Pokemon GO: Niantic Explains Removing Tracking System and Shutting Down Third-Party Tools

By | 3 months ago 

Following a series of controversial updates made to Pokemon GO, such as the removal of the Pokemon tracker, Niantic have posted up a response explaining why the changes were made.

In the span of just a few weeks, Niantic’s augmented-reality mobile game Pokemon GO has gone from topping the iOS App Store to being the subject of tremendous player fallout. The cause of all this backlash began with a recent update that not only fixed a few bugs, but also removed the game’s Pokemon tracker mechanic. This was subsequently followed by the shutting down of a number of major third-party Pokemon tracking sites by Niantic, a move which caused major player outrage. With so many players suddenly turning their backs on Pokemon GO due to these changes, as well as the lack of communication from Niantic, the developer has attempted to quell the situation by releasing a new statement explaining why certain changes were made.

In a lengthy statement posted up on the official Pokemon GO Facebook page, Niantic first explained that the Pokemon tracker mechanic was removed in order to “improve upon the underlying design” as the original feature was deemed to be “confusing” and did not meet the developer’s “underlying product goals“. Given that numerous players have reported glitches with the Pokemon tracker feature weeks ago, it makes sense as to why Niantic would remove the mechanic for now. As to when the tracker will be back, no time frame was given, though the developer did state that it will keep everyone updated.

pokemon go developer shuts down pokemon tracking pokevision site

The next issue Niantic addressed was why it shut down of a number of third-party Pokemon tracking sites. The reasoning behind this move was that the tracking sites were “interfering with [Niantic’s] ability to maintain quality of service” to players, and it was causing issues in bringing the game to parts of the world where it is currently not available. While Pokemon GO‘s worldwide launch was halted due to server problems, Niantic didn’t provide an explanation as to how these third-party sites were affecting the rollout of the game, though the team are currently working to bring the game to countries that don’t have it yet.

And finally, Niantic explained that the reason behind the lack of communication between the developer and the players was due to the team “working crazy hours to keep the game running“, but the plan is to keep players more up-to-date with what’s going on in the future.

With Pokemon GO‘s momentum having been stifled following all this recent backlash, it remains to be seen whether the game can retain its estimated 75 million player base. Given that a number of new features coming in soon, including new generations of Pokemon, there’s still time for Niantic to rectify its mistakes before it is too late, though it will have to do a bit better than simply issuing out a vague post.

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Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android in selected regions.

Source: Official Pokemon GO Facebook page (via Kotaku)