After outcry from players, Niantic has announced it’s keeping its pandemic-era design shifts for Pokémon Go.
It’s still a week until the company announces the full scope of its changes that are planned for September 1st, but it revealed on Twitter today that the developer is permanently restoring pandemic-designed range bonuses that helped players stay engaged with the game over the last year.
Starting today, players can interact with Pokémon Go’s key location hubs from up to 80 meters away, which offers much more space for social distancing. Some of Pokemon Go’s player-versus-player mechanics involve players gathering around these hotspots to compete for domination. It had previously undone these changes back in June.
Now they don’t need to stand as close and risk infection for COVID-19. This follow's the company's announcement that it would be forming a task force to address concerns of Pokémon Go fans.
It still remains unclear what direction Niantic will take with the rest of its COVID-19 bonuses, which helped players stay engaged with the game while staying at home or far away from public spaces. Those answers should be arriving next Wednesday.