Niantic has attracted rage from fans by making its Pokemon Go remote raids less accessible; something of particular difficulty for gamers with disabilities.
Our reporting about Ninatic, the developer of Pokemon Go, and its provocative actions that make the fans livid has become an annual occurrence. This time, Niantic has made changes to Remote Raids, making them pricier and less accessible, incurring the fandom’s wrath. The company has previously made fans angry over removing pandemic changes within the game, mostly because such implementations should’ve been in the accessibility options from the game’s launch—something God of War Ragnarok most certainly doesn’t lack.
According to Kotaku, Niantic decided to make several changes to the Remote Raid mode in the game after it found that the mode actually dominates the game entirely. The company finds this to be a problem, as it diverts from Pokemon Go’s core goal, which is to get the players outside. The slew of changes, which are examined more closely in the following section, include a price increase and several different limitations imposed on the raiders.
But the main question remains: what about gamers who can’t actually go outside? Why are they affected?
The changes made to Pokemon Go’s Remote Raids include price increases from single and three-pack Remote Raid Passes from 100 to 195 and 300 to 525 PokeCoins, respectively. Remote Raid participation limits now prevent Trainers from participating in more than five Remote Raids per day, and the maximum number may change and increase on special events. This might actually sound reasonable.
There are also a few other limitations associated with how many Raid passes individual gamers can have in their inventory.
These changes infuriated gamers, especially those with disabilities and those advocating on their behalf. For context, the Remote Raids were introduced in 2020 as Covid-19 lockdown counter-measures, in terms of allowing gamers to play Raids remotely. Raids were previously part of the game, but gamers had to be within a small radius to take part in a battle, which directly conflicted with lockdowns and social distancing imposed by the pandemic.
To alleviate the situation and keep the game relevant, Niantic introduced various changes to the gameplay, including Remote Raids.
Remote Raid Passes allowed gamers to take part in Raid from greater distances, thus maintaining social distancing without compromising the game’s relevancy at the time. However, this type of gameplay begins dominating Pokemon Go, taking away from the game’s core concept—as in personal-experience gaming. The changes the studio is trying to impose now are basically a course correction for Pokemon Go back to where the game was in 2016, which is often seen as a controversial change.
On the one hand, Remote Raids are disrupting the game’s balance, but their removal, on the other, basically excludes the group of gamers who depend on such mechanics to fully enjoy the game. In the end, Niantic did and continues to do its best to make the game accessible to everyone, but each time any of those changes get revoked, it causes a Pokemon Go controversy for the company to address. Sure, some criticism is sound, those who can’t go outside, for whatever reason, should be allowed to participate in everything Pokemon Go has to offer.
But then, there are those who are vocal only for their own interest, as the now-changed features allowed them various shortcuts through the Pokemon Go game, and they aren’t ready to give those up.