Niantic has delayed Pokémon Go’s March Community Day in various countries around the world, thanks to the ongoing threat of coronavirus/Corvid-19, Siliconera has reported.
Italy, Japan, and South Korea have all had the Community Day events – as well as the games Mystery Bonus Hour, Raid Hour, Raid Weekends, and Spotlight Hour events – postponed due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
These events, which were scheduled to take place between March 3 and March 19, form a large part of the Pokemon Go experience, and understandably players in the affected regions are disappointed.
However, it's safe to say that public health comes first – and these delays may simply be the start of Pokemon Go's plan to help contain the spread of the virus.
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Just hours ago, we saw British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce the UK's action plan to combat the spread of the virus on domestic shores.
The UK is preparing for a “very significant expansion” in the number of coronavirus cases, according to the Prime Minister.
One part of the plan to delay the spread of the virus could see the Government order companies to halt all “unnecessary travel”, as part of the “social distancing” strategy set out by the UK government.
To help in delaying the spread of the virus, Brits will be encouraged to work from home and avoid unnecessary travel – and it goes without saying that a Pokémon Go Community Day (which sees thousands of players around the country take to local streets, parks and landmarks to hunt special Pokémon) could be delayed as a result.
Though Niantic has yet to reveal when the next Community Day will take place, all evidence points to the event arriving on March 15 (and focusing on the Psychic-type Pokémon, Abra).
The event seems to coincide with two new ticketed (read: paid) events in the game, too. Data miners have uncovered two events called Investigating Illusions and A Drive to Investigate, the first of which apparently lines up with the Community Day.
If we see Niantic announce delays for these events, in line with the actions the developer has taken in Italy, Japan and South Korea, we could see discounts on other items made available to offset the affect on the game.
Niantic has promised other regions that Incense – the item that increases spawns of wild Pokémon in the user's immediate area – will be discounted (and its duration doubled) in the Italian, Japanese and South Korean stores from March 3 through March 19.
If the developer does indeed delay the event in the UK, which has confirmed 39 cases of the coronoavirus to date, we may see similar discounts offered here, too.
We'll keep you updated as soon as we hear more.
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