In a bid to keep players safe in a time when concerns continue to grow over the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus, Niantic has postponed the next community scheduled for March in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Although the move seems logical in a time when players should be practicing social distancing, it is odd that Niantic has chosen a uniquely different approach for Pokémon GO.
At its core, the decision to postpone the next Community Day is the right move to help prevent players from encountering other individuals, which could result in the transmission of the highly contagious. While the announcement is made with the best of intentions, it’s far less than what Pokémon GO players have received.
While Pokémon GO players have also had their next Community Day cancelled as well, several additional features were adjusted to still allow for play without needing to leave the home. The in-game shop is currently offering a bundle of 30 Incense for a single PokéCoin and doubling their duration from thirty minutes to a full hour.
This means that players will be able to remain in their homes, use an Incense, and for the next hour happily catch Pokémon that wander into their living rooms. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has a similar item named the Tonic for Trace Detection. It too lasts the same amount of time as an Incense, and spawns roughly the same number of traces as Pokémon, one every three minutes or so.
Yet for some reason Niantic has not provided players of Wizards Unite with the same offer of discounted Tonics, nor extending their duration. We know that Pokémon GO is a game that has far more downloads and consumer testing, but if the goal is to provide a way for players to keep engaging with their game of choice and to incentivize them not to leave their homes, it seems odd to only provided the tools to do so for one of their two games.
With that said, there is always the possibility that the same decision will be made but has simply not been announced. Perhaps Pokémon GO is easier to change under the hood to make these small tweaks possible, whereas Wizards Unite needs some more time to prepare the same type of changes.
This is pure speculation, but it doesn’t seem like Niantic will stay on this course of treating its player bases in two distinct ways for games that are basically the same.
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