Recent rumors have circulated suggesting that Niantic is selling Pokémon GO, but it turns out that this is simply an April Fools’ joke created by The Trainer Club, a popular Pokémon GO YouTuber and content creator. While some players might have been excited about this prospect, especially in light of recent changes to Remote Raids, this is not the case.
The April Fools’ joke took the form of a fake announcement, which detailed Niantic’s decision to sell Pokémon GO due to a shift in focus towards other projects, such as Pikmin Bloom, NBA All-World, and their newest unreleased game, Peridot. The announcement went on to claim that Niantic was selling the game to William Lutz, aka The Trainer Club, for a fair market value of $1.99.
Here is the fake announcement that was created by The Trainer Club:
Updates to Pokémon GO’s Ownership
Dear our beloved Pokémon GO fan base,
It has come to a point in time where we have been met by a crossroad. We are excited to announce a new trajectory with the Pokémon GO franchise, and we hope you will excited too.
The backstory of our successes:
Niantic started Pokémon GO in 2016 with absolutely no idea of where Pokémon could take augmented reality. We planned a game release schedule to slowly drip the game out across the world with out preparation for how popular the game could become. As each country got their hands on Pokémon GO, there was an increase in demand on our database, servers and game code, which caused massive game crashes and server failures; ultimately locking people out of the brand new experience we titled, Pokémon GO. At this point in time, we developed our main core competency of; just push through all resistance regardless of the outcome. As a collective, we decided to not delay launch but continue to launch the game in every country as scheduled; leading to glitches, errors and game crashes. But we are proud to say we forged through adversity even if we lost 85% of first time users in a matter of 14 days.
With our new outlook on gaming, we forged forward without knowing how we could make Pokémon GO better. And after the fanbase caught all 150 Pokémon… we realized we needed to develop more rich gaming interactions, which birthed in person events and raid battles. The two came together simultaneously at GO Fest 2017 for the release of legendary Pokémon. This was our first event however we did not understand that cell phone reception at higher capacity was needed to play a cellular powered phone game. So the GO Fest had plenty of errors BUT we are proud that our core competency prevailed… push through all resistances.
Over the last 7 years we have learned, adapted and grown. We are proud to announce that every single event ever for New Zealand and Australia has errors in it BUT we still continue to push through all resistances. We really have distilled down that you don’t need to fix things when you can just push through all resistances. We hope this core competency can be adapted as a life lesson to you all.
Here at Niantic, we are committed to pushing through everything and have done so with the last major decision of Pokéstop distances and to our latest success, the remote raid pass reduction and double in pricing. We understand how valuable the global online communities are so we blessed everyone, by not taking them away for good, yet simply making them more expensive and limited their use. There is nothing more fulfilling than creating the best game mechanism that Pokémon GO has ever seen through global turmoil and then having the fortunate opportunity to take it all away.
However, through all of our pushing through resistances, we have realized that Pikmin Bloom, NBA All-World and our newest unreleased game; Peridot is the future for Niantic Labs. Pokémon GO was an amazing experience for us to manage and we feel like we really did the game wonders. One of our last experimental wins was the Hoenn Tour in Las Vegas. We sat down with the entire team and really designed the in game experience as a full circle experience. Our goal was to emulate GO Fest 2017 with the in person event lag, game crashing and pervasive failures to log in. And following this incredible success, we have implemented our final success of taking the game back to only being able to raid in person.
It is with our heartfelt gratitude that we have decided to sell Pokémon GO. We realize that our future is much brighter without the responsibility of being accountable and timely with events; without needing to analyze and account for the entire ecosystem of Pokémon GO.; and most importantly, if we can’t get you to walk 30 minutes to fight a non-Shiny Tapu Fini at a local raid battle, we are not interested in creating Pokémon GO any longer.
Based on our recent decisions, our discussions with our board of directors and the current state of the game, we are selling Pokémon GO of a fair market value of $1.99 to William Lutz aka The Trainer Club. We entertained 1,000’s of offers and feel that this is by far the highest and most robust bid we have received for the game and all of the assets.
Thank you for meeting us out there and exploring the world together. We know you are in good hands with The Trainer Club.
–John Hanke & Niantic Labs
The fake announcement also humorously discussed Niantic’s past challenges, such as the launch of Pokémon GO in 2016, which led to massive game crashes and server failures, as well as the infamous GO Fest 2017, where poor cellular reception caused a multitude of issues for attendees. The announcement even poked fun at Niantic’s recent controversial decision to reduce remote raid passes and increase their price, which has been met with backlash from the Pokémon GO community.
There is also a video that accompanies the announcement, which you can view below:
In conclusion, Niantic is not selling Pokémon GO, and the rumor is simply an April Fools’ joke created by a popular content creator. Players can expect that Niantic will continue to manage and develop Pokémon GO for the foreseeable future.