Niantic has been rolling out a regular stream of updates for Pokemon Go since it first launched back in 2016, but the game has received some particularly big social features over the past few months. Most notably, Niantic introduced friends lists and trading, two of fans’ most commonly requested features, to the game earlier this summer. According to the developer, more surprise features will be arriving soon.
Niantic CEO John Hanke recently published a new blog post recapping the past few months for the company. Naturally, Pokemon Go figures prominently in the post, and Hanke recounts the success of the various Pokemon Go events held around the globe over the summer, as well as some impressive figures regarding the new friending and gifting features.
According to Hanke, more than 113 million friends connections have been made in Pokemon Go since the feature was first introduced in June. Additionally, more than 2.2 billion Gifts have been exchanged. Overall, Hanke says active Pokemon Go usage rose by 35% since this past May, which itself was a big month for the game.
Most interestingly, however, Hanke teases that Niantic is “working on some surprises for Pokemon Go this Fall to give Trainers even more ways to play together.” He doesn’t go into any further details than that, leaving what these “surprises” could be open to speculation, but it appears players won’t have to wait too long to find out what they are.
The surprises Hanke teased could allude to the addition of yet more Pokemon. The official Pokemon Go Twitter account recently tweeted, “As you work on completing your Kanto Pokedex, remember that there’s plenty more to explore and many new Pokemon yet to be discovered…” This is presumably another reference to the arrival of Gen 4 Pokemon, which Niantic first teased with a piece of promotional artwork back in July.
Beginning September 13, Niantic is kicking off the Ultra Bonus Event, which will see the three Legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres return to Raid Battles for a limited time. Other Kanto Pokemon will also spawn more frequently through the end of the month, while the Legendary Pokemon Mewtwo will appear in regular Raid Battles for the first time from September 20 to October 23.