Pokemon Go Fans Furious At Niantic's COVID-19 Measures

Pokemon Go Fans Furious At Niantic's COVID-19 Measures

Written by 

Mel Ramsay


3rd Aug 2021 11:25

Pokemon GO has upset some of its fanbase by rolling back their COVID-19 measures. The reaction has been so great, that some players are swearing off the game entirely. 

Why Are People Deleting Pokemon GO?

Well, as with many things happening right now - it all stems back to COVID. Back when the pandemic started, a lot of companies began putting things into place to ensure their consumers were as safe as possible. When it comes to a game like Pokemon GO, it involves a lot of a) walking and b) interacting with other people who are also out hunting pocket monsters. 

So Niantic came up with a solution, to increase the distance required to interact with PokeStops and Gyms. This suited people just fine, as they didn't have to get as close to the locations to benefit. The original interaction ring was around 40ft, but was increased to 80ft. 

In June, the company released a statement to confirm that the changes would start to be reversed. They wrote: "Previously, Pok├ęStop and Gym interaction distances were increased, to enable people to engage from further away. After this change the distance will revert back to the standard distance, when it makes sense in different places, though may be increased during future events and as part of certain features."

However, with the Delta variant becoming more prevalent, many fans of the game believed that this would be cancelled - but it wasn't. 

What Are Fans Saying About The Pokemon GO Changes?

As a result of Niantic rolling in the changes, over 140,000 people have signed a petition to try and convince them to reconsider. 

The petition reads: "Niantic is reverting increased PokeStop and Gym interaction distance. They had previously said this change would be permanent, but have gone back on their word. Let them know that increased interaction distance was one of the best changes they have ever made, making the game safer to play and more accessible for all."

On June 21, the company also revealed some other changes, including new exploration bonuses to make it more rewarding to get outside, by incentivising players with bonuses for spinning stops, playing at in-person raids, and getting steps. 

Fans have taken to Reddit to complain, with some saying they were quitting the app entirely. One person said: "Hitting them in the wallet is a pretty effective way to send a message." Another said: "Hard-core player here with over 9000km walked. The distance change during the pandemic was the most fun I've had in the game for a while. Now going back to the old distance and seeing how limited the game actually was is discouraging. Today is the lowest amount of time I've spent playing in years."

Whether or not Niantic decides to listen to players is another question - but it will be interesting to see how they react. 


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