Pokemon Go players boycott game in protest of the rollback of COVID-19 safety measures

Pokemon Go players are upset after developer Niantic began to revert changes put in place during the pandemic.

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The pandemic completely changed how we experience just about every aspect of everyday life. The gaming industry was also forced to change and adapt in order to the change in lifestyle as a result of the pandemic. Developer Niantic made several changes to Pokemon Go, as to not incentivise players to go out into public spaces and risk contracting or spreading the virus. As cases began to go down, Niantic rolled back some of these changes, prompting protests from players of the Pokemon mobile game.

One of the major changes that came to Pokemon Go as a result of the pandemic was with how close players needed to be in order to interact with Pokestops. Niantic had increased the range during the pandemic so that players would not gather in public places unnecessarily. In a recent update to the game, Niantic reverted this change, much to the dismay of Pokemon Go players. Players on social media have been using the hashtags #PokemonNoDay and #BoycottNiantic in order to hopefully grab the developer’s attention.

An open letter to Niantic was also shared on the Pokemon Go subreddit. Published by a moderator and upvoted by over 6,000 users, the letter expresses disappointment in the decision to revert the increased range of Pokestops. “While the Pokéstop/POI interaction radius was increased due to an unprecedented global pandemic, the flow on effects of this in-game change have had a far greater positive impact on the community,” the letter reads.

In addition to making things easier for players during the pandemic, the increased range of Pokestops also made the game more accessible for disabled players, a point highlighted in the post. With the pandemic certainly not over, and cases rising across the United States, it’s understandable why many fans may be upset by the decision to revert safety-related changes to Pokemon Go.

The players conclude the open letter by formally requesting that Niantic reinstate the increased radius to Pokestops in Pokemon Go. Be sure to bookmark our Pokemon Go topic page for future updates on the ongoing situation.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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