Pokemon GO devs receive death threats over Remote Raid changes
While you might think Pokemon GO has dropped off since its heyday, there's still a loyal pack of Pokefans playing the augmented reality mobile game and trying to catch 'em all on a daily basis
Pokemon GO was the first big game to buck the AR trend, and while the likes of Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have kicked the bucket, Pokemon GO has weathered the storm. It was a comfort for many during the pandemic, but as the world returns to normal, Ninatic is delivering a divisive change.
What's going on with Pokemon GO's Remote Raid Pass changes?
Remote Raid Passes were a way to participate in the game's raids from the comfort of your home. With the world locked down, it ensured Niantic kept its player base up. If you've been keeping up with the changes coming Pokemon GO's way, the team is tweaking its pricing structure.
As of April 6, Niantic is increasing the price of Remote Raid Passes, with a single pass nearly doubling from 100 coins to 195 coins. A pack of three rises from 300 coins to 525 coins, and given the time it takes to farm coins for one pass, it's gone from two days to four. Added to this, there's a five-raid pass limit.
Niantic span it as a way to "rebalance the game and ensure it’s enjoyed by Trainers for years to come," but for those with disabilities or who are less mobile - being reliant on Remote Raid Passes - it's come across as another way to claw money from fans.
The changes have left an angry mob of players, while #HearusNiantic has been trending on Twitter. Alongside calls for a mass boycott on April 6, the Pokemon Go subreddit is removing posts calling for a walkout. Elsewhere, 71,000 have signed a Change.org petition called "Save Remote Raiding in Pokémon GO."
Pokemon GO devs receive death threats over Remote Raid Passes
Disgruntled gamers are one thing, but for those at Niantic, things have gotten ugly. Although Niantic stood with the transgender community to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, it didn't take long for the comments to turn sour.
Comments ranged from "How about focus on the quality of your game" to "Do you care about your disabled players as much?" It's unfortunate timing for what was supposed to be a message welcoming all corners of the Pokemon GO community.
A third said, "If you want to make your communities a welcoming space, why are you discriminating against players with disabilities or those who cannot travel, or live in rural areas? This isn't very welcoming of you."
It got even worse when Pokemon GO Global Community Manager, Tyler, said he received a death threat on his personal account because of the planned changes. There was a similar story from the Head of Player Community.
Niantic has gone quiet about whether the Remote Raid Pass overhaul will go ahead, but with the changes just around the corner, a mass walkout could be seriously bad for business. Will the devs do a U-turn? Watch this space.