Niantic is making changes to Pokemon Go, Wizards Unite etc to let you play from home
Game developers are coming around and encouraging indoor play and adding features to facilitate that
Niantic, the guys behind Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress, are making significant changes to their games to factor in social distancing and being locked in at home. For the uninitiated, both Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go reply heavily on walking outdoors and exploring new places.
The games are now being changed to include indoor and outdoor play elements, sais Niantic CEO John Hanke in a release.
"We are adding to our product roadmap so we can enable more ways to play inside and around the home in the coming days and weeks, when the world needs it most," Hanke said.
Niantic is planning to add an indoor step-tracker that will work with its Adventure Sync feature that's already in place so indoor tasks like cleaning or running on a treadmill will count toward achievements in the game. The company is also enhancing in-game social features so players can stay in touch with co-players they can't meet in real life for now.
"You'll soon be able to team up with friends and take on Raid Battles together in Pokémon GO from the comfort of home," Hanke said.
The company is also working on ways players can "virtually visit and share memories about their favourite real-world places"and are also planning to "reimagine" the Pokemon Go Fest.
Players, for now before the new updates come in, can check out the Go Battle League.
For Wizards Unite, Hanke said that they have increased the "nearness" of overall content like Spell Energy and rare potion ingredients. Also, Foundables can spawn directly in your house.
Ingress Portals have also now tuned to encourage indoor play.
"In areas where it is permitted by local authorities, outdoor walks, practiced with proper social distancing, will continue to be a great way to contribute to physical and mental well being and you'll still be able to play our games while you do that," Hanke said.
"The changes we are making offer an alternative when that's not possible," he added.
"We created Niantic with a mission to help people get outside, exercise, and explore the world, with the ultimate goal of helping people connect with others. Today we support a global community of hundreds of millions of people who look to our games for regular entertainment and an opportunity to get outside and connect with friends," said Hanke in the blog titled - Embracing real-world gaming from home.
"We have always believed that our games can include elements of indoor play that complement the outdoor, exercise and explore DNA of what we build. Now is the time for us to prioritize this work, with the key challenge of making playing indoors as exciting and innovative as our outdoor gameplay," he added.