Pokemon Go Community Day changes were introduced because Niantic doesnt want you playing “from your couch”

Pokemon Go developer Niantic has revealed why it chose to make changes to the app’s long-running Community Days.

In an interview with Kotaku (opens in new tab) (thanks, Nintendo Life (opens in new tab)), Pokemon Go’s live game director Michael Steranka spoke about the recent changes made to the game and why the company is making small steps to seemingly return the game back to its pre-pandemic state, slowly reversing the adjustments that were made during the COVID-19 pandemic which helped Trainers stay inside.

One of the main changes made to Community Days was outlined in a recent post by Niantic (opens in new tab) announcing the upcoming April 22 Stufful Community Day. In an update shared to the post, Niantic said that it was reducing its Community Days from six hours down to three, following positive player feedback. 

The Pokemon Go developer has said its “hope is that doing so will create even more opportunities for Trainers to play together and connect outside as they’re exploring.” Which echoes Steranka’s statement from the Kotaku interview where he says: “We never want Pokémon GO to be a product that you can fully complete and enjoy from your couch. And the fact of the matter is, with Incense being as powerful as it was, stationary players were able to do that, right?”

So what does Niantic gain from cutting Pokemon Go’s Community Days in half? According to Steranka, not much. In the same interview, the live game director states the company’s three pillars which are: “First is exploration, the second is exercise, and the third is real-world social interactions. In terms of what we gain, it’s really us intending to lean into that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Steranka says that although Niantic encourages “players to follow local guidelines and regulations”, it’s “not something we are trying to police on our side.” Meaning players should now take their own responsibility for safely playing the game amidst local restrictions. 

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