Happy New Year! As 2022 begins, Pokémon GO is already kicking off a new slate of content with the 2022 New Year’s Event, Onix and Mega Steelix Energy as the breakthrough, and plans for a month of rotating Tier Five raids. Today, I will look to the future and lay out my hopes for what Pokémon GO will deliver in 2022.
- Communication: This has always been Niantic’s weak point. We saw improvements since the #HearUsNiantic boycott, with the best changes being in the wording of their blogs. However, Niantic’s relationship with its fanbase still leaves a lot to be desired and it would create a better overall gaming experience if they continue to work on being upfront and clear with Pokémon GO players by giving concise, honest, and timely information regarding the upcoming content.
- Consistency: The introduction of Seasons has been fun, but there is a problem. Pokémon GO has consistently paced each season slowly at first as they build toward an exciting event at the end. The game can have downtime from events, yes, but it should always be fun. There are so many small features that can add excitement during downtime that Niantic ignores. Team GO Rocket had almost no new content in 2021. We saw the introduction of Trainer battles at PokéStops during Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto and then they disappeared until a brief Fashion Week return. Why this pacing? Just make the game always fun.
- Creativity: Bidoof Breakout? Hilarious. Whooper Watch? Great! I hope to see Niantic continue to experiment with events outside of the norm in both fun and silly ways like the above as well as intense and exicting ways like the Luminous Legends X & Y events. Surprise us with something like a Crystal Onix release. Deliver events that lead to encounters with the Kanto Gym Leaders. Continue to grow the game beyond just adding new AR features.
- Shiny Xerneas: Yeah, I just want it!