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Niantic forms internal task force to address concerns of Pokemon Go fans

"We are assembling an internal cross-functional team to develop proposals designed to preserve our mission of inspiring people to explore the world together."

Niantic has assembled an "internal cross-functional team" to address recent fan concerns regarding interaction distances in Pokemon Go

The move comes after baffled Pokemon Go players petitioned Niantic to make some of the AR title's pandemic-enforced changes permanent -- primarily that of increased PokeStop and Gym interaction distances --  after the company announced plans to roll back those tweaks.

Voicing their frustrations online, fans explained the changes had not only made the title safer to play during the ongoing pandemic, but also made it infinitely more accessible to players with disabilities. 

Despite being called out by thousands of players -- including over 160,000 who signed a Change.org petition in a bid to veto the move -- Niantic ultimately started rolling back its pandemic alterations earlier this month. 

Just a few days after reverting interaction distances in the U.S. and New Zealand, however, Niantic has published a statement telling fans it has heard their input "loud and clear."

"To address the concerns you have raised, we are taking the following actions: We are assembling an internal cross-functional team to develop proposals designed to preserve our mission of inspiring people to explore the world together, while also addressing specific concerns that have been raised regarding interaction distance," wrote the company in a blog post

"We will share the findings of this task force by the next in game season change (September 1). As part of this process, we will also be reaching out to community leaders in the coming days to join us in this dialogue."

Niantic said it wants to revert its pandemic changes to help players "connect in real places in the real world," but acknowledged that it must consider the "thoughtful and constructive feedback" of its players. 

Although the Pokemon Go developer now appears to be making all the right noises, those behind the Change.org petition aren't convinced the company is actually committed to meeting fan demands, and have branded Niantic's statement "deliberately ambiguous."

"Niantic has finally responded, but their response is not satisfactory. Their are purposefully ambiguous, hoping to put out the fire that they created without actually making a decision," they wrote. "I urge you to continue to cut or stop spending altogether until they increase interaction distance back to what it was. Thank you for all of the support. Keep the pressure on."

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