Niantic announced a controversial Pokemon GO change earlier this July, and it appears they have heard the backlash from fans and are adjusting accordingly.
Many Pokemon GO players on social media voiced their displeasure with Niantic after announcing that they would revert the interaction distance of Pokestops and gyms to their pre-COVID-19 pandemic norms.
Ninantic at the time justified the change due to the lowering case numbers of the coronavirus, but players worldwide voiced their frustrations and contended that the pandemic was still not over and that the developer should prioritize its player base's safety.
While Niantic's "internal cross-functional team" is slated to release its results on 1 September 2021, the company announced another increase in interaction distance.
Pokemon GO: Other changes left in place
Although Pokemon GO's player base will likely be happy due to the return of extended interaction distance, Niantic has made other changes that will remain in place, such as:
- Reducing the spawn rate of Incense while the player is stationary. However, movement with Incense active still provides more spawns for players.
- Buddy Pokemon gifts that are available daily have still been reduced.
Pokemon GO retains some of its exploration bonuses to offset this, but some players have maintained that certain types of exploration, including in public spaces, can still be difficult due to various health rules and guidelines throughout the world to combat the pandemic.
Regardless, the findings of Niantic's internal investigation may divulge more information and cause more changes to be implemented in Pokemon GO in the future.
This change comes on the last legs of Pokemon GO's Ultra Unlock event, which has Pokemon from the Galar region of Pokemon: Sword and Shield making their presence known due to the mischievous antics of the Mythic Pokemon Hoopa. Hoopa has used its interdimensional abilities to summon many Pokemon, including every Legendary Pokemon during GO Fest 2021.
Trainers have yet to encounter and catch Hoopa themselves, but are likely pleased that its mischief has caused so many rare and powerful Pokemon to become available for some time.