Niantic doubles down on remote raid changes with new Pokémon Go Shadow Raids feature

Remote Raid Passes continue to become redundant.

Niantic today revealed details on a new type of raid coming to Pokémon Go known as Shadow Raids and to the surprise of no one, the developer has once again decided to lock players who use Remote Raid Passes from taking part in them.

Shadow Raids will see Team Rocket take over entire Gyms at the end of season 10 and introduce a new way to take on raids with players locally. It will also see the return of Shadow Mewtwo and the introduction of Shiny Shadow Mewtwo for the first time. Niantic also hopes to use these new raids as a well to bring back old Shadow Legendary Pokémon in the future that players might have missed out on.

Related: Shadow Raids are an evolution for Pokémon Go as Niantic works to incentivize players with new content

When Dot Esports asked why Remote Raid passes would not be useable in these new Team Rocket Shadow Raids during an interview on May 15, Michael Steranka, Pokémon Go’s director, doubled down on Niantic’s message regarding the developer’s vision and hopes for it, and other games, in its portfolio.

“It’s always an incredibly difficult game-balancing decision for us to make and Pokémon Go, right?” he said. “We want to make the game as accessible and open to as many people as possible, but also the sort of origins of Pokémon Go and the entire mission of Niantic is to encourage and motivate people all around the world to actually leave their houses and, you know, see the world around them.”

When pushed more on the reason behind locking Remote Raid passes for this new featurea trend that has been emerging lately with things like Elite Raids for Regidraco and RegielekiSteranka went on to discuss some of the reasons behind Niantic’s changes to Remote Raids as a whole.

“We realized over time that if given the option, you know, a lot of players will default to you know, just playing from home, even if they are able to get out and leave,” he said. “And so sometimes you really do need to build in these experiences that can truly only be experienced from outside, together with other people. And we think that we’ve created a lot of, you know, really beautiful moments through the years with Pokémon Go by leaning on what sets us apart from any other game out there.”

This doesn’t even dive into the fact Remote Raid Passes in general have seen massive changes recently, with Niantic upping the cost of the passes and limiting the amount players can use to five a day. While the community has been frustrated about this, even Sterenka agreed he wasn’t a huge fan of the Remote Raid pass changes, but knew it had to be done, saying it was ” a very, very painful decision to make even for me. But when we look at sort of the overall health of the game, and the type of behaviors that remote raid passes were introducing, it just really didn’t align with the kind of experience we were trying to create.”

Steranka also acknowledged that Remote Raids and in-person-only features would always be a tricky balance, but he and his team were confident they wouldn’t shy away from their mission and what he feels makes Pokémon Go special through its real-world componentseven if the majority of the HearUsNiantic movement, and players, disagree otherwise.

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