Community Open Letter to Niantic
By - lewymd
We do not typically allow boycott posts or petitions, but due to the scale and impact of this we are making an exception. Please keep the discussion civil. If you see any disrespectful comments, please report them and move on.
While these are all very valid and important reasons to keep the larger radius, there's another element to this that you haven't addressed. With the smaller radius, GPS error makes the game unplayable (or at least very frustrating) in some areas.
The larger radius increased tolerance to reasonable GPS error. It also helps the Go+ function when on a bike or jogging. With the smaller radius, we're back to jogging right by a stop without the go+ triggering.
From a game design perspective, the larger radius just makes sense.
Sometimes the gps point of the pokestop (especially on like a large building or something) is in a really specific and weird spot, so on the map you’re like “oh okay it’s that building” but you go up to it and you have to walk to the correct side of it now to trigger it within the 40m. The 80m distance basically eliminated that hassle.
For pre-pandemic times, in the downtown core of the city I'm near, I had to walk to the **opposite** side of the street in order for the player to move **closer** to the gym I was trying to hit. Some weird occurrence of reflection of GPS signals, or some such. With the 80m distance, that was not an issue.
That explains what I thought was niantic having a very odd sense of how far 40metres is! I was furious the other day about this one stop that has a small sign next to it directing to the nearest defibrillator “15 metres ->” when I’d just walked from the defibrillator to make the stop “in range”. This instance specifically got me going because i had proof from the sign that it wasn’t 40m worth (I’m usually a very poor judge of distance so I was getting confused at every other stop), but I guess it’s a case of the stop looking like it’s this side of the building but was actually on the other end because of gps point. Thank you.
This has been my greatest frustration. It’s been so nice to not have to dart back and forth across the street to have my go+ register stops when I am out jogging. We are outside and exploring, we just want to enjoy the safety benefits provided over the last year and a half.
this is so true i remember in the old Times. when we did raids and 1 person could not enter becaus of gps Drift. so all other Players got to go out of the lobby. rinse and reperat. i dont want those times back it sucked so badly! i am inn with this post not spending a single coin until niantic aknowleges this!
I was going to make a separate post, but you can see it clearly here from my morning Starbucks.
Tell me why I can't spin this stop?
because you are indoors, I have the same problem with a starbucks in Krogers. I have to walk outside the building to get GPS to accurately register but I have to be indoors to be close enough to the "starbucks" stop.
If you would kindly climb on the roof of the building you would then have access to GPS signal from the sky and can get into the right position to be above the stop. Please be considerate of others around you when you do so. We don't want you pushing someone off the roof.
I was at the dog park today and couldn't spin the stop for the dog park. So silly.
You aren't literally in line ordering.
That's the next step in Niantic's Starbucks advertising campaign. Order a drink to spin the stop for 2 regular pokeballs and a razzberry!
The razzberry only shows up if you pay for raspberry syrup
On my daily commute, I have (had) the possibility of spinning 27 stops and gyms. Most days I couldn't get all of them on a drive, but I could get at least 20 (on average) each way. Yesterday morning I was able to spin 1 on the way to work and 3 on the way home. Most don't even let me spin anymore. Kind of kills the fun of playing every day.
This is my main frustration. The game simply *worked better* with the 80m range. However, both 40m and 80m are completely arbitrary. There’s no basis for believing either of them are ideal for gameplay and exploration. Maybe the perfect range is 60m, or 75m, or 30 or 10 or 100. There can, and should, be an argument made about what is actually best for gameplay. Niantic is not making that argument. They’re merely changing it for seemingly their own data-harvesting corporate mandate, so they can shovel money into other stuff that none of us care about. And that’s the root of the problem: the entire game is just a skin over a data harvester and they don’t care about the game. We similarly have no obligation to support or care about what they want.
From other things I've read, the 40 and 80 are generous estimates as well - not even factoring in the changes in radius based on distance from the equator, a lot of stops/gyms after they've reverted have been closer to 20m
This is why I uninstalled. I'm here for the game, and I don't mind trading location data for a good experience. But when the experience and the data collection collide and Niantic chooses the data, I'm going to choose not to play.
Maybe they can afford it. They've probably priced it in. But I'm opting out.
~~The GPS drift with the smaller gym radius also may burn remote raid passes without knowing whether the raid is using a free daily pass or a remote raid pass. Whereas before remote raiding, drifting out of a gym range would just boot you from the raid with an error.~~
EDIT: I was mistaken. With GPS drift, you will still get booted if you entered the lobby with a free daily pass. Just be sure to double check which pass will be consumed when you enter the lobby in case GPS drifted you out of range. Thanks for the clarifications.
Good point on gyms. I don't think it'll just automatically use a remote if you drift, but I recall the days of sitting in a raid lobby for far too long, the raid starts, and then someone yells "oh no, back out I drifted!"
Not something I miss, for sure.
I’ll give you an example from this week.
We went for a walk and saw Dialga at a recently rebuilt children’s playground. Before the (beautifully done and greatly expanded) renovation, the gym wasn’t located close to anything kids played on (not that many kids were ever there). That’s no longer the case. The longer interaction distance of the last year (when the new playground was built) meant we could stand across the road, behind a large tree or in a nearby field to reach the gym. Now we need to get closer.
As we walked, I sent a text to see if a few friends wanted remote invites. We got into range and waited for confirmation everyone was ready. Without noticing it, I wandered out of range and almost used a remote pass. We had to shift our location to find one we all could enter from safely.
Before COVID, as an early EX gym, this location often got large groups gathering for T5 raids. Since the playground was small and old, there weren’t many kids around but often cyclists cutting through our path got angry at where we congregated. We didn’t have a choice; the gym location meant standing in the road, in tall marshy weeds or almost on the path. Again, a situation improved over the last year.
