Niantic has reversed the controversial decision to reduce the radius of Pokestops and gyms in Pokemon GO.
After taking a drubbing on social media from the Pokemon NO Day movement, the company behind Pokemon GO has decided to reinstitute some of the safety-related policies that were added to the game in 2020. This will take place immediately, and will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Niantic thanked fans for their engagement with the game and admitted that the reversal was a result of fan outcry.
Trainers – we’re looking forward to sharing our plans as a result of the task force on September 1, but one thing does not have to wait! From now on, 80 meters will be the base interaction radius for PokéStops and Gyms globally. (1/2)— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 25, 2021
“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,” Niantic said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Niantic came under intense fire for reducing the radius of Pokestops and gyms from 80 meters. The radius was increased in 2020 to allow players to continue playing the game more safely. Niantic noted at the time that the changes were temporary, but fans grew accustomed to them as time went on.
Niantic started rolling things back, returning distances to normal in the United States and New Zealand with plans to implement these changes globally over time. This was met with harsh backlash including a brief boycott of the game, which was dubbed #PokemonNODay on social media. The movement gained widespread attention across the gaming world and beyond.
Niantic acknowledged the fan outcry and suggested it would look into the matter. It’s uncertain if the reversal was purely due to the controversy surrounding the changes or if the game’s player count actually went down after the changes were implemented.
After the changes made by Niantic, players can interact with a Pokestop from up to 80 meters away, roughly 262.5 feet. This is up from the 40 meters, or 131 feet, that was long in place. This range is the same for gyms, with players able to obtain items, battle, and join raids from 80 meters away.