Pokémon Go Fest Madrid players think Niantic might get them thrown out of the Prado Museum

With Pokémon Go Fest 2024 heading for Madrid this June, Niantic has shared a list of locales players should check out. But the company’s advice for visiting the Prado Museum may risk getting people in trouble.

The Prado Museum is Spain’s national art museum and home to numerous art pieces by the country’s own Francisco Goya, as well as other artists, with one of its most famous pieces being another depiction of the Mona Lisa. In a March 22 post on the Pokémon Go website, Niantic recommended you “Take a photo of your Buddy with Mona Lisa’s cousin” during your visit, which sounds harmless enough. Pokémon Go player ParaQuant on Reddit has since made people aware this is not the case.

In a post made on March 26, ParaQuant warned players against taking photos of the paintings since the Prado Museum’s website states it strictly forbids any such photography. One RavenousDave, who seemed to have some familiarity with the museum, added, “Probably best not to annoy security at the Prado. They take a very firm line on photographs and the place has a lot of security guards.”

Does this mean Niantic is encouraging players to disobey the museum’s rules? Probably not, no. Should a surplus of Pokémon Go fans be caught taking photos of the paintings, it wouldn’t take much for the museum to learn Niantic itself suggested it, which could land the developer in trouble. This is more than likely a simple oversight on Niantic’s behalf, something near enough everyone else in the thread already assumed, and it simply isn’t aware of the museum’s rules. Still, it may be in the studio’s best interests to delete that line from its website if it wants to avoid any sternly written emails from the Prado Museum.

Niantic has already been facing criticisms from its player base for a couple of other reasons. Fans have accused it of gatekeeping Pokémon over its decision to only make the mythical Zarude available via a paid premium pass. Shortly after that, Niantic began rolling out a test update that brings visual changes to player’s avatars, which was met with demands to cancel the update for how “Absolutely horrific” it made them look.

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