Over the weekend Niantic’s latest Pokemon GO update in event fashion rang in the start of Summer just a bit early. The first day of summer is officially June 20th, but with a Grass Event for Pokemon GO, it started on Friday. That would have been all well and good, Bulbasaurs for everyone, all good in the game – but something went wrong.
What Just Happened
Starting early on in the Grass Event in Pokemon GO, there were reports of users being “soft banned” from the game. The reason for this was nor immediately apparent – the only common string that bound them was spinning Pokestops. Or so it seemed. As the event progressed, it was made clear that it wasn’t the spinning of just any Pokestop that got users “softbanned” – it was the dropping of Lure Modules and/or the capture of Pokemon that popped up as a result.
Word from our anonymous source with information on the subject suggested that this had to do – somehow – with Niantic’s temporary upgrade of Lures for the event. Because the Lure Module was given a boost from 30 minutes to 6 hours, the dropping of these items set off an alarm in Pokemon GO’s alert system. From what we understand, it would seem that Niantic’s tripwires for cheaters caught instead a fair number of legit players over the past several days.
Further confirmation of this set of possibilities was seen on Saturday when the Grass Event seemed to be put on pause for many players. Rolling back the update was likely the only way Niantic was able to get a handle on knocking the error out. Sometimes you just gotta start from scratch.
Event Bonus Time
Now, it’s possible that the event will end at its scheduled time – that’d be May 8th (today) at midnight – at the end of this day. But there’s chatter that because of the block of so many players during the event from the positive effects of the event, Niantic may opt to expand for several hours or even an extra day. At this time there does not appear to be a solid consensus – and either way, there’s been no public statement by Niantic.
Meanwhile we’re also crying in the corner over the lack of Shiny Pokemon for this event. We’d hypothesized that the press materials sent to us by Niantic meant that a shiny Eevee might be on the horizon – but no luck. Niantic also played a sneaky trick with their release of that mightily bright-looking Bulbasaur.
The Future is Shiny and Expansive
But there’s time – Niantic has all the time (and money) in the world now, so they’re in no rush. The game might not be at its height of popularity at the moment, but it’s certainly doing decent for itself nonetheless. Ingress is going to be pushing Pokemon GO for a long, long time, so there’s no reason to rush the basics.
Consider how Ingress is still getting timely updates and Niantic is still hosting real-world events. The latest report from Niantic suggested that “Ingress has been downloaded more than 20 million times” – they’re still running with it. Meanwhile that same report from Niantic said that Pokemon GO “has been downloaded more than 650 million times.”
That alone is proof enough for a longstanding future for us. Stick around SlashGear’s @TeamPokemonGO Twitter Portal for more tips, early releases of information, and event data as it spews forth. And don’t forget the memes and the gifs, never forget either one of those.