So, yes, if you’re not in the lobby yet and you drift out of range, you need to look to be sure the game isn’t using a remote pass instead of a premium pass, free or otherwise. Once you’re in the lobby, it won’t change the pass you used to enter.
I already almost accidentally used a remote while I was literally sitting on the pokestop (gazebo).
100% this. There's an area that I used to rate at where we would have half of our group wandering around trying to stay within range of the gym. It was just because cell phone reception there was so terrible. The boosted range really helped with that and everybody could be together instead of wandering around seeking a signal
I would never spend the US$ 4K-5K that Brandon Tan just said in his last video he's spent in average per month for the past 5 years, but I'll stop spending the monthly average of $40 for buying coins, plus all additional money for buying the tickets for every event. I know it's not that much, but I'm doing my humble part.
He has spent over a quarter of a million usd on this game?
The #HearUsNiantic is the #2 trending topic worldwide on Twitter as of right now
that was until Lionel Messi left Barcelona
Weird way to boycott Niantic, but whatever works for him, I guess ^(/s)
He has to, was the only way he could reach the pokestop /s
I'm praying they don't consider 'hearing' or actioning on the community plea as conceding defeat.
This would instead be a fresh start to a collaborative partnership🤝
They really shouldn't, because I've played more (and paid more) because of the Covid bonuses than I ever have before them. They're good for the game and they're good for business. I want to enjoy this game and spend my time playing it, which is why it's so frustrating that they seem to always go so far out of their way to destroy any good will they do accumulate and actively make the game less enjoyable for no discernible reason.
That's what kills me. My wife and I have played more "post" COVID than we ever did before. We're all either a weird 'vocal minority' and Niantic has the data to say they've lost players and money or there's a bigger picture issue here where the location data is more important than the actual game.
That's what really floors me. They made more money with these changes than they ever have before, but they want to revert the pokestop distance because "mission statement?"
Never in my life have I seen a company before Niatnic pretty much say they don't like money. This is why the usual "well a business likes making money" defense cannot fly here.
This is dumb from a business standpoint and I am unsure how there is much if any defending it.
Yeah, I've pretty much been playing this game despite itself for a while now.
I really like team-building and raising the right pokemon for PvP, but GBL is horrible in both design and execution. The concept of rapid tapping to do everything is just inherently bound to fall apart the moment there's any lag, but on top of that the interface just isn't responsive to basic inputs like charge moves and swapping, and they've never really fixed many such issues that have been around since GBL launched.
I really like exploring and finding new pokemon, but spawns just aren't diverse enough to make any interest in hunting last. They tried to fix this with seasons, but just meant 3-month periods of a new-ish set of the same mostly common spawns, and now it doesn't even seem like season spawns matter since apparently spring and summer both just mean 50% of all spawns are bugs, normals, or flyers regardless of whatever is supposedly boosted.
I really like that I can play when it's convenient to me since I work nights and odd hours and sometimes have to work weekends, except I can't really play when I want because any time there's a community day or big event like GoFest it's still just a FOMO farm where you have to spend time and/or money when they want you to or else you don't get to have certain pokemon. Not to mention the idiotic region-locking making some pokemon impossible to get unless you travel or have people to trade with.
And now after Niantic responded reasonably well to the pandemic by making most events global so everyone can participate safely and by making what are honestly just quality of life improvements, they just rescind them like as though it was all just another in-game event.
One of the new annoyances with reverting the distance back, is remote passes/standard passes and trying to get the right one to activate.
Middle of my walk, I see a Pokémon raid I want to do. Gotta get so, very, stinking close for it to show my regular pass. Okay, now I’m in the lobby.
Oh, my friend over there wants to get in on it, but there’s very little time left on my lobby. And they have to come to basically the exact spot I’m standing to get their pass to show up. I’ll jump out and start a new lobby with them.
But, oh, now my character has drifted just a few short feet away from the gym, and now it’s trying to use a remote raid pass. Let me try and prance around here to get him back “close enough” for the regular pass to take effect.
Then pile this aggravation onto several trainers at once trying to coordinate a local raid, and you’ll see at least a couple have to move around (again) to get the local pass to come back and not the remote.
THIS. In our little rural NEPA town we have a decent sized group that try to get together for raids. Of four local gyms, three have a terrible GPS drift issue, including one, that with the distance removed, involves balancing on a stone wall to use a standard pass. That gym was placed while the distance was increased, so I guess they just never checked if it was really accessible. It sucks.
See, if one of you jumps on the other’s back, maybe then it’ll work! Because Niantic is all about togetherness and proximity and whatnot!
This happened to me yesterday with my friend and I. Where you could be right next to a dog park gym before to get in with a free pass, now you have to hug the fence to maybe get in. Doesn't help that you can easily drift away in that area
It will be disappointing if Niantic doesn’t respond.
I’m unfortunately ready to be disappointed
I am ready to get hurt again
Oh they’ll respond all right, just not in the way the community hopes.
*We apologise for the recent changes to interactions with PokeStops and Gyms. We hear you, so we have decided to extend these bonuses until 31/8, 10am local time. As a token of goodwill, there will be a free item box available in the shop containing 10 Nanab Berries. If you’re extremely lucky, one of your berries might be wearing a hat!*
Ok but...I for one, would Appreciate and probably love a nanab with a hat. It would be akin to the wurmple party hat thing all over again.
*New Dist-Ense now available in the shop! Temporarily increase the range where you can interact with gyms and pokestops!*
Don’t give them any ideas!
DISTENSE IM CREASING MAN
>*If you’re extremely lucky, one of your berries might be wearing a hat!*
I actually chortled.
Not going to lie, 100% fell for this. 10 Nanab berries is a very Niantic thing to do
I think I just have a knack for writing in the style of Pokémon GO news announcements haha
LMAO YOUR BERRIES MIGHT BE WEARING A HAT
We hear you.
