Earlier this month, Pokemon GO revealed Exclusive Raid Battles. A brand new feature for the hit mobile game, the invite-only raids had the power to totally shake up the game and the way that its millions of fans play it.
Although Niantic did host Exclusive Raids for Mewtwo, it now seems that the Pokemon GO developer wants a little more time to work on the feature before it is released worldwide. Today, the company announced that it would be changing the name from Exclusive Raid Battles to EX Raid Battles and that a ” field-testing phase at select Gyms before the feature is made available globally.”
EX Raid Battle passes will be sent out “soon” and testing could begin as early September 6. The testing, which will coincide with the release of Pokemon GO‘s newest legendary Pokemon, allows the developer to “further test and hone” the EX Raid Battle experience. This will include “making periodic adjustments to EX Raid eligibility requirements, frequency, times, locations, and durations” with the goal of making EX Raid Battles a fun, rewarding and engaging feature.
When EX Raid Battles were first revealed, the main concern was that rural Pokemon GO players will not be able to make use of it. While the possibility of catching rare Pokemon and valuable rewards was an alluring prospect, rural players feared that they wouldn’t be able to get those rewards as they play the game in lower numbers. If players do not live near a Gym and therefore haven’t defeated its Raid boss (which was one initial requirement of receiving an EX Raid Battle invite) then they will be out of luck.
As Niantic explains, it has already collected some “valuable early feedback” from Pokemon GO players. And just this week the developer introduced a brand new feature which should helps players avoid wasting their Pokemon GO Raid passes.
This does suggest that the developer is keeping a watchful eye on things and is well aware of fans complaints and frustrations. Niantic will be looking to test any fixes and solutions for that as EX Raid Battle field testing continues. And although it’s unclear when the final EX Raid Battle system might be ready for a global release, many will agree that a feature that works properly and takes some time is better than a feature that is rushed and broken.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.