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Pokemon Go developer reverses PokeStop changes after community protest

Pokemon Go PokeStop spin distance has been increased after community backlash.

Niantic Labs has reverted recent changes made to the spin distance in Pokemon Go, allowing players to hit up PokeStops from a safer distance than what was implemented earlier this month.

Now, instead of a 40-meter distance needed to spin a PokeStop, players will only need to be 80 meters aways to take a spin.

See, before corona raised its wretched head, the distance to spin a PokeStop in the game was 40 meters. This was fine and dandy when there wasn’t the possibility of getting sick. It allowed people to interact with each other, see interesting areas up close, and get in a few extra steps when walking. However, when COVID-19 hit, it was no longer safe to crowd around with others in order to earn balls, stickers, revives and other handy items to use in-game. So, Niantic increased the distance to 80 meters to make it safer for folks to visit a PokeStop.

Earlier this month, Niantic warned players it would revert the spin distance for PokeStops back to pre-COVID distances. This was even noted in the game via a pinned announcement. But folks figured the company would be considerate enough to change its plans due to the recent surge in COVID-19 across the world and with the different variants which have surfaced, Delta especially being of utmost concern at the moment across the US alone.

But, Niantic continued on with its plan in the US and New Zealand despite rising mask mandates and lockdowns occurring once more. This raised the ire of the community, which not only felt the change was irresponsible, but it made the game less friendly to those with disabilities and that the extended spin distance was a basic quality of life feature for many. It also made it easier to spin PokeStops located in dangerous places such as historical signs on the side of a busy highway, or one that is located at a business that may have closed for the evening, or just an unsafe area in general.

At any rate, a letter shared by the community, Pokemon Go websites, and influencers took the developer to task, and some players even boycotted the game by not playing or buying items from the in-game store.

After a mealy sounding response from Niantic originally, stating it would have a task force look into the matter, the company has relented and brought back the ability to spin PokeStops at an 80-meter distance. This is a win for the community, and despite it seeming as though Niantic wasn’t listening at first, it did in fact listen, finally, and folks can enjoy spinning PokeStops at a safer distance again.

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