trading because it could open Pokemon Go up to the world of monetary transactions in exchange for Pokemon. Whatever the reasons, though, sources seem to indicate PoGo trading is not imminent. This idea was strengthened greatly when, as reported by the Inquisitr, Niantic removed the code for trading from the APK files of Pokemon Go earlier this month.

PvP battling, on the other hand, is looking much more possible. Unlike trading, it is still included in the game’s code, and, according to Express, the Pokemon Go data mining community is convinced it will be the next big addition.

It is probably a fairly safe guess that gen three will also be released later in 2017. The gap between the initial release and the release of gen two was around seven months. Gen three has a few more Pokemon to include than gen two (135 as opposed to 100), so we can assume the gap will be a bit longer between gens two and three. That would mean gen three will probably release sometime during the holiday season of 2017, which would mean it is the last of the updates Hanke mentioned.

So if PvP battling will be the first of the three major Pokemon GO updates in 2017 and gen three will be the third, what will come in the middle? It’s still a mystery at this point, although additions to Pokemon GO‘s code could clue us into the solution any day now.

Do you have any thoughts on what the major updates to Pokemon GO in 2017 will be? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

[Featured Image by Manu Fernandez/AP Images]