It seems like the Corona Virus is currently hitting quite hard, with reactions from “seal everything off completely because this is highly contagious!” (a good thing) to “meh, it’s just a cold!” (a bad thing). Now, I’m no expert, so I’m not going to talk about things I don’t know about. All I’ll say is that you should wash your damn hands. But I DO know about Pokemon Go. And Pokemon Go is cancelling or postponing events left right and center.
Yes, events are being cancelled.
The first big cancellation was that all events in South Korea, Japan and Italy were postponed, and players were told the events would come back at a later date. Players in these areas were given free GBL games every day because they couldn’t go out and walk, as well as some additional benefits since they were unable to go and do raids. This is also partially why Legendaries are available in the GBL.
Then other events started to get postponed or cancelled. The Safari Zone events, notably in St. Louis, were all postponed, but players can easily get full refunds if they wish. If you don’t get a refund, you get the exclusive spawns globally, as well as the safari zone special research.
The cancellation of the Abra Community Day though means that Niantic are serious about this. After all, the last thing you need in a pandemic is herds of people walking around, catching Pokemon and staring blankly at their phones. Okay, that doesn’t ever happen here in Cyprus… But it’s all still people going outside and being in close contact to each other when they don’t need to be. It’s entirely possible that future events will be postponed too.
But Niantic isn’t leaving everyone in the dark.
They’ve actually been pretty upfront about all the cancellations. And they are also being somewhat generous with complimentary gifts instead. Alongside the Abra Community Day postponement, Niantic are offering:
- A one-time purchase bundle of 30 Incense for 1 PokéCoin. Incense will also last for one hour.
- 1/2 Hatch Distance when Eggs are placed into Incubators during this time period (so you don’t need to go out as much to hatch eggs)
- PokéStops will now drop Gifts more frequently (presumably so you can send and receive gifts to get more Pokeballs)
- Pokémon habitats will increase and more Pokémon will be appearing in the wild (which means more Pokemon appearing at spawns that aren’t Pokestops, e.g. at people’s houses)
Now, they didn’t have to do this at all, but when your business model focuses on people going outside, you kinda need to do something to stop that in the middle of a contagious outbreak. Future events (like the raid weekends) will be extended as well, presumably making these Pokemon available for longer in the Go Battle League so people have more of a chance to catch them.
Sure, Niantic can do more, especially since not everyone is in quarantine yet. But in places where you are stuck inside all the time, at least you can play a little bit of Pokemon Go.
But all of this is to be expected. A LOT of things are being postponed because of this outbreak, which is a good thing because we don’t know how dangerous this virus can be. After all, you’ve seen how games of Pandemic turn out, right? And if it turns out that the corona virus isn’t as dangerous as we feared, well, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
In the mean time, I hope you all stay safe and wash your hands.