Remember the Pokémon GO update last month that increased Remote Raid Pass prices and limited daily participation? It didn't go down well with the community, resulting in the hashtag 'HearUsNiantic' treading online.
Now, well over a month later, the Pokémon GO game director Michael Steranka has responded to the fan backlash, acknowledging how the development team has "definitely taken note". He goes on to reiterate how it was a tough decision but believes it is necessary for the future of the game and the way players engage with it.
Here's part of his response (via Dot Esports):
“Yeah, we’ve definitely taken note. It’s hard to ignore, right? I’m personally being tagged a lot in a lot of these tweets. So we read everything, and we see everything...That was a very, very painful decision to make even for me. But when we look at sort of the overall health of the game, and the type of behaviors that remote raid passes were introducing, it just really didn’t align with the kind of experience we were trying to create. And I can honestly say even for me personally, it became sort of an unhealthy way to engage with the game. I would just sort of throw money at Poké Coins so that I can spam legendary raids as much as possible."
"And we’re talking about legendary Pokémon; they’re supposed to be the epic epitome of all Pokémon content. And this is something that players including myself are doing over a dozen times a day, for some people over 100 times a day. And so that’s something that we really honestly let go on a little bit too long and ultimately needed to course correct."
Steranka went on to mention how the team would not make compromises on the mission:
"So again, super, super painful decision that is not something we took lightly. But it’s something that we felt is necessary for the longevity of the game and to also ensure that we’re not really compromising on our mission."
At the time of this announcement, Pokémon GO VP Ed Wu mentioned how the change was necessary for the "long-term health of the overall game" and Niantic's own principles of encouraging players to get outside and explore the world together.
In the 'HearUsNiantic' social media campaign, fans voiced their concerns about this update - labelling it the "worst decision" possible and accusing Niantic of restricting the experience.