Moving forward, we promise to not stupidly SEO spam about Pokémon GO (we’ve been pretty respectful, I think), but the latest news is important for those who have been enjoying the game. For anyone who knows what the old Pokémon cards were all about, trading was a big deal. You get a few good cards, trade them to a friend for something better, then that cycle repeats itself until everyone is satisfied with their collection.
Trading is one aspect that Pokémon GO launched without, and for fans of the franchise, that was a major downside. However, in a recent interview with Niantic’s CEO, John Hanke, trading is indeed coming sometime soon to the game.
While specific details were not made clear on how the trading aspect will work, we have to assume that strangers and friends will be allowed to trade Pokémon with fellow players. Whether there will be built-in mechanics that stop people from getting ripped off in a bad trade, we don’t yet know. I probably fell victim to that a few times back in middle school.
While trading is certainly a step in the right direction, another feature previously mentioned by Hanke, this time reported by the New York Times, states that it is possible “sponsored locations” could also be coming to the game. With this implemented, businesses such as fast-food joints, coffee shops, and other retail establishments could pay to become sponsored locations where a Pokéstop or Gym is located. This in turn would drive real-world traffic to these locations, bringing in money for the businesses.
At this time, there has been no timeframe provided for when trading or sponsored locations will be baked into the game, but once they are, rest assured we will let you know.
On a personal note, I don’t see sponsored locations as a bad thing. If a business wants to pay to have a Pokéstop inside their place, so be it. However, if Niantic grants a business the ability to offer a more uncommon or rare Pokémon, one that you could only capture if at a specific sponsored location, then we will have problems.
Share your thoughts below on these developments.