Feature

[Update] Niantic Adds Trading To Pokémon Go After Teasing It 1016 Days Ago

by Andrew Reiner on Jun 24, 2018 at 04:00 PM

Update 6/24/2018: A miracle happened last week. After announcing it on June 18, trading was finally added to Pokémon Go a few days ago. It only took over 1,000 days to implement one of Pokémon's core mechanics to what may be its mostly popular entry ever. Now we can start the countdown for trainer-to-trainer battling!

Update 5/5/2018: An additional day has passed in the Gregorian calendar, which means it has now been 969 days since Niantic teased trading in Pokémon Go. We have also corrected some faulty math in the copy of the original story.

Original Story: A number of Game Informer staffers just vacated the office to compete in a Pokémon Go raid battle a few blocks away. The five-minute walk transformed into a discussion about the current state of the game. One of the big topics of note was the quest to catch Mew. Some of us have already added this illusive critter to our Pokédexes, but a few staffers are still working on a number of the objectives, and are frustrated by one in particular: catching Ditto.

Given just how infrequently this Pokémon shows up these days, we jokingly said we wished we could just trade him to other players for a Pidgey. We then wondered how many days have passed since developer Niantic announced trading would be in the game. The promise of trading was in the game's debut video, which hit on September 9, 2015 – 968 days ago.

The entire point of Pokémon Go is to track and catch Pokémon. Being able to trade for rare creatures you don't have yet would likely break the game, as the thrill of the hunt would be toned down significantly. Niantic hasn't given up on this feature entirely, however. In a September 5, 2017 interview with Bloomberg, Tsunekazu Ishihara, the president of The Pokémon Company, says trading is on the list of updates on the way. "We’ve only accomplished 10 percent of what Pokémon and Niantic are trying to do, so going forward we will have to include fundamental Pokémon experiences such as Pokémon trading and peer-to-peer battles, and other possibilities," he said.

I would love to see trading get added to the mix, as I doubt I'll ever catch regional exclusives like Mr. Mime and Kangaskhan (although the latter does give me an excuse to travel to Game Informer's Australia office). I understand Niantic's hesitance to implement it into the game, but it is something that we expect. They advertised it. Many of us players have duplicates of various Pokémon with the intent of someday trading them away. I paid real money to upgrade the size of my bag to hold more Pokémon.

What do you think the odds are of trading making its way into the game? Would it break the game, or do you think it would push you to complete your collection more?