Pokémon Go Players Are Petitioning Niantic To Keep COVID-19 Gameplay Changes

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go developer Niantic has been subjected to heavy criticism as of late due to a series of controversial decisions concerning the hit mobile title.

For those not aware, the company made several much-welcome changes to core mechanics last year as a means of ensuring the safety and health of players during the Covid-19 pandemic. Among these was a relaxation of the proximity required to interact with gyms and PokéStops, allowing Trainers to socially distance themselves while also partaking in a spot of Pokémon hunting. These actions were almost universally celebrated at the time, not only for accommodating new government regulations but making the title more accessible in general.

Naturally, then, many had hoped the adjustments would become permanent based on popularity, though that now appears not to be the case. As of yesterday, the studio has begun reverting the aforementioned measures in select regions, including New Zealand and North America, with others to follow in due course, an outcome that has outraged the community.

As spotted by The Guardian, a petition has sprung up over on Change.org requesting that increased interaction distances remain, with the total number of signees having already reached an impressive 150,000. Whether this will be enough pressure to prompt a reconsideration remains to be seen, of course, but with Covid-19 continuing to persist in many countries – the US has been hit by a new wave – these developments certainly call into question whether Niantic may have jumped the gun too soon, so to speak.

Do you think Pokémon Go has proven to be an all-around better experience as a result of the tweaks introduced to combat the pandemic, or is this a return to ‘normalcy’ that’s long overdue? Let us know in the usual place below!