A Pokemon Go player looking at an updated avatar.
Image via Niantic

Niantic is aware of backlash over Pokémon Go’s new avatars—and it’s taking feedback seriously

The company is actively taking community concerns into account after introducing massive changes to character customization.

After facing immense backlash for the new avatar update in Pokémon Go, Niantic has confirmed it is aware of how the community feels and is taking feedback regarding the changes—though that might not result in a fix. 

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On April 17, Niantic released the first wave of its “Rediscover Pokémon Go” updates, completely reworking the game’s avatars with a new look and more customization options. Despite some nice elements, the Pokémon Go community exploded with negative feedback for these new character models, actively saying that the update “ruined” their trainers and that Niantic “could not have handled this worse.”

Two Pokemon Go avatars compared before and after the new update.
This update has been panned across the board. Images via Gearhead31 on Reddit/Remix by Dot Esports

While this recent wave of backlash was much louder since the Rediscover Yourself update pushed the new avatars live for millions of players, this isn’t the first time Niantic was warned about how this would be poorly received. Players who were used as the test group for these updated models begged the developers to reconsider a wider launch back in March, which was not heeded. As a result, the community heralded April 17 as “visual doomsday” for Pokémon Go and made their displeasure known. 

Less than two days later, Niantic has acknowledged the very vocal dismay of its player base, reaching out to ask for feedback on the avatar changes, which is being compiled for the team that works on that area of Pokémon Go. “We’re sending all of your feedback to the Product Team, and the folks who worked on the Avatar system, we’re taking this seriously and really appreciate you sharing your candid personal opinions/follower opinions,” an anonymous high-ranking Niantic employee said to Pokémon Go Hub.

This is great news for players who dislike the new changes and were worried that Niantic would simply ignore the outrage as Go Hub confirmed that a representative from the company directly asked for, collected, and acknowledged feedback from the community by their team. Unfortunately for fans, though, that does not guarantee anything will change, with Go Hub reiterating that no promises regarding future updates or a way to revert to the old Pokémon Go avatars were made, just that Niantic is “taking [the community feedback] seriously.”

Niantic has made no promises on the future course of the avatar system, nor has it made any promises about reverting it, but the devs have received feedback and have confirmed they’re taking it seriously.


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Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.