By dumping out the gen 8 legendaries to try to make people forget.
Sad thing is, the gen 8 box legendaries are some of the worst that Pokemon's ever had, I could not be less excited for them. But Niantic doesn't realize that because nobody who works there actually likes or plays pokemon.
It's Niantic. Even among this outcry, I doubt we'll hear anything outside of maybe a "sorry trainers, that's just how it is now! but we hear your concern! as an apology, please take these 20 Pokeballs!"
Prepare to be disappointed. At the end of the day, the only thing that is going to get their attention is if people stop spending money on the game.
Don't buy any more pokecoins.
Or they pretend they care and listened and then roll out a nerfed version of the Covid Changes (like, the further away you are the less items/spawns/damage) and then get to parade around saying how they "Care about the fans" and that they "Listen to the community"
What I heard about Niantic collecting data where people move and interact with etc. Which is one of big reasons Niantic ACTUALLY wants us to go outside again and move, then even going f2p isnt going to make it. If you just play the game and thus give then data, thats enough. And I think if you have location allowed always (which like 99% people probably have), you just need to have the game downloaded and have the permission for location turned on… which is also required for stuff like adventure sync etc. Pretty sure people literally alloweing that is funneling money into niantics pockets…
~~I've been away from this game for so many years now I have no idea if this is still relevant or funny~~
When they don’t respond
I just don't expect them to reply, it will be disappointing anyway...
Amazing. As a wheelchair-using PoGo player, I really appreciate that we've been included in this. Too often, people forget about accessibility (or when they don't, it's because of spoofers wanting to use us as an excuse to justify spoofing). But in this case, I think the community has included disabled players very well in the discussion.
Seconding this. There are so many times in games where asking for accessibility features gets you harrassed. I'm really glad to see this community being so lovely
Not just in games, but even in the outside world. Asking for accessibility is the best way to get ignored, while able-bodied concerns/complaints are often addressed instead. It shouldn't be this way.
I don’t think we really even need to comment aside from “Ditto”
That statement and like Zoe has said on YouTube the pros/cons list for this increased interaction is crazy
And with how long this range has been a thing now so imagine how many people have only ever played with this range and how many will have got used to that play style even just that never mind deeper stuff like access to disabled who can’t get access to a gym because of stairs, others can suffer with bad gps drift (yeah let me walk out into the road so I can get into this raid 🤦♂️)
This range should of been the games range from day one as others have pointed out comparisons to other ar based games that have less restrictive play.
> And with how long this range has been a thing now so imagine how many people have only ever played with this range and how many will have got used to that play style
To give you an idea, the increased range has been in place a quarter of Pokemon go's existence in the US.
Also, player morale is toast.
Niantic changed Pokemon Go in a way that the overwhelming majority of players have told them hurts their gameplay experience.
Why should I put my time, effort, and money into the game when the players' experience is obviously not Niantic's priority?
It never was. When have they *ever* responded to what we all wanted?
Maybe we need to start publicly boycotting the sponsors rather than the game.
Edit: Apparently, Niantic makes $0.50 every time we spin a sponsored stop. Guess I won't be spinning any sponsored stops anymore.
Niantic's yet to have a sponsor where I actually spend money, so that's a bit tough. I'm not a T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon customer, haven't been to Starbucks since about 2014, have a GameStop gift card that's gone unused since I got it 2 years ago, and I don't even recall who else they've had as sponsors.
They changed Megas after community backlash (to what degree of satisfaction is another issue), and even that didn't get to the level of community outrage that this has. That alone gives me hope that they'll actually address it.
This may be the cynic in me but I don't think that was necessarily the community that changed things. I feel like they tried to milk money out of the extreme hardcores and then make it more accessable after the fact
I think it was always intent to have Megas as they have now. It's a cycle:
1. Preplan what you want
2. Do a more ridiculous version of it
3. Community backlash
4. 'Listen' and roll it back to what you want.
The flipside with this: they opened Pandora's box and there isn't going back or ways to manipulate it. If they even try to do a cost version, it'll cause more outrage and kill the game.
exactly what i thought too, two steps back and one forward.
thats still one step back for us then, but exactly what they wanted, maybe... but we know about those tactics and we said no, if they dont want to listen, its over
Yup, I'm betting they didn't see people spending Premium Passes on Megas and that's the only reason they changed it. The difference now is that they're gonna try and resell us 80m interaction distance as part of a Pokemon Go Premium subscription, which they can't do if they give it back for free, or through PokeStop Upgrades. Niantic has only ever cared about the bottom line.
Well, they made Megas so bad that I just never took to doing them. I think I've done a total of two ever--one to complete the "do a Mega Raid" special research and one because a friend wanted to and I had a free pass. At release, Megas were so awful that it left a permanently bad taste in my mouth, and the "improved" version isn't particularly good either.
This letter is a good start, but the community really needs a stronger response than this, "one day boycott," thing they're doing. If everyone who supported this uninstalled the app and gave it a one star review until the deadline in this letter, that might change something. I mean, imagine what would happen if their rating in the app store starting dropping, their uninstall rate started climbing, or a large chunk of players skipped a Community Day weekend. But players not playing for one day when nothing is happening (many of them doing so AFTER they keep their catch/spin/research streaks) is virtually meaningless.
Their rating in the App Store did drop from 4.1 to 4.0, but that doesn’t feel like nearly enough to get Niantic’s attention. If they had done every country at the same time it would probably be a different story.
That's a really good point; I wonder if they staggered the rollout to prevent players from presenting a united front like they did with Megas.
The only thing that could bring back the increased range is this community to get loud and constantly remind Niantic the increased interaction distance was beneficial and necessary to the enjoyment of Pokemon Go.
They kinda don't mention smoother gameplay, not having to stop and zig zag while catching pokemon because you're going out of range of a pokestop which is the biggest point for me.
