Clearly, Niantic and Nintendo don't need any advice on how to create a popular mobile game. Pokemon GO fever has swept not just the nation, but the entire world. Except Japan, ironically, where it's not out yet.
On the other hand, even the developers would have to admit that there are ways that the game can be improved. It's not the deepest Pokemon game ever, and since it's on mobile, content updates will be not just hoped for, but absolutely essential to keep it relevant for the long haul.
They're coming, and probably sooner than we think. With that in mind, here's a wish list of sorts, presenting seven things we'd like to see in Pokemon GO updates -- and one thing we don't.
1. More Pokemon
Of everything we're asking for, this is one that is a slam dunk certainty. Pokemon GO currently features only the original 151 Pokemon. Hundreds more have been created over the last 20 years, and bunches of them are going to end up in the game. Bank on it.
2. More battles
Gym battles are fine and all, and they serve a definite purpose. But longtime Pokemon trainers have to be disappointed that they are the extent of the combat so far. We spend time powering up and evolving those Pokemon, so more chances to unleash them would be welcome.
3. True multiplayer
People gathering in Central Park to take advantage of a bunch of Lure Modules is great and all, but Pokemon GO could really be energized by events that team a bunch of people to combat one especially powerful team of foes. There's no real road map for how this would be done in the current game, but we can dream.
4. Team Rocket
Considering that Pokemon GO uses the beginnings of the franchise as its motivation, why not go full nostalgia and include the villains most of us know from the early days? This could be combined with our previous request, requiring players to come together to overcome them.
Some people have discussed the downsides of this feature, wondering how it might be abused or foul up the game's economy. To that, we say this: poppycock! Not that those fears are groundless, but let's be real. Trading is an essential part of the Pokemon video game experience, and would make this game even more social.
6. Something more to do with teams
This seems pretty likely to happen too, simply because there's so much that can be done with it. Right now there's really no reason to choose one of the three teams over another, other than color preference and perhaps where your friends are signing up. Expect that to change going forward.
7. Tutorials of any kind
Maybe this is biting the hand that feeds you, considering sites like ours have been reaping the benefits of Niantic really not explaining much of anything in Pokemon GO. But in the interest of the greater good, and to assist people like my 64-year old mom, there really needs to be more robust instructions given early on to aid those intrepid souls who still haven't given the game a try.
And the one thing we don't want to see ...
Unfortunately, this is coming, and probably soon. We can still wish that it wasn't, because it takes away some of the simplicity and innocence from the game and sets it adrift in real world marketing concerns. Also, doesn't allowing McDonald's to sponsor PokeStops send a mixed message when it comes to the "get out and get active" aspect of Pokemon GO? That was a rhetorical question, by the way.