Image via Pokémon Go

Niantic’s response to the HearUsNiantic movement and Pokemon Go’s Remote Raid controversy, explained

The baffling changes have turned many fans away from playing.

Pokemon Go has managed to keep a pretty loyal fanbase in the seven years since the app was launched; that is, until last month. A series of baffling updates that saw a daily limit put on remote raids as well as an increase in price for passes has understandably upset many players. The changes reversed a lot of what was added during the Covid-19 pandemic, which reduced the need for traveling to participate in such events. It was a great inclusion at the time as it meant that traveling to participate was a choice, one that is now less of an appealing option thanks to developer Niantic’s changes.

Recommended Videos

After the controversial decision, fan backlash began almost immediately, with many campaigning for Niantic to reverse its decision. For weeks, these cries have seemingly fallen on deaf ears, as there has been no response from the company regarding criticisms. This only served to further alienate players who have dedicated the last seven years to the game, with many falling under the impression that the team behind the app just didn’t care about the fanbase and they took to Twitter to vent their anger.

“The Niantic logic: “Ok, we’re losing money, losing our player base, hard-core players are quitting and players are rioting #HearUsNiantic, we need some solution to fix everything”.. “I’ve got it, let’s give them a Masterball and shadow Mewtwo.. that should shut everyone up for a…”

Many are considering quitting the game.

“This isn’t the end, but my motivation towards playing a game I grew to love for the past seven years which myself and others built a community around is slowly diminishing. #HearUsNiantic”

However, Niantic has now, at long last, broken its silence surrounding the whole #HearUsNiantic movement. Dot Esports was able to get in contact with the game’s director Michael Steranka as well as senior producer, John Funtanilla. Both were asked about their opinions on the whole movement. 

When asked directly about the fan response, Steranka said that he and his team read everything.

“Yeah, we’ve definitely taken note. It’s hard to ignore, right? I’m personally being tagged a lot in a lot of these tweets. So we read everything, and we see everything.”

While it’s great news to see that the company has been listening to fans, would it have killed them to respond to the concerns a little sooner? He also explained the reasoning behind the cap on remote raids and other such changes.

“That was a very, very painful decision to make even for me. But when we look at sort of the overall health of the game, and the type of behaviors that remote raid passes were introducing, it just really didn’t align with the kind of experience we were trying to create.”

When it came to the criticisms themselves and how the devs would make it up to fans, Steranka kept things ambiguous, only promising updates that he believes players will enjoy.

“we’ve been working really hard as a development team to put together a huge slate of new features that players we hope will enjoy over the course of this year.”

Unfortunately for those campaigning for a reversal of the updates last month, it sounds like they are here to stay. Steranka did not make any mention of going back on the changes, and Funtanilla’s comments pretty much confirm that as well.

“But everyone liked it. There’s a lot of Michaels on this team, everyone’s playing the game, everyone wants to do remote raids, but we kind of have to understand what we feel is best for the player experience.”

Back on Twitter, the response from fans was mostly dejection:

“I think it’s finally time to take a break from #PokemonGo. I thought shadow raids may improve the situation, but it’s clear from the Niantic interview today that they could not care less about their player base. What a shame it’s dying after 7 years

👎🏻

#HearUsNiantic

“It took him/Niantic one month of constant (valid) criticism to phrase this reaction to #HearUsNiantic, a movement, that also speaks against Niantic’s communication policy: “We don’t need to communicate with our players, ’cause all we do is pure gold.” Pure hubris, in my eyes.”

Unfortunately, the comments from both men won’t do much to soothe the angry fans. While they may have finally acknowledged the playerbase’s frustration, they’ve doubled down on their initial decision, which will no doubt result in many abandoning Pokemon Go altogether. It may not be what the fans wanted but it seems as if the decision really is final.


We Got This Covered is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Author
Image of Jordan Collins
Jordan Collins
Jordan is a freelance writer who has been featured in a number of publications. He has a Masters in Creative Writing and loves telling that to anyone who will listen. Aside from that he often spends time getting lost in films, books and games. He particularly enjoys fantasy from The Legend of Zelda to The Lord of the Rings.