With widespread cancellations of public gatherings and health officials pushing for social distancing programs in response to the spread of COVID-19, it seems an unwise time to play a game like pokemon go, for which you walk around outdoors and often meet in the real world with other players. But developer Niantic is taking steps to reduce the need for that kind of public interaction with updates announced this week.
For example, players can now purchase in-game incense items at more than 99 percent off, allowing them to lure nearby Pokémon to their current location without having to leave the house. Pokémon will also appear more frequently and in more locations to reduce the need for extended travel while playing the game.
In addition, Pokémon eggs also hatch twice as fast, eliminating the need to walk outside, and Pokéstops will drop gifts more often, reducing the need to travel to many of them to share crucial items with friends. . And Niantic has postponed Abra Community Day, a planned in-game event that encourages players to go out and catch large numbers of one specific Pokémon.
While Niantic doesn’t directly mention the coronavirus outbreak or social distancing in the update announcing these moves, a company representative confirmed to Polygon that it “prioritises updates to Pokémon Go features and experiences that can be made in individual settings.” are enjoyed”, and it has “made these updates based on the current global health situation.” Niantic leaves the final decision on how to play the game in the hands of individual players, although it “encourages[ing] players to make decisions about where to go and what to do that are in the best interest of their health and the health of their communities.”
While players’ overall interest in pokemon go Reportedly plummeting from the stratospheric heights it reached during its summer 2016 launch, Sensor Tower analysts estimate the game still grossed a record $894 million in 2019, thanks in part to an estimated 55 million downloads worldwide. iOS and Android.