Pokémon GO: Developer insights, an update on Raid Battles

Trainers, We greatly appreciate all the feedback you’ve shared with us about the Raid Battle feature over the past few months. We’ve been carefully reviewing your feedback and will be making no changes to the feature in response. Below are a few notes detailing the changes as well as a few comments from our development team: EX Raid Battle changes EX Raid Battles will take place most commonly at Gyms that are sponsored locations and Gyms with the word “Park” in their names. Trainers with a high-level Gym Badge are less likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles taking place at that Gym. Trainers who have completed a smaller number of Raid Battles are more likely to be invited to EX Raid Battles. EX Raid Battle start times now take into account popular work times. Developer Comments: Over the course of the EX Raid Battle field test, much of the feedback we received was focused around how Trainers are chosen to participate in EX Raid Battles. When the feature first entered field-testing, the system randomly selected a set of Trainers who were eligible for the EX Raid Battle. We realized after Go Fest in Chicago that there are a subset of Trainers that will never quit regardless of how we treat them. These Trainers already spend a lot of money on the game in general and because of the promise of EX Raid Passes. These Trainers are more likely to have Gold Gym Badges and complete a larger number of Raid Battles so we will use these to make note of Trainers we don’t need to invite. This targeted EXclusion brings with it the added benefit of encouraging many Trainers to create new, “baby accounts” or make use of old accounts previously held for shaving Gyms. This will allow us to boost our active users while encouraging whales to spend more on new accounts, with the goal also being that we convince lower level Trainers to play more. Eventually these Trainers too will need to create EXtra accounts. Then we’ll have enough money to introduce trading into the game so you can trade over all of your Mewtwo to your main accounts! We also wanted to address some feedback we received about the timing and locations of EX Raid Battles. We very strongly believe that requiring Trainers to ask for time off or interrupt holliday plans increases our EXposure and keeps people talking about the game. Setting our EX Raids during work hours also allows us to not anger our very important customer base that spoof from their office during work hours. The reason we decided to have EX Raid Battles primarily take place at sponsored locations is money. Duh. The reason we decided to have EX Raid Battles primarily take place at Gyms with the work “Park” in their name is because that was the only way to guess if something was indeed a park. There was simply no other way. Over time, we’ll explore hosting EX Raid Battles at more locations, but we want to first make sure those locations are also easily accessible. There is no way for us to know, based on our current data, if a given location could comfortably host around 8 Trainers. That’s crazy. We will continue to allow level 5 Raids to spawn at any Gym and not monitor any of that data. We don’t believe that locations that allow Trainers to organize small sized groups themselves could potentially indicate that these locations allow Trainers to organize small sized groups. With the implementation of these features, we’ll be removing the field-test label and considering this the official launch of the EX Raid Battle feature. Obviously, we intend this launch to work in the traditional sense of the feature now being accessible by fewer Trainers than ever! It is always good to test in large numbers to look for potential problems and now we will scale back to ensure only the 8 newest level 5 accounts get invited. We hope that with the scaled back nature of invites, we can incentivise even more Trainers into creating secondary and tertiary accounts. Ideally, these Trainers quit completely for a dramatically increase chance at an EX Raid Pass. We also encourage you to ask friends that quit the game after the removal of the in-game tracker to reinstall and check for EX Passes!

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