Image via Niantic

Niantic responds to recent Pokémon Go backlash: “It’s hard to ignore”

Pokemon Go reverse these changes and admit defeat

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In case you missed it, Niantic made another decision that’s been unpopular with the Pokemon Go community, which has been a trend since the game came into being. The team is up-charging for remote raids, and will limit the amount of times you can partake in them. It’s one of a series of reversals that gave folks hope that Pokemon Go would improve before a core feature was rug-pulled.

That was weeks ago. Speaking to Dot Esports, several team members have finally responded to the backlash. Michael Steranka, Pokemon Go director, started off by saying that they’ve “taken note” of the backlash and that it’s “hard to ignore.” Steranka is personally tagged in some of these tweets, and like Destiny developer Bungie often says before they immediately announce that they’re not reversing a bad decision, they are “reading everything.”

As for the heart of the matter, Steranka has this to say:

“That was like 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”

John Funtanilla, Pokemon Go senior producer, “echoed” the sentiments, stating: “There’s a lot of Michael [Steranka]s on this team, everyone’s playing the game, everyone, you know, like, wants to do remote raids, but we kind of have to understand, what we feel is best for the player experience.”

So that’s it, then I guess! No surprise there.

This isn’t the first time Pokemon Go has been in the hotseat

I’ve had issues with the way Pokemon Go has been maintained for many years, and this sort of hardline stance on rug-pulling a previously-useful feature is not new. The company has also been struggling with juggling multiple projects, pumping out AR games like Telltale cranked out episodic adventures before their downfall. The company keeps chasing Pokemon Go by cloning it with limited success, all while making their marquee product worse.

It’s a bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off!


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Chris Carter
Managing Editor - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!