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Niantic’s PokeStop contest drew backlash after Pokemon Go players found it was limited to five locations and only temporary. Angry fans were critical of the competition following the game’s nerf of Incense spawns.
During the launch of Seasons of Alola in March 2022, Niantic sparked backlash after announcing that it was slashing the spawn rates for Incense. The move particularly hit users playing at home or unable to travel long distances.
The mobile developer drew further criticism on March 11 when they revealed a contest for Pokemon Go players to get a PokeStop installed near them. The catch, however, is that only five Trainers can win – and it’s only temporary.
The official Pokemon Go Twitter account announced the contest in a March 11 Tweet. In the social media post, the developer revealed that they were holding the PokeStop contest to celebrate the game’s Community Day event.
“In the spirit of #PokemonGOCommunityDay, up to five lucky Trainers will get a new, temporary PokéStop added in their community! To enter, just tweet a video about your local community using #MyPokemonGOCommunity!” they wrote.
Go fans were outraged after discovering that the PokeStops were only temporary and limited to just five players out of the millions of active Trainers in the mobile title.
Trainers in the United States!
In the spirit of #PokemonGOCommunityDay, up to five lucky Trainers will get a new, temporary PokéStop added in their community! To enter, just tweet a video about your local community using #MyPokemonGOCommunity! pic.twitter.com/HcNXzUWnuB
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) March 11, 2022
Many took to social media to voice their anger over the contest such as one user who wrote, “Only 5 PokeStops? Out of the millions who play? What’s the point of even applying?”
Another player agreed and said, “Tell me how out of touch you are with the Pokemon Go community without actually telling me how out of touch you are with the Pokemon Go community. Niantic: “Up to five temporary” PokeStops, but only for U.S. Trainers. We are also ignoring all incense complaints.”
Trainers also used the announcement Tweet to raise their growing anger over Niantic nerfing the Incense item on March 1. “This is terrible. This game is losing hope after the company nerfed the incense,” one comment read.
A player angrily replied, “Please revert the incense back and stop discriminating and being ableist towards your less able part of the fanbase.”
One Trainer called out the mobile developer for not listening to the community. “You know? It really saddens me that you refuse to listen to your players. You say you’ll do better with communication yet you’re still showing no effort in listening to us. Please remove the Incense nerf. People are clearly not happy.”
This isn’t the first time Pokemon Go players have been unhappy with the game recently. On March 9, Trainers complained that spawn rates were poor for the Season of Alola following the companies decision to nerf Incense at the start of the event.
Only time will tell whether Niantic will listen to the community over the latest changes to the game. If this PokeStop contest is anything to go by, the community outrage doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon.