Niantic CEO: 'Pokémon Go' legendary birds release date and gym update coming in 2017

Mic

Once you reach level five in Pokémon Go, you get the option of joining one of the game's three teams — Valor, Mystic and Instinct — and can begin participating in gym battles as well as catching Pokémon, hatching eggs and visiting PokéStops. However, if you're a new player to the game or just haven't picked it up in a while, you've probably noticed that gyms are dominated by certain types of extremely strong Pokémon, making it hard to get your foot in the door.

If you're frustrated with the lack of headway you've been making in gyms, you're in luck. Niantic CEO John Hanke has teased a few pretty major overhauls in the works for 2017 that should help even the playing field. 

Pokémon Go gym update: Niantic wants more people to participate in gyms

Pokémon Go players on the The Silph Road subreddit are discussing an interview with Hanke in Wired Germany, during which he explained several things he'd like to see in the game.

As redditor dronpes wrote in a comment, the Wired Germany article stressed several major overhauls to come in 2017:

Here's what we learn here:

1. The gym system is being overhauled!
2. The overhaul will be the first major update of three more in 2017.
3. Legendary Pokémon will make an appearance this year.
4. Hanke acknowledged spoofing as a problem and says Niantic has an obligation to solve the problem. (this is a BIG deal for Niantic!!)

Hanke said there isn't a whole lot of current gameplay in the gyms and that Niantic is working to change gyms to emphasize teamwork and reward more people for participating. Although we don't know much about what form this overhaul might take, it's exciting to know the company is working to update gyms, which have long been dominated by the same Pokémon.

The fact that Legendary Birds were teased in the article is just gravy on top of the promise to overhaul the gym system and the acknowledgement of GPS spoofing as a major problem in Pokémon Go. It's safe to say players have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

More Pokémon Go guides, tips and tricks

If you're booting up Pokémon Go for the first time in a while to get ready for Gen 2, be sure to check out Mic's guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10-kilometer eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.