A GO Hub reader from Japan called Shuji found a recent interview with Niantic’s Japanese staff and kindly forwarded it to us. Shuji, if you’re reading this, we owe you a beer!

Thanks to the magic of Google Translate and Shuji’s help, we managed to translate huge portions of the interview and let’s just say that things are about to get really exciting. The full interview (in Japanese) can be found here.

The article cover image is illustrative and does not represent actual event content. Niantic hasn’t confirmed that this event will contain legendary Pokémon. You can read more here on our opinion on that. The image was created by a fan for the purpose of this article: The Mewtwo event concept that blew our mind

Summary

  • A huge event is planned for summer of 2017! The in-game mechanics for this event are currently being developed. Raids are rumored to be the mechanic in question.
  • PvP, Trading and Raids are in development, but the release dates for these features are not yet finalised. Niantic confirmed that cooperative gameplay is coming this Spring.
  • More small scale events like the Water Festival are planned throughout the year
  • Niantic is working on partnering with local governments for large scale events and promotions, similar to how Lapras event was held in the Tohoku Region
  • A new concept of a wearable device that brings AR closer to the real world is discussed, but it’s development is held back by technology currently

Full interview report

The interview was conducted by K-Tai Watch, a Japanese news outlet, with Niantics Japanese Staff: Yoshiji Kawashima (Asian General Manager) and Kenji Suka (Asian General Marketing Manager).

Image credits: K-Tai Watch

A large part of the interview deals with the future of Ingress and the upcoming Ingress 2.0 update. We are not covering that part of the interview as it’s not strictly related to Pokémon GO. For those interested, Fev Games covered that part in depth.

Right of the bat, Kawashima drops the bomb on the upcoming summer event. In Kawashima’s words, a huge event is planned for this summer, unlike anything we’ve seen so far.

He also confirmed that engineers are working hard on new in-game mechanics in support of that event:

I hope you are looking forward to this huge event this summer. Please look forward to it. Engineers are working hard now so that new functions can be implemented. – Mr. Kawashima

Continuing the interview, both Suka and Kawashima confirmed that efforts with local municipalities in Japan are going well, mostly referencing the success of the Lapras event in tsunami affected regions.

There has been a lot of interest for similar projects overseas, but the “Japanese trial”, as they’re calling it, is not over yet. Both Kawashima and Suka confirmed that the Lapras event was a major success, but it’s yet to be determined how well that translates into numbers.

 “It’s a win-win situation for the players and the local government” – Suka 

More information was shared on Niantic’s interest for wearable devices, highlighting that the GO Plus is just the beginning of wearable device development. A wearable device was developed for Ingress, but it was not wearable enough.

In line with what Hanke shared during MWC 2017, a truly wearable device will help augment what you see, similar to Microsoft’s Hololens. Currently, the technology is not there yet for an affordable head mounted display, but their estimate is that major developments in that field will happen in the next two years.

Niantic believes that wearable devices will become the bridge that connects Augmented Reality with the real world. They refused to comment when asked if Niantic is working on a similar wearable device.

  • Amir Sama

    is the star shaped pokestop is a real thing and its leaking? or it just fanmade?

    • Nabiel Raisandy

      Just a fanmade concept

    • GO Hub Admin

      The cover is a fan made illustration

      • David Jeffers

        Your author really should have made that more clear. This kind of stuff is why this website is having to recover it’s image from being straight up banned on reddit…

  • Wendell Gonçalves

    NIANTIC ALL WE NEED IS POKESTOPS MTF!!

  • Rillan

    every time i look on screenshots i found there is something wrong with this world. How the fuck there are 3 lapras near pokestop ? Omg i still dont have any…..

    • John Herrera

      there was a massive lapras event a few weeks ago? still didnt get any?

      • Samuel Kyle Gladden

        It was a month ago… And only in those extremely weather affected areas

      • marque2

        I was really hunting that week near water and didn’t see any myself. Others claim to have caught 10. Only saw one in the wild and it ran away. My Lapras is from an egg.

      • Rillan

        I guess it wasnt in my country or we missed something cause i didnt hear anything about it from others players.

