Pokémon GO increases the price of remote raid passes

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Pokémon GO is increasing the price of remote raid passes, the mobile game announced today. Previously, players could purchase one pass for 100 coins (approximately $1) or three passes for 250 coins (approximately $2.50), but the cost of these items will nearly double to 195 coins for one pass, or 525 coins for three passes . Players can now only participate in five raids per day.

Raid battles are an important part of Pokémon GO, where players must meet in real life at a set location to battle an extra strong or rare Pokémon. When much of the world went into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote raid passes were initially introduced to allow people to participate in raid battles remotely… and to give parent company Niantic another income stream. As of last year, Pokémon GO passed the $6 billion mark in revenue from in-app purchases.

“We believe this change is necessary for the long-term health of the game, and we’re not making it lightly,” the Pokémon GO team wrote in a blog post. “We feel this is a necessary step toward our goal of preserving and enhancing the unique experience of playing Pokémon GO.”

Niantic’s AR-based mobile games are designed to encourage users to explore the world around them, and remote raid passes might seem to contradict that mission – there’s less reason to meet other players outside if you play the game from can play at home. But the feature also made the game more accessible to people who may have mobility issues or other limitations preventing them from going out and catching them all.

Niantic made significant changes to Pokémon GO at the start of the pandemic, such as making it easier to communicate with PokéStops or gyms remotely. The game also attempted to undo that feature in August 2021, prompting Pokémon GO influencers to threaten to boycott the game. Niantic eventually scrapped that plan after the backlash.

As one of the most profitable mobile games ever, Pokémon GO itself isn’t exactly desperate for money. But it looks like Niantic is facing headwinds. The company was valued at $9 billion in November 2021, when the company openly slammed Meta, stating it would build a “real-world metaverse,” but like many tech companies, the company led to layoffs last year and canceled four projects .

Pokémon GO plays a vital role in Niantic’s growth, in addition to its contributions as a cash cow. Niantic’s plans to build its “AR metaverse” are based on its trove of AR location data, which Pokémon GO helped build – players get in-game bonuses when they scan real-life locations in AR. Players don’t need to share AR scans to play Pokémon GO, but they may be more likely to do so if they play the game away from home.

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