Overall a good letter though.
We are being too kind with niantic imo… I’ll try to go full F2P from now on because the way they always treated us (not just now) makes me think they don’t deserve any of my money. Tbh I just play out of love for Pokemon and nostalgia, don’t think the game is really good itself.
Remember, if Niantic couldn’t make money form players playing F2P, it wouldn’t be offered.
[#PokemonNoDay](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PokemonNoDay&src=trend_click&vertical=trends) is trending on Twitter.
This is probably THE most visible and influential channel. Tweet and retweet trainers!
Upvoting the hell out of this. Nice to see the community United. Primeapes strong together.
3 changes I am making:
1. Not spending any more real money
2. Turn off sponsored content in settings
3. No AR or scanning
I'm also not playing daily. Daily active users seems to be an important metric for them so I'll just stick to spotlight hours and minimal weekend play for a while.
Here lies the absolute biggest outcry from the community for a proper response from Niantic. We can securely know that when Niantic ignores this, that Niantic will always ignore us. Then we can react how each of us determines we need to. Hope has always clouded our judgement, hoping Niantic would improve, hoping Niantic would come through. I thank the influencers for making this \*THE\* definitive petition to Niantic. There has never been a petition to Niantic like this and we can be reasonably sure there will never be another one like it if it fails.
Didn’t they already ignore this when there was outcry when they announced they were going back to pre-covid operating procedure? I coulda sworn there were articles written then and they sorta responded brushing it off.
Yes, but one could conceivably say this is much larger and more meaningful of a response then before. Even with a month's warning, we have not warmed up to the idea. This is past the knee jerk reaction of sudden outrage. This is definitively speaking out in a thoughtful and coordinated manner to let Niantic know this was not and still is not a good idea to revert this.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. After this, I feel there’s nothing else we can do.
Guys, thanks so much for working on this. If this won't get their attention, nothing will.
Prior to the extended range, probably around three years ago, my small raid group encountered a situation where a homeowner threatened us with his gun because he thought we were too close to his property. We were parked across the road from his house for a tier five raid, and the gym was near his house in the middle of a community roundabout. We hadn’t done anything wrong, were on public property, and wouldn’t be there for more than a few minutes. But it didn’t matter - every single time there was a raid at that gym and cars would park there, across the road, he would come out to wait for everyone to leave.
When the distance changed, we were finally able to use the gym and be able to park further away on the other side of the circle so that we could avoid him and play safely, or at least feel safe. With this reversion, I expect that we will no longer be able to access the gym comfortably and will have to begin avoiding the area again to avoid confrontation.
I am disabled physically and have avoidance personality disorder due to abuse. The stop and gym radius made Pokémon go playable for me. I had access to so many things. After 4 years I was finally able to complete the 7 day pokestop challenge. I have spent money and time. Taking this away makes the game unplayable almost for me which why i quit after launch. I have gained so many friends in this community in a short time. Taking this away takes about about 65% of my human interaction. Thank you guys for sticking up for people like me.
Interesting Mystic7 not participating.
No surprise at all there
As a person who actually quit and uninstalled this game because of these changes, I hope you all are successful.
I honestly don't think it will matter, sadly. Once a company doesn't care about anything but the bottom line, they will rapidly slide downhill. Even if they change things back here, they will just continue slightly differently down the nefarious path they've chosen. :(
Making it hard to reach Pokestops/Gyms has made the game a chore and us not enjoying it.
Doing my normal route and walks I usually can keep 500 Pokeballs (and full on items), now I am almost out (and have 700 spaces available). If I don't have the thing needed to play the game, I won't.
We'd be 10-20 feet from things that were stops and not be able to reach them. Go closer, go closer, nope, still can't reach them. I'd have to keep backtracking on my walk to get to ones I thought I was close to. This needs to change or we won't be playing and definitely not give Niantic any money.
Even in cities, the change is a huge pain. Walking down any avenue in NYC, you would literally have to zig zag across the street to hit stops *on the same street you're walking on*. That does nothing to enhance the game...it just makes people frustrated.
I'm in NYC and around tall buildings the gps drifts and even when you're on top of a pokestop, Pokemon Go shows me dashing around and therefore unable to spin the stop.
Same here in Hong Kong
And you can imagine if it's a problem in the downtowns of big cities, imagine ring cities (think about Cambridge as it relates to Boston, or Round Rock and Austin, or Arlington and DC) where there isn't quite as much density.
The change is counterproductive to their proposed objective (i.e., get out and play). If I'm walking, then I'm moving slow. A larger interaction range means I can hit more stops per minute while on foot. A smaller range means I hit fewer. In order to hit a higher stops per minute, I'll have to increase my movement speed.
Like...if the interaction range was infinite, I could be stationary and get infinite spins. If the interaction range was effectively zero, I'd need an infinite speed to get infinite spins.
We used to meet up on Sunday mornings for breakfast in a street café with four stops. We would lure the stops, have coffee and eggs, chat, play the game, and have a good time. There will be only one stop available when these changes go live here, which makes me kinda sad already. On top of that, incense will not work anymore as it does now.
We're out playing the game, with friends, community... isn't that the mission statement of the game? Niantic should be happy with how well these changes worked in the past 18 months. I don't get it!
You and me both. I'm cutting back on playing because I don't have balls to throw anymore. If they don't fix it after a couple of weeks I'm probably just out.
It is crazy to me how much better the increased interaction distance has made the game. The goplus is more usable than ever before, more people are playing, and I haven't had even a single GPS based issue for a very long time purely because that amount of drift that needed to happen to stop me was huge. The idea they'd remove this is crazy, and screams of being money hungry. This should be the baseline, you want to increase it even more in future as part of an event? (Or more likely paid subscription. Ugh) go for it, but increase FROM here not TO here; the game is infinitely more fun due to the increase
If you give a human something that they didn't have before that made their life easier, you just can't take it back without major disapointment. Simple human psychology really
Commenting to merely show my support for this letter. I was a daily player up and until the interaction radius decrease. I have not opened the game since.
