Pokémon GO Gym Gets Shut Down While Players Are Raiding It A Redditor on Pokémon GO was kicked from a gym mid-raid when Niantic shut down the spot, which was located in a closed-down business, with no warning.

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Pokemon Go Snorlax
Pokémon GO player on Reddit was left reeling when developer Niantic seemingly shut down a gym while they and other players were raiding it. It serves as a cautionary tale to players who are raiding gyms set up at businesses that have closed down or are shutting down, which is more prevalent recently in the wake of the pandemic.

In Pokémon GO, gyms are established in both public places and private businesses, but in the case of the latter, the gym isn"t established arbitrarily. Niantic, the game"s developer, has to secure permission from the owners of the business to establish a gym there after it"s petitioned by players. Many businesses approve, because the gym can mean extra foot traffic and more opportunity to sell products or services, but others do not, because crowds of players on their phones can be obstructive. If a business with an approved gym is shut down, the gym is eventually shut down with it, although there"s usually a gap between the two due to communication issues. Unfortunately, this can lead to unpredictability in gym shutdowns.

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Reddit user TheOfficeRevisited learned this the hard way, when they were raiding a gym for a Snorlax with other players and were unceremoniously booted. Even after spending a few Golden Razz Berries trying to get back in, the players were kicked out again, before getting an error message. The gym then disappeared entirely from the map. It had been shut down by Niantic, and when it went, so did TheOfficeRevisited and company"s Raid passes, Golden Razz Berries, and any coins they were entitled to receive from the Pokémon stationed at the gym. They posted a series of screencaps that captured the event in real time, and while they have submitted tickets to Niantic, there"s doubt over whether or not Niantic will return any of the the items lost.

This experience should be a warning to players who are looking to raid gyms located at businesses that are closed or closing. But regardless, the onus is on Niantic to ensure that gyms are empty before dismantling and shutting them down, and that any coins earned by Pokémon that are assigned to the gym are given to their players instead of lost to the digital void. There isn"t really a convenient time of day for Niantic to shut down gyms, but a warning to players at the very least that the gym is slated for dismantling certainly wouldn"t go amiss.

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Unfortunately, businesses shutting down is much more common recently as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while Pokémon GO is one of the ways the public has coped with the rigorous shelter-in-place orders, the game isn"t immune to the devastation of the pandemic either. Businesses shutting down means fewer gyms and more player confusion, and while Niantic is doing its best to keep events going and spirits high, communication between the company and players still seems to lacking, and contributing to that confusion even more.