Niantic discusses the importance of making Pokemon GO players feel socially connected while in quarantine

You'd think a game like Pokemon GO, which is all about walking around outside and being active, would be doomed in a situation where people have to stay shuttered inside for most of the day. Niantic made sure that wasn't the case by quickly adapting the game for stay-at-home play, and their approach seems to have worked. Players are playing just as much, if not more while staying safe inside.

In an interview with Polygon, Niantic designer Laura Warner talked about how the team approached their Pokemon GO players that would allow them to still enjoy the game while in quaratine.

“For Pokémon Go […] we’ve always really had three major pillars: exploration, exercise, and social. Through this entire journey, the one we really wanted to focus on is the social connection. Because even just for ourselves working from home, we saw how isolating this could be — when you can’t leave your apartment and you can’t see your friends and family. So one of the things we focused on most was, ‘How can we make players feel socially connected to each other and still feel like, even if you can’t leave home today, there’s a world outside there?’

We’re really adopting this philosophy of ‘play where you are.’ So it’s our hope that if it’s safe and local guidelines say it’s OK for you to go outside, [go for a] walk and get some fresh air — do some social distancing with your friends. We highly encourage it. We want the game to work and we want people to know, Pokémon is going to be out there waiting for you. But we also know ... there’s going to be quite a bit of flux, probably for the rest of the year. So we want to make sure that in any situation, the game still shows up for you in some way, shape, or form long-term.“

Categories: Interviews, Mobile
Tags: pokemon, mobile


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