The official Twitter account for Pokemon Go announced late Wednesday that it will increase the interaction distance for Pokestops and Gyms. The worldwide distance is now back to 80 meters, reversing the revert back to 40. This change to Pokemon Go was in response to the player’s community boycott and complaints in regards to COVID-19 measures.
Trainers – we’re looking forward to sharing our plans as a result of the task force on September 1, but one thing does not have to wait! From now on, 80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally. (1/2)
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
The company announced earlier this month that it had formed an “Interaction Distance Task Force” in response to the boycott. In response, Niantic increased the distance to 80 meters for Pokestops in New Zealand in early August.
Pokemon Go And the Pandemic
Niantic promoted the distance change as a response to COVID-19. This method allowed for people to still have fun while also being socially distant for safety. The company has stated that it will share its findings of the task force by September 1. In an attempt to “restore some of the foundational elements players enjoy prior to 2020”, Niantic also added Exploration Bonus rewards. They stated that the changes are only being implemented in “select geographies where it is deemed safe to be outdoors.”
Along with working towards the recent findings, Niantic’s task force has also stated that it will be “reaching out to community leaders in the coming days” to engage in dialogue. As of now though, some of these changes for the game are permanent.
Other updates that Niantic has made to Pokemon Go in response to COVID (outside of distance) include removing the walking requirements for the Battle League. They also made the decision to offer discounted Incense and Poke Balls, along with increasing spawns and reducing the Egg hatch distance. One of the biggest updates to the game was canceling current in-game Raid events (or extending the time period).
As of July, Pokemon Go has surpassed $5 billion USD in lifetime revenue. The game has had approximately 632 million downloads since its initial launch in 2016. More information regarding the changes for Pokemon Go can be found on the changelog on Niantic’s website.