Niantic Creating Pokemon Go 'Task Force' To Save The Game
Niantic is making a (Rapi)dash to try and save Pokemon Go, as the troubled AR title is getting lost in a sea of complaints, boycott threats, and #PokemonNo trending on Twitter. While the once-beloved Pocket Monster game was all the rage, angry fans have turned on Pokemon Go and vowed to put down their phones until Niantic does something.
For those new to the drama, Niantic took recent steps to try and return Pokemon Go to normal. Prior to the global pandemic, we were encouraged to get up and out to catch 'em all. However, when COVID-19 ravaged the world, Niantic put measures in place like extended PokeStop radius limits.
If all of this wasn't enough, there were further complaints that Pokemon Go has skipped Gen 7 and randomly added a few Gen 8 Mon for its Ultra Unlock event. Niantic was hung, drawn, and quartered amidst claims it was "too early" to return to normal. Now, there's an official Pokemon Go task force to try and fix this whole sorry mess.
What is the Pokemon Go task force?
According to Niantic, an emergency Pokemon Go task force is here to save the day. This video game version of the Avengers will hopefully ease pressure and give players the chance to have their voices heard. In a lengthy blog post, Niantic promised it has "heard your feedback" and is "assembling an internal cross-functional team to develop proposals".
The aim of this crack team is to "preserve our mission of inspiring people to explore the world together, while also addressing specific concerns that have been raised regarding interaction distance". Work is underway now, with Niantic saying it will publish the task force's findings during the next season change on September 1. The downtrodden dev has also appealed for community leaders to "join the conversation".
All in all, it sounds like Niantic is definitely aware of what's been going on. However, with so much radio silence and the company pretending it's business as usual by burying its head in bumbled Gen 8 announcements, is it a case of too little, too late?
Can the Pokemon Go task force redeem Niantic?
Things are hotter than a Magmar's armpit right now, with tempers and temperatures raised across the board. Instead of letting things die down and the clearly vexed player base calm down, Niantic was accused of glossing over complaints with the announcement of Galar Pokemon like Zacian and Zamazenta. When Niantic showed off a glossy trailer, the comment section was filled with angry rants about fans being ignored.
Even though there's still a lot of rage being aimed at Niantic, supporters have pointed out that we'll have to go back to pre-pandemic life at some point. The COVID-19 measures were in place to make sure we were safe and adhered to social distancing guidelines, and although the pandemic is far from over, a lot of industries have started stripping back their precuations.
At this point, it seems the only way to "fix" Pokemon Go would be to reinstate the COVID-19 distance reductions. Unfortunately, this isn't a model that can continue forever. Also, what happens the next time Niantic tries to dial back these measures? Currently, there's a Change.org petition that's reached nearly 170k - showing just how angry players are.
It's not that there's no coming back for Pokemon Go, but right now, we struggle to see how Niantic is going to turn things around. Either way, a Pokemon Go task force is a good place to start. Ash, Misty, and Brock could be the only ones for this job.