Niantic have not got the best responses to their recent handlings of Pokémon Go. The game is undoubtedly a phenomenal success. Many millions of people still play to this day. And many of them pay for the pleasure. However, it seems that isn’t enough, as Niantic has now launched it’s own Pokémon Go webstore to make the game’s in-app purchases outside of the app itself.

It’s no secret that digital storefront operators levy a hefty tax on purchases. Most of these – across all gaming devices – are around 30%. Many publishers think that’s far too high. In fact, the recent Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit is a testament to that fact. And Niantic seem to be in agreement.

Pokemon Go Webstore keyart

Pokémon Go Webstore

The Pokémon Go webstore, launched just yesterday, allows players to make purchases of useful items and in-game currency. It is entirely removed from the app itself, and as such, the payment transaction is handled externally. Neither Google nor Apple are involved in the process. Players sign-in using their Pokémon Go account, make their purchase, and the item will be awarded next time they sign into the game. It’s a simple process.

What’s more, Niantic are offering incentives for players taking their business direct to the source. Additional Pokécoins – the game’s currency – are offered for purchases. You can save a few bucks by purchasing directly from the Pokémon Go webstore. So what’s not to love?

Poké Cash Grab

The prices of in-game items in Pokémon Go have soared in recent months. There’s been significant community backlash to this, but in reality it’s more-or-less in line with the near-global inflation in real world costs. Niantic cutting out the middleman and passing the savings onto the player would surely be a good thing. But that’s not what’s happening here.

The Pokémon Go webstore opens to a ‘web-exclusive’ bundle priced at £24.99 GBP. This expensive package offers plenty of high value items, but still demands a hefty investment. Furthermore, the bonus Pokécoins users receive for their purchases of in-game currency are paltry compared to the savings Niantic will make by eschewing the costs of payment processing through digital storefronts.

Pokemon Go Web-Exclusive Box

The move will unlikely deter the most adamant Pokémon Go players. Indeed, on the surface it looks as though it’s a good deal. However, for those with knowledge of the industry it leaves a bitter taste. This is not a move to benefit the consumer. It’s yet another move from Niantic to put revenue ahead of fixing the many long-running issues with the game.

Rarely does a day go by without encountering a glitch or an error of some kind. Fix this first, Niantic, and then maybe players will be willing to invest more to get that Shundo Gengar in Pokémon Go.

Categories: Android Games iOS