Pokemon GO players have banded together to boycott the game in response to the developer's reverse of several pandemic-era quality of life adjustments.
The reverse was placed in effect in early August—keeping with the promise Niantic Labs made in June to remove the bonuses after the annual GO Fest event. So far, this has only affected trainers in the United States and New Zealand, but will no doubt trouble everyone worldwide by the end of the month. Given the now trending "#PokemonNoDay" hashtag on Twitter, it's clear to see that a decent portion of trainers is not happy with the change. They've organized a strike from the game in response.
PokemonNoDay Boycott Explained
Players taking part in the boycott have largely refused to open the app today, Thursday, Aug. 5. Those that did only participated in their daily tasks before closing. Some have even signed out of the app entirely with a few deleting it off their devices.
A handful of content creators and major players have vowed to halt coverage and monetary support of the game, as well—jumping ship to other hobbies and games like The Witcher: Monster Slayer.
In addition to the strike from playing, participants have begun mass-posting a two-page letter on social media explaining their reasoning and demands to Niantic. The top community concerns addressed in the letter are safety, accessibility, and respect.
According to the letter, having the increase allowed players to securely enjoy the game:
- From sheltered areas to avoid hazardous weather conditions
- Without potentially trespassing or endangering oneself in transit
- While keeping out of areas deemed "detrimental to personal safety"
The radius reduction, it explains, puts trainers at risk in part due to the COVID-19 Delta variant currently making its way through parts of the US. The mutation is supposedly more contagious than its base predecessor and has been known to have "breakthrough" cases in vaccinated individuals.
Additionally, having the increase provided extra accessibility to those unable to traverse certain areas or travel as far in their daily life. The letter highlights certain difficult terrain such as slopes and stairs for less mobile trainers, as well as the option to avoid sensory overload for hypersensitive users or otherwise.
Those with young children also benefitted from the ability to more actively curate a safe space for those in their care while playing.
Finally, as the letter puts it, the bonus gave "greater courtesy and respect to non-Trainers in the community by way of not crowding or blocking" important areas such as businesses and places of worship.
Several posts also encourage those who want to see the radius change returned to sign the popular petition on Change.org asking that the increase be permanent. At the time of writing, it has over 160,000 signatures.
Niantic still has not directly responded to player concerns at the time of writing.