It’s a sad state of affairs, but the current situation across the globe is that people are hunkering down as much as possible in order to stay healthy. As the WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, everyone around the world has been altering their lives and work to take precautions. As you’ve probably seen in your promotions inbox, businesses are making moves as well. But what about things like games requiring players to go out and interact with people? Niantic has an answer to that question, as the developer moves to make slight, temporary changes to Pokemon GO.
Most of Pokemon GO requires you to leave your house and explore your surroundings. It’s really hard to do much of anything if you try to just play at home, unless you live in a central sort of area. From restocking items to finding new Pokemon, you gotta go outside if you want to progress. As we batten down the hatches to fight the coronavirus, social separation is the name of the game. To Niantic, not only could this mean a sharp decline in revenue, it could also mean stubborn users going out to the detriment of their own health to keep up with their favorite game.
In speaking with Polygon, Niantic confirmed it tweaked how Pokemon GO works in order to make individual play feasible. This starts with increasing habitats, meaning players will be able to catch a wider range of critters without going too far away from home. Incense packs are now drastically cheaper at a 99% discount, and they’re boosted to last a half hour. Incubators hatch eggs twice as fast, and Pokestops regenerate faster All of these changes are live now and will last until further notice.
In addition to the tweaks, Niantic has also postponed in-person events for the game. However, events that don’t require personal travel or interaction such as the upcoming Battle League and Research events are proceeding as planned.