Who would have guessed that one of the most anticipated video games for next year was going to be a mobile game? No one, probably. But alas, one of the most searched titles of 2015 was Pokémon GO, one of the two mobile games Nintendo has announced development for.

Announced earlier in the year, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game for smart devices, one that lets you travel the world (or your backyard) in search of the 721 Pokémon we’ve come to know throughout the years. The difference between this game and the others in the main series is that this game makes our world the world of Pokémon, rather than setting us inside one. It’s quite a big endeavor, but it sounds like Nintendo and Niantic– the development company in partnership with Nintendo for the game– are really throwing everything they’ve got into it.

PokemonGO-Strap

GamesBeat recently got a chance to sit down with the CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of Ninantic– John Hanke and Mike Quigley– to talk about Pokémon GO, and the two shared some useful info that I think every fan has been waiting to hear.

According to them, Pokémon distribution throughout the real world will correlate with how they’d be distributed in any other Pokémon game. Water-type Pokémon will be found near areas with water, for example, and Bug-type Pokémon will probably be more common in areas with a lot of trees and bushes. Also, rare Pokémon are guaranteed to be, well, rare. Hanke and Quigley have confirmed that rare Pokémon will exist only in a few places, and that not all Pokémon will roam all areas of the world. So what you might find in California will probably differ from what you find London.

PokemonGo-Phones

However, catching ‘em all is still a very real possibility. As with in the games, trading and battling are also elements that are featured in Pokémon GO, and in order to call yourself a true Pokémon Master, you’re going to need to utilize them. Hanke mentioned that they’ve been doing events for Ingress, their other widely-popular mobile game, and they plan on doing the same for Pokémon GO, allowing trainers to gather together to trade, battle, and connect in order to help each other out.

He also briefly talked about battling, stating that players will be able to join teams that battle against each other during various events. Unfortunately, that’s about all the elaboration that there was, but it was mentioned that it will be based on the existent lore of the Pokémon world, and that there will be more than two teams to join. Sounds to me like a Team Aqua/Team Magma type of deal, but we’ll just have to wait to see what he means!

As for how Pokémon GO came to be, we can thank Tsunekazu Ishihara, the CEO of The Pokémon Company, and the late Satoru Iwata. Both of them were interested in making partnerships and expanding the usage of their IP, and Niantic became involved because of Ingress, which Ishihara was a fan of.

Hanke: “It was driven in large part by Mr. Ishihara and the Pokémon Company. They’ve been involved in developing all the Pokémon games through the years. They guide the IP. But a lot of what they do is through partnerships. They partnered initially with Wizards of the Coast to bring out the Pokémon card game, which has now sold something like 21 billion cards. They have animation partners who do the TV show. They’re a partnering type of company. Mr. Ishihara ushered us into the halls at Nintendo.

The former CEO of Nintendo, Mr. Iwata, had his hand on the wheel. He was steering Nintendo in a new direction. Part of that was the partnership with DeNA, the mobile game company. They have new hardware in the pipeline that they’ve been working on. He saw the need and personally wanted to help evolve Nintendo. They resisted mobile for a long time. But it’s clear their relationships with us and with DeNA that they now understand how relevant it is to the future.”

You can read the full interview here.

Pokémon GO doesn’t currently have an official release date, but we can expect it sometime in 2016.

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.

George Comatas