Skip to main content

Pokémon No Day: Why fans are boycotting Pokémon Go today

Pokémon Go fans are boycotting the popular mobile video game today with a protest dubbed Pokémon No Day. The boycott, which has gained traction on Twitter, is intended to speak out against Niantic rolling back the game’s COVID-19 friendly updates.

As the world fell into a lockdown in 2020, Pokémon Go developer Niantic had to act fast. Pokémon Go used to require that players go outside and walk around to catch some Pokémon. However, with COVID-19 spreading, doing so became dangerous. To keep players playing, Niantic opted to make it possible to play Pokemon Go from home. However, the developer is now rolling back those changes, even as a new Delta variant of the virus spreads. Understandably, fans are not happy and are taking today to boycott the game.

Last year, Niantic rolled out a suite of features that made it easier for Pokemon Go players to play from home. The developer let players access raid battles from their couches instead of rushing to meet other players in a single location. However, the biggest change made to the game came to its Go Battle League. Previously, this feature required players to walk a whopping three kilometers to participate.

These changes, and others that let players access Pokéstops, are now being rolled back by Niantic. Speaking to Polygon, the company explained that “Going outside and spinning PokéStops and Gyms is important to our mission because it encourages exploration of the world. These locations are local points of interest in a community and could be historical landmarks, art installations, local businesses, and more.”

It's unfortunate that @NianticLabs has decided that the pandemic is over, that we're no longer in danger, and that the disabled folks who were finally able to take part no longer are welcome.

Well then.

They get no more of my money, or my ad clicks.#PokemonNoDay#PokemonNoGo

— Moon-faced Assassin of Joy (@NomeDaBarbarian) August 5, 2021

However, COVID-19 hasn’t gone away just yet. The virus’ new Delta variant, which proves to be more transmissible and can even infect vaccinated people, is currently spreading across the U.S. It’s worth noting that a majority of the victims of this version of the virus are unvaccinated, and that vaccinated people have a largely reduced chance of being hospitalized or being seriously ill. Regardless, the virus is still here and represents enough of a clear and present danger that multiple states across the U.S are reinforcing mask mandates. Some are taking precautions a step further, like New York, where in New York City customers cannot enter movie theaters, gyms, or restaurants without proof of vaccination.

Still, Niantic is determined to roll back its COVID changes to Pokémon Go, and as a result, players have started Pokémon No Day. For today, players are staying off the game, with some promising that they are dropping Pokémon Go altogether. For now, it doesn’t seem like the boycott is going to receive much attention from Niantic, with the reinstatement of former COVID-19 adjustments to the game increasingly unlikely.

Editors' Recommendations

Otto Kratky
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Otto Kratky is a freelance writer with many homes. You can find his work at Digital Trends, GameSpot, and Gamepur. If he's…
LIVE: PS5 Game Prime Day deals — lowest prices today
A person plays Crash Bandicoot using a PS5 DualSense controller.

There are so many Prime Day deals out there at this point, it's tough to wrap your head around all of them, especially if you're looking for something specific, like the best Prime Day PS5 game deals. That's why it's a huge help to reference a curated guide, like this one, where all of the excellent promotions and offers have been wrapped up for you, with a neat little bow on top. If you want to get your game on, but save a ton of money, now is the best time to make that happen. Here are some of the better Prime Day PS5 game deals out there right now, one of which may be just what you were looking for.

LiveLast updated July 12, 2022 8:46 AM

Read more
Prime Day mattress deals live blog: the lowest prices today
This is an image of a family snuggled together on a Dream Cloud bed.

The Prime Day deals have, and while synonymous with discounts on tech like TVs and laptops, it's actually not a bad time to buy a mattress if you're in need of an upgrade. Sure, the Fourth of July would have been the time to buy if you missed out on Memorial Day, but we won't look this gift horse in the mouth. Here are all the best Prime Day mattress deals, as they happen live.

LiveLast updated July 16, 2022 1:19 AM

Read more
Pokémon Go studio cancels four titles, including its Transformers game
pokemon go developer introduces ar pet game peridot

Niantic, the hitmaker behind Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom, is buckling up for some hard times. The company announced it has canceled the production of four games and laid off 8% of its staff.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Niantic CEO John Hanke wrote a companywide email saying that around 85 to 90 employees were getting laid off. Hanke explained that the company has been "facing a time of economic turmoil" and has resorted to "reducing costs in a variety of areas." That meant canceling four games, including Transformers game, Heavy Metal, and Hamlet.

Read more