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Pokémon Go’s story hasn’t been ‘left behind’

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We’ll learn more about the characters ... eventually

Pokémon Go team leaders
Niantic

Pokémon Go players will learn more about the game’s cast of characters one day — just don’t plan on that coming any time soon. Despite Niantic CEO John Hanke’s comments that the mobile game’s lore would be expanded in the coming months, senior product manager Tatsuo Nomura told Polygon that that part of the game’s on the backburner for now.

“We’re a very small team and we can only do so much at once,” Nomura explained when we spoke during Game Developers Conference. Niantic has around 70 people in its ranks across all departments, meaning the developer has had to prioritize certain updates over others.

So far, those have included adding the second generation of Pokémon into the game. The developer is also working on implementing trading and other multiplayer features. Yet one of the most endearing parts of Pokémon Go at launch was how loyal players became to their chosen team.

Hanke revealed the names and designs of the three team leaders during a San Diego Comic-Con panel last July, weeks after the game launched. This gave a face to the three primary colored teams — called Valor, Mystic and Instinct — and accompanied a promise that we’d find out much more about their relationships to each other and Pokémon Professor Willow in the future.

“It’s not like we’re forgetting [about the characters], but it’s just resource-wise, what we are doing next ... Do we do multiplayer and gen two versus putting out more narrative?” Nomura said of Niantic’s development process when it comes to adding more content. “So far, it’s not being our focus, but we are not leaving it behind.”

“I personally still want to think a lot more stories behind them and narratives,” Nomura added.

Players will surely continue to do much of this work themselves on Tumblr and fanfiction communities, crafting detailed backstories for the game’s team leaders. Whether Candela, Blanche and Spark live up to fan expectations remains to be seen, just like Pokémon Go’s other desired features.