By now, most of us have either forgotten to turn on Pokemon GO in weeks, or have outright deleted the app out of frustration and boredom with Niantic’s bewilderingly inept management of what was literally the hottest app in the world just a few short months ago. Frustrations with the tracker, their hostile treatment of third-party tools, the grudging and hesitant community response, lack of content or actual gameplay…
We all know why we stopped. It doesn’t need a comprehensive enumeration. But – we might want to start it up again. Because, while no details are yet forthcoming, Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez has confirmed that there WILL eventually be integration between the app and the official game.
Of course, that begs the question as to what form that integration will take. There are a few obvious options, of course.
So, technically, the Pokemon Company has a storage service that lets you keep and transfer Pokemon between games for a low yearly subscription. And you probably never heard of it or used it, because why would you? For most of us, the game itself lets you hold plenty of monsters – even if you’re a competitive breeder, looking to get that perfect mix of IVs and moves for the pro circuit.
Plus, you know, the whole thing about having to pay for storage. That’s gonna be a no-go for the majority of players.
PokeGO’s freemium approach, however, is still profitable, and integrating its range of early-generation Pokemon with the set in the Alola games pretty much you never actually get to stop playing Pokemon. Or want to. Using it as a storage medium AND allowing players to catch additions to their collection, however, is a good way to quickly regain a strong user population.
PokeGO’s combat mechanics flat-out suck. It’s latency-dependent, which is a right pain depending on local telecom and cellular services, it’s buggy as all hell, and the charge mechanic for specials has very, very little to do with Pokemon’s base intricacies of types, status effects, and predictions.
On the other hand, if you can just whip out your 3DS and target the nearest gym with an ACTUAL Pokemon fight… well now. Now we’re talking. That’s actually engagement. Even better if you can preprogram your gym Pokemon for certain behavior sets, so that even if you’re not in location for a 1v1, you can still pose a real challenge.
Finally, there’s the matter of Effort Value training, along with affection, happiness – all those invisible traits outside of Attack/Defense/Specials/Speed. And since you can actually equip a Pokemon as a pet in PokeGO now, it would be a massive boon to the app if you can train your in-game Pokemon through the app as part of your daily activities.
Whatever the options, though, they all share a fundamental baseline: making the app a lot more interactive than its current set of frustrations-as-features.