Pokemon GO: Niantic accused of dismissing player health amid New Zealand lockdown

Segments of the Pokemon GO fanbase are not impressed with some of Niantic's decision-making.

Pokemon GO players have accused the game’s developers of not caring about the health of gamers following a recent decision that they made.

Niantic have sparked controversy after reversing the decision to revoke pandemic bonuses in New Zealand, following the country’s recent lockdown on the back of just one positive case picked up in the entire country.

The COVID crisis has transformed how people live day by day across the world, with Pokemon GO being hugely affected with trainers required to go out into public spaces to play the game.

Despite this, Niantic put measures in place so that players would still benefit from bonuses despite not being able to leave the premises of their own home – introducing shorter distances for hatching eggs and rewards for walking.

However, despite their recent reaction to events in New Zealand, one person highlighted how this wasn’t the case during the height of the pandemic in the United States in 2020.

Read more: Pokemon Go: Latest News and Updates, Events, Promo Codes And Everything You Need To Know


Niantic in the dog house

A disgruntled Reddit user attracted vast amounts of attention after saying that Niantic “doesn’t actually care about player heath/safety.”

Carllyq (via u/carllyq) said: “So Niantic reversed the distance change when NZ had 1 confirmed locally transmitted case but refused to do the same when the US just had over 250k new cases and 1k+ deaths in one day (an over 2000% increase in about one month).

“This basically proves that Niantic doesn’t actually care about player health/safety, but only local laws (e.g. lockdown or not) so they don’t run into legal troubles or get into media’s crosshairs. All those statements about caring about the players and the community were nothing but PR talk and virtue signalling.

“This is not at all surprising for a corporation of course, but it’s still disappointing and despicable.”

Whether this approach makes its way over the UK, remains to be seen. But despite our shores being one of the first in the world to develop a successful vaccine – it remains to be seen whether we see similar COVID cases than we saw last year.

That being said, it is a concern how Niantic are picking and choosing who can receive bonuses. But at the same time, they are a business that has to continue to operate accordingly.

Time will tell whether any further decisions are made along similar grounds.

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