Following the controversial Pokémon GO update that raised Remote Raid Pass prices and imposed limitations on daily participation, the hashtag ‘HearUsNiantic’ gained traction on social media as fans expressed their dissatisfaction. Over a month later, Pokémon GO game director Michael Steranka has addressed the backlash, acknowledging the team’s awareness of the issue. He explained that while it was a difficult decision, they believed it was necessary for the game’s future and the way players engage with it.
Steranka stated, “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…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…it just really didn’t align with the kind of experience we were trying to create.”
He further emphasized the potential negative impact of excessive remote raiding, stating, “And this is something that players including myself are doing over a dozen times a day, for some people over 100 times a day…that’s something that we really honestly let go on a little bit too long and ultimately needed to course correct.”
Steranka reassured the community that the decision was made with the long-term health of the game in mind, stating, “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.”
The ‘HearUsNiantic’ campaign emerged as fans voiced concerns over the update, criticizing Niantic for what they deemed as the “worst decision” and limiting the overall experience. Previously, Pokémon GO Vice President Ed Wu had defended the changes, citing the long-term health of the game and Niantic’s commitment to encouraging players to explore the real world together.
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