Pidgey fly around a park in Pokemon Go promo art
Image via Niantic

Niantic reverses ‘unintended’ Pokémon Go spawn boost—and the community is not happy

An unexpected yet welcomed change has been taken away from players.

What originally seemed like a gift to Pokémon Go players disappeared almost as soon as it was added to the game, creating yet another round of controversy shrouding the mobile title.

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Following an unexpected change to Pokémon Go that greatly increased the spawn radius of Pokémon near the player, Niantic pushed an update today to revert the change back to the standard spawn radius. In a statement posted to Twitter, the developer explained what exactly caused this issue, while also expressing interest in player feedback on Pokémon spawns for possible changes in the future.

“This was the unintended effect of a bug fix,” the developer wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “While we’re reverting this change, we will take your feedback into consideration as we look to optimize the Pokémon encounter experience in the future.”

This spawn radius alteration originally shadow-dropped last night and provided players with a radius similar to that which was implemented intentionally during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many noted that this change should have remained not only to make Pokémon more widely available to players, but that it would be immensely beneficial to players with accessibility issues.

Notably, various members of Niantic’s partner program touted this feature as intended following apparent instructions sent to these community members stating the change was implemented purposefully. Pokémon Go community advocate JRHonda121 said Niantic deleted its initial confirmation of this feature to the partners and told them it was a “mistake.”

https://twitter.com/JRHonda121/status/1673750877046185985?s=20

Players have already voiced immense frustration to this change, noting a trend over the past year of Niantic appearing to actively ignore the overall community’s sentiments. Just a few months ago, Niantic issued a massive overhaul to the Remote Raid Pass system that led to the #HearUsNiantic movement protesting the game, which to this point has not resulted in any changes to that system—though the company did provide comment to Dot Esports regarding why these changes were made.

As of now, there is no indication that Niantic will be stepping back from its decision to revert this change in the near future. Dot Esports has reached out to Niantic for further comment.


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Author
Ethan Garcia
Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.