Following a series of Pokémon GO events, players are criticizing Niantic for draining their Pokéballs to encourage purchasing them for GO Fest.
With Pokémon GO Fest coming up in a little over a week, many players feel burnt out of Pokéballs from Tuesday’s spotlight hour event. This year’s Pokémon GO Fest will have a wide assortment of Pokémon to catch from legendaries to new shinies.
This month, several Pokémon are receiving their own spotlight hours in which players will be able to encounter that Pokémon for an hour and have a chance at encountering shiny versions of these Pokémon. Bulbasaur’s spotlight hour recently passed on July 6th, and the other Kanto starters will also receive their own spotlight hours this month. Charmander and Squirtle’s Pokémon GO events will happen on July 13th and 20th respectively, and the month will conclude with a spotlight hour for Natu as well on July 27th. However, many players felt a noticeable shortage of Pokéballs from the recent events in the game.
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Many players like Reddit user xclusivestylesz are complaining that this year’s celebration event is a way to drain players Pokéballs. For instance, xclusivestylesz says complains that they spent five minutes and 15 balls just to catch a Treeko, wondering if the high number of balls needed is intentional to encourage purchasing more for the GO Fest. One comment also mentioned the game’s spotlight hours and how despite the research task rewarding 80 Pokéballs, they went through 200 Pokéballs during the event. Getting Pokéballs is also not helped by the lack of Pokéstops in some players’ areas.
These criticisms are a symptom of the bigger problem fans have noticed with Pokémon GO. Over the last few years, fans have voiced more complaints that they feel that the game is becoming increasingly more pay to win. These complaints have stemmed from things such as rare Pokémon being put behind eggs and the game encouraging purchasing eggs incubators. The debut of mega evolutions in the game last year was also panned due to the cost of mega energy. Transferring Pokémon from Pokémon GO to Pokémon HOME also costs energy that restores over time or can be regenerated through paying real money. The list of pay to win mechanics goes on.
These events may provide lots of opportunities to catch various Pokémon, but more players have felt underwhelmed by the events. It’s easy to lose track of how many Pokéballs are being used in these events, and thus more players are opting to save their resources by passing on these events in order to prevent having to purchase more Pokéballs with real money. It’s unlikely that this pattern from Niantic will change anytime soon, but regardless, players will have to be prepared for when Pokémon GO Fest happens on July 17th.
Pokemon Go is available now on iOS and Android.
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