Niantic to publish developer diaries, actively communicate with Pokémon Go players following task force update

The developers want to improve and keep players more informed.

Image via Niantic

As promised, Niantic has released a full update from its internal task force, which was recently created in the wake of community backlash against changes made to Pokémon Go. 

In this update, Niantic addressed two core areas of concern the community brought up: communication and PokéStop and Gym Interaction Distance. 

The main crux of community backlash last month came from Niantic announcing it would begin reducing the interaction distance for PokéStops and Gyms in the game after boosting it 80 meters as a way to help players continue playing Pokémon Go with safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This change would have rolled back a feature many players feel served as a fantastic quality-of-life improvement that kept players safer and made the locations more accessible to everyone. 

As previously announced, Niantic will be keeping the 80-meter interaction distance as the default radius from now on, though the developers and task force are now exploring new ways to promote exploring and exercising moving forward. More news on that will be shared “in the coming months.”

Niantic will also be making a marked effort to begin communicating and engaging more with Pokémon Go players in meaningful ways. This will start with several new commitments from the team that will take effect in October. 

These commitments include developer diaries published every other month to share Niantic’s priorities, events, and other features being worked on for the game, regular conversations with community leaders to continue having a dialogue on the state of Pokémon Go, and more updates to the Known Issues page, which keeps players updated on bugs and upcoming fixes. 

“We love how passionate Pokémon Go Trainers are about this game, and we want you to know how passionate we are about the game and community as well,” Pokémon Go Team executive producer Steve Wang said. “The lack of communication regarding the PokéStop and Gym interaction radius was not handled well on our part, and it was a great learning experience on how to better engage with our players moving forward. Our top priority is and always has been to get people outside into the real world and creating human connections with each other. Thank you for being a part of this journey with us — you’ll hear from us again soon.”

Along with those updates, Niantic has also changed its previous stance on providing unique gameplay experiences to players in each region and will focus on a more sustainable real-time approach that keeps bonuses and other seasonal content set at a global level. This will begin with the now-active Season of Mischief and will be tied directly to Pokémon Go’s seasons.