Raids, PvP and player trading said to be coming in a massive summer update.

An interview with Niantic's Asian General Manager Yoshiji Kawashima and Asian General Marketing Manager Kenji Suka hints that the long-rumored Legendary events for Pokémon Go may happen in July 2017.

In the interview with Japanese site K-Tai Watch Kawashima says that a huge event is planned for summer 2017 and the new in-game mechanics are currently in development. These will include raids, PvP, and player trading. While no firm release dates for the coming features is set, Niantic did confirm that co-op play is coming this Spring and several smaller events like the recent Water Festival are planned throughout 2017.

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. – Yoshiji Kawashima

Niantic is also said to be working on partnering with local governments for large events like the one recently held in Japan's Tohoku Region. As an aside, Niantic is also said to be working on a wearable AR device but further development is waiting for the technology to mature.

Pokémon Go has mentioned co-op gameplay several times. We think it will be coming as part of the Gym battle redesign expected in the next update. Strings that suggest a raiding system have also been found in the game code by sleuthers at Reddit:

  • "{0} lost a battle!"
  • "{0} was defeated in battle!"
  • "{0} fainted at the Gym!"
  • "{0} is back after a hard battle!"
  • "{0} was forced off the Gym!"
  • "{0} has fought hard and returned!"
  • "{0} is hungry!"
  • "{0} needs a pick-me-up!"
  • "{0} wants a berry!
  • "{0} was victorious in battle!"
  • "{0} has triumphed over your opponents!"
  • "{0} defended the Gym!"
  • "There's a raid about to start near you!"
  • "A raid's going to start nearby!"
  • "Nearby raid starting soon!"

While Pokémon Go may have lost some of the steam that made it the fastest growing game ever when it first released, the millions and millions of existing players seem to have a lot to look forward to in 2017.