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Niantic promises more transparency after pandemic-driven Pokémon Go player uproar

Niantic has committed to a number of changes in player communication after players pushed back against the removal of pandemic-accommodating changes in Pokémon Go.

Bryant Francis

September 1, 2021

1 Min Read
Pokemon Go's season of mischief promo image. A trainer looks up at a purple orb while standing near a Pokestop in the woods.

Niantic has committed to a number of changes in player communication after players pushed back against the removal of pandemic-accommodating changes in Pokémon Go.

This follows last week’s news that the developer planned to reverse its decision to return the minimum interaction distance for Pokéstops and Gyms to the pre-pandemic distance of 40 meters. That number has been permanently set at 80 meters.

In a blog post, Pokémon Go executive Producer Steve Wang said the company is committing to a bimonthly developer diary publication to keep players updated on the future of the game, and it will continue to check in with the community leaders who participated in its recent task force process.

Niantic also admitted that COVID-19 pandemic’s continued presence is impacting its operations. After New Zealand re-entered lockdown with the return of COVID-19 community spread, Niantic said that it realized it will not be able to effectively adjust the Seasonal Rewards experience on a country-by-country basis in real-time.

Starting with the upcoming Season of Mischief, all bonuses will be set at a global level and be tied directly to the seasons in Pokémon GO. The company debuted what those bonuses will look like—and how they differ between the United States and New Zealand vs the rest of the world—in a Twitter thread yesterday.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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