The recently-uploaded Pokémon GO gameplay video from Niantic’s presentation at SXSW Gaming has caused no end of controversy. Many fans are worried that you won’t be able to battle wild Pokémon, while others are afraid the battle system won’t be like traditional Pokémon battling at all. Others are concerned about the use of your phone’s camera and the way augmented reality seems to be implemented.
But in the midst of all the arguments over what was shown, one other detail has come to light: we might have gotten to see a third team.
One of the few things known about Pokémon GO is that players will be able to join teams that compete with each other, although the exact specifics are unknown. The Pokémon GO trailer had shown fort icons in red and blue, which suggested they indicated two of the teams.
In the SXSW footage, there is a brief glimpse of a map that also shows red and blue icons. Although these look similar to the Gym symbols used in later games, they are so close together it’s unlikely they are Pokémon GO Gyms. Instead, it seems probable that they, again, represent something (such as forts) connected to two of the teams.
As revealed by a Pokémon GO fan channel on Youtube, careful inspection of the footage shows a yellow icon that looks like the same type. This suggests a yellow team also exists.
The colors—red, blue, and yellow—are significant to the series because of the original Pokémon generation. That also suggests there may be a green team, as well. Pokémon Red and Green were the ones first released in Japan, with the special edition Pokémon Blue released in other regions in Green’s place. Pokémon Yellow was a later special edition that focused on Pikachu.
On the other hand, the yellow icon could mean that fort had yet to be claimed by either team. It’s too soon to say for sure. And even if these three—or four—teams are part of Pokémon GO, we still don’t know how they’ll work.
Will it be a fort-capturing system similar to the one used in Ingress? More and more, fans are becoming nervous that this game will be more like Pokémon-themed Ingress than the augmented reality Pokémon adventure they hoped for.
How do you think teams and forts will be used in Pokémon GO? What do you hope to see?