Pokémon GO: Niantic Might Bring Back Pandemic Changes After Boycott Threat

Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go Niantic

Developer Niantic is considering to re-implement the pandemic changes after Pokémon GO fans threaten to boycott the game.

To do this, they have assigned an internal cross-functional team that will develop proposals to preserve the core gameplay of exploring the world. The task force will also address player concerns regarding interaction distance of PokéStops and more.

For those unaware, Niantic recently removed the pandemic changes implemented in 2020, particularly the Exploration Bonuses, where players can replenish their stock of in-game essentials without going outside. This has discouraged many players, with some even expressing their intent to quit.

Aside from the verge of quitting the game, some high-profile players, such as Leek Duck and Brandon Tan, have also expressed their discontent with the company’s recent moves.

Pokémon No Day

As a way for fans to let Niantic know their dissatisfaction, some have created a special event known as the “Pokémon No Day.” This is a day where players are urged to put away the game for an entire day.

This movement was created as a response to the reversed PokéStop and Gym interaction distances, back when the pre-pandemic state in North America and New Zealand.

While the game is originally meant to be played outside, the threat of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the increasing number of cases in the U.S. just makes it dangerous given the circumstances.

Niantic Responds

Because so many players do not agree with the company’s recent move, Niantic has issued a statement in response to the community outcry.

The company explained that the changes to the Exploration Bonuses were meant to restore select foundational elements of the game back to the time before the pandemic began. This means that players are encouraged to explore, exercise, and interact with others.

They’ve added that the new Exploration Bonuses were only implemented in countries deemed safe to go outside. That is why the pandemic changes were first removed in New Zealand and America.

They went on to say that they are going to continually monitor the health and safety guidance and will make some changes if necessary.

As mentioned earlier, the company has created a special task force to oversee the entire situation. Niantic will disclose the report made by the said team in the next game season change on September 1.

In addition, the company will invite some community leaders in a dialogue, so that they can be a part of the entire process as well.

While the company has not re-implemented the pandemic changes yet, they are taking the steps to make sure they can reach an accord with the community.

What do you think? Will Niantic really make the necessary changes based on community feedback?

Join the Discussion
Top Stories