Niantic explains why they're cutting Pokémon GO Community Day hours, says they're looking into features to help those with disabilities
The next Pokemon GO Community Day was announced a few days back, and it brings with it a rule change. Trainers were rather upset to see that Community Day hours are being cut in half, leaving just a 3-hour block to get in on the fun. We haven’t seen times like this in over 2 years, so why did Niantic change things now? Kotaku talked to Pokémon GO live game director, Michael Steranka to find out.
“…Community Day as it was intended is meant to actually get people out at the same time.”
Some are also wondering what Niantic gains from this move, to which Steranka had this to share.
“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. It’s definitely not to make more revenue on Incense. We’re making less revenue, because the item is less useful, right?
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?”
It was that comment that brought up another important question. The change to Community Day times makes it even harder for those with disabilities to get out and play Pokémon GO. In general, just using Pokémon GO on a base level is tough for that part of the community. Does Niantic have anything in the works to make play easier for the disabled community?
“Nothing that I’m able to share today. But we are discussing it, and it is something that, as I mentioned, we are looking at new features and whatnot that should help in that regard.”
Very disappointing news. I played Pokemon Go way more when they made the changes during the pandemic, now that they've gone back mostly to the way things were I'm going to be playing less and most definitely won't be spending any money, especially on community days. I can respect what their goal is with the game, because in app purchases skyrocketed after these changes, so it stands to reason they're leaving money on the table with these anti-player changes, but I think they're a bit tone deaf about it all. They said they shrunk the time back down from 5 hours because barely anyone played more than 3 hours. Well, I don't think that was ever the point, I think it was giving people more of a chance to fit it into their schedule. I pretty much work during all community days so the better incense and increased times helped me partake more.
I can see their goal with this, and I kinda agree, atleast in my town, instead of using a messagingsystem to put up raids people are going for, most people use their 2-3 accounts and invite people from far away, meaning people dont meet up for raids daily at all (except very few).
And thats even with the double daily raidpasses we get now. Shortening the communityday were probably not the best place to start but I'm very much looking forward to when remote passes gets their intended weaker bonus, meaning people hopefully wont be able to rely on sitting at their homes and just checking if someone raids at a gym, but instead go out and play, and thats something atleast here it seems some players wait for. I for sure do, the list of lucky friends have just been growing and I've basicly only added people ive met irl, and even then theres not like even 1-2 lucky trades a week.
This. Cutting it to only three hours doesn't help people who work or have other obligations get in time to play. The small percentage who played all six hours will still get to play all three hours. It's also no coincidence that they're reverting this while introducing a new Pokemon that requires 400 candy to evolve. The whole thing is so anti-player, regardless of whether it makes sense for them as a company or not.