Pokémon Go fans are using petitions to voice their displeasure with Niantic’s upcoming changes to play-from-home elements in the mobile game, as reported by IGN.
The changes, announced on June 21 and set to take effect on July 1, are aimed at promoting in-person play as the COVID-19 pandemic slows in some parts of the world. But it’s still a serious problem regardless and not as in control in many regions worldwide.
“It will make areas more difficult to get to and encourages groups to gather,” reads one petition by Justin Westfall that has over 19,000 signatures. “Even though there has been great progress in vaccinations there is no reason not to keep encouraging safe distance practices. This decision only makes the game worse for all players.”
Another, smaller petition by Gabriele Russo makes several good points about the changes.
“I’ve known people who have been very grateful for the increased interaction range,” Russo said. “People with physical disabilities were able to interact with PokéStops and Gyms that they were unable to before. The increase in the spawn rate of Incense also made it ten times better. Now people who had played more because of the special bonuses will no longer be able to play/won’t be as inclined to play. Less players = less money for Niantic, meaning that it would be a morally and financially bad decision to take away these bonuses.”
Niantic is also offering new exploration bonuses “that make it more rewarding to play outside are coming over the next several months, including bonuses for spinning stops, playing at in-person raids, and getting in those steps.”
The expanded range on things like PokéStops and Gyms was introduced to keep people playing Pokémon Go throughout 2020 while in quarantine. The changes were so well-received, however, that many aren’t ready to let them go just yet.