Ah Pokemon GO, you sneaky thing. Just went it looked like we would finally be getting some more solid information about the upcoming augmented reality mobile game here we come crashing back down to Earth again.
In case you're not quite sure what we're talking about, we reported last week that John Hanke - CEO of Niantic Inc, the developers behind Pokémon GO - was set to deliver a presentation at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016. The GDC is an annual expo showcasing game development from all across the globe, and takes place this year in San Francisco from the 16 - 18 March.
Hanke was set to take the stage in a Summit session entitled: 'Catch 'Em All: Pokémon GO and Real World Gaming' as part of the GDC's Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit, but the Game Developers Conference schedule was recently updated, stating the Niantic event cancelled.
No reason for the cancellation was given on the GDC website at the time, but Gamespot reached out to Niantic for comment and received a response from Hanke himself, stating that the GDC presentation was cancelled in order to allow the developers more time to get ready for the official launch.
"We have decided to forego our GDC talk on Pokémon Go in order 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."
Well, boo. Perhaps it's not such a loss though, as the talk was set to look at some of the specifics involved in the development rather than being an official press release gleaning such details as, say, the release date.
In the same way as Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda Wii U release date was pushed back and the planned E3 footage pulled so are Niantic holding off on making any big reveals until everything is absolutely ready to do so. Likely this means that development is taking a little longer than anticipated, which hopefully suggests that the game is going to be worth waiting for.
But it's not all bad news though, as we do have an update on the state of the Pokémon GO beta testing. Player field testing for the game is due to begin in Japan later this month, and will be rolled out to other countries in the weeks following the launch in Japan re a statement from Niantic:
"The Pokemon Company and Niantic will be inviting users to field test Pokemon Go in Japan later this month. The Pokemon Go field test program will give a limited number of users early access to the app. These users will have the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokemon Go experience for everyone prior to public launch."
The fact that we're at open beta testing now is pretty exciting, as it means we're likely not too far off from the launch date. Field testing dates for Europe and America have not yet been confirmed, so watch this space!