Players of the hit mobile game Pokemon GO are banding together to boycott the game for what they consider to be unfair monetization practices. The group is protesting Niantic’s decision to raise prices on Remote Raid Passes and its general approach to making money from the game.
The Game’s History
The augmented reality game was first launched in 2016 by Niantic. The game, which allows people to capture, train, and battle Pokémon in the real world, was a commercial and critical success. The game became one of the most popular mobile apps in 2016 alone, with more than 500 million downloads worldwide.
The following year, Pokemon GO was still extremely popular, and by 2019 had garnered over a billion downloads globally. The game then continued to earn revenue with $6 billion in 2020.
The Problem with Monetization
Despite the game’s continued success, Pokemon GO’s monetization has become increasingly controversial over time. Players have become frustrated with Niantic overcharging for loot boxes and items.
The game’s commercialization has allegedly become more intrusive over time, and players have accused Niantic of taking advantage of the game’s supporters’ reluctance to oppose its aggressive monetization practices. The company’s decision to increase prices has been seen as the final straw for many players.
The Pokemon GO Strike
The Pokemon GO boycott, or “strike” as some have called it, is organized in protest to Niantic’s increase in the price of Remote Raid Passes. These passes allow players to participate in raids remotely. The strike is urging players to boycott these passes for a week after the price increase.
The boycott’s organizer hopes that Niantic will listen if it begins losing money due to its recent policy shifts. They believe that if enough players participate, the company may reconsider its monetization strategy.
Boycotters will still be able to play the game as usual, participate in raids they can access physically, but they will abstain from buying any Boxes, Remote Raid Passes, or Premium Raid Passes for a week following the price increase.
The organizer of the event has warned against players pressuring others to participate in the boycott. They have urged boycotters to encourage other Pokemon GO players to join, but that ultimately the decision to participate is up to each individual player.
The Possible Outcome
The boycott is set to take place soon, and it is yet to be seen whether or not it will have any impact on Niantic’s monetization strategy. The company has not made any statements regarding the boycott or its price hike on Remote Raid Passes at this time.
It is possible that the boycott could have some effect on the company’s decision-makers and lead to increased caution when it comes to commercializing the game. Only time will tell how effective the boycott will be and whether or not it will lead to any changes in Pokemon GO’s monetization strategy.