Niantic is slowly killing Pokemon Go and it’s tiring

pokemon go logo with pikachuPokemon / Niantic

Over the last couple of years, Niantic has been haphazardly updating Pokemon Go and it’s slowly ruining the game. 

As an avid Pokemon fan who’s been following the series since the original games released in the late ’90s, I’ve jumped at just about every single chance to play anything related to it  — from diving into the mainline titles and competing in the TCG to even playing the seemingly Minecraft-inspired Pokemon Quest.

After taking a break from the mobile game in late 2017, I returned in August 2018 and it’s just not been the same since. 

They’ve released new Pokemon out of order, completely skipping some in the process. On top of that, the dev team provided us with far too many events while offering more and more ways to come after our wallets. 

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If they want to reignite a spark many of us had when we first played Pokemon Go, this cannot continue. 

Niantic needs to organize new Pokemon releases

After jumping back into the game, things just didn’t feel the same as they once did. 

Niantic has been slow in terms of releasing any Pokemon past the first generation, meaning there has not been any incentive other than to just complete your Pokedex.

Releasing more Pokemon into the game is still a huge issue, except now it’s slightly different from before. Instead of releasing every monster as it was released into the main series, chronologically, they’ve begun jumping around the Pokedex with a scattergun approach. 

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Pokemon Go Zacian ZamazentaNiantic
Zacian and Zamazenta arrived in August.

One recent example would be Gen 8 legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta, who were made available just after Go Fest 2021 despite the game still missing Arceus, Shaymin, and Manaphy from the fourth generation. Not to mention the entire non-Alolan forme Pokedex from Gen 7.

Sure, they want to save legendaries and other hard-to-find Pokemon for special events like they did with Hoopa, but why release Hoopa when the game’s still missing Arceus? 

They should release each generation with the legendaries right after, before they jump into the next. This would allow players to feel less overwhelmed as they can fill their Pokedex in order, or maybe I am just a traditionalist. 

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Why not streamline events?

Some of the things that have continued to pick up steam have been the monthly Community Day events, paired with the special season-long Research Tasks that they’ve been doing over the last couple of years.

During the Season of Mischief, Niantic began piling on so many tasks that it just became confusing. 

pokemon go halloweenNiantic
There has been no shortage of Pokemon Go events, such as the Season of Mischief.

Since September 1 of this year, we have been met with the following Special & Timed Research tasks: Misunderstood Mischief, What Lies Beneath the Mask?, Finding Your Voice, Search for Zarude, Psychic Spectacular, Fashion Week, and the Halloween Cup Research!

That’s a total of seven different research tasks, and a lot of them required you to complete them during the event due to specific tasks that lined up with special in-game spawns.

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As crazy as it sounds, there’s just too much content being pushed to players. 

Pokemon Go has turned into a money-grab

You’re probably thinking ‘It’s a free game — of course Niantic is going to want you to spend money,’ and I get that, I really do. This is the subject that hurts me the most, as I’ve spent since the game was released. 

However, I’m done giving them my money.

When this game was released, it was easy to blow money in the shop to make sure you had enough Pokeballs to fill your Pokedex, or enough potions to heal after fighting a gym. Ever since 2019 when they released all the regional Pokemon in 7km eggs, it’s become clear that they are trying to empty not just my wallet, but everybody’s.

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Remote Raid Passes in Pokemon GoNiantic / The Pokemon Company
Remote Raid Passes should have been a free item.

When the devs enabled the ability to raid remotely – following a community outcry – Niantic opted to make us pay for new Raid Passes instead of reworking the existing ones. The same functionality was tweaked slightly, but at a cost. 

On top of that, on December 7 they made a Lure box available in the shop. Shortly after, a player reported on Reddit that the price for said box fluctuated anywhere between 350 coins to over 700 coins to purchase. At one dollar per 100 coins, this makes the same box cost anywhere from $3.50 to $7.00. 

It’s obvious that the developers need to make money to support the growth of the free-to-play game, but they can at least have it make sense. Instead, we have been hit with a content overload and there’s no clear plan about where the game is going – despite Niantic previously stating it is a “forever” title that will be around forever. 

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I just want to enjoy the game again – but at the moment, that’s a struggle. And sadly, it’s only getting worse.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and are not necessarily shared by Dexerto.