The number of creators of all kinds that worked together for this is incredible. Please share, upvote, retweet as much as possible.
100%. I think every PoGo player I've heard of having an online presence is on this post. Niantic says they listen; their response will make it abundantly clear whether that is true.
Don’t think Mystic7 is joining this.
Yeah, what’s his deal anyways?
I think Brandon just doesn’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg for him. Also, he’s probably leveraged quite a bit with his fancy car, apartment and girl friend. So maybe doesn’t want to risk his needed cash flows. I guess it’s understandable and I suspect he’s prolly just taking a neutral stance.
He released a YouTube video today to say he won’t be participating
Apparently single moms with babies need to see happy content, not cancel/boycott videos
Even the huge community groups are in on this. PokeBattler, PokeMiners, LeekDuck. Hopefully they listen.
This is the united PoGo community that Niantic only wishes it could build.
I really do not get why the game is taking a step backward, it seems like Niantic does not understand how this past update helped so many of us to enjoy the game more.
Just want to share a few observations of raid hour yesterday, first since the distance revert.
Players had to park and jam up a tennis lot parking lot blocking a parents from dropping off their kids (youth tennis lessons were going on at that same time), parked all over the handicap parking spots, double parking on a 1-lane each direction street blocking traffic, and lastly parking into a small church parking lot all jammed up while the minister came out to shoo the raiders away as the raiders were pleading with him to just give them a few mins and they will go. We got a small walking group going instead knowing of the hassle of raiding by car with the distance revert, only did one raid successfully and forego the rest because there was no way we could've kept up with the car raid groups. Which are nearly every other player in our town.
All of the above were long recurring issues with raiding before the double distances. With the double distances, all of those raids car raiders could've parked on safe and non obstructive spots to raid and all of those issues were gone. This motivated many of us to started raiding much more again. I found myself and others starting to buy premium passes. And even remote passes with raids being even more active. If this distance were to be held in place, we likely will not put up with the hassle will just stop raiding altogether for the most part. And will plan to no longer do any raid hours. Other players in my community have too voiced this annoyance and sentiment.
By seeing the sheer number of Tweets and the number of community members that came together to support this, I hope Niantic can understand the strength and unity of this community they helped create, and realize that if most of this community feels unheard, then they are not doing justice to the community and communication from their end needs to be improved.
I hope this leads to a couple of articles where the writer actual talks to one of the co-signers
It's an older meme sir, but it checks out
If you are lucky, you might get a reply.
Wow such a great post. If this doesnt make Niantic reconsider, I dont know what will.
Great to see such widespread support around this! Remember, even if these recent changes to pokestop and gym radius don't impact your country right now, they will once this rolls out around the world. Make your voices heard!
I wonder where Mystic 7 is with all this
Cashing his Niantic checks I’m sure
I wonder what the exchange rate is for 30 pieces of silver.
One huge issue (for me at least) in the reduced interaction distance is the game’s glitchy gps location. Numerous times the last couple days I’ve been within arms reach of a stop, but the gps has placed my location outside the interaction distance.
While the reduced interaction distance didn’t create this issue, it has really magnified this flaw for me.
I think the point is the location of the Pokestop itself doesn't necessarily have to be unsafe for it to be unsafe to get to the stop. There are plenty of factors, such as the stop being across the street with no pedestrian walkway, gated areas, and inclement weather. Especially here in Florida, summer thunderstorms are a daily occurrence, being able to play while sheltered is a huge deal - no one is going out MORE because of the reduced radius, we're just settling with what we can still safely and conveniently reach.
Something people should really remember when penning these petitions to Niantic...
Niantic is a $multi-billion company. They're not run by stupid or deaf people, but rather executives and investors with incredibly different priorities. Niantic has always been *platform* first, game second.
They have their reasons to ignore press-reported petitions and the opinion of literally their entire playerbase. Niantic's *ultimate* goal isn't to sell PokeCoins. They want more AR Mapping participation and more accurate location-data harvesting. Pokemon GO is just a stepping stone for them to develop their [Niantic Real World Platform](https://nianticlabs.com/blog/nrwp-update-110619/)\- with this, dozens or hundreds of 3rd-party devs can pay for Niantic's platform to make their own AR-map-based game.
Absolutely correct. That means everyone needs to remember that YOU are the unpaid employee making niantics game great while also having the privilege of paying them money for a reskin
The real test will be if people will stop spending for the palkia and heracross raids tomorrow. We need to hit them financially too.
Anecdotal observation from a non-US perspective:
I've noticed that since August 1st, almost none of my US-based friends are opening gifts that I send out. And many of them have turned into "2+ days ago" for the last Pokemon they caught. The only active ones left were locals here in Canada and people from Europe and Asia.
Again, this is anecdotal but it was definitely noticeable on my end, out of 250+ PoGo friends. It could hit Niantic financially – you can't spend if you don't log in and play.
Why can't they at least compromise with the community on this? It wouldn't be ideal for the community - the ideal thing would be for the increased distance interaction to just come back wholesale. But there are several potential compromises that I think many people would accept.
The game is about exploration of the real world? Fine. Make it so that Gyms and Pokestops have this overly-restrictive smaller interaction distance until you interact with that point of interest for the first time. Once you spin that Pokestop, then you have officially explored that real world point of interest, and any continuing interaction can now be unlocked to take place at double the distance. For Gyms? Make it so you need to Gym badge, or make the double distance a reward for achieving gold level badge on specific Gyms.
But I mean, compromises like this are overly-pedantic and ultimately stupid (not to mention they would still screw over players who experience accessibility challenges), because here's the bottom line: I love exploring with Pokemon Go. It's fun to get into a new area and see what's around. But I also love to just **play the game**.
