During the Game Developers Conference 2017, senior product manager Tatsuo Nomura commented on Niantic’s desire to improve the way gyms function in Pokemon Go. He stated that gyms still need quite a bit of work and they are going to make changes that will benefit gameplay.
The main reason for Niantic wanting to change the way Pokemon Go gyms work is due to the lack of interaction between players. As they are now, when a player claims a gym they leave a strong Pokemon to defend it. If a player manages to defeat the Pokemon guarding the gym they can then claim it and place a Pokemon of their own to protect it. Tatsuo said that Niantic wants to work hard to make gyms a more engaging experience for players.
The CEO of Niantic John Hanke echoed the same sentiments as Tatsuo in an interview with a German version of Wired about Pokemon Go gyms. He felt that gym gameplay was very limited and wants to devise a gym system that promotes teamwork with incentives and rewards.
Considering upcoming changes to how gyms function, updates to trading, and the introduction of legendary Pokemon Niantic is giving Pokemon Go players a lot to look forward to in 2017.