In a blog post, the San Francisco-based developer highlighted the changes it's making, breaking them down into:
- Lockdown features it's removing or changing
- Lockdown features its keeping
- New features
All these features are based on the exploration bonuses players gain by playing the game.
And given Niantic's vision has always been built around "ideas of exploration, exercise and playing with friends", it's no surprise that making Pokémon GO a more outdoors experience again is key.
However, given the different lockdown conditions that still exist globally, Niantic is rolling out these changes in geographical regions.
End of July
So, starting at the end of July, players in the US and New Zealand will benefit from increased Incense effectiveness while moving and more gifts and raid passes when interacting with PokéStops and Gym Photo Discs.
In contrast, players in the US and New Zealand will also be the first to see the reduction in lockdown features such as the ability of Buddy Pokémon to bring you gifts. Players will need to get physically closer to PokéStops and Gyms in order to interact with them too.
You can read the full list of changes here.
Pokémon GO broken the $4 billion mark in player spending in November 2020.