Pokemon Go developer promises to make changes in response to community Outcry

“Niantic still has lots of room for improvement when it comes communication with its players.”

Pokemon Go developer Niantic has published a frank blog post in the wake of last month’s enormous community upset.

Earlier this week, Niantic dramatically U-turned on players’ main sticking point – the removal of increased interaction radius in the game implemented at the start of the pandemic. It has now promised to make further improvements in its interaction with fans.

“We have been listening to players feedback, and set up four roundtable discussions where I spoke with more than 30 community leaders around the globe (thanks everyone for participating!) the game’s executive producer Steve Wang wrote. We heard two themes: “The 80m radius of interaction for PokeStops and Gyms has made a tremendous improvement in quality and life over the last year and half. Niantic still has lots of room for improvement when it comes communication with its players.

This blog is unusual and notable because it comes from an identified member of Niantic’s staff. This blog was made prominently visible by appearing in-app to all users upon loading the game.

This post explains how Niantic sees in-game areas as ways to “nudge trainers to get outdoors”, and it plans to develop new ideas for “motivate, reward and reward trainers for exercising and exploring in the real world” to maintain the game’s extended interaction radius.

Niantic admits that it had a “rough learning experience” recently when the planned New Zealand removal of pandemic bonus payments was scrapped quickly after New Zealand entered a new lockdown.

Wang said, “This experience showed us that it is not possible to adjust the experience country-by-country in real-time.” All gameplay bonuses for Pokemon Go, linked to in-game seasons, will be offered at a global level.

Niantic also announced its plans for better communication with players. This will include regular developer diaries to “share the latest priority, events and features”, and frequent conversations with community leaders. These are similar to Niantic’s responses to recent outcries.

Wang said that the lack of communication about the PokeStop interaction radius and Gym interactions was poorly handled by us. It was an excellent learning opportunity on how we can better interact with our players going forward. Our top priority has always been getting people out into the real world, and making human connections. We are grateful for your participation in this adventure. You will hear back from us soon.

Pokemon Go’s autumnal Season of Mischief has begun. This will allow players to finally capture the Mythical creature Hoopa, after the storyline of the summer.

Publiated at Thu, 2 Sep 2021, 11:45:01

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