Developer Niantic Labs recently launched a major new update for its AR mobile game Pokémon Go, and it apparently has some big future plans for that title, as well as some other projects.
The last Pokémon Go update added over 80 new creatures to catch to the game. In an address held during the 2017 Mobile World Congress trade show today, Niantic CEO John Hanke said players can expect three major new updates for Pokémon Go in 2017. There are no details yet on what will be contained in these updates, although there are rumors Niantic might be working on adding features like creature trading and Player vs. Player battles.
Hanke took no questions from the audience during his MWC 2017 address. However, he did reveal a few bits of interesting trivia about Pokémon Go. Fortune reports that, according to Hanke, players have captured a total of 88 billion Pokemon monsters so far. Those same folks have played the game with a total of 44 petabytes of mobile data.
Pokémon Go is not Niantic’s only game. Previous to its launch, it had developed and released a sci-fi themed mobile AR game called Ingress while it was still owned by Google. The game generated a devoted following and today Hanke said that a new version of Ingress is in the works and will be out later in 2017. He also mentioned that the developer has “some other projects” it is working on but he could not talk about them at the moment.
It seems pretty clear that Niantic Labs is doing very well, thanks to the success of Pokémon Go. Earlier this week at the Game Developers Conference, Niantic chief technology officer Phil Keslin said the game has been downloaded a total of 650 million times. The game reached the 500 million download milestone just two months after it launched in July 2016. That means the game has been downloaded 150 million times in the last five months or so.