Pokémon GO developer Niantic forms task force to deal with social distancing row

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO developer Niantic are forming a task force to address fan concerns with the game.

Fans are disappointed with the developer rolling back social-distancing measures added to the game, namely increasing the interaction distance of gyms and PokéStops.

Niantic is staggering the release of new features, beginning with New Zealand and the US. 

Yet with the pandemic still ongoing, players are reluctant to step outside, despite changes designed to entice players out and about.

A fan petition to revert the changes has now been signed by over 165,000 people.

The developer has now addressed fan concerns in a new blog post.

“We appreciate your letter and all of your feedback. We hear you. We are humbled by your response. Not every game has such a passionate, global player base that we’re fortunate enough to have.

“The health and wellbeing of players is our top priority, which is why we have implemented the new Exploration Bonuses in select geographies where it is deemed safe to be outdoors. Research has shown that taking walks outside is safe and confers several health benefits. Furthermore, encouraging outdoor exploration is in keeping with Niantic’s mission.”

Addressing the interaction distances specifically, Niantic say they have heard fan responses “loud and clear”.

“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.

“Our goal is to build fun and engaging experiences that remain true to our mission, and we thank you for challenging us with thoughtful and constructive feedback.”

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