Pokemon Go has been a staple on every phone I’ve gotten since the game launched, but today, I’ve finally decided to uninstall it. The recent drama surrounding the game and Niantic have helped me realize that this game isn’t fun anymore. So it is with a heavy heart that I finally put an end to an era that has meant so much to me.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, Niantic recently doubled the price for their remote passes. These passes allow players to join raids without being near the gym. This change makes the game a bigger grind for free-to-play players, and more expensive for those who spend money on the game. Unsurprisingly, this change caused an uproar in the community. In response to the complaints, Niantic responded with an insensitive joke that they quickly deleted from their Twitter.
At first, I was indifferent to the news. I didn’t feel like the changes affected my experience enough to spark outrage, but this tweet started to put things into perspective. While Niantic has implemented much-needed quality-of-life changes since launch, it’s also implemented a few changes that make the game a bigger grind than it needs to be. I started to see that I was being held hostage by mechanics designed to keep the app open longer. Worst of all, the grind wasn’t even fun anymore.
I now realize that Pokemon Go hasn’t been fun in a while. I’d log in daily to complete my tasks and go on walks to farm XP, but it wasn’t to have fun anymore. My daily log-ins had become a chore I had to check off. That is what this game has turned into, but I didn’t want to accept this truth until today.
Pokemon Go has been a very important game for me. It got me outside, it helped me make new friends and stay connected with old ones, and it helped me get over my shame of being nerdy. When Pokemon Go first came out, I realized that wasn’t the weird guy who still liked Pokemon anymore because everyone else liked Pokemon. It was such a liberating experience to know that I didn’t have to hide my hobbies and passions anymore, so it makes me sad that I have to let this game go.
I am grateful for the good times and memories that came with this game, but it’s time to move on to something less predatory. Maybe I’ll return if there are significant changes to the game and company, but the damage is done.