- “Pokémon Go” is undergoing a great “Pokémon migration” that means that the titular pocket monsters will be spread more evenly across the world, developer Niantic says.
- That’s very good news for rural players, who have complained since the game launched in 2016 that the game is far less fun if you live away from an urban center, where the Pokémon are more plentiful.
- Niantic is also opening up the process of voting for in-game Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms, which should also make life easier for players in remote areas.
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“Pokémon Go” is a fun excuse to get out of your house and go exploring — provided you live at least somewhat close to an urban area.
Otherwise, the game is infamously punishing to players in rural and otherwise remote areas, where the Pokémon themselves are extremely few and far between, making for an often-frustrating and underwhelming experience. It’s a problem that’s hung over the game since its launch in the summer of 2016.
In a blog post on Thursday night, developer Niantic gave a sign that it’s finally taking steps to address this problem with a “Pokémon migration” that promises to more evenly distribute the namesake pocket monsters all over the world. In doing so, it has “nearly doubled the number of locations where Pokémon can be found in the wild around the world,” per the blog post.
“As a result, Trainers might be seeing more Pokémon in places where few Pokémon encounters occurred previously—or even in places where Trainers didn’t encounter Pokémon at all,” Niantic wrote.
Along similar lines, Niantic recently announced Wayfarer, a system to allow select players of “Pokémon Go” (and other Niantic titles like “Ingress”) to nominate real-life places to serve as Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms in the game. As you may remember from playing the game back in 2016, “Pokémon Go” players visit those points of interest in the real world to obtain valuable items and test their monsters’ might against each other.
As part of its blog post on Thursday, Niantic indicated that all “Pokémon Go” players will be eligible to vote on those location nominations, with winners set to be included in the game. That, too, should increase the number and variation of Pokéstop locations, making the game more accessible to rural players in turn.
While the fad may be over, “Pokémon Go” is still a mobile gaming powerhouse. Analyst firm Sensor Tower projects that it was downloaded 1 million times in November, and generated revenue of $20 million in that same month. It recently announced ambitions to get into the self-serve advertising business via “Pokémon Go,” as well.
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