There's a university campus a block away from my apartment that has a higher density of Pokestops than many other areas near me, so it's my go-to location to go to play some Pokemon Go. I've lived in the area for nearly 4 years, and my sister attends this university. I'm *not* going to this university to explore it. I have spun every Pokestop, have gold badges at each Gym, have done hundreds of raids across easily over a hundred days of play at this location over almost 4 years. I don't **need** to explore this location anymore. I just want to play the game at it!
And reducing the interaction radius severely hampers this experience, even at my local spot. There are several gyms that are in enclosed spaces which have become inaccessible because of the pandemic closures. Those areas *still* aren't open, but the gyms and stops have been accessible because of the increased radius.
Now they're just gone. Inaccessible. An unplayable part of the game. All because Niantic wants me to "explore the real world" rather than going to my favorite local spot to play their game. It sucks. Niantic, I have been playing your game since July 2016. It has been easily the one single game I have most consistently played over the years, opening it every day to explore my little corner of the world. I have given you guys my time, my data, my cash, because I felt there was a mostly-fair exchange of that stuff for *fun* of playing the game. I won't be doing this anymore, though.
If you do not address this issue, I am done spending money on this game. You have already lost my trust, and you are very close to losing my business. Please listen to the community on this one. Make your game safer. Make your game more accessible. Make your game **fun** again.
Thank you all for coordinating this. I don't really put much stock into YouTubers/Influencers, but I know many people do, and Niantic does as well since they've featured/worked with many of them. So thank you for helping be the voice many of us normal folks aren't able to have.
Also thanks for finally deciding on a hashtag. Wish I could set it as my Buddy's nickname though lol
**Edit:** Also for the rest of you normal folks like me, there are still things you can do to help get the message across. Not spending any more money on the game is the most likely way to impact their bottom line. Additionally, if you're comfortable with it, consider playing less and especially giving less screen time to the game. Turn off always on location services and revoke access to your health app data and contacts, if you've enabled any of those. You don't have to full on uninstall and quit playing if you don't want to, but tangible efforts must be taken to show that this is an issue, or they'll just keep ignoring it like they have been.
You could also try reaching out to voice your concerns (courteously!) through their official support channels. I don't know how much success you'll have there, but I think it's still worth it for the visibility. I've set my buddy's nickname to #NoGOAug5th. Probably gonna take out the date tomorrow and keep it as is, and will be at most continuing to play the game completely free and as minimally as possible until this issue is addressed in a satisfactory manner.
**Edit 2:** [Official OST for this thread](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Vq9C9KUY4) \#KoiKoi
I’ve changed my buddy’s name to HearUsNianti.
Somehow the fact that it's cut off due to limited characters and the fact that we can't use the word "Niantic" anyway just makes it feel that much more poignant
just adding another upvote and comment on the hopes that the size of this forces at least a response from Niantic. I strongly agree with all the points in the open letter.
As someone who came back to the game because of COVID, the interaction radius was amazing. I know many people came back to this game for the same reason and all they know is the increased interaction radius.
Reverting back is a detriment to their experience and they'll likely not be interested enough to keep playing. Regardless of the customer's experience, the most important thing is that Niantic is reducing this interaction radius while COVID is still in full effect.
Yes, a large population of the U.S. is vaccinated but what about other countries where they are not nearly as fortunate? What about Delta? What happens when Delta mutates? They are reverting back at a terrible time.
Lastly, how is decreasing the level of interaction and enjoyment of the game actually benefiting Niantic? People are revolting because the experience in the game is so much more enjoyable and to revert back while still in the midst of a pandemic is ludicrous.
Please be better than this Niantic.
i honestly didn't think the distance change would impact me as much as it has. i'm now running out of items and playing less, which is a huge bummer. the safety and accessibility concerns associated with this change are huge and cannot be ignored.
It’s very frustrating to only hit 2 stops now versus 20. I quit after only playing two months in 2016 and the COVID bonuses is what made me come back. The game was so much better with it.
There was a gym yesterday I wanted to place a Pokemon in that is normally safe to reach from where I usually walk but because of the reverted distance I had to cross the highway to get to it which I did and I was really careful, but it was not safe. Please bring back the double distance Niantic.
Because we all want to repeatedly explore the sewer pump station mural or boring brick post office that is the local gym.
I am a co-admin of a Facebook page that is focused on Pokémon in general. We have over 8000 followers, which might not be much compared to some of the big names in the community, and obviously Facebook isn't Twitter, but we've still shared this letter in solidarity with the community.
Completely agree with all of this. One thing that doesn’t seem to be mentioned as much is incense effectiveness being nerfed. This is going to massively hurt those who can’t leave their house, especially on community day.
My partner and I have both been playing Pokémon Go since launch, and used to quite actively go for Pokemon walks together. However, over the years we've both developed multiple health issues which greatly effect our ability to leave the house 95% of the time. But with remote raid passes, and increased incense effectiveness, we could still participate in community days, and raid hours, and Go Fest, and have not only still been active participants in our local Pokemon Go community (especially thanks to our local Discord group), but we've spent way more money than we used to on passes and incense. Hell, for days we were both bed ridden, we'd spend money on incenses, pop a few, and just catch whatever showed up, just for the sake of playing.
The increased interaction distance has also been a major blessing for us as well, as we can hit Poke Stops and Gyms that we can't quite make it to physically any more, but are still in that area to see the POI. And this isn't us complaining we can't hit a Poke Stop from home anymore (our closest used to be around a 2 minute walk down the street, but got removed a while ago, so now the closest is a 8-9 minute walk, which isn't feasible health wise), but that removing the interaction distance cuts us (and I imagine many others) out of a fairly vital part of the game.