    • William Bennet

      Sorry to hear.. and I was complaining that I could get enough candy to power up the 3 that were worth me keeping…

    • James

      It was for the lapras event in Japan for their fundraiser event

    • Niño Contreras Kalaw

      lapras event

  • YoshiIsBetter

    I WANT TRADING. NOW.

  • bawn

    If the raid where one person is going to get the mewtwo is true, that is stupid garbage. And why the actual hell is this only in Japan????????????? Way to fail with your events over, and over, and over, and over again Niantic.

    • Alexizzle

      You need to calm down and learn to read.

      • Ryan Gravelle

        exactly

    • VanPelt

      It’s not Niantic. Japan literally has a department in their government dedicated to Pokémon GO and how they can use it to increase tourism. They’re the ones who ask Niantic for these events. Unfortunately I doubt the states will ever be this smart and use Pokémon GO to increase tourism and local economy.

  • h h

    Better hurry before WWIII

  • Ashley Owenby

    Pfft…lapras event successful? I live in the SWAMP state! Water everywhere! Still no lapras

    • Travis Clark

      Im guessing your swamp state wasn’t in Japan?

  • XZ2017

    I dont Need events, i like to find my pokemons. But i really need ” IV ” infomation inside the game, to fight gyms and dont give stardust for useless pokemons… and a lot of people to banned in game… leadind gyms with Hacks or Bots Accounts.

    THE BEST WAY… to get JUST Really LEGAL Players HAPPIERS:

    … IF POKEMONGO WORKERS GET OUT
    ALL ILLEGAL USERS, WE ‘LL BE REALLY HAPPIEST POKEMONs TRAINERS.

    EVERYBODY WITHOUT HACKS AND BOTs ACCOUNTS!!! ^^

    1ST TO QUIT… … 3W .flameaccounts. XxX ..

    2ND.. NOT YOUTUBE POKEHACKS PLAYERS AND FOR SURE ILLEGAL USERS OF POKEMON GO.

    AND AT 3RD…
    BUT REALLY IMPORTANT ALSO…

    Please:.. Put inside the PokemonGo Game ALL the RELEVANT INFORMATION THAT WE NEED TO BE THE BESTS TRAINERS WE COULD “WITHOUT”ANY OTHERS APPS.

    JUST ORIGINAL NIANTIC POKEMONGOAPP PLEASE…

    AND I THINK THE SOLUTION IS:………………………………………….………………………..
    …” XX% of 100%IV”… NEAR POKENAME!!^^

    … IN THE FUTURE WE’LL BE BETTER, … IF ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT “IVs” GETS INSIDE THE POKEMON GO APP.
    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME..
    My First Message sended at POKEMONGOHUB. Hope for the Future. 12.04.2017.

    I STARTED THE GAME AT 18.03.2017…
    AND NOW AT LEVEL24.. I CANT GO OUT TO DO NOTHING AT THE MOMENT, AFTER A NOT RISKY HOSPITAL OPERATION IN ONE WEEK WITHOUT PLAYING. JUST MY GIRLFRIEND GETTING FIRST POKEMON AND POKESTOP OF ALL DAYS FOR ME… THANKS TO HER WHO I REALLY LOVE A LOTTT!!!
    I NEED TO KNOW ALSO HOW TO CALCULATE IVs.?
    Pleaseee write IVs inside the Original Game of PokemonGo App. Please.!

    GREAT GAME!!! ^^ I LOVE POKEMONs WORLD.!
    THANKS FOR ALL!!!
    BIG JOHN HANKE AND EXCELLENT TEAM.!!!
    Málaga, Spain. 18.04.2017

  • Josh Hack

    What I think they should do is this:
    Every gym in London(as an example) would change to a mewtwo for 2 days. In order to get the mewtwo, you will have to beat it

  • Ann M Leis

    I don’t even know if I’ll see an answer , or remember to look, but being in Canada; using an android, no clue as to when & where to get promo codes, and events, will there be any in Toronto, Vaughan (Maple / Woodbridge), Barrie, etc. Why are smaller cities & towns forgotten about ? and the spawns and new pokemon are far & few between. all pokemon should appear everywhere, not only closer to larger populations. I still don’t have all Gen 1

  • Iron Gamer

    Vrmmorpg like sao closer then we thought