Fans boycotting Pokemon GO over removed stay-at-home features
By Aron Gerencser
August 5 2021
Pokémon GO, Niantic's augmented reality game, is in hot water.
The company has decided to roll back quality-of-life improvements added during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These features were designed to promote social distancing while making it viable to play the game at home.
With these changes being rolled back, disappointed fans have organized a boycott in protest.
Before the pandemic gripped the world and forced most countries into some kind of lockdown, Pokémon GO promoted physical activity.
Inherently, Pokémon was a social game, and players would frequently meet in real life at hotspots like Pokéstops and gyms.
When social distancing became a necessity to curb the spread of the pandemic, Pokémon GO had to change to adapt to a world where players were mostly stuck at home.
Niantic rolled out a set of convenience features making it possible to get the full experience out of the game without leaving your home.
These features struck a cord with the community - 2020 was the most profitable year for Pokémon GO.
The USA and some other countries have begun to lift lockdowns and loosen safety measures, which has in turn led Niantic to roll back these stay-at-home features.
A number of players have organized a one-day boycott with the hashtag #PokemonNO in protest.
They urge other players to not open the game and definitely not buy anything from the in-game store on August 5.
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