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Zwift reverses course: Pace partners to remain in Makuri Islands

Users ask for pace partners to remain in Makuri Island world, and Zwift listens.

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Just days after Zwift announced it would pull all pace partners from Makuri Island, while adding three new pace partners to Watopia, it has reversed course.

In a statement released Sunday on the Zwift forums, a Zwift representative confirmed user feedback was a factor in making this decision.

“One of the benefits of our community is the level of feedback they are able to give us. But that’s only relevant if we listen, consider and act accordingly,” wrote James Bailey.

On Thursday, May 12, Zwift updated the game by adding three new pace partners at paces of 1.15w/kg, 1.8w/kg, and 2.15w/kg to the four existing pace partners moving at 1.5w/kg, 2.5w/kg, 3.3w/kg, and 4.2w/kg.

Many of the decisions Zwift makes about the virtual cycling environment are informed by usage and user feedback.

Zwift had planned on moving all pace partners from Makuri Island with the update, however, Bailey indicated that the dataset used to inform the decision to pull pace partners from Makuri Islands was incomplete. Upon further examination, a decision was made to add new pace bots to the latest Zwift world.

“Having looked at the numbers of attendees over a number of weeks, they were generally low, but what especially this month I hadn’t considered is that Makuri hadn’t been on the guest world schedule so far this month. When it was, the numbers were considerably higher, not to Watopia levels, but enough for me to rethink.

“I added Charlie Chaser (3.0w/kg and Denise Drops (2.0w/kg) into the Makuri rotation, as these [pace ’bots] have been the two most commonly requested paces. Whilst the numbers [of users riding] for Charlie weren’t earth-shattering, Denise had been extremely popular,” wrote Bailey.

Baily also indicated that all of the Makurki Island pace partners have a profile of 75kg and 175cm. The two new pace ’bots will move at 1w/kg, and another at 3.8w/kg.

“Charlie [Chaser] and Denise [Drops] will remain in Makuri on the same routes. They will also be joined by Eddy Echelon who will ride at 1.0w/kg (perfect for injury recovery and entry-level riding) and Bernadette Blazer who will ride at 3.8w/kg (who serves as a nice step between Anquetil (4.2w/kg) and Brevet (3.3w/kg),” added Bailey. “Depending on numbers, Eddy may not hang around, but I’m interested to see if he gets much company.”

Zwift continues to consider pace partners as part of the Futureworks project development and states it will continue to adjust paces based on utilization and feedback.

According to Zwift senior manager of North American public relations Andrew Bernstein, as of Monday, May 16, the additional pace partners should be available to all users.