Trainers, I have witnessed something interesting that happens over at our good friends The Silph Road’s Subreddit page. On a few occasions now, Trainers just like you and me have made posts such as “What happened to the Mega-Houndoom Unlock” or “Niantic forgot about the such and such Bonus.”
This isn’t unusual in a world with such passionate players but what I have found incredible is that within literally hours of these posts, the things that they highlighted were either switched on or announced. This cannot surely be a coincidence, can it?
For all intents and purposes, Reddit (more specifically TSR) seems to have become the new Hotline to Niantic. I could be seeing patterns that don’t exist but this isn’t too much of a stretch. I mean, we already know Niantic has at least two accounts on TSR that have made comments on certain things (although not recently). So the notion that Niantic uses Reddit as a sort of “To-Do” list, isn’t so hard to believe.
Why is this a good thing?
Historically, the customer service side of Niantic has been pretty poor. I know from personal experience that trying to report an issue using the companies web-form or email system almost always results in a cookie-cutter response that is never of any use. It may have gotten slightly better recently when they asked for us to send videos of our issues but let’s be honest, who can be bothered with that? It seems there needed to be another way for players to give Feedback to Niantic: Step into the Limelight, Reddit.
This is a great thing because it means that Niantic is (although covertly) actively listening to its player-base and changing the things that are picked up (and within its power to change/switch on/announce quickly) changed.
We were never in any doubt that Niantic sees the concerns and issues raised by its players and in the past has actively communicated some of its going’s on internally but it is a big company nowadays and couldn’t possibly be expected to cater to every little thing.
This, however, seems to be a step in the right direction.
How Niantic Can Improve Upon This
I believe that Niantic should take a leaf out of Bungie’s book (Creators of Destiny 2 etc.) Bungie use the r/DestinyTheGame Subreddit as a sort of feedback forum for their game and the events within it. Recently they launched a month-long Halloween Event: The Festival of The Lost.
This event introduced a new item that allowed its players to unlock new loot chests at the end of a new arena-style mission. Unfortunately, though, it seemed that the drop-rate for such items (called Cipher Decoders) was horrendously low. This promptly made its way to the front page of the Subreddit and since Bungie has implemented not one but TWO buffs to the drop rate and on top of that have commented on the posts that raised the issues to let the player-base know that buffs were on the way. This, in my mind, is the perfect way to use Reddit for a game and Niantic should take heed.
Whatever your thoughts on giving feedback to Niantic, without it nothing would change. Feedback and critique are one of the things that change and shape the game, regardless of where it comes from.
We at GO Hub think that Niantic using Reddit to collate any issues and anything that they may have missed is a great idea.
Now we just need them to implement Kecleon…