Last week, in a controversial move, Niantic ended the Pokémon GO Special Pandemic bonus. The news was surprising to fans as they didn’t expect it to end just yet because the pandemic is still here. Stepping out too much isn’t an option during widespread lockdowns, hence Niantic introduced these bonuses. So, removing them was inevitable but no one expected them to do that already!

The Outrage

Fans had a hard time accepting this and hence, they have been outraged ever since. They launched social media campaigns about boycotting the game and have openly expressed their disapproval. We already pointed out why it seemed like a bad move last week and we were right. For most fans, it was bad news and ended up making them very disappointed in Niantic.

This move negatively affects the game and can lead to a severe drop in its quality as well as the player base. The range was decreased from 80 meters to 40 meters, which means now players had to step out more. It only created problems as lockdowns aren’t over yet in many countries.

On 5th August players planned a one-day boycott of Pokémon GO in protest of Niantic’s rollback of popular stay-at-home features. They named it “Pokémon No Day” and decided to stay inactive throughout the day. Fans stated that this move begins the decline in the relationship between Niantic and the fan base. They drafted and posted a huge letter to Niantic on Twitter, telling them about the issue and demanding an answer under the hashtag #HearUsNiantic.

Niantic’s Reply

  • In response to the severe outrage by the fans, Niantic responded by stating that it was putting together an internal cross-functional team to address the concerns. It also stated that they will be reaching out to community leaders in the coming days.

“We are putting together 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,” Niantic responded.

  • Niantic also mentioned why the bonuses were reverted by them. Apparently, they wanted to reward players once again for moving and exploring. They mentioned how they were trying to encourage people to explore, exercise, and safely play together. Niantic further went on to say that the bonuses were reverted only in the places where it is safe to be outdoors once again.

Does that convince the fans? That is a little hard to say and we will have to wait further to see how the fans respond. It would be interesting to see how Niantic mends its relationship with the fans and how fans react.

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