Pokemon GO fans are furious after ugly avatar update

Pokemon GO

Fans of the mobile game Pokemon GO are angry after Niantic decided to update the player models which the game has been using since launch.

The new avatars were intended to provide players with more customization options beyond hair styles and clothes. Traditionally Pokemon GO players chose one of two body types, hair color, skin color, and players were seemingly satisfied with just that thanks to the dozens of clothing options available.

These new avatars have customizable proportions with new options for “weight, muscle, shoulders, chest, and hips. However the update also changed the basic proportions for the characters, as well as their faces, turning cute characters into weird blobs.

Many of the complaints are coming from women who play the game that prefer their curvy avatar as opposed to the weird lanky, gangly, character they’ve been given in its stead. Surely Niantic could have kept the originals and just added more customization options, rather than downgrade the base model.

There’s actually some good ideas in the update that are absolutely spoiled by the uglier base models, hairstyles are now easier to search through, there’s new color options for skin tones, eyes, and hair, and the variable body proportions would probably be well-received if they were adjustments to the base model.

This isn’t the first time that Niantic has made a questionable decision that angered fans. Last year they raised the price of Remote Raid Passes to try and capitalize on the popularity of joining friends possibly on the other side of the country (these became especially popular during the COVID-19 pandemic). Shortly after these changes were made, the game’s player base hit a 5-year low, undoing the bump in popularity it got during lockdown.

If the angry tweets below the announcement are anything to go by, Pokemon GO might manage to hit an all-time low.

Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android.

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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