Raza Ahmad, a member of the Niantic creative team answered questions about Pokémon Go at a Q&A panel at UCLA and he revealed tons of information on upcoming Pokémon Go features.
According to Ahmad, community events are just around the corner:
If you look at the most recent interview with John Hanke, he definitely hints at our intention to do future community events – like anomalies in Ingress with Pokémon Go. We’re aware of the power community has with AR related games but we want to do them right, not the lazy way. Don’t worry. Real world events for Pokémon are definitely in the works.
Ahmad also mentioned that Pokémon Go is currently in stage one of the game and it is going to change and evolve in the future:
Pokémon GO is in the very beginning of what you will see in the fullness of time. This is page one of chapter one. It’s not even fully released! (Funny how they acknowledge this) We’re still trying to adapt to the needs of our player base, and we’re trying to adhere to the vision of how to build a community game based on the principles of Augmented Reality.
Ahmad was asked about the suspension of third party trackers and whether or not Niantic would release any of their own trackers in the future:
Well, I’m not in the development team so I can’t comment on our content release schedule. But what I can say is our intent with Pokémon is aligned to our vision of community exploration, and that won’t be going away anytime soon. Whether that includes a full tracker or not at this point I can’t say.
Gym re-balancing is a big feature that appeared in the last update. Ahmad shed some light on the future of gyms:
You’ve already had a taste of that with the recent update. Like I said earlier though, I’m not in development so I can’t say much beyond that.
When asked what is next for Niantic, Ahmad talked about the future of augmented reality gaming:
This is the beginning of something. We are developing something new, not just technologically but in terms of exploring a new medium for story and game and social experience. We’ve been successful with Ingress, and more so with Pokémon GO, but we’re just scratching the surface of what real world games and augmented reality can ultimately be. The technology is just starting to emerge, and it’s only going to get better. Our creative strategies evolve as we learn. My hope is that this will become a really vibrant space, with lots of different kinds of games and storytelling experiences going on inside it. It’s going to be challenging and interesting — lots of opportunities to explore and obstacles to solve and surmount.
Basically what we know is that legit third party trackers are in the works, gym re-balancing has only just begun, and real world Pokémon Go events are coming in the near future.