Balancing all the mechanics in a live-service video game is an endless juggling act in the best of circumstances, but when you’re talking about an augmented reality game like Pokémon GO amid a global pandemic, the complications only grow exponentially. As such, Niantic distressed a lot of players when it announced back in June that it would be gradually rolling back many of the measures that it had established during the pandemic to let everyone play the game safely. But in the face of vocal backlash, Niantic said it would create a task force to reassess Pokémon GO protocols pertaining to the pandemic and social distancing, and the first thing that task force has decided is “80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally” from now on.
Thank you to everyone who made your voices heard. We’ve heard you and understand that this has been a welcome benefit to many players. We’ll share more next week. (2/2)
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
As Niantic explained on Twitter, its Pokémon GO task force will have more findings to share on September 1, but tweaking base interaction radius / distance for PokéStops and Gyms is an important and necessary step 1. People want to play the game; they don’t want to randomly mess with their health while doing so. That’s a pretty fair request, really.
Speaking of distance and Pokémon GO, at a distance from that game is Niantic’s other AR Nintendo game in development, a Pikmin mobile game that was recently reconfirmed to be launching later this year.