Somewhere in the last 24 hours, Pokemon GO‘s new raid feature broke, which adds to a very disappointing week for the mobile game. The launch event at Pokemon GO Fest in Chicago was a bust, with attendees unable to play. It might be that localized server issue that is to blame, or it might be something different; the only thing we know is that raids don’t work as intended.
As of yesterday, raids would start with the spawning of an egg above a gym location accompanied by a countdown. Players could gather a group of friends and travel to the raid together to make a social event out of it. It was a convenient and fun way to implement raids, but overnight the timer for the raid has disappeared. Now there’s no longer an egg or a countdown, simply a spawned Pokemon raid for players.
There’s the distinct possibility that the change is intentional – part of Niantic’s strategy to maximize raid Pokemon output during this special launch event for Legendary Pokemon. If the game removes the countdown, all that’s left of the raid is the fight and that’s what hungry Pokemon GO raiders are looking for right now. And maximizing access to Legendary Pokemon, perhaps Niantic believes players will be more forgiving of the issues that have been pervasive so far.
Yet Niantic has made no announcements regarding the changes to how Pokemon GO raids spawn despite being surprisingly communicative so far this weekend. If raids aren’t broken, they seem broken. Many players may never even realized raids were ever done differently at first, considering raids are such a new feature.
Whether or not the changes to raid functionality are a bug, a temporary tweak, or a permanent change will likely be solved by the end of the weekend. Niantic’s special 48-hour bonus period for raids won’t last forever, and the state of Pokemon GO afterwards will likely be the default going forward. Hopefully the changes will be reverted, but given Pokemon GO‘s history there’s not even a promise that things won’t change for the worse.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android devices.