Niantic roll back Pokémon GO social distancing measures despite anger from fans

Pokémon GO developer Niantic is rolling back social distancing measures and fans aren’t happy about it.

In a blog post back in June, Niantic detailed a number of changes that would soon be coming to the mobile game, including reverting back to shorter distances for PokéStops and gyms.

Interaction distances were doubled during the pandemic because of social distancing, allowing more players to play while at home.

Many fans were angry at the proposed changes and hoped Niantic would change their minds. They haven’t.

As stated in the blog post, these changes will be staggered, beginning in the US and New Zealand from the end of July.

That’s despite a petition signed by almost 150,000 people to keep the increased interaction distance.

On top of the change in interaction distance, Niantic are adding a 10x bonus for interacting with new PokéStops and an increased effectiveness of the Incense item while moving.

These changes are designed to get people out and about playing the game. And while that’s the intention of Pokémon GO as a whole, there is still a global pandemic that’s causing many players to think twice about playing.

One change that is so far remaining is the inclusion of Remote Raids that allow players to enjoy raid events from afar. 

Niantic states in their blog post: “Remote Raids have become an important part of the game this past year and we’re going to continue evolving them. Our intention is to find the right balance between remote play and in-person play, so stay tuned for more details in the coming months.”

Fans have taken to social media to share their disappointment in both the changes to Pokémon GO and Niantic’s refusal to listen to its biggest players.

That includes the likes of Serebii.net creator Joe Merrick and The Trainer Club.

I’m just going to put it out there

I’m not going to be putting any money into Pokémon GO for the foreseeable future.

Niantic have taken a dangerous decision with the PokéStop distance removal during a worsening pandemic, a feature that helped people play safely, or just play.

— Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) August 1, 2021

IF this is NOT addressed … We, your @PokemonGoApp influencers, are going to be creating a ripple…

The ball is in your court @NianticLabs ..

Here is your communities voice : https://t.co/NKXVqvKSgg

We stand for the people who make this game great, I hope you do too. pic.twitter.com/SJTj9s7Haa

— The Trainer Club (@thetrainerclubb) August 2, 2021

Today I was harassed for playing Pokémon go due to the distance being reduced please @NianticHelp we are begging you. pic.twitter.com/hOhKaJn7if

— RyanTheIndian (@RyanTheIndianID) August 2, 2021

Its very sad when the biggest Pokémon GO content creators do everything in their power to submit feedback to Niantic, and Niantic doesnt respond. I find that a really shitty way to ruin your relationship with your past partnered content creators and player base too.

— PorkChop715 (@PorkChop715) August 2, 2021

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