The past week has seen the Pokemon GO community standing up and threatening to boycott the game due to a controversial decision from Niantic.
Previously, the developer has announced that the game will have its PokeStop interaction radius reduced from 80 m to 40 m, back to its pre-pandemic state. With growing concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 and cases on the rise in many countries, this decision is met with a lot of criticism from the Pokemon GO community.
Hashtags such as #HearUsNiantic and #PokemonNODay trended on Twitter, with many Pokemon GO content creators and influencers also pledging to boycott should Niantic proceed with their decision. The community members even wrote an open letter addressed to Niantic regarding this issue on r/TheSilphRoad, the subreddit dedicated to the game, where it currently has almost 10,000 upvotes.
Niantic has responded to this issue early today, but it is not the exact one that players are hoping to hear:
However, we have heard your input loud and clear and so to address the concerns you have raised, we are taking the following actions: We are assembling 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. We will share the findings of this task force by the next in game season change (September 1). As part of this process, we will also be reaching out to community leaders in the coming days to join us in this dialogue.
Only time will tell if Pokemon GO, the third highest-earning mobile game of 2020, can maintain its dominance after this decision.