The reduced interaction range would decrease my desire to explore because not all the Pokestops in my area can be easily reached without taking unnecessary and strange paths. Theres a Pokestop near me at a park in the middle of some houses and with the decreased distance I would have to walk half way into the park awkwardly with my phone out and kids playing. Yeah, no thanks. Even if nobody was there I still wouldnt go there because its just out of the way and ruins the flow of my walk. I have the "I cant reach that Pokestop so why should I go this extra distance?" mindset, which is the total opposite of what Niantic wants.
I am in the hospital (have been for nearly a year) and I could reach two pokestops and a gym prior to the change. Now, I can reach one stop only. I still have months to go in here. The loss of the larger diameter killed Pokemon for me
Niantic singlehandedly cured my addiction. I went to work. Realized I could no longer reach gyms from my desk, despite the closest gym being right outside my building, so I uninstalled the app. That was Monday, making this the longest I haven't opened the app in an entire year.
Disappointed to see Mystic7 decided not to get involved with this like his Twitter posts hinted at. Maybe he’s too deep in Niantic’s back pocket at this point - especially considering that he’s been trying to be an advocate for mental health for so many years, even going so far as to pursue his own company surrounding it, but then can’t even advocate for a day without playing a video game he gets paid to make videos about for the greater good?
EDIT: it appears he’s finally reacted to the conversation via Twitter
Like I said, he a clown
Like, theyre selling our data, the least they can do is let us interact a few feet farther and safely
I just wanted to add my name as a level 50 player that has not missed a single day since July 2016. No threats, no name calling, nothing. I usually understand niantic decisions as they are in this to make money, but this distance change is unacceptable. Many gyms in our area are now only accessible by walking through grass at churches instead of sidewalks or parking lots, walking through a cemetery and hoping not to get gps drift, or looking creepy near a playground. I have explored a lot of new places and met some great new friends with this game in the past 5.5 years thanks to this amazing game, but this is a step backwards. This is well written article with a lot of big time players on it. Niantic— you made a mistake and we will forgive you. Please change the radius back.
People still don't understand how Niantic operates. They have been doing this same technique for years.
Step 1. Introduce mechanic or change that they KNOW will be unpopular. They aren't as dumb as we make them out to be.
Step 2. Await community feedback or outrage. If the outrage isn't so big, then they will just wait until the community forgets and moves on.
Step 3. If the outrage is massive (like it is now) they will revert the change and be applauded for "Listening to the community".
This is the same thing that is going on here. This change will reverted within a week or two and they will post some heart-felt post on their blog about how wonderful they are for not sticking with this change. They are just trying to feel out what we are willing to put up with and it's an absolute joke.
I quit playing after spending money to raid Dialga only to receive a false first strike and not be able to play for a week. Deleted the app and never looked back.
To be fair no one has applauded niantic for megas, It's still a broken and almost useless system.
It is useless, but at least you can completely ignore it. This change makes it literally harder to play the game. And it's not like it even makes them more money or anything. One of the dumbest changes I have ever seen them make. 0 justification.
No Sponsored stops in New Zealand though. So that excuse only covers half the issue.
Simple solution: revert the increased distance for sponsored Pokestops/gyms *only*. And then sell that to sponsors as a boon, "we make our players get extra close to your business."
I would *happily* settle for that compromise.
That’s how sponsored stops work? I get them randomly for ice cream from baskin robins, and I don’t think my city even has one.
It's also specifically dumb because the pandemic is still ongoing. We were notified at work that one of ours was sick with covid, likely a variant, and everyone who worked with them now has to isolate again, and now everyone is required to wear masks again regardless of if we're vaccinated.
Why is Niantic reducing stop and gym distance *now*? There are less cases and a vaccine but people are still getting sick, still passing on the virus, there's still an ongoing pandemic and I don't care if anyone says otherwise. On top of losing QOL it's just still dangerous to revert back.
Megas are actually a very good example for what whtge8 described. Players: „we are pissed about the rent-a-mon system“ -> Niantic: „You get more energy out of raids.“ -> Players: „still doesn’t fix the rent-a-mon thing“ -> Niantic: „OK, OK. Mega-Evolving lasts 8 hours.“ -> Players: „It’s the rent-a-mon thing we don’t like.“ -> Niantic: „Oh look! A new Shiny!“ -> Players: „Uuuhhhh....NEW SHINY!“ -> Niantic: „Problem solved“
The proper community response is to never spend another penny on anything that supports Niantic
There is a chance they partially revert it. It’s a popular tactic that has a name I can’t think of right now. Introducing one extreme and then offering a “happy medium” which is what they wanted to do the whole time. Makes them seem like the good guys for “listening” and they get what they wanted in the first place. Maybe someone smarter than me knows the name of this tactic.
I think on this one most of the engaged community have been more like:
"Sigh, Look we know ... Sigh, No like we **know** .... Sigh, you still need to change it"
Niantic runs an AR data collection front primarily, and social experiment secondarily. QoL in game was never too of their list unfortunately
Well at this point they just refuse to communicate whatsoever. I don’t know if there would be a step 3.
As mentioned step 3 will take a bit more time if it's taken. Radio silence until that point is the norm. So nothing at this point to suggest this will go any different.
I’ve personally just uninstalled the game while I wait. I don’t mind breaking my streak and missing out on a Chimecho. I would like to still play this game, but I am putting my foot down on this one. Playing in my town was so much safer before this reversion, as I no longer had to cross a busy street to spin all the poke stops on my walk. If Niantic actually cared about people “exploring”, remote raid passes would be gone too. But we all know they are way too much of a cash cow to ever be removed.
You guys have made it to 5# on Twitter in the UK and that’s the general one, smashing it
The distance increase actually rejuvenated my desire to play the game. I’m not saying I’ll stop, but it’s certainly more likely.
