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A Japanese politician at the opening ceremony for a three-day Pokemon Go event in Japan in 2017. Photo by AP
Reality Check
Facebook AR/VR

What Pokemon Go’s Pandemic Decisions Might Mean for AR’s Future

Photo: A Japanese politician at the opening ceremony for a three-day Pokemon Go event in Japan in 2017. Photo by AP

Pokemon Go’s sustained success will surely influence the design of AR games for the foreseeable future. It’s worth paying attention, then, to what Pokemon fans have to say—and how the Go developer, Niantic, reacts to fan fury triggered by the company’s weekend decision to roll back some key pandemic-related changes to the game.

Niantic designed Pokemon Go to be played out in public, which presented problems at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. To keep the game alive, Niantic made some tweaks to the game.  Most notably, players could stand twice as far away from a landmark in the game and still interact with it, letting them collect items or initiate Pokemon battles while having plenty of space to maintain social distance from other players.

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