Pokémon GO developer Niantic is making changes to the game in an effort to get back to pre-pandemic life, but fans aren’t happy.
The game thrives on social interaction and walking outside, which has obviously been near impossible over the past year.
In response, Niantic made various changes to allow players to continue playing from home. That includes boosting incense that attracts Pokémon to you, and increasing the distance from which you can interact with battle gyms and PokéStops on the map.
However, in a new blog post, Niantic is now rolling back some of those changes.
There will now be new exploration bonuses designed to encourage playing outside together, such as increased incense effectiveness while moving and decreasing the distance from which you can interact with gyms.
The changes to Pokémon GO will begin from the end of July, with a staggered release starting with the US and New Zealand.
“We learned a lot. Thank you for coming along with us as we continue to navigate through this together,” reads the blog post.
However, many fans are upset about the changes.
Despite vaccinations in the US, and New Zealand being close to being free of COVID, it’s still arguably too soon to be encouraging players outside together.
It’s currently unknown which countries will be next to receive the updates.
Players have taken to social media to share their disappointment.
What’s more, some of the changes made to Pokémon GO during the pandemic have been extremely positive and increased accessibility.
The increased distance to interact with gyms, for instance, has allowed more players to access the feature. Reverting this feels like a step backwards.
A change.org petition has now been launched to maintain the gym interaction distance, which has almost hit its goal of 50,000 signatures.
For a complete list of the changes to Pokémon GO, read the updates here.
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