An image from Google's new Sodar AR app. Photo by Google
Reality Check
Google AR/VR

TI Reality Check: Pokemon Go Pushback and AR Experimentation

By  |  April 7, 2021 11:01 AM PDT
Photo: An image from Google's new Sodar AR app. Photo by Google

Niantic might have crossed a line in terms of how much it can reasonably ask of Pokemon Go players with its special Easter-timed event. Players are reportedly feeling pressured to spend money in order to collect one Pokemon in particular, which touches on a sensitive issue about loot boxes and gambling-like behavior in gaming.

The Pokemon creature in question—a Happiny in a festive flower costume—is only available from April 4 to April 8. It can only be hatched from a special event egg, and there’s no way of knowing exactly what Pokemon is inside a given egg until it hatches. Niantic doesn’t disclose hatch rates, but players estimate it could be as low as 1% for the Happiny, based on their own experiences. To speed up the process, Niantic offers players the option of buying incubator items for around $1.50–2.00. Hence the feeling of pressure to spend money.

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