Following a tremendous player fallout after the latest Pokemon GO update, ratings have been removed from the game's page in the Apple App Store due to an outpour of bad reviews.
Update: The rating for Pokemon Go has come back and is currently sitting at a dreadfully low one and a half stars.
The original story follows...
Pokemon GO is in the midst of a controversy at the moment that started, innocently enough, with an update that made a number of significant, positive changes to the game. However, the update brought a few unsavory changes as well and players have decided to take their frustration out on the Apple App Store by storming the game with negative reviews. This has prompted a removal of reviews for Pokemon GO altogether. While there is no official statement from either Apple or developer Niantic at this time to confirm the removal was purposeful, surely it cannot be a coincidence that Niantic is currently dealing with a PR nightmare and the game's rating mysteriously disappears.
Shortly after the new update dropped, players flocked to the forums to rage about the removal of the game's tracking mechanic and its disabling of third-party Pokemon trackers. It did not take long for the mob to shift their attention to the App Store, where they attempted to hurt the game by bombarding it with negative ratings. As of last night, Pokemon GO was sitting at just a 2 star rating in the App Store, a reddit user documented. The next day, the ratings -- and thus all reviews -- were removed completely. This apparently is true for App Stores outside the US as well, as one Australian reddit user can attest.
Niantic rolled out an update just a few days ago to a bitter reception from many fans. While unpopular, the update implements some important changes that few want to recognize, such as the ability to further customize player characters, a rebalancing of many Pokemon move sets, and a way to prevent accidental transferring of Pokemon, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the positive changes were overshadowed by a few bad ones. Some Pokemon spawns were changed, frustrating players that relied on them, other players had their accounts reset and all progress removed, but the largest source of this furor came from the removal of a key feature in the game: Pokemon tracking. A frustrating bug, known as the "three step bug", was preventing players from finding Pokemon using the game's built-in tracker. When Niantic did not address the bug, third-party websites, such as Pokevision, popped up that offered Pokemon tracking alternatives and became immensely popular
Following the most recent update, however, all third-party websites have been disabled and Pokemon tracking has all but been removed from the game, leaving very few options for players who want to catch 'em all. With no way to narrow down the location of their chosen prey, players must rely on the "nearby" feature that shows what Pokemon are in the vicinity. But this feature is often inaccurate, forcing players to wander aimlessly and pray for luck when attempting to find anything other than Pidgeys and Rattatas.
Since the update, Pokemon GO player usage has dropped, with some believing this is the beginning of the end and, in some capacity, Niantic is likely feeling that way as well. Pokemon GO/Niantic CEO John Hinke recently had his Twitter account hacked and some players are now requesting refunds for the money they have spent in the game.
It is a deep hole to dig themselves out of, but Niantic has the boon of a powerful trademark with thousands of loyal fans behind it; plus there are plenty of people still voicing their support for Pokemon GO. If the removal of reviews was intentional, it is probably temporary. They will return when the player base has had time to contemplate the situation and when their rage has been subdued. Now that the game is not plagued by 1 star reviews, new players will be less deterred from downloading the game, which sounds like the logical strategy the developer is attempting.
Pokemon GO is at a crossroads and it will be interesting to see how Niantic handles this backlash in the coming days. Stay tuned to Game Rant for updates as this story develops.
Check out our helpful Pokemon GO guides:
- Every Way to Earn Experience Points
- How to Win Battles
- How to Become a Gym Leader
- How to Get Pokecoins
- How to Catch Pikachu as a Starter
- How to Use and Hatch Eggs
- How to Catch Rare Pokemon
- How to Use Pokestops
- How to Control Eevee’s Evolution
- Trainer Rewards at Every Level
- How to Hold Gyms Longer
- Where to Find Specific Pokemon
- How to Trigger Pokemon Spawns
- Every Type’s Strengths and Weaknesses
- Catching Region Exclusive Pokemon
Are you still playing Pokemon GO, ranters? Let us know in the comments what you think of the newest update and the future of Pokemon GO.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android.