Pokemon Go’s New Zealand rollbacks show Niantic is more concerned with local law than actual safety

Niantic Labs, the company behind Pokemon Go, has rolled back its controversial changes to the game in New Zealand. The decision was made after a public outcry from players and critics who say that the changes would have put players at risk.

The massivelyop is a blog that post about gaming. This article states that Pokemon Go’s new Zealand rollbacks show Niantic is more concerned with local law than actual safety.

Good news: New Zealanders’ Pokemon Go PokeStop and Gym radius has been returned to 80 kilometers, precisely what the community had requested in exchange for the restoration of COVID-19 modifications to the game, which would keep players safe and improve accessibility for rural and handicapped gamers.

The bad news is that Niantic only implemented the modifications in the area, for a short period, and only because the nation is once again under COVID lockdown as a result of a single COVID case. Meanwhile, over 160,000 new COVID cases were reported in the United States just yesterday, but despite telling protesters that player safety is a core mission, the company has made no moves to change the game in the United States, and even encourages strangers to gather in small areas for a video game.

According to Gamepress writer @RyanSwg, Niantic seems to be reacting only to legal requirements, regardless of the real safety issue. He stated it even more forcefully:

Without a doubt, I believe we can fairly infer that @NianticLabs does not care about the health and safety of its player base. Rather, what they’re permitted to get away with within the law.

August 18, 2021 — RyanSwag (@SwgTips)

He isn’t the first POGO personality to raise this concern. We know that a few people, like ZoeTwoDots, are speaking with Niantic’s “task force,” but others have already cautioned us not to get our expectations up that Niantic will fix its public relations mess. Nicholas Oyzon of Trainer Tip has previously asked supporters not to “turn on him […] if Niantic doesn’t alter anything after the discussion.” That doesn’t bode well for the game, particularly if members of the community, such as the POGO PvP site pvpoke.com, begin to divert their attention to Pokemon Unite if Niantic continues to sabotage the game. Which seems much too apt given the company’s name, which is derived from a whaling schooner.

We’ve written extensively on the rollback, boycott, and Niantic’s “painfully inadequate response,” which you can read here:

pogo-avAndrew Ross of Massively OP is a self-confessed Pokemon fanatic and ARG aficionado. He knows all there is to know about Niantic and Nintendo! His column, Massively on the Go, features Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality games!

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The elyon is a blog that discusses the problems with Pokemon Go. It argues that Niantic is more concerned with local law than actual safety.

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