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Niantic restores pandemic bonus for US in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go Gyms and Pokestops
Pokemon Go Gyms and Pokestops (Image credit: Niantic)

What you need to know

  • Pokémon Go players have been boycotting and petitioning Niantic since the removal of pandemic bonuses.
  • Niantic set a deadline of Sept. 1, 2021 to respond to the community.
  • The company has restored one of the pandemic bonuses to the US and announced it as a permanent feature.

When Niantic removed pandemic bonuses in the U.S. and New Zealand while COVID numbers skyrocketted, many players came together to petition and even boycott Pokémon Go in hopes that the developer would be more upfront and honest about changes being made to the game, and hopefully, restore these bonuses. Many even pushed for Niantic to make one change in particular permanent: the expanded radius on PokéStops and Gyms.

Initially, Niantic published a weak response, promising to form a committee that would answer the community's concerns in one month. While many continued to not play Pokémon Go or only play what they could for free, Niantic carried on with August's events, ignoring the flood of comments and pleas from the players. However, on Wednesday evening, Niantic posted on Twitter that the PokéStop and Gym radius had been restored in the U.S. and is now a permanent feature.

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While some have responded positively, celebrating the win for the community, especially the disabled players, many remain skeptical. Some of the community members that were chosen to provide input for the committee have implied or outright stated that they are not to discuss the details of their talks with Niantic, leaving players justifiably concerned that communication from the company will not improve.

Have you participated in the Pokémon Go boycott? Will you be resuming play now that Niantic has listened to the community or will you still be waiting until the announcement on Sept. 1? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our best Pokémon Go accessories to make the most of your in game experience.

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.