Niantic has been under a lot of scrutiny from the Pokemon Go community over their lack of communication on pressing Pokemon Go issues, with the most recent being its decision to shut down various third-party Pokemon tracking apps such as the immensely popular Pokevision.
However, the developer of the popular Pokemon hunting game has finally decided to communicate more with fans and it’s already showing great results. Earlier today, the company went into great detail about why it took the difficult decision of cracking down on such apps.
They released a long statement on its blog explaining how these apps were hampering the abilities to both roll out the game to new regions as well as eating up valuable development time that could otherwise be used to create new features and make the game better.
It also revealed that it was mainly because of blocking these services that it was able to release the game in Latin America recently.
As some of you may have noticed we recently rolled out Pokémon GO to Latin America including Brazil. We were very excited to finally be able to take this step. We were delayed in doing that due to aggressive efforts by third parties to access our servers outside of the Pokémon GO game client and our terms of service. We blocked some more of those attempts yesterday. Since there has been some public discussion about this, we wanted to shed some more light on why we did this and why these seemingly innocuous sites and apps actually hurt our ability to deliver the game to new and existing players. The chart below shows the drop in server resources consumed when we blocked scrapers. Freeing those resources allowed us to proceed with the Latin America launch.
It elaborates more on how much of a negative impact these services had and that it would have broken the game and hurt trainers across the world.
In addition to hampering our ability to bring Pokémon GO to new markets, dealing with this issue also has opportunity cost. Developers have to spend time controlling this problem vs. building new features. It’s worth noting that some of the tools used to access servers to scrape data have also served as platforms for bots and cheating which negatively impact all Trainers. There is a range of motives here from blatant commercial ventures to enthusiastic fans but the negative impact on game resources is the same.
Of course, there are also outright hackers out there attempting to break into systems, hijack social media accounts, and even bring down the service. Some of them have posted publicly about their attempts.
We don’t expect these attempts to stop. But we do want you to understand why we have taken the steps we have and why we will continue to take steps to maintain the stability and integrity of the game.
Amidst the sea of negative press and fan outrage the developer has been facing lately, you have to give them credit for making efforts to fix things and take constructive criticism on its stride to get better.
Pokemon Go has nearly 100 million players worldwide, and the community can feel left out if the developer doesn’t engage with them. It’s great to see Niantic finally beginning to do so, and it’ll surely make things a lot easier for both the Pokemon Go community and Niantic themselves.