Pokémon Go players rejoiced when a new feature was introduced that seemed to make the game much better for most fans, but the feature was removed shortly after.
The game’s latest update increased the radius at which Pokémon spawn from 40 to 80 meters, effectively doubling the range at which players could interact with the creatures.
The change was completely unannounced, but some Pokémon Go influencers, including those who have worked with developer Niantic, claimed they were told it was an intentional, permanent addition.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case, as Niantic explained on Twitter that the change was due to a bug and would be reverted almost immediately.
Niantic said: “Some trainers may have experienced an increase in the current interaction radius.
“This was an unintended effect of a fix intended to improve Pokémon encounter rates when your device is experiencing GPS drift.”
The company also said it was considering player feedback on the seemingly unintended change, but made no commitment to increasing the encounter radius in the future.
Players were naturally furious as this is the latest in a long line of changes and decisions that they say have made the game worse.
The biggest issue lately has been the changes to remote raids, which limited the number of raids a person could join and made remote raid passes more expensive.
Niantic then introduced a special type of raid called Shadow Raids that couldn’t be played remotely at all, even with a Raid Pass.
Many criticized the move as being hostile to players in regional and remote areas, and also affecting disabled players who may not be able to access some raid spots.
Increasing the radius was seen as a big win for the community, as it allowed players to catch more Pokémon without necessarily having to move, while also not affecting game balance.
That’s why so many players are angry about the reversal – for the first time in many months, an overtly positive change was made to the game, and then suddenly it was taken away.
Pokémon fan site owner Joe Merrick called: “Probably should have seen how excited the community was about it for playability and accessibility reasons, never admitting it as a mistake and just taking the win.”
Many have expressed similar views, accusing Niantic of prioritizing collecting player data and winnings over user experience.
Whether the spawn radius will increase again in Pokémon Go remains unclear, but if not, there will likely be at least a few players abandoning the game altogether.
Niantic seems to have instilled a lot of goodwill in the Pokémon Go community, and such a backtrack doesn’t seem to be helping the situation one bit.
Written by Oliver Brandt on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.