A lot has changed in Pokemon Go over the past few months, so much so that the popular mobile game may never fully return to how it once was.
With Pokemon Go inherently needing players to walk around to make the most of the game, the imposed lockdowns across the world forced Niantic to change some fundamental aspects. No longer could players get up and go hatch that 10km egg or take a trip to their favorite Pokemon location.
Niantic acted quickly and decisively. Given what happened after, it proved to be a good decision, one that allowed many trainers to continue to enjoy Pokemon Go in a climate that could have easily prevented it.
Here are just come of the changes Niantic made to Pokemon Go in response to the changing world:
- 1/2 egg hatch distance
- Increased Pokemon spawns
- Gym and PokeStop interaction distance doubled
- 2x Incense duration
- Cheap item bundle in Pokemon Go Shop
This is in addition to all events over the last few months being play at home friendly.
Will Niantic reverse changes?
Now the question is, if and when the world goes back to normal, will Niantic revert the changes? After all, Pokemon Go looks and plays very differently now compared to the beginning of March.
Trainers have become accustomed to being able to enjoy Pokemon Go from home. This holds even more true for rural players who have long complained about being unable to play the game properly.
Niantic risk facing the wrath of the Pokemon Go community, or at least large portions of it, by removing them all. Instead, we may see the game go to some form of middle-ground.
It's hard to imagine egg hatch distance staying discounted and that will likely go back to what it was - it makes sense for a 10km egg to require 10km worth of walking! Incense duration will likely be the same, which probably won't meet much resistance.
However, increased Pokemon spawns may stay, at least to some degree. This will somewhat appease rural players and continue to give those enjoy playing from home the ability to do so. Elsewhere, the Gym and PokeStop interaction distance could be put back to what it was because trainers will be allowed to travel to them.
For what it's worth, Niantic haven't commented on these plans for the future. They are likely still navigating their way through, just like everyone else is. It will certainly be interesting to see which direction Pokemon Go goes in, though.