Letters To Niantic: We Need To Talk

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In the convoluted world of opinions, we tend to find Trainers that either praise or bash Niantic for their actions, and unfortunately, we don’t see this stopping any time soon. However, even if we are harsh with them at times, we have to take a break from the hate and spread a bit of cheer.

Letters To Niantic is a series in which individual GO Hub writers take advantage of specific occasions to send a personal letter to Niantic, but this is slightly different. This letter crosses over with the We Need To Talk series. Each letter is meant to express a little bit of joy or concern in a fun, yet kitschy way. Although you may find yourself giggling as you read, we promise there are valid issues to be understood and addressed.

With the most recent release of Ultra Beasts being communicated to the majority of players not by Niantic but by data miners, things have to change. I sat down with a prominent UK player to talk about what they felt were the key issues right now and to get their views on how the game could be improved. It was an extensive conversation that covered a lot of topics but these could really be split in to 2 big areas, communication and what needs fixing in the game. Here’s the first of 2 letters to Niantic, the follow up letter with ideas and suggestions will come soon.


 

Dear Niantic,

We need to talk. It’s been a while since we’ve sat down and had a good conversation, really thrashed things out, and as with all relationships going through tough times both sides seem to be waiting on the other to make the first move. So I’ll be brave and reach across the aisle, to bridge that gap. Let’s talk.

So here we are. We don’t seem to be communicating like we used to. You have your group of friends and as such we’ve had to find our own groups of friends. The support we came to rely on has slowly withered away. We’ve both become insular, relying on friends of friends to give us the latest news hoping that it contains that olive branch that you’ve said you’d offer but never seems to come.

What’s going on with you? You used to be so happy to tell us your news, your stories, your plans. And we were there for you, pushing you to succeed, to reach ever greater heights. Now it seems like we bicker more than praise, tear down more than build up, how did we get here?

You promised so many things over the years that either never materialised or when they did they fell short of the mark, too many to just ignore now. Once or twice maybe ok but with so much building up slowly over time this relationship is close to breaking point. Maybe we can shoulder some of the blame, making a big deal out of things when we maybe shouldn’t have, not treating you well some days, but we’ve let a lot more slip by the wayside than possibly we should have.

We so want this to work. We have poured so much of ourselves into this relationship for the love of it we can’t think of anything so maddening than letting it slowly crumble and fade away. We won’t let it happen, not without a fight anyway. We are prepared to fight for us, we hope you are too.

So how do we fix this? What can we do to make this relationship work? 

As so often is the case it comes down to communication, clear, concise, transparent and timely communication. We need to be prepared to admit when we’re wrong, as soon as things happen we need to be up front and keep everyone involved updated. There’s no shame in admitting when we mess up on either side, it takes strength to admit there’s a problem, but the rewards are more trust, more support and eventually an even stronger relationship. All the building blocks for a brighter future together.

We need a plan, a well communicated plan with a good amount of notice. We need to see the direction you want to go with this relationship throughout the seasons so we can prepare and help in all the amazing ways we can. We are strong and many, but without a plan we can’t be there for you when you need us the most. It doesn’t have to give away all the surprises you have in store for us, that would not be fun for anyone. We can give you our time, effort and energy to make your plans amazing realities if we just know what or when they are with plenty of time to prepare for them. Again clear, simple, straightforward communication is all we ask for. You’ve said you want to many times, maybe now it’s time to step up and show you mean it.

Lastly we’d love it if you came to visit us more often so we can talk more face to face. It’s so amazing to see you when you do but it’s so fleeting and rare that we’re starting to do our own thing without you. Our groups of friends get together and there is always an empty chair just in case. It’s so rarely used though that we feel that you aren’t bothered, you just don’t care. We can’t believe that’s the case but that’s the impression we get. Even if it’s one of your friends on your behalf we’d appreciate the chance to hear the latest news and maybe give some of our stories for them to feed back to you. We know you are incredibly busy maintaining this relationship we so love being a part of and don’t expect you to drop everything to join us, but you said you would get a great group of friends who wanted to organise, meet and chat to us where we are in the world, we can help with that if you want, just talk to us, let us help you help us. Everyone benefits if we can help and we’re ready to whenever you need us.

This is our olive branch to you. This is the start of a difficult but necessary conversation. Please don’t pass up this chance to get this relationship back on track. We really want to make this work, we love this relationship, please tell us you do too so we can work together to make the future bright. We’re listening, so Niantic, Let’s Talk.

Regards,

BlueNephros, The GOHub Team and the dedicated, enduring players of this amazing and frustrating game we all love to be a part of


Final Notes

Sometimes relationships, through no real fault of anyone, just get a bit stale and in a rut. Therapy is usually sought out and the majority of the problems usually boil down to communication between the two parties. This letter is just my way of starting a conversation with Niantic that could lead to healing the rift that seems to be there when talking to local and global players of this game. Everyone has their own views about what is right and wrong with the game and what would improve things, but if you listen to their stories the underlying issue is almost always around communication. Niantic has stated that they wanted to be more involved in local communities, but sadly with the pandemic happening the plans to be more involved seem to have disappeared and now they seem to be pulling further and further back. If this letter prompts a resurgence of community involvement by Niantic then we all can benefit. There are many community members who are willing to get involved to help improve the game for no other benefit than those improvements, Niantic if you are listening, tap this resource and you’ll see the passion and love for the game you have created first hand and hopefully will be inspired by it. What have you got to lose?

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