The bare-bones story of Pokémon Go looks like it will get a little more meat. Today, Niantic detailed the next major update for the location-based game, and it will include the introduction of a new concept called “research,” which includes both simple daily tasks as well as actual story missions to take on.
“Field research” has players getting a list of tasks from pokéstops, which involve simple objectives like catching specific monsters or engaging in battles. The field research tasks have a daily structure to them: players will get a stamp each day they complete a task, and when they reach seven stamps, they’ll earn in-game rewards. In some cases, that will include a rare encounter with one of the game’s legendary pokémon.
More interesting, though, is “special research,” which the developer says involves “story-driven activities that may be requested by Professor Willow himself, and will unfold as the trainer completes more objectives.” The story will be tied to the mythical pokémon Mew, which is also being added to the game.
It’s the biggest update to the game since December when Niantic introduced real-world weather conditions to Pokémon Go. And it comes at a time when the field of location-based AR games is set to grow dramatically. Google recently opened up its Maps platform to game developers, and there are new titles based on everything from Jurassic World to The Walking Dead in the works. Pokémon Go’s next big update, meanwhile, should begin rolling out to players this week.