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Pokémon Go: Season of the paywall - celebrate the origin!

When you're running a big and popular game and constantly developing it, one that is played by millions of fans, it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile all the different player needs. The dream ideas of the players then clash with the revenue ideas of the developer. We know this from MMOs and the GaaS segment ("Games as a Service"). And you know it from Pokémon Go.

The fans of Niantic's AR app for Android and iOS are hard to please, and the anger that is often directed at the developers of Pokémon Go is, in most cases, justified up to a point. The current stones of offense in the still young year of 2022 reveal themselves under a single tweet from the developers of Pokémon Go. This lore tweet is about the opening of the locking mechanism of the gate, which was brought into the game at the beginning of the season of origin, at least from the lore - in fact, there is nothing of it in the game itself.

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But because the people of Pokémon Go have made some decisions that are not comprehensible from a gameplay perspective, the anger of the fans unloads on this tweet - and not only this goal gets its fat. As a side note, the people at Niantic probably don't give a damn.

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Pokémon Go: Codename: Urban Legends - Demo shows possible AR multiplayer

The season of the paywall

It's quite noticeable how keen Niantics are on your cash right now. After the Season of Mischief with its Hoopa special research could be played entirely for free, two of the three special researches of the Season of Origin

are now put behind the paywall. On top of that, how could it be otherwise, is the fig leaf of the Johto tour at the end of February 2022; true to the motto: you want to play this and buy the ticket anyway, so why shouldn't we put the special researches behind the paywall?Recommended editorial contentAtthis point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external embeddings will only be displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content":Load all external contentIagree to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. More about this in our privacy policy. External content More about this in our privacy policy.

I already mentioned that it is not natural for every fan of Pokémon Go to

spring the money for the ticket. And I'm actually interested to know if you've already grabbed the ticket for Johto Tour 2022, so here's a quick, blunt poll. Create your own user feedback survey.

If you haven't paid for the ticket now, you'll also get precious little of the whole "story" of the season's origin. So completely out of context is the Twitter post about Spark, Blanche and Professor Willow opening the second (of three) mechanism of the door, a bit ... well ... pointless? But the thing is also this: The context isn't provided to players in-game anyway, because the season of origin doesn't tell a story in-game at all - which is probably related to the fact that the tasks declared as special seasonal research aren't special research per se, but collector challenges.

Where's the story?

In Pokémon Go itself, there's only one way that stories are told, and that's through special research. Because that's when Professor Willow speaks up in quasi-interstitials and tells you what he's about, what research he's doing, and how you can help him. Apart from the tutorials, Pokémon Go doesn't have a story at the beginning, which is a shame, but it's a common concept, especially in Free2Play games. Think of League of Legends, for example. The thing is, though, that Pokémon Go is a spin-off of a very popular series that does tell stories - and that's what many players expect in Niantic's version of the pocket monster hunt.

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However, the Pokémon Go folks are limiting themselves to storytelling via the official website and Twitter. Oh wow. And here's the thing, as is often the case: not every Pokémon Go fan hangs out on social media or surfs by the Pokémon Go website every day to stay up to date. If the Niantics at least told the story coherently as a Twitter thread with the season of origin and the door, then I could at least still take note of it as an attempt at storytelling. But just throwing a picture out into the ether like that and that's it? Well, as we already know, the Pokémon Go folks at Niantic aren't big on community management. And then there's the fact that even the official website for the game has been neglected quite often lately. Yes ... what are they doing?! Source: Niantic

Oops, did we forget something?

As Pokémon Go fans have already counted, there were a whopping 40 major events in Pokémon Go in 2021. And the folks at Niantic are certainly already straining to repeat that for 2022. However, they seem to be tripping over their own schedule lately - not to mention I've given up asking about the special research that should have yielded a fat pile of XP before Dec. 31, 2020, to help on the way to level 40 ... Back to the topic: Currently, players really only find out about what an event entails in the relatively short term. I'm writing this at lunchtime on January 17, 2022, and I fully expect that by the time it's published on the evening of January 17, 2022, we'll already know what to expect from the January Power Plant event in Kanto

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Even so: Usually, in the past, we've learned a week in advance about what to expect from an event, so we can then decide whether we find the bonuses and goodies interesting, and whether we should adjust our gameplay and schedule accordingly. This time, information about Mountains of

Power, the predecessor event to the Power Plant in Kanto, was available just two days before the event. It may sound a bit exaggerated from the player quoted above to say that you wouldn't know anything "until five minutes before the event started." But given the sheer volume of events in Pokémon Go, something like a schedule and a rough outline of content would be quite helpful in reconciling gaming with real life, wouldn't it?

I honestly have no idea what's going on at Niantic right now, but I'm really starting to dislike the direction Pokémon Go has been taking for a while now. There's this constant connotation that you're missing out if you don't pay - the FOMO. And then there's the theory that a subscription for Pokémon Go could be designed. Maybe that's a chance to return to more convenient and less frantic gameplay. Perhaps the Niantics could then focus more on content and less on putting a price tag on so much game content.

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