Pokemon Go players shouldn't expect to use the upcoming trading feature to interact with players on other continents. At the Game Developer Conference earlier this week, Niantic senior product manager Tatsuo Nomura confirmed that Pokemon Go's trading feature would be limited to local interactions. "It won’t be through the internet," he said. "You shouldn’t be able to exchange your Pokémon with someone who is 100 miles away from you. The person needs to be in your proximity."
While the news is sure to come as a disappointment to many Pokemon Go fans, it is in line with Niantic's core focus of the game: to encourage local player interaction and cooperation. "We don’t want to just have that be an online game that you can just exchange virtually," Nomura said.
Trading originally required person to person interactions in the main Pokemon games, as players linked their games together using a Link Cable. Once Nintendo added online functionality to their Game Boy consoles, the Pokemon franchise added the Global Trade System to facilitate online trading.
While Niantic still has plans for trading, Nomura understood that getting the mechanic right was important for Pokemon Go's longterm future. "We’re still trying to come up with an answer that makes sense so it doesn’t kill the game,” he said. "If we fail this, we can easily kill the game."