You asked for it and #NianticHeardUs
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Niantic did what was right and allowed players to safely access PokéStops and Gyms by doubling the distance you could reach them from. Along with that came the announcement that this change was temporary and would be reverted back when the world was safe enough to do so. But Niantic was not prepared for what was about to happen.
Adapting To A Global Crisis
Increasing the distance allowed more people to play they game. PokéStops that were inaccessible from ones house were not able to be spun. Gyms that were in the centre of a hospital were not reachable from outside. People were loving this change and Niantic saw a huge uptick in profit.
The world started to see a decline in infection rates, people were getting vaccinated and getting outdoors again. Niantic saw this and took the opportunity to remind us that the aforementioned reversion was coming soon. Then a new variant of Covid arrived and cases began to rise again. But Niantic stuck to their guns. They rolled back the spin distance from 80 meters, back to 40 meters, in New Zealand and the United States.
The Backlash Of The Century
The uproar was loud and clear. Fans of the massively popular mobile title were very vocal on social media. Some hardcore players even vowing to never play again. Many prominent figures in the community started movements to not spend money in game and really hit Niantic where it hurts. It didn’t take long for Niantic to respond and let us know that the fans have been heard and that they would look into how to make things right. This included meetups, with various Pokémon content creators to discuss what they have heard from fans, in order to make the best decision for all.
Today we got confirmation from Niantic on Twitter that effective immediately Gym and PokéStop spin distance would be bumped up to 80 meters forever. It would become the new normal.
Trainers – we’re looking forward to sharing our plans as a result of the task force on September 1, but one thing does not have to wait! From now on, 80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally. (1/2)
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
We are still eagerly awaiting what will come from this new Task Force that was assembled due to the outcry from fans. Sept. 1st, 2021 is the date we were given when we would hear more. So be sure to come back and find out how all that goes down. You can read more on their company blog.
See you around, Genesect!