Honestly, at this point I am tired of having to explain basic human decency to Niantic. They have had more than enough chances to get it right. The people calling the shots either don't care or are completely incapable of comprehending. Either way it's a waste of effort.
Thank you guys so so much for this! It is time we stand up for ourselves. We are the players and they don't give a crap about what we want! Never really have.
It is time they start communicating to us, permanently!
Agree agree! My family and I have uninstalled until there is a change. No one wants to spend another time. We already walked (and enjoyed it) but it was safer with the changes, now- not so much. One family member is in wheelchair and this was something we would do together, now we do not. Much luck and love to everyone!
I think it would be good if Niantic acknowledged the concerns of the community and worked together with the people enjoying their game, rather than outright ignoring the community making them billions. The backlash at this point has to be by far the worst in the games 5-year history, with even The Guardian covering it.
Any communications from Niantic has historically seemed very faceless / corporate, mainly via Pokemon Go Live, which is very one sided, or via Youtubers.
Back in the days I was playing Xbox 360 we had Major Nelson who worked at Microsoft and was quite engaged with the Xbox community via his blog and social media, raising concerns internally within the Xbox team, resulting in improvements to the console the community desired.
In comparison for Niantic to notice any concerns of the Pokemon Go community it seems we often need mainstream media attention on Eurogamer or another large media outlet.
I see Mystic7 has refused to take part and called the community toxic in a tweet?
This is a surprisingly large amount of support from even the influencers.
Please also include the incense!
Glad the big name youtubers who do sponsored niantic stuff are in on this. Hope they listen.
The pandemic caused them to stumble on ways to improve the experience drastically and its like its never registered with them. They are seriously crossing the point of no return. The golden goose is about to stop laying eggs If things aren't pulled from the greedy direction they are going in.
All of this really makes you wonder how far detached from reality the people at Niantic are. Or if they simply don't care at all about user experience, because it's not like this reaction of the community comes as a suprise.
They introduced a huge quality of life improvement and somehow didn't think it was a big deal to just take it back? It's fascinating.
Lol I'll just stop playing if it isn't reverted. I got used to settings over a year that made this game nearly playable. Now they want to take it away? That's cool just no more money from me.
I can't figure out why Niantic is so adamant on removing the change. It can't possibly be that expensive to ask a developer in their team to increase the radius again. From experience, that's less than 30 seconds work.
Couple of points from me
1) I think the distance is now smaller than pre pandemic levels. There was gyms I used to be able to hit pre pandemic that I can no longer hit
2) Niantic has shown time and time again they are tone deaf to the community. They have no understanding of people actually play their game.
With that being said, I think they think they can buy us off with an temporary extra free pass. What's the point if a smaller subset of gyms are now reachable?
Cell phone location doesn’t always work the best, and the expanded interaction distance helped a lot with not missing raids.
Is there any logical explanation as to why Niantic thinks the expanded stop range is overpowered or somehow hinders the game ?
Since the distance had been reduced back to pre-covid times, I've experienced twice delays in raiding due to GPS drift (causing group to anxiously wait for me to get back as the time ticked down), and witnessed another person who had to leave our group's safe spot and walk out into the middle of a parking lot (he made sure there were no moving cars around first) in order to get his avatar back into raiding radius.
This was never a problem when the distance was doubled. It had been pleasant getting to raid at certain gyms we previously avoided due to GPS drift being a frequent problem at those locations with not enough safe places around them to move around trying to adjust our avatar positions. But now we have to consider avoiding those gyms again.
This is good to see the community rallying together in such a constructive way. I haven’t opened the game all day , and I turned off its access to my location and background refresh and health data. I gotta tell you….I haven’t missed it much. I didn’t realize how much time I spent doing nothing but twiddling with the game open, yikes. It doesn’t seem like it’s gonna take long for me to break the pokemon go habit so they should probably hurry up before I lose the addiction entirely lol.
Why r/theSliphRoad name is not part of this petition? Are you not protesting this decision?
Agreed. Interaction distance was an accidental but very meaningful quality-of-life change disguised as a COVID adjustment.
The reversion is not only a poor choice for the reasons mentioned in the petition, but also in terms of being ridiculously timed even IF it was a good idea to revert it (which again, I strongly disagree with). The US is literally turning convention centers and cafeterias into hospital wards at this very moment due to the pandemic, cases have spiked through the roof- and Niantic is acting as if we are once again safe to play as if it was the summer of 2019, not the summer of a worldwide pandemic. My county just hit "substantial" infection levels again, the second-worst rating for COVID.
(edit: Yes, really on the hospital conversions. Link: https://globalnews.ca/news/8088233/florida-covid-cases-hospitals-patients/ )
I won't be giving Niantic money until this is addressed and will be following along with the faces of our gaming community in refusing to play (and spend). I encourage others to speak up and speak out regarding this, both for the reasons in the OP and to add their own.
Its time for Niantic to listen..or anything to notice the players.
\#WhyIStayed - my community - I met some of my favorite people playing this game, I'm not quitting them
\#WhyILeft - I can't take the abuse anymore, it'll just keep getting worse. They can claim they'll change but I fell for that the last 50 times, they tried for a while and then they slipped back into their old patterns again. It's going to take a lot of deep cultural changes with their company and a ton of goodwill to undo this one. It's an abusive relationship, and I'm getting out before they do something really dangerous.
I'm so God damn sick of crossing busy intersections, and I'm so sick of being forced to bring my small unvaccinated children near people, just to spin a stop now or tackle a gym/do a raid, it's gotten quite ridiculous, its summer time, IT'S BUSY EVERYWHERE around us, definitely awaiting a positive response by Monday or we'll just move on to something else, it's that simple
It’s likely Niantic won’t respond until they are able to compare the logins on Friday for New Zealand. They are often very data driven. The before & after activity will gauge if they need to do something or if our tantrum is over for now.