Niantic said on March 23, “Pokemon GOAnnouncing an in-game event Community Day. Although a monthly event, the announcement is spreading across this working community. The reason is the timing of the event.
Pokemon GO is a location-based game from Nintendo and Niantic. In this work, there will be a Community Day every month on the weekend, when a large number of specific Pokemon will appear. In the same event, it is easy to obtain rare Pokemon of different colors. If you evolve the corresponding Pokemon for a period of time after the event starts, there are also elements such as learning special skills. In addition, various bonuses such as increasing XP when capturing Pokémon are applied. For this player, this is an event I absolutely want to play.
A few days ago, the official website of this work announced the content, date and time of the April Community Day. The featured Pokémon “Nui Koguma” is flying. The event will be held on April 23, 14:00-17:00, lasting 3 hours. However, the three-hour holding time has caused waves in the community. That’s because Community Days are customary to be held for six hours, twice as long as in the past two years.
Originally, the community day was basically held for 3 hours. It is believed that starting from April 25, 2020, the 6-hour event will be held. The Community Day that day was subtitled “Play at Home” in support of the so-called “stay at home” concept in the fight against the novel coronavirus infection. Perhaps part of that is the doubling of the hold time, which used to be three hours. While only a temporary change at the time, the 6-hour event has recently become a staple of the Community Day schedule.
In this context, 6-hour events have become the norm for players. But now it has been announced again that Community Day will be back to three hours. According to the announcement on the official website of this game, this 3-hour hold time is an attempt.
One of the reasons for the return to the original was the positive reaction from users at the “Community Day (Reprint)” held in January. The event is a special event on the pre-reprint Community Day, in addition to a three-hour event. Featuring “Bulbasaur”, the powerful technology “Hard Plant” can only be learned through evolution in the same event. In addition, only 5% of users who participated in the event for 3 hours or more during the 6-hour period of the Community Day were said to have participated. Based on this background, it seems that it was decided to try to restore the hold time to 3 hours.
However, the return to the 3-hour schedule this time has caused controversy among domestic and foreign players who have become accustomed to the 6-hour schedule. In the announcement tweet of the official Japanese Twitter account of “Pokemon GO”, some users thought that they could not participate due to the shortening of the holding time, such as “some players could not participate due to work reasons” within 3 hours. Of course, from 14:00 to 17:00: Under the schedule of 00, players who have the convenience of “getting off work at 12:00 noon” will have to give up participation.
In addition, the English official of this worktweetSimilar criticisms tend to stand out in responses. “Users play in intervals of their lives, they spend their time in intervals of 6 hours,” it was pointed out, compared to the “few long-term engagement users” that underlies the shortened time. Pokemon GO is a positioning game that runs parallel to everyday life, and players rarely stick to community days. Regardless of this situation, simply looking at the proportion of long-term players to shorten the holding time can be considered a short circuit.
On the other hand, streamer Fleece King agrees: “I personally don’t get too tired for three hours, and it’s just right.” For some heavy users, shortening the holding time seems to be a good limit. However, he also said that 6 hours is ultimately better because it’s easier for users to get more game time without rushing.
The critique of the shortening of Community Day appears to be against the “return norm”. In this work, due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, users criticized him for showing a policy of returning the changed specifications to the regular specifications. In this case, Niantic changed the range of the Pocket Stop / Gym from 40 meters to 80 meters. Later when I tried to return it 40 meters, it was withdrawn due to criticism from users (related article). The 6-hour schedule for Community Day was originally set up as a countermeasure to prevent the spread of infection. As measures against infectious diseases continue to be emphasized, the attitude of trying to return to the norm may be one of the factors that may lead to rejection.
Reducing the hold time to 3 hours may have some effect on increasing the number of people playing at the same time. However, shortening the holding time is also a double-edged sword, depriving users of the freedom to participate at their convenience. Will Niantic take any action in response to the many criticisms of the decision?
※The English version of this article is available here