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Why Pokemon Fans Are In An Uproar Right Now

"Pokemon Go" developer Niantic has undone some very popular changes to the mobile gaming juggernaut and fans are not happy. Niantic received pushback against the initial announcement that it would be doing away with the game's extended interaction distance, which was introduced to keep players safe during COVID-19 lockdowns. Despite the backlash, the developer has powered through and reverted the changes in the United States and New Zealand. Now, "Pokemon Go" players are pushing back against Niantic even harder.

People who play "Pokemon Go" are upset about the changes for a number of reasons. As u/Horse0nSauce on Reddit argued that the removal of the increased interaction distances is happening far too early, as COVID-19 restrictions are still in place in some countries. They also said that the increased interaction distances allowed players with disabilities to have an easier time playing the game, allowing them to interact with PokeStops and Gyms from further away.

A petition to keep the "Pokemon Go" interaction distances on Change.org was made about a month ago, when Niantic first announced that the pandemic bonuses would be reverted. As of August 2, the petition has over 132,000 signatures. While vide game-related petitions are nothing new, this one shows that a large number of players see Niantic's original changes as a positive thing, and they don't want to see them removed. Niantic has not publicly responded to the fan backlash from reducing the interaction distances, despite just how many people are upset about the changes. In fact, the reversal the interaction radius was just the beginning of fans' issues with the game.

More fan outcry

On Twitter, "Pokemon Go" analyst Kratos TL50 made a thread detailing the many changes made to the game, the ensuing fan backlash, and examples of other "Pokemon" video games actually taking their cues from the community. Kratos TL50 also pointed out that the developers of "Pokemon Unite" are already asking for feedback from the community barely two weeks after launch, something that Niantic seemingly hasn't done for "Pokemon Go" in recent memory.

Niantic has had plenty of issues when it comes to interacting with the community. Just last week, it was reported that "Pokemon Go" banned a ton of innocent players. At the time, players expressed their doubts that Niantic customer service would reinstate those accounts in a timely fashion.

For now, it's a waiting game to see if Niantic responds to the community or if it will continue with its plans of discontinuing the gameplay modifications made during the pandemic.