Niantic say they want Pokémon GO players to go back out into the world again, world says ‘no’
Pokémon GO developer Niantic is making changes to the game in an effort to get back to pre-pandemic life, but fans aren’t happy.
The game thrives on social interaction and walking outside, which has obviously been near impossible over the past year.
In response, Niantic made various changes to allow players to continue playing from home. That includes boosting incense that attracts Pokémon to you, and increasing the distance from which you can interact with battle gyms and PokéStops on the map.
However, in a new blog post, Niantic is now rolling back some of those changes.
There will now be new exploration bonuses designed to encourage playing outside together, such as increased incense effectiveness while moving and decreasing the distance from which you can interact with gyms.
The changes to Pokémon GO will begin from the end of July, with a staggered release starting with the US and New Zealand.
“We learned a lot. Thank you for coming along with us as we continue to navigate through this together,” reads the blog post.
However, many fans are upset about the changes.
Despite vaccinations in the US, and New Zealand being close to being free of COVID, it’s still arguably too soon to be encouraging players outside together.
It’s currently unknown which countries will be next to receive the updates.
Players have taken to social media to share their disappointment.
So @NianticLabs is scrapping the extended range for Gyms and PokéStops.
— Alex Olney, past predictor (@Alex_Olney) June 22, 2021
Removing the increased distance of pokestops and gyms literally makes no sense. The pandemic is far from over, Niantic don’t gain anything by this change, and the player base suffer by this decision. Why does it seem like our voices as a community are never properly heard? 🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/XsLNs81z9t
— FleeceKing (@ItsFleeceKing) June 21, 2021
When I see changes announced sometimes it really makes me wonder if the people at Niantic actually PROPERLY play #PokemonGO and I’m NOT talking about catching 1-50 Pokémon a day.
You want to see your community burn? Take away privileges given that are extremely helpful. Not good
— REVERSAL – Pokémon GO (@REVERSALxPoGO) June 22, 2021
– monthly developer notes & tweets about bug fixes
– keep increased distance to spin Stops & Gyms: it helps all players
– keep Incense the same while stationary & increase effectiveness while moving rather than make it worse while stationary
– communication plz
— PkmnMasterHolly (@PkmnMasterHolly) June 22, 2021
What’s more, some of the changes made to Pokémon GO during the pandemic have been extremely positive and increased accessibility.
The increased distance to interact with gyms, for instance, has allowed more players to access the feature. Reverting this feels like a step backwards.
It’s not just because the pandemic is still going on, but also how decreasing the distance to pokestops/gyms was a positive step in recognizing the lack of accessibility for those with disabilities. Is it because you care more about money? I’d love to hear the logic. #Niantic
— Ryan Smith (@PkmnMasterRyanS) June 22, 2021
Niantic made it so the distance required to interact with Gyms and Stops was increased and now they are wanting to revert it.
• Less room to social distance
• Less wheelchair accessibility
• big QoL step backwards.https://t.co/qdicsCRLVK
— Bear (@BearOfTwitch) June 22, 2021
A change.org petition has now been launched to maintain the gym interaction distance, which has almost hit its goal of 50,000 signatures.
For a complete list of the changes to Pokémon GO, read the updates here.
Related topics: gaming