The year of 2016 is special to fans of Pokémon. Not only is it the 20th anniversary of the franchise with its games, cards, and various facets of culture that have developed over two decades, but it is supposed to be the year that two big games are launched: Pokémon Z and Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is a location based game to be played on mobile platforms like iOS and Android, which will allow players to seek out Augmented Reality versions of their pocket monsters. Unfortunately, there is some bad news about Pokémon GO not appearing at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC) 2016, and there might be some bad news about Pokémon Z as well.
According to the Vine Report, fans of Pokémon have some bad news when it comes to Pokémon GO. It was thought that the long-awaited game would be announced at GDC 2016 on March 14 at an event hosted by Niantic CEO John Hanke. Unfortunately, this particular event has been cancelled.
As far as the reason the session was pulled from GDC 2016, Hanke explained in a letter to Game Informer. "We have decided to forego our GDC talk on Pokémon GO to focus on getting the product ready for beta test and launch. As much as we hate to disappoint those in the industry attending GDC, we feel our time and energy right now are best spent on making sure every aspect of the product is where we want it to be".
It was believed that Pokémon Z would be ready for attendees to try out at GDC, but that doesn't appear to be the case. It would not be too surprising if they had a prototype ready for only special guests to test out, which happens quite often at these tech conventions.
It is possible that Niantic's strategy is to get this game as flawless as possible before it is presented to the market, and then perform field tests to Pokémon fans in Japan. This would mean a delay of the game, of course, but it would be smart for Pokémon to release Pokémon GO in the summer, where mobile users can take advantage of the warm weather to search for new Pokémon.
Talking about the release of Pokémon GO inevitably leads to a discussion of Pokémon Z. Of course, this game still has not been formally announced yet, which is getting its fan base to wonder if it will ever exist.
Hopes were high with it being the Pokémon 20th anniversary and the Super Bowl ad. However, it appears that much focus is rather on Pokémon Sun and Moon. There are still high hopes that Pokémon Z will be made into reality, as the fans seem to want a follow-up to the yet-to-be announced follow-up to Pokémon X and Y.