The Pokémon GO community has been in an uproar since Niantic’s announcement about changes in Remote Raid Pass prices and mechanics.
As the day of implementation on 6 April approaches, players have been even more vocal about their disdain over the changes.
Some players have proposed a one-week boycott starting Thursday (6 April) to protest the changes, while nearly 50,000 players have signed a change.org petition to “Save Remote Raiding in Pokémon GO.”
Others, however, opted to quit en masse, and uninstall the game, reasoning that they won’t be able to keep up with the game because of the changes to the Remote Raid Passes
The discontent has been apparent across social media platforms and online forums, with most of the discussion remaining rather civil.
However, other players have resorted to trolling and hate speech, while others continued to express disappointment to Niantic, calling the Pokémon GO devs “a joke”.
Specifically, some Twitter users targeted Niantic’s post about Trans Day of Visibility:
— Niantic (@NianticLabs) March 31, 2023
Players like Twitter user @Bull_shhhh said that the company was more in favour of ableism, which was “discrimination in favor of able-bodied people,” adding that he was “sorry [he] wasn’t the right diversity for y[ou].”
Twitter user also An6rySn0r1ax expressed disdain over the post, asking Niantic why won’t they “start including players who live distant to large cities”, stating that “only the big city people are your people”.
Niantic hid a couple of replies from their official Twitter page, including replies that attacked the trans community that had derogatory remarks and others that called for a strike or boycott.
But things took a dark turn when some players turned against a Niantic employee.
Tyler, the Pokémon GO Global Community Manager, said that he received his first death threat four days after the announcement (4 April).
Got my first death threat.
I mean this sincerely. This is my personal account. I look at what people say (regarding my line of work), but this is not an official line of communication for Niantic. If you want me to see your feedback, please be constructive. Threats are not.
— Tyler 🌸adorned with cherry blossoms🌸 (@PlayerOneTyler) April 3, 2023
“Got my first death threat,” he wrote on Twitter.
Tyler emphasised to folks threatening him on Twitter that it was his personal account and that it was "not an official line of communication for Niantic. If you want me to see your feedback, please be constructive. Threats are not.”
Another Pokémon GO community manager, Liz, also received similar death threats, saying it has "changed how [she] interact[s] with people online for the rest of [her] life."
The things that were said to me I never want to repeat and have changed how I interact with people online for the rest of my life.
Stop it. Your words have meaning. Think about those words before you say them. And if you think about them and still want to say them, seek help. https://t.co/9wYO4IgamK
— Liz (@ItsLizGeorge) April 3, 2023
Liz asked players to stop with the threats and said, “Your words have meaning. Think about those words before you say them. And if you think about them and still want to say them, seek help.”
However, many players, like Twitter users @SlytherinRogueand @PoGoTwit7, who share the same sentiment about the upcoming changes, were shocked to see how other trainers have resorted to death threats.
PoGoTwit7 even mentioned that she was “furious with Niantic and have uninstalled [the game]”, yet “it never occurred to me to threaten even the people in charge”.
Tyler has confirmed in a follow-up tweet that he was “still okay” despite the situation and said that he was “working with internal safety teams to make sure [he is] safe and protected.”
More and more people are becoming antsy as they wait to find out on 6 April whether Niantic will truly carry out its plan or if it will listen to its frustrated trainers.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.