A year ago, Niantic released an augmented reality mobile game called “Pokemon GO,” which quickly captured the hearts of gamers. It became an exciting way to experience the thrill and fun of capturing Pokemon. Now, the game has turned a year old, and players are wondering the kind of future it offers to the community.

In an interview with The Verge, Niantic’s very own CEO John Hanke talked about the process of making “Pokemon GO” a reality. He also shared their experiences in battling cheaters and their approach towards the importance of player communication.

Here is it in a nutshell.

A grateful developer

Despite all the ups and downs, Hanke is still grateful for everything that the studio accomplished with the mobile game. “It’s been a great year,” he said. He shared about how careful they were in the hiring process, ensuring that they acquire only the best. Many began to doubt the game’s success soon after cheaters and exploiters plagued the game, but the studio was there. They guaranteed the community of fixes as well as new features that should improve the game’s gameplay experience.

Hanke explained how tough it was for them to develop raids and overhaul the entire gym system in “Pokemon GO.” They themselves were skeptical about the features’ significance, but they opted to pursue.

Fast forward today, these very features provided the players a whole new reason to play the game. Hanke said that these “pull people together outside,” a scenario they have always dreamed for the game.

Comparing the game now to the studio’s initial road map

Hanke iterated that they lost in the process of rebuilding and rewiring the infrastructure in “Pokemon GO” all the way through November and December.

He said that the entire process was not easy, as they had to literally redirect a good chunk of the team to work on the in-game infrastructure. They were even pressured by the demand for new features and thus had to dedicate another team for it. Hanke admitted that despite the success of these new features and system, these were supposed to be released six months earlier.

However, he himself did not anticipate the demand it would require from the entire development team. As a result, they had to push the initial launching of the new features in “Pokemon GO.” He further added that the development of “Pokemon GO Plus” also added to the pressure, though they saw it as a fun experience to undergo. Hanke exclaimed that they did some things that they did not initially plan, while others remained to be in the development phase.