Niantic, the developer of Pokémon GO, has announced some changes to the game’s Remote Raid Passes, the way they work, and their prices to be implemented this April.
The announcement was made on Friday (31 March), and will be implemented on 6 April.
“Since their introduction in 2020, Remote Raid Passes have come to dominate the experience of playing Pokémon GO in a way we never intended,” Niantic said in their update on the Pokémon GO page.
Remote Raid passes were introduced in 2020 at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns to let people play Pokémon GO while in quarantine.
What's changing with Remote Raid Passes?
For pricing adjustments, trainers can expect the Remote Raid Pass three-pack to increase to 525 Pokécoins.
Single Remote Raid Passes will also increase from 100 to 195 PokéCoins. On top of this, one Premium Battle Pass three-pack will be available in the shop for 250 Pokécoins.
In terms of how the Remote Raid Passes work, Niantic has imposed a limit on how many Remote Raid Passes can be used in a day. Now trainers can only participate in a maximum of five Remote Raids a day, and this should increase and change when special events are announced.
The company wants to also incentivise players who play and do raids in person, to encourage interaction with members of the community within the same area by rewarding them with additional Candy XL and other new features.
“We plan to keep Remote Raid Passes as part of Pokémon GO. However, we believe this change is necessary for the long-term health of the game, and we do not make it lightly,” the Pokémon GO team added. The devs also believed this was “a necessary step” to preserve and keep the game unique.
Players angry over the changes, propose boycott
Many players have been confused, angry, or even upset about the changes. On Reddit, some users like u/1Lstgermain and u/Moumantai proposed a boycott after the changes are implemented.
The infographic stated that many players “chose to ignore” the “monetization schemes in the game”, and called the price increase and remote raid pass changes a “dire change for all of us, and especially rural players.”
The boycott called for players to refrain from purchasing items from the Pokémon GO in-game shop for an entire week after 6 April, not to adjust the number of in-person raids they would do on the said week.
The infographic, however, emphasised that others should not “pressure [other players] into doing the same,” but to just spread the word. It also discouraged naysayers, asking them to “just ignore it” if they think it’s pointless and that there’s “no need to spread negativity.”
“The only language corporations understand is money,” they said. “If there’s a visible decrease for a week after the change, we’ve made our point.”
Some Redditors, like MountainSun_ agreed with the idea and said they were “wondering where all the ‘WTF, they took away the Remote Raid Passes?’ posts were” and that they were “glad to see people here aren’t just giving in to Niantic’s BS.”
Some, however, have even more radical suggestions for a boycott. Many like MrAkaziel, Minimum-Marzipan-979, and Weasel_Town, believed uninstalling the game for a month would be even more effective and that players should “put the game down.”
“Uninstall, and this is the ONLY way,” VirtualRy said. “Remember, you can get back your account even if you did. Just remember your login info.”
VirtualRy even said that “Niantic is laughing at you” because Niantic still receives data from players when the game is still in the app.
Still others, like RayTracingOn reminded the rest of the community not to harass customer support because “they have zero control over what happens in the game.”
On Twitter, some said this move “could genuinely be the death of Pokémon GO,” like British content creator @pogo_central:
Not even capping when I say this, the remote raid pass price increase could genuinely be the death of Pokémon GO.
— PoGOCentral (@pogo_central) March 30, 2023
Others, like video game accessibility website Can I Play That, criticised the company for not thinking about disabled players and players in the rural area, who may have a difficult time joining a team, saying these changes “will hurt [the game’s] accessibility”.
Last month, Niantic shared their continued commitment to real-world play in Pokémon GO and began implementing changes to how events and raids were done.
At the time, rural players complained about not having enough members to form a raid party and lamented how they cannot play the game as efficiently anymore.
Niantic has yet to respond to the backlash they received from their player community.
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.