As countries around the world continue their attempts to halt the spread of coronavirus, the entire entertainment industry has found itself with no choice but to adjust. From widespread cancellations to blockbuster film delays, video game creators and filmmakers alike are facing a number of troubling logistical issues, not least those that own products built on the idea of social, community gaming.
Pokémon Go is one such title that falls under that banner and while the mobile game is assuredly in no danger of disappearing anytime soon, developer Niantic has recently rolled out a number of changes to core gameplay that make it easier for Trainers to play in a scenario where long-distance travel and close contact is temporarily being actively discouraged.
A statement released by the studio earlier today reads as follows:
The safety of our global player community is our top priority. COVID-19 is challenging us and the world to adjust. We’re putting our focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting and that also encourage exploration!
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While an unfortunate result of this new directive has resulted in the cancellation of Pokémon Go’s upcoming Abra Community Day event, the changes listed below are confirmed to be effective in-game.
- A one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for 1 PokéCoin. Incense will also last for one hour (up from 30 minutes).
- 1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators during this time period
- PokéStops will now drop Gifts more frequently
- Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild
In other words, Pokémon Go players should now be able to achieve their goals without having to travel as far and all of the above will remain effective until further notice. A smart decision or one of overreaction? Let us know your thoughts in the usual place below!