Starting today, Niantic is temporarily shutting down Pokémon GO gyms in preparation for the forthcoming Solstice celebration. The update is expected to bring in changes in the gym mechanics and gameplay, including the speculated multiplayer mode.

Gym lockdown

The developer has announced earlier today that gyms in Pokémon GO will not be available for the time being. On Reddit, Niantic has explained the temporary lockdown of this feature. "As we get ready to update Pokémon GO, we want to ensure that Trainers have a sufficient heads up that Gyms will soon be disabled so that they can collect their Defender bonus", states Niantic. "We will provide updates on our social channels in advance of Gyms closing in-game".

Multiplayer mode

Although Niantic did not further get down to the details of the event, this is expected to deliver some exciting new features for the upcoming Solstice event. Earlier reports suggest that the developer has been working on a multiplayer mode.

According to The Next Web, Niantic chief marketing officer Mike Quigley teased in May some details about the upcoming feature. Quigley is quoted, saying: "The capture mechanic is fun, but you're a lone wolf, you're going out there on your own. Maybe you're with friends, but there's not that, kind of, connected experience. We think there is an opportunity for collaboration in that area, but more to come on that".

Game-changer feature

There is no doubt that Niantic will bring in such a feature. The presence of the multiplayer mode is definitely a game-changer in the midst of the waning Pokémon GO popularity. Since the beginning, the ability to play with other trainers and battle against them has been widely requested as the game gets boring in time.

Should Niantic be letting the cat out of the big? This could be about time to draw once again the Pokémon GO fad.