What you need to know
- New Zealand has returned to lockdown.
- Niantic has reinstated the pandemic bonuses that were rolled back at the beginning of the month.
- Players continue to press Niantic to reinstate bonuses in the US.
Niantic's decision to roll back pandemic bonuses in Pokémon Go for players in New Zealand and the US led to boycotts, a massive push on social media, and much upset from the community. In a weak response, Niantic promised to form a committee to discuss the issue and delayed any decisions until September. However, in the light of the first community spread COVID case in New Zealand in six months, the country has gone back into lockdown. As a result, Niantic has reinstated pandemic bonuses until the lockdown is lifted — in New Zealand only.
These changes will remain in effect until New Zealand has moved out of Alert Level 4. For details, please see: https://t.co/S3O3KxmIQMThese changes will remain in effect until New Zealand has moved out of Alert Level 4. For details, please see: https://t.co/S3O3KxmIQM— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) August 18, 2021August 18, 2021
Throughout the entire pandemic, New Zealand has had only 26 COVID deaths. The US, on the other hand, had over a thousand deaths yesterday alone. Every single post Niantic has made since the boycott has been flooded with comments from players insisting that the rollback is a reckless disregard of public health and player safety. Still, the decision to reinstate bonuses in a country with a single community spread case has left the community in an uproar.
While some players are still holding out hope that September will bring about a change not only in Pokémon Go, but also in how Niantic operates, others have pointed to this as further proof that the company will continue to put profits over player safety and are ready to walk away from the game entirely.
Are you participating in the Pokémon Go boycott? What would you like to see from Niantic in the coming days? Let us know in the comments below and maybe check out some Pokémon games for the Switch. At least those won't require risking your health just to play.
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.
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