There’s a subset of Pokemon Go fans who are extraordinarily good at digging into the smartphone app’s files and finding hidden details – whether they happen to be as-yet unreleased shiny Pokemon or features that Niantic hasn’t even announced yet.
On Reddit, scrutiny of the latest update may just indicate that some fairly major changes are on the way for the monster-catching mobile game: specifically, some form of quest where fulfilling certain objectives will further an ongoing story.
According to the Silph Road subreddit, multiple references to quests can be found in the update’s data, which include such terms as STORY_QUEST and CHALLENGE_QUEST, as well as indications of what objectives will have to be fulfilled in order to complete those quests – these include typical things like hatching eggs, feeding Pokemon, and winning gym battles.
The data also hints at an expanded role for the game’s human characters, including Professor Willow, and that player avatars will soon be getting facial expressions. These certainly suggest that Niantic has something major in the works for Pokemon Go, though it’s not yet clear when these quests might start rolling out. It’s even possible that the references are merely the last few remnants of ideas tested but later abandoned. It’s not uncommon for programmers to leave unused but harmless bits of code lying around behind the scenes.
As Eurogamer points out, though, Niantic recently appointed its first editorial person, which suggests there’s at least one person at the company charged with writing stories for its app.
The mere notion of a quest mode is an appealing prospect. If you’re somewhere between level 30 and 40 in Pokemon Go, you may be looking for a new reason to play the game beyond grinding for XP and catching Legendary monsters. Quests could be just the shot in the arm Pokemon Go needs.
More on this as we get it.